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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Which should you buy?

Are the built-in S Pen and Note-like design enough to draw you away from Google's excellent software?
By
February 11, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro rear on table
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Pixel 6 Pro

The Google Pixel 6 Pro has enjoyed a few months as one of the best big Android phones around. Now, there’s new competition in the form of Samsung’s latest phablet, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. While it may not feel like a proper Galaxy S device, the latest Ultra is gunning for the top slot all the same. We’re here to help you decide which beast of a device is right for you in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Pixel 6 Pro showdown.

In this comparison, we’re sticking with the two most premium devices. We’ve compared the Google Pixel 6, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Galaxy S22 Plus in a battle of their own.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro


Design and display

The rear of the Pixel 6 Pro — Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra vs Pixel 6 Pro design
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Is a Note by any other name just as sweet? Samsung is certainly hoping so with the design of its latest premium phablet. Even though it bears the Galaxy S name, the S22 Ultra is a clear-cut successor to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The boxy design is back with flat edges on both the top and bottom. Even the placement of the built-in S Pen slot and bottom-firing speaker is identical to the late 2020 device. However, this time, Samsung has adopted Gorilla Glass Victus Plus for the front and back panels and Armor Aluminum for the frame.

Over on Google’s latest flagship, you’ll find a Gorilla Glass Victus sandwich as well. Around the edges, Google chose a glossy aluminum frame for added durability and style. There’s no S Pen, but you do get a pair of down-firing speakers to flank the USB-C port. The Pixel 6 Pro also offers a series of two-tone finishes, which we’ll touch more on later.

For all of Google's and Samsung's differences, these huge phablets have a lot in common.

Looking at the front of both devices, you might be hard-pressed to tell them apart. Both sport rather boxy displays that bleed over the edges like waterfalls. Samsung’s AMOLED panel is ever so slightly larger at 6.8-inches compared to Google’s 6.7-inch AMOLED. Once again, both devices offer central punch hole cameras and QHD+ resolutions with 120Hz refresh rates. The Pixel’s aspect ratio comes in at 19.5:9 compared to Samsung’s 19.3:9 option.

In a battle of two boxy devices, sometimes the camera array is the best way to set them apart. Google moved from its traditional corner-mounted option to a massive camera bar that divides the rear glass. We’ll touch on more specifics in the next section, but the camera bar also serves as the divider between the two-toned finishes. As for Samsung, the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers one of the most minimal camera designs in years. Each lens is confined to its own bubble in the top left corner, somewhat like an odd set of eyeballs.

Related: The best Pixel 6 Pro casesThe best Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra cases


Hardware and cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in Burgundy — Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs pixel 6 pro cameras
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Contour Cut camera system on the Galaxy S21 Ultra was one of our favorites of the whole year, and Samsung fans will be pleased to know that not much has changed. All four lenses are back with identical measurements, which means the 108MP primary sensor is back for another year. It’s flanked by 10MP periscope telephoto, 10MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide options, with a sharp 40MP shooter mounted to the display.

All told, you should be able to achieve 10x optical zoom with Samsung’s periscope telephoto and 3x optical zoom with the traditional telephoto. Fans of Samsung’s cameras should be pretty happy for another year.

See also: The best camera phones you can buy

While Samsung decided to stick with a proven formula, Google took its Pixel 6 Pro as the perfect chance to innovate. The camera bar is already a huge change, but the included lenses push it even further. After a few years of 12MP and 16MP options, the Pixel 6 Pro features a 50MP wide lens as its primary shooter. You can also tap into a 12MP ultrawide option and a 48MP telephoto lens — which isn’t available on the vanilla Pixel 6.

Google’s telephoto lens can achieve up to 4x optical zoom, and the device actually uses Samsung’s GN1 camera sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro rear on carpet
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

When it comes to flagship batteries, size matters. Google hasn’t always packed the biggest cells into its devices, but that’s all changed this year. The Pixel 6 Pro eclipses the 5,000mAh mark for the first time, coming in at 5,003mAh. It’s the largest of any Pixel device yet and offers the fastest charging to match.

You can tap into 21W wired charging and 21W wireless charging, thanks to Google’s new USB Power Delivery PPS support. It should garner up to 50% of your battery life in just half an hour, provided you have a capable charger. However, the Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t quite match Google’s 30W claims.

Both the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra support USB PD PPS, but Samsung pushes for much faster charging speeds.

Samsung is no stranger to the 5,000mAh battery, which is back for another year on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It relies on the USB PD PPS standard, but you can push it to 45W instead of the 25W limit on the Galaxy S21 series. As for wireless charging, the Galaxy S22 Ultra stops at 15W speeds.

Neither the Pixel 6 Pro nor the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers a charger in the box, so you might have to buy a new one to reach the top speeds.

See also: The best phone charging accessories

When it comes to performance, Samsung’s flagship offers the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor in the US compared to Google’s Tensor chip. On paper, the Gen 1 offers a huge performance boost over Tensor, though Google’s machine learning smarts provide the brains for Pixel-specific features. Other markets will receive Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset instead. You can read more about how the Snapdragon and Tensor processors compare in our deep dive.


Price and colors

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/128GB): $899
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/256GB): $999
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/512GB): $1,099

While Samsung didn’t find a way to lower prices from the Galaxy S21 series, it hasn’t raised them, either. We’ll count it as a small victory that the Galaxy S22 Ultra still starts at $1,199, though it comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Jumping to 12GB and 256GB will cost you $1,299, or 12GB and 512GB will set you back $1,399. Samsung now offers a 1TB version of its massive phablet with a price tag to match at $1,599.

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

Google went for a more affordable pricing structure — even if the Pixel 6 Pro can’t quite match the value of the vanilla model. All Pixel 6 Pro configurations carry 12GB of RAM, and the 128GB of storage will cost you just $899. For 256GB, you can expect to shell out $999, and the top-tier 512GB model will require $1,099. Google’s latest Pixel offers significant savings over the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, no matter the configuration.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Pixel 6 Pro showing four colors of the S22 Ultra: Green, Phantom White, Phantom Black, and Burgundy with the S Pen slot visible.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

We enjoyed Samsung’s Phantom finishes from the Galaxy S21 series, and they’re back for another year. While not all four options bear the Phantom name, the satin glass is familiar and feels excellent in hand. You won’t find two-toned options available from carriers this year either — all four colors offer matching frames and backs. The specific color names for the Galaxy S22 Ultra are Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy. However, there are three Samsung-exclusive colors too: Graphite, Red, and Sky Blue.

Over on the Pixel 6 Pro, we’re pleased to see Google make a return to two-toned finishes. While we didn’t get the classic panda version as an option, you can choose from Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny, and Stormy Black. Cloudy White offers a combination of white and light gray glass with a silver frame, while Sorta Sunny is the de facto gold option. Stormy Black combines two shades of dark gray with a glossy black frame.

google pixel 6 pro camera
Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Pixel 6 Pro outshines its little brother with a 6.7-inch QHD+ display and 120Hz refresh rate. It has the same two rear cameras as the Pixel 6 but with an additional 4x optical telephoto lens.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Specs

Google Pixel 6 ProSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display
Google Pixel 6 Pro
6.7-inch OLED
19.5:9 aspect ratio
QHD+ resolution
(3,120 x 1,440)
512ppi
120Hz adaptive refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Edge display (curved)
19.3:9 aspect ratio
QHD+ resolution (3,088 x 1,440)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (1Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Processor
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Google Tensor
Titan M2 security
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
RAM
Google Pixel 6 Pro
12GB LPDDR5
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
8GB or 12GB
Storage
Google Pixel 6 Pro
128, 256, or 512GB
UFS 3.1
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
128GB, 256GB, or 512GB with additional 1TB option
No microSD card support
Power
Google Pixel 6 Pro
5,000mAh (typical)
23W wired charging
USB-PD 3.0 (PPS)
23W wireless charging (w/ Pixel Stand)
12W Qi wireless charging
Battery share

No charger in box
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
5,000mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging

No charger in box
Cameras
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Rear
- 50MP main
1.2 μm, ƒ/1.85, 82-degree FoV
1/1.31-inch sensor
OIS and EIS
- 12MP ultra-wide
1.25 μm, ƒ/2.2, 114-degree FoV
- 48MP telephoto
0.8 μm, ƒ/3.5, 23.5-degree FoV
1/2-inch sensor
4x optical zoom
OIS and EIS
- Laser AF

Front:
- 11.1MP single
1.22 μm, ƒ/2.2, 94-degree FoV
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
REAR:
- 108MP wide (0.8μm, ƒ2.2, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.12μm, ƒ4.9, 230mm, 11-degree FoV, 10x optical zoom)
- 10MP telephoto (1.12μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)
- Laser autofocus

FRONT:
- 40MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Video
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Rear:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
4K at 30FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Audio
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Stereo speakers
Triple mics
No 3.5mm port
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm port
Connectivity
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
UWB chip
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)
Security
Google Pixel 6 Pro
In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip
5 years security updates
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
5 years security updates
Software
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Android 12
Pixel UI
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Android 12
One UI 4.1
S Pen support
Google Pixel 6 Pro
No
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Yes, with storage slot
Materials
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Gorilla Glass Victus front and back
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Durability
Google Pixel 6 Pro
IP68 certified
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
IP68 certified
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel 6 Pro
163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm
210g
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
229g
Colors
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Stormy Black, Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro front on carpet
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

We’ve touched on all of the critical features of both devices, but now it’s time for the all-important question: Which one should you buy? Well, the answer comes down to what you want in your next giant phone. Google’s pricing is better by a mile, and the Pixel 6 Pro’s camera bar means business. The return to glass materials and two-toned designs is yet another high point for Google with its latest flagships.

However, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the only way to go if you’ve been waiting patiently for a Galaxy Note 20 replacement. It offers built-in S Pen support with a familiar, boxy design. It also carries a slightly larger display with up to 1TB of onboard storage. You’ll pay for that extra storage, of course, with the top tier costing more than many laptops. Samsung’s phone also has more raw power under the hood, while the Pixel 6 Pro’s Tensor SoC delivers on Google’s machine learning smarts.

Samsung might have a hardware advantage, but Google's software is tough to top.

Both devices offer unique cameras, with Samsung pushing extra megapixels on its 108MP primary lens. While Google tops out at 50MP, it makes up for the shortcomings with superior image processing software. Samsung also offers a much sharper selfie camera at 40MP compared to 11.1MP.

Finally, there’s the software and updates to consider. The Pixel 6 runs a clean, customizable version of Android that’s all about Google’s own apps. Samsung, on the other hand, uses its One UI skin that tends to come with quite a bit of bloatware on top. However, that means you get a few features that Google doesn’t always match.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 6 Pro review | Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra hands-on

As for updates, Samsung now offers four Android versions to Google’s three. That means you’ll see up to Android 16 on the Galaxy device while the Pixel will stop after Android 15. Samsung will keep up with five years of security patches, which Google matches on the Pixel 6 Pro.

Have you made up your mind about your next phone? Let us know in the poll below.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Which one will you be buying?

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