Which phone should you buy?

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Zarif Ali / Android Authority

Google’s Pixel 6 Pro was among our favorite phones from 2021, and with good reason. Its ability to consistently deliver excellent camera quality, battery life, and performance in a radical new design made it stand out from its competition. But with the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series, can Google’s best flagship compete?

We’ve already compared the Pixel 6 Pro with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and the Pixel 6 with the Galaxy S22. In this comparison, we will look at the Galaxy S22 Plus vs Pixel 6 Pro, and determine which of these phones is the best fit for you.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Google Pixel 6 Pro

Design and display

Google Pixel 6 Pro back with cherry blossoms in the background

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The latest flagships from Samsung and Google offer two completely different approaches to design. While Google presented a brand-new design with its Pixel 6 Pro, the Galaxy S22 Plus feels like a more refined version of the Galaxy S21 Plus. Samsung flattened out the back glass and sides but kept the contoured camera bump for another year, making the Galaxy S22 Plus feel premium and chic. On the Pixel side, Google introduced the camera bar that spans the entire width of the phone. Compared to the S22 Plus, the camera bump on the Pixel 6 Pro is significantly bigger but the phone wobbles less when typing on a table.

Concerning colors, both devices again have radically different approaches. Samsung offers the S22 Plus in satin finishes of Phantom White, Phantom Black, Green, Pink Gold, and Samsung Exclusive colors of Graphite, Cream, Sky Blue, and Violet. The Pixel 6 Pro comes in Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and Sorta Sunny. Both devices and their finishes look great in their own regard, but Samsung has the edge in terms of options and finish. The Pixel’s glossy back and large camera bump attract a lot of fingerprints and dust very quickly.

Samsung and Google both know how to build exceptional looking handsets.

Once you move around to the front of each device, you’ll find that the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S22 Plus are similar but have a few key differences. Both have expansive AMOLED displays with centrally mounted punch hole cameras. The Galaxy S22 Plus’ screen is slightly smaller at 6.6 inches, with the Pixel 6 Pro coming in at 6.7 inches.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus display on gray

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Both phones support adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz, but in terms of resolution, the Pixel 6 Pro offers a sharper QHD display at 3,120 x 1,440 compared to the Galaxy S22 Plus’ FHD+ panel of 2,340 x 1,080. The Pixel 6 Pro’s display is curved, while the S22 Plus has a flat panel. In usage, both screens look incredible, and the Pixel’s curved panel isn’t as disruptive or annoying as other curved-screen phones. However, the flat panel of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus looks a lot cleaner with its tightly uniform bezels.

Protect your pick: The best Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus cases | The best Google Pixel 6 Pro cases

Both devices are well built and undoubtedly feel like flagship phones. The Galaxy S22 Plus’ design is a refinement of last year’s well-received S21 series, and it’s certainly a phone built with beauty in mind. The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other hand, is a statement piece that wants to announce its presence more than most other phones.

Hardware and cameras

samsung galaxy s22 plus back camera

Zarif Ali / Android Authority

The Pixel 6 Pro carries Google’s first-ever Tensor chip, promising next-level machine learning capabilities to further customize the user experience. Samsung’s S22 Plus has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which offers four times better AI-based processing and up to 70% better power efficiency than its predecessor. It’s no slouch in the AI department either. Note that most of the world sees the Snapdragon variant of the S22 Plus this year, while Europe receives the Exynos 2200 model.

Which performs better? We benchmarked these chips extensively and found that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 comes out on top. However, we’ve seen sustained performance issues with this chip and Samsung is throttling the performance of its phones in some instances. The Exynos 2200 has a small advantage over the Google Tensor, but neither is a slouch for general performance or more demanding gaming sessions.

Turning to cameras, Google’s Pixel 6 Pro sets a new precedent for the company’s flagship phones, moving up to a 50MP wide lens, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 48MP 4x telephoto in the camera bar. Around the front, the Pixel 6 carries an 11.1MP selfie shooter. The main rear camera can shoot 4K video at 60fps, but you’re capped at 30fps for the selfie, ultrawide, and zoom cameras. Google also boasts its Real Tone functionality that fixes the lighting composition on darker complexions.

See also: The best camera phones you can get

With the launch of the S22 series, Samsung has given the main lens on its Galaxy S22 series a significant bump up in megapixel count. It’s not quite the 108MP monster found on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but the 50MP main sensor is still a noticeable improvement. You’ll also find a 10MP telephoto lens and a 12MP ultrawide option rounding out the rear. As for the selfie camera, Samsung has added a 40MP option. In terms of video, the S22 Plus outdoes the Pixel 6 Pro, with its main sensor capturing up to 8K at 24fps and its other cameras capable of recording up to 4K at 60fps.

Both phones take great photos, but the S22 Plus offers more powerful video options.

When it comes to real-world tests, it’s tough to call one better than the other, but there are some general takeaways you should consider. If you’re buying one of these devices for video, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus outperforms the Pixel 6 Pro in terms of consistency and resolution. Both take exceptionally great shots when it comes to photos, but they each have inconsistencies in key areas. For the Pixel, it tends to over sharpen faces in specific lighting scenarios, while the Galaxy S22 Plus tends to oversaturate brighter colors.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs S22 Ultra camera shootout

Samsung did introduce a better portrait mode, and it’s almost scary how good of a job it does at isolating individual hair strands. But keep in mind that it’s mostly software-based for both phones and can miss things with complex backgrounds. The S22 Plus completely missed the focus on my friend’s face during my testing, while the Pixel struggled to isolate her hair from the background. One major annoyance of the S22 Plus camera experience is the shutter lag; the shutter on the S22 Plus was noticeably slower than the Pixel 6 Pro and even previous Galaxy devices; I hope that’s an issue Samsung addresses in a future update.

Onto charging, Google added its largest batteries yet to the Pixel 6 Pro — a solid 5,003mAh cell. It boosted the charging, too, capable of wired speeds up to 23W (despite the advertised 30W). The Pixel 6 Pro is also Google’s first device to adopt the USB Power Delivery PPS charging standard to reach its top speeds. As for wireless charging speeds, the Pixel 6 Pro can handle up to 23W, matching its wired speeds.

Although both devices are quite similar in size, the Pixel 6 Pro offers a significantly bigger cell than the S22 Plus. The Galaxy S22 Plus awkwardly steps down to a smaller battery than its predecessor, from 4,800mAh on the S21 Plus to 4,500mAh. In terms of charging speeds, the S22 Plus can charge up to 45W, but, like the Pixel, you’ll need a USB PD PPS-enabled charger. It’ll also hit 15W on a wireless charging pad. Unsurprisingly, neither company provides a charging brick in the box.

Samsung 45W Travel Adapter

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Having tested both phones extensively for about two weeks, the Pixel 6 Pro has the longest-lasting battery life of the two devices. The larger battery of the Pixel 6 Pro means you can comfortably use the device into the next day before needing to find a charger, whereas, on the Galaxy S22 Plus, you’re likely charging it by the end of the day. This isn’t to say the S22 Plus offers bad battery life — you’re still ending the day with around 20—25% with casual to heavy use.

When it did come time for charging, I ran into a weird scenario — neither phone benefitted greatly from their purported faster-charging capabilities. During my testing, the S22 Plus charged quickest with the 45W charger, but the difference between it and my old 15W Samsung Fast Charger was only 10-minutes. We’ve spotted a similarly marginal difference in a previous Pixel 6 Pro charging test. There’s just a 10-minute improvement moving from an old 18W USB PD to a new 30W USB PD PPS charger. Even so, both phones will go from empty to full in an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the charger you use.

Both phones rely on USB PD PPS to charge at top speeds, but neither is particularly swift to fill up.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and the Google Pixel 6 Pro also support reverse wireless charging for accessories and other phones, and they can do so at the same wattage of 5W.

See also: The best phone charging accessories to buy

Pricing

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8/128GB): $999
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8/256GB): $1,049
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/128GB): $899
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/256GB): $999
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/512GB): $1,049

The Pixel 6 Pro is one of the most competitive flagships out right now, second only to Google’s own Pixel 6. At $899, you’re arguably getting one of the most capable smartphones on the market while saving $100—200 compared to other comparable devices. Even at the equivalent price of $999, you’re getting double the storage at 256GB and 4GB of extra RAM on the Pixel 6 Pro compared to the S22 Plus’ 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

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

To Samsung’s credit, the company has kept its pricing consistent with last year. You’re also likely going to benefit from the company’s vast array of promotions and deals that either reduce the phone’s price or offer accessories at a discount.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus angled in hand rear panel

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The bigger and better (but not best) Galaxy S22.

The Galaxy S22 Plus is bigger than the vanilla Galaxy S22. It has a larger display, a larger battery, and charges faster with a wired connection. However, its cameras, processor, RAM, and internal storage options are the same as its little brother’s.

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 Plus vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Specs

Google Pixel 6 Pro Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Display

Google Pixel 6 Pro

6.7-inch OLED
19.5:9 aspect ratio
QHD+ resolution (3,120 x 1,440)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate
HDR10+ support
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
19.5:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
HDR10+ support

Processor

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google Tensor

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Global: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
EU, UK: Exynos 2200

RAM

Google Pixel 6 Pro

12GB

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

8GB

Storage

Google Pixel 6 Pro

128, 256, or 512GB
No microSD card support

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

128 or 256GB
No microSD card support

Power

Google Pixel 6 Pro

5,000mAh (typical)
23W wired charging
23W wireless charging
No charger in box

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

4,500mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box

Cameras

Google Pixel 6 Pro

REAR:
– 50MP wide, 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, 1.22 μm, ƒ/2.2, 94-degree FoV

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Rear:
– 50MP wide, 1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV, OIS
– 12MP ultra-wide, 1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV
– 10MP telephoto, 1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom, OIS

Front:
– 40MP, ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Rear:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
4K at 30FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

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 Plus

Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm port

Connectivity

Google Pixel 6 Pro

5G (mmWave in NA + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

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 Plus

Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
5 years security updates

Software

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Android 12
Pixel UI

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Android 12
One UI 4.1

Materials

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Gorilla Glass Victus front and back

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame

Durability

Google Pixel 6 Pro

IP68 certified

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

IP68 certified

Dimensions and weight

Google Pixel 6 Pro

163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm
210g

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
196g

Colors

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Stormy Black, Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold

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

samsung galaxy s22 plus wallpaper

Zarif Ali / Android Authority

When looking at these phones side by side, it can be difficult to pick one definite winner; it all comes down to what you need from a smartphone. One main takeaway from this comparison is that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and the Google Pixel 6 Pro are two devices aimed at the same market, with two completely different goals. The Galaxy S22 Plus aims to refine and improve upon the success of the S21 series through new camera upgrades and a new processor. The Pixel 6 Pro aims to communicate that Google finally got serious about flagship smartphones and showcases this sentiment through a radical new redesign paired with Google’s own chipset.

Pick the Pixel 6 Pro for its excellent combination of design, camera performance, and software features.

On the Google side, the Pixel 6 Pro is an exceptional phone that brings Google’s vision of a flagship to life and does so in a sleek and powerful profile. With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google unites its expertise in software with hardware that can manifest the company’s ambitions as a prominent competitor in the smartphone market. This device is an excellent combination of design, camera performance, and software features that genuinely make using this phone enjoyable.

With that said, introducing so many new things to one device means it inevitably suffers from a lack of refinement in certain regards. For the Pixel 6 Pro, this comes in the form of software bugs. Whether it’s minor things like occasional hangs or serious issues like dropping calls, Google still has ways to go in making the software experience reliable on its Tensor platform.

Dig even deeper: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review | Google Pixel 6 Pro review

On the Samsung side, it’s a different story. The Galaxy S22 Plus is the embodiment of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ and Samsung did a great job not messing up what it got right with the S21 Plus last year. You’re getting incremental updates in the right places on this phone, like a new 50MP sensor, an upgraded chipset, and software reliability that rivals that of Google. Samsung’s latest update policy means the Galaxy S22 series will receive software updates longer than any other phone on the Android side, including the Pixel 6 Pro. Samsung promises up to four years of Android updates and five years of security updates for the S22 series, which up until now is unheard of on the Android market.

Samsung’s ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach keeps the Galaxy S22 Plus an outstanding all-rounder.

The Galaxy S22 Plus can’t seem to shake off its middle child quirks, though. While the Galaxy S22 Plus improvements provide a great upgrade to anyone buying it, the phone still feels like it’s holding back what it could be to upsell buyers to the more expensive S22 Ultra. Things like the 1080p screen, smaller battery, and limited memory/storage combinations mean at $999, you’re paying more for the reliability and familiarity of the S22 Plus rather than the technical improvements it has over its predecessor.

Regardless of whichever phone you choose at the end, we are confident that you will be experiencing the best of what Android has to offer. Let us know which device won our Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Pixel 6 Pro battle below.

Which device won our Galaxy S22 Plus vs. Pixel 6 Pro battle?

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