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Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22: Which one should you buy?

Samsung and Google go head-to-head to put a small Android flagship in your pocket.
By
October 6, 2022

With each passing launch, the flagship Android market continues to grow more and more competitive. Samsung kicked off the year with its smaller but well-rounded Galaxy S22 series, and now Google has its answer. Its Pixel 7 has arrived with a few key internal updates to stake its claim to the throne. Both devices look almost identical to their predecessors, so how do you figure out which is right for you? Let’s put the Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 to find out.

We’ll touch on all of the most important points — design, cameras, price, and more — in this detailed comparison. However, we’re mostly sticking to the base models this time — you won’t find the Galaxy S22 Plus, Ultra, or the Pixel 7 Pro.


Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22


Design and display

No, you’re not having déjà vu. Yes, the Google Pixel 7 and Samsung Galaxy S22 do look that much like their respective predecessors. Repeated designs have been a common theme throughout 2022, marked only by slight changes from one model to the next. Both devices hold onto great features like IP68 ratings, stereo speakers, and premium materials, but there are no headphone jacks, and you’ll want to look elsewhere if you like a new look from year to year.

In Samsung’s case, the apple fell so close to the tree that it might as well be a shoot of bamboo. The Galaxy S22 is almost identical to the Galaxy S21, with a Contour Cut camera bump, satin glass (yes, real glass) finish, and a glossy Armor Aluminum frame. It’s so similar that the best way to tell the Galaxy S22 apart from its predecessor is with the color options, which we’ll return to in a bit. One notable change, however, is that the Galaxy S22 is slightly smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S21, with a smaller display to match.

Google’s physical changes are slightly more visible, though not much more impactful. Where the Google Pixel 6’s camera bar was black and hid its camera lenses, the Pixel 7 now features a color-matched metallic option with a small cutout for the lenses. The result is somewhat of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle effect, like one large eye looking out of a mask. It’s flanked by two matching pieces of Gorilla Glass Victus, which means we’re back to life without two-toned Pixels.

Both the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 follow a familiar theme for 2022 — refine, don't rebuild.

Google’s and Samsung’s similarities continue once you flip both flagships over. Size does matter, and the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 are more than happy to sacrifice a little bit of it. Both phones drop a tenth of an inch from their respective displays, landing the Pixel at 6.3 inches and the Galaxy at 6.1. You’ll get a flat Full HD+ AMOLED panel either way, though Samsung holds the advantage with a 120Hz refresh rate to Google’s 90Hz. The similarities continue with lone punch hole selfie cameras interrupting the displays and the use of Gorilla Glass Victus.

Repeated similarities mean that the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 have repeated differences. Google’s flagship remains the boxier of the two, while Samsung’s latest continues to round its corners and flatten its sides — taking on an iPhone-esque appearance. The Pixel 7’s camera bar stretches the entire length of its split glass back, and Samsung’s trio of shooters is right at home in the top left corner.


Hardware and cameras

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus in blue angled camera closeup
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Since the designs and displays haven’t changed much, you might be expecting larger tweaks under the hood. To an extent, you’re right, but the updates aren’t much more impactful than your average year-to-year upgrades.

The Google Pixel 7 sticks to its newfound Tensor fame, moving from the original chipset to the new Tensor G2. It marks a new generation for Google’s state-of-the-art AI, but its priorities haven’t changed. The Tensor G2 is built with Google’s custom TPU and now relies on lower power consumption for everyday activities like video streaming, speech recognition, and messaging. Google claims that the new chipset is up to 60% faster, but we’ll put that to the test once we have our review unit.

On the other hand, Samsung adopted Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset for the US and select markets, while an in-house Exynos 2200 occupies the Galaxy S22 for the rest of the world. Both phones pair their processor with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of fixed storage — sorry, no microSD slots here.

google pixel 7 back in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Google spent much of its upgrade power last year, bringing 50MP primary and 12MP ultrawide lenses to the Pixel 6 series. The same duo is back this year, with some updated Tensor G2 power at its disposal. That means Google still relies on Samsung’s excellent GN1 sensor, so it’s safe to expect some of the Pixel’s familiar imaging prowess. Around the front, Google upgraded the traditional 8MP selfie shooter to 10.8MP — in line with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Samsung switched its strengths around for the Galaxy S22, bringing most of its megapixels from the telephoto lens to the primary one. It’s still behind the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108MP beast, but now you can use the 50MP wide sensor for most of your shots. The lens is joined by a 10MP telephoto lens and a 12MP ultrawide lens, with a 10MP punch hole selfie shooter on the front. Either way, you’re looking at two of the most capable camera phones around.

The hardware may be similar, but Google and Samsung have entirely different approaches to image processing.

As mentioned in the design section, shrinkage hit the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 this year. It means smaller, more manageable displays, but it also means smaller batteries. The Samsung cell shrank from 4,000mAh to 3,700mAh while retaining its 25W wired and 15W wireless charging speeds. Google’s Pixel 7 took a similar hit, dropping from 4,614mAh to 4,355mAh. Unfortunately, Google is vague about its charging speeds, only offering that you can gain about half of your battery in 30 minutes with Google’s 30W charger. Both devices do offer reverse wireless charging, at least.


Price and colors

  • Google Pixel 7 (8/128GB): $599
  • Google Pixel 7 (8/256GB): $699
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 (8/128GB): $799
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 (8/256GB): $849

Google continues to lap the competition when it comes to pricing its flagship. The Pixel 7 still starts at $599, right where its predecessor did. That means it’s still $200 more affordable than Samsung’s base Galaxy S22, though both offer the same options for storage and RAM. If you want to bump your Pixel 7 from 128GB of storage to 256GB, it’ll raise your price to $699.

Samsung deserves credit in its own right for keeping the Galaxy S22 pricing consistent. It’s in line with the Galaxy S21’s launch price of $799, while a bump to the 256GB model raises your rate to $849.

Save some money: The best Samsung Galaxy deals | The best Google Pixel deals

If you loved Google’s two-tone glass finishes as much as we did, you might be a little disappointed. Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam, and Stormy Black are gone, with Snow, Obsidian, and Lemongrass taking their places. The first two are self-explanatory — white and black — while Lemongrass is something of a greenish-yellow finish with a metallic gold frame.

Samsung also moved away from its beloved dual tones, though the Phantom texture and shiny side rails remain. This year, you can pick up Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Pink Gold from all retailers, or head to Samsung for exclusives like Cream, Violet, Graphite, and Sky Blue. All four exclusives bring back the two-toned look with a contrasting frame and camera bump.

Samsung Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S22
Compact design • Impressive camera system • Unrivaled software support
The cheapest and smallest phone of the series
The Samsung Galaxy S22 offers almost everything you get with the S22 Plus but in a smaller package. It's a great choice for those looking for a high-end phone with a compact footprint. The display is great, the cameras are impressive, and the software support is the best you can get in the world of Android.
Google Pixel 7
Google Pixel 7
Tensor G2 processor • Upgraded camera • Low price
Value for money like no other.
The Pixel 7 is a flagship Pixel for everyone. It offers the next-gen Google processor, some terrific specs, and a reasonable price. You can upgrade to the Pixel 7 Pro if you want a larger display and even better cameras.

Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S22Google Pixel 7
Display
Samsung Galaxy S22
6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Google Pixel 7
6.3-inch OLED
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution
(2,400 x 1,080)
416ppi
90Hz refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth
Processor
Samsung Galaxy S22
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
Google Pixel 7
Google Tensor G2
Titan M2 security
RAM
Samsung Galaxy S22
8GB
Google Pixel 7
8GB LPDDR5
Storage
Samsung Galaxy S22
128 or 256GB
No microSD card support
Google Pixel 7
128GB or 256GB
UFS 3.1
Power
Samsung Galaxy S22
3,700mAh battery
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Google Pixel 7
4,355mAh (typical)
21W wired charging
USB-PD 3.0 (PPS)
21W wireless charging (w/ Pixel Stand)
Battery share

No charger in box
Cameras
Samsung Galaxy S22
REAR:
- 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
- 40MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Google Pixel 7
Rear:
- 50MP main
1.2 μm, ƒ/1.85, 82-degree FoV
1/1.31-inch sensor
LDAF, OIS, and EIS
- 12MP ultra-wide
1.25 μm, ƒ/2.2, 114-degree FoV
Laser AF

Front:
- 10.8MP single
1.22 μm, ƒ/2.2, 84-degree FoV
Video
Samsung Galaxy S22
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Google Pixel 7
Rear:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS
Audio
Samsung Galaxy S22
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm port
Google Pixel 7
Stereo speakers
Triple mics
No 3.5mm port
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy S22
5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6 (ax), Dual Band
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Google Pixel 7
5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Security
Samsung Galaxy S22
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
5 years security updates
4 x 9mm size
Google Pixel 7
In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip
5 years security updates
Software
Samsung Galaxy S22
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Google Pixel 7
Android 13
Pixel UI
S Pen support
Samsung Galaxy S22
No
Google Pixel 7
No
Materials
Samsung Galaxy S22
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Google Pixel 7
Gorilla Glass Victus front
Gorilla Glass Victus back
Aluminum frame
Durability
Samsung Galaxy S22
IP68 certified
Google Pixel 7
IP68 certified
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy S22
146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
168g
Google Pixel 7
155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
197g
Colors
Samsung Galaxy S22
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold
Google Pixel 7
Snow, Obsidian, Lemongrass

Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22: Which one should you buy?

Choosing between Google and Samsung for your next phone is no less daunting than last year. We’ve compared and contrasted the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 from top to bottom, and it remains tough to crown a clear winner. Both have their advantages, as well as different approaches to the same set of problems. Samsung and Google have committed to the refine, don’t rebuild approach for 2022, and it’s enough to keep both devices at the top.

Ultimately, the choice may come down to what you want in a flagship. If you want a smart camera that takes care of the tricky parts for you, go with the Google Pixel 7. On the other hand, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 gives you in-depth control over every aspect of taking a picture. The overall designs are almost unchanged from the previous generation, so your feelings about a boxy phone vs a rounded one can easily guide your decision.

Which will you buy, the Google Pixel 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S22?

508 votes

In this day and age, price matters, too, and Google has a clear lead. Its Pixel 7 kicks off at just $599 — a full $200 less than Samsung can muster.

That said, Samsung offers one of the best update commitments in the business, just ahead of Google’s promise. One UI and Pixel UI are among our favorite software experiences, though it’s up to you to determine whether you prefer Samsung’s onslaught of features or Google’s limitless options for customization.

Have you worked out which phone you’ll be bringing home? Let us know who won your Google Pixel 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 battle below.