For a long time, Samsung has been seen as the industry standard Android smartphone. When Google entered the fray with their Pixel series, they started to challenge that idea (almost with the camera alone.) The features and capabilities of the Pixel camera have been kicking Samsung’s butt for years. They have long promised that the stock Android UI, absent bloatware found on Samsung smartphones, would be the definitive Android experience. But what are the facts?
This year the two tech mammoths square off once again with the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra. Both are formidable players in the Android market, but which of these phones takes home the crown?
Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Pixel 6 Pro||Galaxy S22 Ultra|
|Chipset:||Google Tensor Chip||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|Storage:||128, 256, 512GB||128, 256, 512GB and 1TB*|
|Display:||6.71” OLED (3120 x 1440), 10~120Hz refresh rate||6.8” QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED LTPO, 1~120Hz refresh rate|
|Size:||6.5 x 3.0 x 0.4 inches||6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches|
|Battery:||4,500mAh, 23W wired charging, 23W wireless charging||5,000mAh, 45W fast charging, 15W wireless charging|
|Rear Cameras:||Ultrawide Camera 12MP, f/2.2,(114°FoV), Lens Correction, Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera 50MP f/1.85, (82°FoV), Telephoto Camera 48MP f/3.5 4x optical zoom, Super Res Zoom up to 20x||Ultra Wide Camera, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (120°FoV), Wide-angle Camera 108MP f/1.8 (Primary), 2 Telephoto Cameras 10MP f/2.4 3x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom 10MP f/4.9 10x optical zoom, 100x digital zoom (Space Zoom), Front Camera 40MP f/2.2 with autofocus|
|Front Camera:||11.1MP f/2.2, Fixed Focus, 94°(FoV)||40MP f/2.2 with Autofocus|
|OS:||Android 12||One UI 4.1/Android 12|
|Colors:||Stormy Black, Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny||Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green Online Only: Graphite, Sky Blue, Red|
*Due to shortages the S22 Ultra 1TB version is unavailable online.
Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: What’s the Difference?
- Unlocked Android cell phone gives you the flexibility to change carriers and choose your own data plan; the new, redesigned Pixel 6 Pro is the smartest and fastest Pixel yet
- The powerful Google Tensor processor is the first processor designed by Google and made for Pixel; takes performance to a whole new level
- Advanced camera system with wide and ultrawide lenses, 4x optical zoom, and a main sensor that captures 150% more light
- Pixel’s Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, and Portrait Mode professional tools keep your photos sharp, accurate, and focused; Face Unblur can deblur a face to make it sharper
- Pixel’s fast charging all day battery adapts to you and saves power for apps you use the most [6,7]
Side-by-side the two compare pretty evenly. They are nearly identical in size and they both pack a punch when it comes to processing power. Despite the many similarities, there are some key differences that are important to factor in. Let’s break down how these two smartphones stand up to each other pound for pound.
To the delight of Note fans everywhere, the Galaxy S22 Ultra adopts the flat-toped, curved edge design and feature set of the seemingly defunct Galaxy Note series. But even though this is a Note fan’s dream, how does it stack up to the design of the Pixel 6 Pro? The Pixel 6 Pro made some choices this time around.
Google has fitted its new Pixel in a design very similar to that of last year’s s21 Ultra with its squared-off, slightly curved tops. The main difference is the camera guard that wraps around the back of the Pixel. The Galaxy s22 Ultra has simplified the design of its cameras. Each lens is fitted right to the back of the phone with no guard like the s21 Ultra. Some see this design as awkward as it prevents the Galaxy s22 Ultra from sitting flat. But for most this is a minor inconvenience.
Both phones are IP68 water-resistant so they can withstand being submerged in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 mins. They also both feature corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back. The standard for Samsung but an upgrade from last year’s Pixel.
Another major way the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro align is the curved-edged display. While both feature this type of display, the curve on the Pixel 6 Pro is much more pronounced. It is definitely visible on the S22 Ultra, but the curve is not as harsh.
In terms of resolution, the Pixel 6 Pro has the higher pixel count coming in at 3,120 X 1440p compared to the S22 Ultra’s 3088 x 1440, so technically it does have the sharper image. Despite this higher pixel count, Samsung is proving why it is the industry leader with a better display in almost every other regard.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s max brightness comes in at 1750 nits blowing Pixel 6 Pro out of the water in daytime viewing. It also does a better job managing color, rendering RGB color at 137% compared to Pixel’s 104% so color accuracy is much cleaner on S22 Ultra.
Although the two smartphones have the same high-end refresh rates of 120 Hz, the S22 Ultra can drop down to a 1 Hz refresh rate. This is much lower than Pixel’s minimum of 10 Hz and means the S22 Ultra is saving more battery when at rest.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro are neck and neck in performance capabilities. The S22 Ultra features the cutting-edge Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the US and the Pixel Pro 6 features its own proprietary Tensor Chip. (Fun fact: The Google Tensor chip is basically a version of Samsung’s Exynos chip which ships with versions of the S22 Ultra in several no US territories.) Of course, there are tweaks to fit the Pixel’s needs, but the two chips are very comparable.
In this category, the Galaxy S22 Ultra maintains only a slight advantage. The biggest difference is with the fingerprint sensor. The Pixel 6 Pro’s sensor is much slower than the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s near-instantaneous sensor. This lag makes unlocking your device or logging in using biometrics much slower and more annoying.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra also outpaces the Pixel 6 Pro in all benchmarks according to Geekbench 5 tests run by Tom’s Guide. The Pixel scored lower in performance, graphics, and video encoding (however only by 1 second on the ladder). So, while S22 Ultra is technically the faster of the two, it is worth noting that you are getting pretty close speeds for a much lower price on the Pixel 6 Pro.
Another area these two find similarities is with the battery. Both have been criticized for their short battery life. That said, Samsung ekes out a victory here with slightly better battery life and much faster charging. The aforementioned refresh rate on the S22 Ultra plays no small part in this divide.
And finally, we come to it, the feature by which all smartphones seem to be judged. For years, Google’s Pixel lineup has been giving Samsung a beating in the camera department. With its groundbreaking low light and higher MP count, the Pixel has been the king of cameras. But unfortunately for Google, Samsung has brought everything it has to this new version, and boy does it pack a punch.
Right out of the gate the S22 Ultra offers more focal lengths and a higher megapixel count on its primary camera. Due to this, the Galaxy definitely captures images with more color and slightly more accurate color depth although the difference between the two is a matter of preference. The Pixel 6 Pro renders images in a flatter, more realistic style whereas the S22 Ultra gives the image more saturation and contrast for a more stylized image.
Night photos, where the Pixel used to be the undisputed champion, is leaning in the Galaxy’s favor. Both do a stunning job at low-light photography but the images on the Galaxy S22 Ultra look crisper and don’t suffer from the exposure problems of the Pixel 6 Pro. Taking all this into account, it looks like Samsung has finally delivered a phone that seeks to topple the Pixel’s camera reign. But then again is worth the higher price tag?
After everything we’ve covered, now seems like the right time to mention the steep price difference between these two smartphones. The Pixel 6 Pro starts at $899 while the Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,199. So, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is an impressive phone but is it worth so high a price? There are a few more things we need to consider before answering that question.
If you’re a fan of the Galaxy Note then yes, it is totally worth the price. Not only are you getting the look and feel of the Note but also the inclusion of the S Pen. This puts the Galaxy S22 Ultra on a whole other level for some users and the features included with S Pen are amazing. It is more responsive and feels better than it ever has.
If the added Note features aren’t for you then it becomes a harder sell but it is worth noting that the Galaxy S22 Ultra manages to outdo its opponent in nearly every category.
Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: Which One is Best? Which Should You Choose?
- 8K SUPER STEADY VIDEO: Shoot videos that rival how epic your life is with stunning 8K recording, the highest recording resolution available on a smartphone; Video captured is effortlessly smooth, thanks to Auto Focus Video Stabilization on Galaxy S22 Ultra
- NIGHTOGRAPHY plus PORTAIT MODE: Capture the night with crystal clear, bright pics and videos, no matter the lighting with Night Mode; Portrait Mode auto-detects and adjusts to what you want front and center, making all your photos worthy of a frame
- 108MP PHOTO RESOLUTION plus BRIGHT DISPLAY: Capture premium detail with 108MP resolution— the highest available on a cell phone; Your favorite content will look even more epic on our brightest display ever with Vision Booster
- ADAPTIVE COLOR CONTRAST: Streaming on the go, working from your patio or binge-watching late into the night. The Galaxy S22 Ultra adaptive screen automatically optimizes color and brightness, outdoors and indoors
- LONG LASTING BATTERY plus FAST CHARGING: Power every scroll, click, tap and stream all day long and then some with an intelligent, long-lasting battery; Dive back into action at a moment’s notice with 45W Super-Fast Charging
It may seem obvious at this point; the clear winner is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It offers more power, function, and design features than the Pixel 6 Pro. Even so, it must be said that the price tag for the S22 Ultra seems to be a little inflated. The S22 Ultra is an excellent option for anyone looking to pay the extra cost for a bit more phone. So, if you’re looking for value the Pixel 6 Pro is a worthy competitor.