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The best Samsung Galaxy S22 series alternatives

From Apple and Google to Samsung itself, there are some great alternatives out there.
June 25, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 Family in white spread on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Whether it’s the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, or S22 Ultra, there’s plenty to like about these phones. The Ultra model, in particular, marks the return of the S Pen slot for the first time since the Galaxy Note 20 series. But what if you want something a little different? Here are some of the best Galaxy S22 series alternatives you should consider.

The best Galaxy S22 series alternatives

Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list of the best Samsung Galaxy S22 alternatives as new devices launch.

Samsung Galaxy S21 series

Samsung Galaxy S21 in violet showing rear with camera module
David Imel / Android Authority

Why we chose it: True Samsung fans will settle with no other brand. If you want to save money while staying within the Samsung ecosystem, the previous generation is the way to go.

Sure, the Galaxy S22 series is out, but the Galaxy S21 range is still one of the best alternatives. Pricing has come down since launch. The Galaxy S21 Ultra hasn’t seen as big a price drop and has actually disappeared from many online stores, though, but if you can find it, we recommend it even a year after launch.

What we thought: Galaxy S21 review | Galaxy S21 Ultra review

The Galaxy S21 series comes with a Snapdragon 888 SoC (Exynos 2100 outside the US), 120Hz OLED panel, wireless charging, and water resistance. Samsung’s Ultra model is the most impressive of the lot, packing a 5,000mAh battery, a 108MP primary camera, and a pair of telephoto lenses (3x and 10x). It even supports the S Pen, albeit without the integrated slot.

Best of all, Samsung is now offering the same four years of OS updates for the series as the Galaxy S22 family, along with five years of security patches. So you should expect these phones to receive new features for a while.

Samsung Galaxy S21
$459.90 at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus (renewed)
$507.00 at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
$989.99 at Amazon
Save $210.00

Apple iPhone 13 series

iPhone 13 Pro with apps visible and display on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Why we chose it: Apple is Samsung’s main competitor, so it only makes sense that we place the iPhone flagships on this list. It’s also the best bet if you want the best alternative outside Android.

Apple and Samsung have been arch-rivals in the smartphone space for over a decade, and the iPhone 13 series continues this tradition. Apple is offering four models in the series: the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini models offer a powerful A15 processor, IP68 water/dust resistance, wireless charging, dual 12MP rear cameras, and access to the Apple ecosystem. They both lack a high refresh rate screen and telephoto camera, though. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max bring a more flexible triple rear camera system (featuring a telephoto lens), a high refresh rate display, and bigger batteries. These two phones also offer a macro mode thanks to the addition of autofocus on the ultrawide camera, catching up to Samsung and other Android players in this regard.

Our verdict: iPhone 13 review | iPhone 13 Pro Max review

Even though Samsung just announced four years of OS updates, Apple’s phones edge them out by usually offering five or more years of software support. Either way, you’ll be getting updates years down the line.

Apple iPhone 13
$799.99 at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
$699.99 at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
$999.99 at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
$1,099.99 at Best Buy

Google Pixel 6 range

Google Pixel 6 Pro back glass 2
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Why we chose it: While Samsung makes fantastic devices, they can be a bit much. Google’s own Pixel handsets offer a premium experience while keeping the UI simple and clean. You’ll also enjoy much faster updates.

The Pixel 6 series is one of the best Galaxy S22 alternatives around. Google’s Tensor chipset used in these phones is actually made by Samsung and uses some Samsung technology, too (such as the modem). Furthermore, you can expect a lengthy software update pledge here as well, albeit not as long as Samsung regarding OS updates.

The standard Pixel 6 is perhaps the most alluring device of the two, coming in at just $600 in the US and therefore being cheaper than the Galaxy S22. It also brings a water-resistant design, 90Hz OLED screen, and a 4,614mAh battery. Otherwise, you also get a dual rear camera (50MP+12MP ultrawide) and wireless charging.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 6 reviewGoogle Pixel 6 Pro review

The Pixel 6 Pro is also an excellent deal at $900, with extras like a 5,000mAh battery, QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, and a 48MP 4x periscope camera. This matches up well with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Google Pixel 6
Google Pixel 6 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE left front profile showing screen and apps
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Why we chose it: The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a great handset at a very reasonable price. You get powerful specs, all the best Samsung features, and a good camera experience. 

The Galaxy S21 FE is another phone worth considering, having just launched in January after a months-long delay. The device packs Samsung’s One UI skin and three years of OS updates, too, making it one of the better Galaxy S22 alternatives right away.

What we thought: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review

Samsung’s latest FE phone also sports a larger battery than the standard Galaxy S22 (4,500mAh). Still, one disadvantage is using the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chipset compared to the S22 range’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 SoCs.

Other notable features include a 120Hz FHD+ OLED screen, 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and a solid triple rear camera system (12MP, 12MP, and 8MP).

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
$599.99 at Amazon
Save $100.00

OnePlus 10 Pro

OnePlus 10 Pro rear panel on painting
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Why we chose it: Once known as the flagship killer, OnePlus continues to make amazing devices (while no longer as affordable. The OnePlus 10 Pro offers a solid experience and high-end specs.

The OnePlus 10 Pro was released in China first, but its wider release means most of us can now get a hold of one. This device is definitely one of the best Galaxy S22 series alternatives.

OnePlus’s 2022 device packs a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, a 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED screen (QHD+), and a 5,000mAh battery. This lines up well with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. But the OnePlus phone also serves up 80W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, beating Samsung’s devices.

Related: OnePlus buyer’s guide

In terms of photography, you’ll get a 48MP primary shooter, 50MP ultrawide lens, and 8MP 3.3X telephoto camera. In other words, the phone loses out to the S22 Ultra on paper when it comes to zoom capabilities. The rest of the package and OnePlus’s three-year update pledge make for an excellent alternative to Samsung’s flagships.

OnePlus 10 Pro
$899.00 at OnePlus

These are our favorite Galaxy S22 series alternatives. Not convinced by these picks? Then grab yourself a Samsung Galaxy S22 series phone via the links below.

Samsung Galaxy S22
Refined, compact design
Small yet sweet display
Impressive camera setup
$699.99 at Amazon
Save $100.00
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Excellent display
Powerful camera package
Solid battery life
$799.99 at Amazon
Save $200.00
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Solid performance
Punchy, versatile cameras
S Pen functionality
Above average software support
$1,199.99 at Samsung