Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22

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Google has picked an interesting way of battling leaks — it simply reveals its upcoming Pixel phones a few months in advance. So, thanks to a Google I/O presentation, we now have some info on the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. By all accounts, it seems we are going to get a very similar pair as last year — a very aggressively priced, “mainstream” Pixel 7, with the same powerful chip inside and the same astounding main camera, and then a Pro version with more bells and whistles.

Samsung also launches a “mainstream” phone of its own. The Galaxy S22 is the cheapest from the S22 trio and has almost all of the features you can find in the Plus. It’s very easy to assume that most people that are looking for an “affordable flagship” will have their sights set on the Pixel 7 on one side, and the Galaxy S22 on the other.

Now, the Galaxy S22 has the benefit of rocking a full trio of cameras — from ultra-wide, to wide, to zoom camera — while the Pixel 7 will probably skip out on the zoom part, as its predecessor did. But, on the flipside, the Pixel 7 may be much more lucratively priced than the Galaxy S22. The latter starts at $799 with no trade-ins and no promos, while the former may be priced at $599, if it follows the 2021 model pricing plan.

Of course, the Galaxy S22 gives you a different type of experience, too, with the completely redesigned UI and access to Samsung’s ecosystem through SmartThings. The Pixel, on the other hand, is a very Google-centric device, which is sure to get the newest Android features straight from Google, plus a heavy focus on Assistant functionality.

So, how will they compare when it comes to cameras, performance, experience, and sheer bling?

Pixel 7 vs Galaxy S22 in a nutshell:

  • Very different, but distinct designs
  • Two main cameras on Pixel 7, three on S22
  • Tensor chip on Pixel, Snapdragon (Exynos) on S22
  • Slightly larger screen on Pixel 7
  • Google’s Android vs Samsung’s One UI

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality


We don’t have a whole lot of information on the Pixel 7 right now, but it goes without saying that it will probably have an AMOLED panel, same as the Pixel 6. And, its refresh rate will be at least 90 Hz, however, seeing as even midrange phones nowadays get 120 Hz, Google might upgrade to that. The Galaxy S22, on the other end, has a 120 Hz AMOLED screen.

The Pixel 7 is expected to be similarly-sized to its predecessor, meaning we will probably see something to the tune of a 6.4-inch screen on the front with a fairly thin bezel around it. The Galaxy S22 feels like the more compact choice, with a slightly smaller 6.1-inch display and razor-thin bezels.

As for screen quality — we can’t say we were super-impressed with the Pixel 6. It was slightly murky, not very vibrant, and its auto brightness didn’t do it any favors. The Galaxy S22 screen feels a step above with a pristine, sharp, vibrant look that’s just a pleasure to observe. If the Pixel 7 doesn’t do any changes in this area, it might be the same situation there.

Both the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 have very distinct designs. The Pixel like keeps coming out with that vizor-shaped camera module on the back, which is instantly recognizable. And Samsung keeps doing that metal camera module in the corner of the phone, which blends into the frame — a very stylish and seemingly loved design choice. The S22 is also very easy to grip, thanks to its almost flat sides, while the Pixel 7 seems to be going down the rounded frame road once again. The latter is not bad in any way, a lot of people enjoy the soft touch of a rounded corner.

Water- and dust-resistance in modern smartphones is basically a standard. The Galaxy S22 has an IP 68 rating and we expect the Pixel 7 to have the same, since its predecessor already did.

When it comes to biometrics, the Galaxy S22 has the under-screen fingerprint scanner and the Pixel 7 will probably have one as well. Samsung bets on its ultrasonic technology, while Google keeps working with optical sensors that light up under your finger to read the print. Samsung’s scanner has the ability to read better even if your finger is greased up or dirty, which is quite impressive, but it’s still a smidgen slower than other fingerprint scanners on the market. The Pixel 6, on the other hand, was also slightly slow and inaccurate in this regard — Google says it’s working on a software fix for that. But we have no idea if it will work and whether the Pixel 7 will be snappier at unlocking.

Of course, don’t expect any headphone jacks on any of these phones — such is the modern smartphone world. Speaking of which:

What’s in the box: Pixel 7 vs Galaxy S22 edition

You guessed it — definitely not a charger. Both of these phones will come with a data cable and some booklets.

Performance and Software

A Samsung chip in the Pixel, a Qualcomm chip in the Galaxy

Here’s a fun fact. Google’s Tensor chips are designed by Google, OK, but are actually built by Samsung. Then, Samsung goes out and buys Qualcomm Snapdragon chips for its flagships.

Well, that’s not the whole truth — most international markets get a Samsung-made Exynos chip in lieu of the Snapdragon, but now things are becoming a bit harder to follow. Let’s reel it in.

By all accounts, the Pixel 7 will most probably have a new Tensor chip inside — we don’t know how it’s going to be called, so let’s just say Tensor 2. The Galaxy S22 has the excellent Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Now, the Tensor in the Pixel 6 wasn’t much of a performer. It was fine at best when it came to the benchmarks that we put all smartphones through. However, in typical Google fashion, raw performance was never the point. The Tensor SoC is built with cores enhancing the AI and photo processing of the phone, but it has enough power to deliver a snappy enough performance for your daily usage needs.

We certainly don’t expect the Tensor 2 in the Pixel 7 to be racing to be faster than a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, for example, but it will probably still fit in that “pretty good” category. Best case, it will probably match the non-Plus Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the Galaxy S22.

For software, both of these phones will run on Android — duh —, but very different versions of it. Google makes Android, therefore it uses its Pixel phones as platforms to showcase the OS in its purest form — how the developers wanted it to look, feel, and operate. Samsung generally says “Nah” to that and develops its own One UI skin, which it overlays on top of Android.

By all accounts, One UI is a mature software in its own right and there are plenty of reasons to prefer it over the “stock” Android — from how it looks to how certain interface elements work, to the fact that Samsung fills it to the brim with extra features and customization options. The Pixel’s Android looks a bit more bare-bone, but it also has its fanbase due to it being much lighter and free of bells and whistles.

When it comes to software updates, one would assume that Google would lead here — pushing out Android updates as soon as they are ready for the public. But, credit given where credit is due, Samsung has always been amazing at sending out somewhat timely updates for its phones in recent times. But — get this — Samsung promises 4 years of Android build updates and 5 years of security updates. Google promises 3 years of Android builds and 5 years of security patches.

This is a bit humorous, with Samsung promising more versions of Android for its phones. However, if you consider the release windows for these phones, it doesn’t make much difference in the end. In early 2026, the Galaxy S22 will have Android 16 and so will the Pixel 7, with both devices being past the end of their promised update cycles.


Two leaders

Last year, Google made a significant upgrade to its main cameras, giving the Pixel 6 phones 50 MP sensors. We absolutely believe Google will stick to that spec, as it makes little sense to upgrade it yet again. As we all know, the Pixel magic all happens after the photo snap, when the image signal processor and the post-processing algorithms take the wheel.

The Pixel 7 may improve that 12 MP ultra-wide camera or the 8 MP selfie camera by a bit. Or, Google may upgrade the optics to get a slightly wider aperture than that F1.9. If it doesn’t, as it stands, the Galaxy S22 is the better overall camera package. As Samsung doesn’t skimp on any camera specs in its “cheapest” Galaxy S model for 2022, its ultra-wide camera is wider and has bigger pixels than the Pixel 6’s; its main camera also has a 50 MP sensor and a slightly wider aperture; and it sports a telephoto lens for zoom and portraits.

Samsung also pushes the limits with 8K video from its main camera and 4K video capabilities from all the different sensors. The Pixel, so far, can’t do 8K and its selfie camera is limited to 1080p. But the Pixel 7 might change that.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Samsung’s loudspeakers have generally been great over the past few years, with a few weird mishaps. Sometimes the next-gen phone has slightly worse speakers than last year’s, for example. But, without digressing futher, the Galaxy S22 has pretty OK speakers. They are a bit on the tinny side, but you can definitely get usable, detailed sound out of them, to watch YouTube videos or play soft music as a background — especially if you get into the Dolby Atmos and EQ settings.

The Pixel 6 had OK speakers that didn’t wow us in any way. There’s some room for improvement there and we hope the Pixel 7 brings the heat. Some more bass would be nice, and some extra sparkle with no harshness will also be appreciated.

As for headphone jacks — none of these phones have them. What, did you think this is 2014?

Google’s haptic motors have been very much on point for the past few years. And Google knows it, as it always loads up a ton of little haptic vibrations and effects to give you feedback as you navigate through Android. They are satisfying, cool, and accurate. Samsung’s vibration motors have also been very good in recent times.

Battery Life and Charging

The Pixel 7 will probably last longer

Last year’s Google Pixel 6 had a 4,614 mAh battery which, with the help of the Tensor chip’s efficiency, allowed the Pixel 6 to keep its screen on for quite a while — 14 hours on our browsing test. We expect nothing less from the Pixel 7.

The Galaxy S22’s smaller size only made room for a 3,700 mAh battery. It can reliably last you a day, but it’s battery life isn’t amazing and heavy usage might get you charging in the late afternoon.

Speaking of charging, the Galaxy S22 supports 25 W wallplugs, while the Pixel line has gone up to 30 W last year. Tests show, there isn’t a huge difference in speed, so unless the Pixel 7 pulls some Xiaomi-style super-fast charging out of the hat, it’s probably going to be the same situation this year.

Of course, both phones support wireless charging, as it’s the industry norm nowadays.

Specs Comparison

The expected specs of the Pixel 7 vs the Galaxy S22:

Obviously, this early in the game, most of the Pixel 7 specs are subject to speculation or educated guessing. We do think that Google will probably update that screen to be 120 Hz instead of 90 Hz, but let’s just stay on the safe side and say the Pixel 7 will be a retread of what the Pixel 6 had to offer.

So, the currently laid-out spec sheet doesn’t give us any new to look at, at least not for now. What we see, pretty much, is a battle between an aggressively-priced phone that still has a lot to offer, and a Samsung tiny titan, that doesn’t pull any features back and just gives you the full Galaxy S experience.

Summary and Final Verdict

So, should you wait for the Pixel 7 or just go out and buy a Galaxy S22 right now? The question is a highly subjective now, however, we can’t go on without mentioning that the Pixel 6 — while a great bargain — was marred by a plethora of bugs that still persist for some users. So, we — as well as many other tech pundits — are cautiously optimistic about the Pixel 7 series, but find it hard to recommend or hype them up just yet.

But, if we put that aside, and if we assume the Pixel 7 has a flawless launch — it could definitely be one of the phones to beat in 2022. In fact, if it does retain that $600 aggressive price, I could find it easy to recommend over the Galaxy S22.

Still, for a polished, pristine experience, filled to the brim with extra features and customization options, the Galaxy line is an undisputed king. Plus, those that insist on having more camera options will enjoy the S22 better than the Pixel 7.

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