The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has been out since early 2022 and is already making dust in the smartphone world. With its premium build, super-powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, S Pen, and the most beautiful display on a smartphone, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Well, in the fall of 2022 we’ll see Google’s own warrior getting a refresh – the Google Pixel 7 Pro has been confirmed by the company and will return to show us how mobile photography is done, with its custom Tensor chip that’s been developed specifically for photo processing and artificial intelligence functions.
- Google Android vs. Samsung OneUI
- CPU: Tensor 2 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (or Exynos internationally)
- 6.7″ 120Hz OLED vs. 6.8″ 120Hz AMOLED
- Triple camera with 20x zoom vs quad camera with 100x zoom
- $900 versus $1,200
Design and display quality
We are OLED to see you
OK, the Pixel 7 Pro will have a slightly smaller diagonal of 6.7 inches compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 6.8 inches.
In terms of looks, we have distinct designs on both phones. Curved screens on the front, yes, but very different backs. The Pixel 7 Pro will take on the look of the RoboCop visor for its camera module, Samsung makes its corner camera glued to the chassis of the device. Both views have supporters and enemies. At the office, we’re also divided, so it’s safe to say that this one is strictly up to taste.
What’s identical is the fact that both phones have matte glass backs – fantastic for keeping fingerprints out, not so great for being slippery against dry hands. However, the Pixel’s camera bar proved useful on the Pixel 6 series by allowing us to comfortably rest our fingers on it and better grip the device.
Needless to say, both phones are water and dust resistant. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has an IP68 rating, and the Pixel 7 Pro will likely have the same. Benefits such as stereo speakers, wireless charging and no headphone jack are also present. But the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the coveted S Pen for anyone who prefers to annotate or draw on their phone. There’s a good reason the S Pen has stuck around for a decade – it’s useful and it’s awesome.
In terms of security, we have an under-screen fingerprint scanner on both phones. Samsung uses its ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, which the company says are more accurate and harder to fool. However, they are sometimes slow to respond and many online users report minor annoyances with them. The Pixels use optical scanners, which should be faster than Samsung’s technology, but the Pixel 6 lineup didn’t quite pull it off. Many reading errors or slow reaction times have also been reported here. We’ll see how the Pixel 7 Pro works.
Performance and software
Wait, brothers Exynos and Tensor too?
Google has been using a custom Tensor chip for its Pixel phones since 2021. In the Pixel 7 lineup, we expect to see a new and improved Tensor 2. Fun fact: the chip may be built to Google’s specs, but it’s made by Samsung.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (in the US and South Korea) or Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chip (international markets).
What does this mean in terms of performance? Obviously the new Tensor hasn’t been released yet, so we can’t know for sure. However, last year’s Pixel 6 is something to be aware of – Google Tensor chips aren’t designed for raw performance. They focus on having cores dedicated to computational photography and AI features. In other words, Google takes the “Work smart, not hard” approach.
King, meet the king
But Google’s Pixel should absolutely not be underestimated. Last year, Google updated the sensors it uses, so the main camera now has a 50MP sensor. And it was blow for blow with Samsung’s S22 Ultra, no problem. Check them the two dominating this camera comparison. We’re expecting the Pixel 7 Pro to have a 12MP ultra-wide camera and 48MP zoom alongside that 50MP main shooter. And we expect the Pixel 7 Pro to absolutely bring the camera chops of its refined-only predecessor.
Audio and haptic quality
In terms of audio, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is very good and allows further adjustment via an onboard app. The Pixel 6 Pro was a bit disappointing – not bad, but not amazing. We’ll see how the Pixel 7 Pro fares.
Battery life and charging
A day for a day
We don’t have exact specs on the Pixel 7 Pro yet, but if we were willing to bet we’d guess it would have a battery of around 5,000mAh. That’s what the Pixel 6 Pro had and that’s usually what most mainstream smartphone makers manage to squeeze into their devices.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra also has a 5,000 mAh battery. It’s not a battery champ, but it can comfortably last you a day. We bet the Pixel 7 Pro will give us the same result.
As for charging, the Galaxy supports up to 45W Fast Charge. The Pixel 6 Pro peaked at 30W and we don’t know if Google is ready to push that particular envelope at that point. In any case, these two phones will come without a charger in the box. If you buy the official one for the respective device, you should be able to get a recharge in less than 2 hours on both.
Putting it all together and looking at the raw data side by side looks like this at the moment:
So we have two phones that obviously do their own thing. The Pixel 7 Pro probably won’t have the incredible zoom capabilities of the S22 Ultra, but we’re pretty sure it’ll be able to give its main camera a run for its money. Well… while costing less, that is. What remains to be seen is how the new Tensor will work.
Summary and final verdict
The Google Pixel 6 series was a big new chapter for the Pixel lineup. What started out as the Google Nexus – a niche phone for geeks – morphed into the OG Google Pixel, about 6 years ago. At the time, it seemed like he didn’t meet the asking price. But after years of adjusting and balancing, Google has found a balance. Its own design language, its own fantastic camera performance, and its own AI loaded onto a phone that’s priced quite reasonably by today’s standards.
Admittedly, the Pixel 6 phones had some issues in the first few months. If the Pixel 7 Pro irons out all the issues and makes a successful landing, it might have what it takes to keep the Galaxy S22 Ultra faithful away.