Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Battle of the vanillas

Google’s Pixel 6 line was launched in 2021 and has been succeeded by the new Pixel 7 that launched this October. However, there are still some of the older models out there — now sold at a juicy discount. The base Pixel 6 offered (and still does) the core Google experience, with all the enhanced Assistant functions and very smart computational photography working behind the curtains.

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 is also about to be succeeded by a Galaxy S23 pretty soon, which means it will also be considered an “older gen flagship”. And it will also be getting regular discounts!So, if you want to save some cash — you can grab one of these, but which one is better? Camera, performance, battery life, let’s discuss the Pixel 6 vs Galaxy S22.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Design

  • Glass sandwich with uniform bezels and a hole-punch on both
  • Offset camera bump vs Camera Bar

Google made a 180-turn with the design of the Pixel 6, and so far people like what they see. The company entered the glass sandwich era and the Pixel 6 features a flat front and a glass back with tapered edges around the back.

The most interesting element in the design is the Camera Bar – a strip across the back, housing the main camera system. On the front, the screen is surrounded by uniform bezels (although a bit on the thicker side) with a hole-punch selfie camera in the center.

The design of the Galaxy S22 is more of an evolution than a revolution, compared to its predecessor. The S22 refines the design of the S21 with uniform bezels around the screen and the same triple camera bump placed on the back.The Galaxy S22 is one of the smallest flagships in recent years, measuring only 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm. The Pixel 6, on the other hand, is substantially larger at 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm. It also has thicker bezels and a more square design overall.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Display

  • 6.1-inch Super AMOLED LTPO 10-120Hz vs 6.4-inch OLED 90Hz

Google upgraded the display technology in the new Pixel 6 series but only for the Pro model. The LTPO variable refresh rate tech is missing on the vanilla Pixel 6. It sports a 6.4-inch OLED panel with 2400×1080 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate.

The display on the Samsung Galaxy S22 is a smaller, 6.1-inch Super AMOLED panel with a variable refresh rate between 10 and 120Hz. The resolution is 2340 x 1080 pixels, with 19.5 aspect ratio, and 422 PPI density. Due to the smaller size and pretty much the same resolution, the display of the Galaxy S22 has more pixels on a square inch, meaning it’s a tad crisper.

Samsung also bumped up the brightness of all the models across the S22 range, and the Galaxy S22 can now output up to 1,500 nits of peak brightness. Now, Google doesn’t share peak brightness numbers for the Pixel 6, and we measured around 800 nits during our tests, so it looks like the Galaxy S22 wins this round.

The way companies measure peak brightness is a bit subjective and it doesn’t necessarily translate to real life figures. In our test the Galaxy S22 was able to output around 750 nits, which is on par with the Pixel 6, so it’s a tie in this category.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Hardware and performance

  • Exynos 2200 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 1) vs Google Tensor

Here’s where things get really interesting. The new Tensor chip inside the Pixel 6 is still a big unknown. We’ve done some tests and, of course, there are synthetic benchmarks all over the net but we still don’t know how this chip fares in the long run.

The Galaxy S22 comes in two flavors – equipped with the next Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset or the Exynos 2200. The latter sports a GPU made by AMD with the RDNA2 architecture and ray-tracing support baked in.

Judging by the graph, the new Galaxy S22 series outperforms the Pixel 6, at least on the test benches. The memory configuration of the Pixel 6 is 8/128GB, and the Galaxy S22 matches these numbers. There’s no microSD card slot on the Pixel, and the soon-to-be-forgotten expansion slot is missing in the Galaxy S22 as well.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Camera

The Pixel 6 has two main cameras on the back – a 50MP wide lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide. No macro snappers, monochrome nonsense, or other gimmicky contraptions. And these two cameras produce great images. You can take a quick look at the galleries below.

The Galaxy S22 now has a 50 MP sensor for the main camera, a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera.

Camera samples from the Galaxy S22 are done, and you can take a look below. It seems that the Galaxy S22 has a more flexible camera system and edges the Pixel 6 in that department.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Battery

Google bumped up the battery capacity of the Pixel 6 compared to its predecessor and it shows in the benchmarks. What’s interesting is that the new Tensor chip doesn’t handle gaming too efficiently. Other than that, the Pixel 6 and its 4,614mAh cell are doing great in the longevity department. The Galaxy S22, on the other hand, comes equipped with a 3,700mAh battery. That’s a downgrade, compared to the 4,000mAh battery of the Galaxy S21, and it may be due to the compact size of the Galaxy S22.

The Galaxy S22 supports 25W fast charging, and Samsung is playing it safe with the vanilla model (the Ultra can charge with up to 45W). The Pixel 6, on the other hand can suck juice with up to 30W of power, so maybe there’s an advantage for the Pixel here.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Google Pixel 6: Price

  • $799 for the Galaxy S22 vs $599 for the Pixel 6

The price of the Galaxy S22 is the same as the launch price of its predecessor – $799 for the 8/128GB base model. It’s not a bad price, considering it’s a new generation with upgraded components and updated features. The problem is that Pixel 6 undercuts that by quite some margin.

The 512GB Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra can be had for just $299.99

With $1000 off for an S21 Ultra trade-in and a free 512GB storage upgrade, the S22 Ultra can be had for up to $1100 off.

$1100 off (79%)

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ is now $800 off

Grab a free 256GB storage upgrade to add to the enhanced $700 trade-in credit.

$800 off (76%)

The 256GB Samsung Galaxy S22 can be had for a $100 instead of $849

The Galaxy S22’s storage upgrade to 256GB is now free, plus you can get up to $700 off with a trade-in.

$750 off (88%)

Save $825 on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

The 128GB Tab S8 Ultra enjoys $675 enhanced trade-in credit, plus free Galaxy Buds Pro earphones with a purchase.

$675 off (61%)

The price of the Google Pixel 6 is absolutely amazing, and one of the strongest points of last year’s Google flagship. With a $200 lower price, the Pixel wins this category hands down. Of course, you can always find a trade-in deal to soften the blow, so this category is more flexible than the other ones. Samsung Galaxy S22 deals are already starting to pop up, so pay attention to those.

Conclusion

The Pixel 6 and the Galaxy S22 are pretty close in some areas, and not so close in others. It seems that Samsung got the edge with the screen but then again, the Pixel is substantially cheaper. The Galaxy S22 might be faster but on the other hand, the new Tensor chip is all about AI and clever little tricks. One thing is certain – this battle is far from over. It hasn’t even begun.

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