The Samsung Galaxy S22 Series introduced three new capable devices, where the Galaxy S22 Ultra attracted most of the attention. But if you're looking for a compact Android smartphone that doesn't take a toll on your wallet, the standard Galaxy S22 is where it is at, and for $800, it does offer decent value.
Although, if your budget is in and around $800, you're also likely to see what Samsung's competitors have on offer, more specifically the Google Pixel 6, which gets a lot of factors right, and even costs $200 less.
Hence, in this article, we will compare the two devices to see which might be worth your while and analyze how Google and Samsung's entry-level flagships stack against each other.CONTENTS CLOSE
Design and Display
If you ever get the chance to see the Galaxy S22 next to the Google Pixel 6, the first thing you will note is how different the two devices are in terms of size, followed by the drastic difference in design.
The Galaxy S22 builds upon the Contour Cut design language introduced last year and updates it with a squared-off look; this has led to a new compact look and feel — it might even put Galaxy S22 in contention for Best Compact Phone of 2022, in my opinion. The Google Pixel 6, on the other hand, has a standout look with its horizontal camera bar that stretches from the left edge to the right and a two-tone colorway.
If you ask me, I'm a fan of how both the phones look, each has its unique flavor, and the decision made here should use your subjective opinion at its base.
Unlike with the back panels, flipping the phones around will give you a feeling of similarity — ignoring the size difference of the displays. But once you start digging into the specs, the individual strengths soon unravel themselves.
The Galaxy S22 sizes at 6.1-inches, whereas the Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch display. Both panels have FHD+ resolution with some variance in numbers due to the difference in size. Regardless, each panel is sharp enough to ensure the content viewed looks great. A couple of advantages that Samsung holds here are its higher (claimed) peak brightness and refresh rate.
Galaxy S22 can get as bright as 1300 nits (claimed) for HDR content; Google Pixel 6 has a stake at 800 nits. And for refresh rate, Samsung's phone can achieve a peak of 120Hz and a low of 48Hz. The Pixel 6 can reach refresh rates of up to 90Hz.
Bring your focus to aesthetics, and you'll notice the S22 is in its own league due to the premium-looking tiny bezels, which completely overshadow the thick forehead and chin on Pixel 6.
Both phones feature an aluminum midframe but owing to its recent launch and pricier position, Samsung's Galaxy S22 features Gorilla Glass Victus+ with an IP68 rating. Google Pixel 6 uses Gorilla Glass Victus on its front, Gorilla Glass 6 on the back, and is backed with an IPX8 rating.
What processor do these devices feature?
Google Tensor, the OEM's first chip, on Pixel 6 is one of its key selling points and is the brain behind several of the smartphone's unique features. Now, to maintain a respectable degree of performance, Google chose to apply two high-performance X1 cores on its chip, but their optimization processes make the device comparable to phones with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S22 features the newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (Exynos 2200 in some regions). So if you're hoping to see a showdown between these phones, the Galaxy S22 is highly likely to come out on top, irrespective of its smaller size, which can sometimes lead to thermal throttling.
Nevertheless, the bottom line with both devices is this; day-to-day usage will not showcase any significant difference. Another point to note is, both phones ship with 8GB of RAM, so the only gripe you might stand to find is Samsung's aggressive killing of background processes.
How does Galaxy S22's camera hardware compare against Google Pixel 6?
The Samsung Galaxy S22 ships with a triple camera setup on the back, whereas the Google Pixel 6 operates with a dual-camera system housed in its horizontal bar.
The Galaxy S22 features a 50MP Wide, 12MP Ultra-Wide, and 10MP Telephoto lens setup on the back, whereas on the front is a 10MP Wide sensor; this configuration is also shared with the Galaxy S22 Plus, which Jaime Rivera reviewed on Pocketnow's YouTube Channel.
Unlike the Galaxy S22, which has a different sensor than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Pixel 6 shares its two cameras with the expensive Pixel 6 Pro. It utilizes an identical 50MP Wide and 12MP Ultrawide but drops the Telephoto hardware. The setup on this device works with Google's computational prowess to provide a great experience which you can learn about more in our Pixel 6 Review. Although, the 8MP front sensor, is a clear letdown.
Overall, the hardware setups on these devices will result in great photos. But if you're looking to capture a variety of photos, the Galaxy S22 is more versatile.
How does the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE compare to Googe Pixel 6 in terms of battery life?
And finally, we come to the point of contention for the compact Galaxy S22. In terms of capacity, Samsung only has a 3700mAh cell, whereas the Pixel 6 ships with a 4614mAh battery.
Reviews of the S22 have called out its middling battery life, as the bright display with its 120Hz refresh rate and the powerful processor can often be more than what the small cell can handle on a day with heavy use. The Pixel 6, on the other hand, will comfortably get you through a whole day.\
With the Galaxy S22, you may need to look for the charger a couple of times a day, so we're glad Samsung still maintains its 25W of wired power and doesn't opt for a lower wattage. The Google Pixel 6 doesn't offer a wattage claim but does come with a statement claiming the device can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes. Both phones also support wireless charging, with the Galaxy S22 peaking at 15W and Pixel 6 being capable of accepting 21W with the second-generation Pixel Stand — a Qi-certified charger will provide 12W of power.
So now that you have a fair idea of what these phones have to offer, here are some of our inputs on factors to consider when making the final call.
If the compactness of a smartphone is essential, the Samsung Galaxy S22 has the Google Pixel 6 beat. The tiny yet uniform bezels allow the maximization of available space on the front, and the presence of 120Hz on the screen only adds to the advantage and improves the user experience. The packaged Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will also keep the S22 snappy for those days to come; bundle this with the four years of software updates that Samsung promises, and you have a phone that you can easily keep for years.
But keep in mind, you might need a battery replacement a couple of years in, as the phone does have a small cell which might even need a short charge session in the middle of the day.
A primary selling point for Google Pixel 6 is, without a doubt, its $599 price tag. But the smartphone does have several other factors which can push users towards it, namely, its software experience and camera hardware. As mentioned earlier, the Pixel 6 shares its Wide and Ultrawide lenses with Pixel 6 Pro, meaning you're getting the best of what Google has to offer. Hence, the photos that you'll get out of the Pixel 6 are likely to overshadow the Galaxy S22.
Next are the exclusive software features that Google bakes into the Pixel 6 lineup. Magic Eraser, Call Screening, the seamless integration of Google Assistant, AI-assisted voice-to-text all of these features work best here, owing to the vertical control delivered by the Google Tensor processor. So, if you're someone who likes to get into the nitty-gritty details of a smartphone user experience, the Google Pixel 6 is the device to get.
Samsung Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S22 comes with a flagship 4nm chipset, a triple-camera setup on the back, and a battery that can last through a full day on use. So, if you have wanted a relatively compact and powerful smartphone, the Galaxy S22 is one of the best devices to get in 2022.
Google Pixel 6
Pixel 6 is a compact and affordable smartphone from Google's think tank. It packs in the first generation Tensor chipset and new camera hardware. The device starts at $599 and comes in 128GB or 256GB variants.
|Smartphone||Samsung Galaxy S22||Google Pixel 6|
|Operating System||One UI 4.1 based on Android 12||Pixel UI on Android 12|
|Dimensions||146 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm||158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm|
|Display||6.1-inch, FHD+ AMOLED 2X Display, Adaptive 120Hz (48Hz~120Hz), (1080 x 2340)||6.4-inch FHD+ OLED Display, Adaptive Refresh Rate (up to 90Hz), (1080 x 2400)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 |
Samsung Exynos 2200
|Memory||8GB RAM with 128GB storage|
8GB RAM with 256GB storage
|8GB RAM with 128GB storage|
8GB RAM with 256GB storage
|Rear Cameras||50MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture, OIS |
12MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture, ultrawide with FOV 120-degrees
10MP, ƒ/2.4 aperture, 30x Space Zoom
|50MP, f/1.85 with OIS |
12MP, f/2.2 Ultra-wide Angle
|Front Camera||10MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture||8MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture|
|Security||Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner||Optical Fingerprint Scanner|
|Connectivity||Sub6GHz/ mmWave 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, Samsung Pay with NFC||Sub6GHz/ mmWave 5G (mmWave for devices sold through AT&T, Verizon, and Google Store), Wi‑Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2|
25W wired charge speed
15W wireless charge speed
50% charge in up to 30 minutes with 30W USB-C Adapter
21W Wireless Charging with Pixel Stand, 12W Qi Wireless Charging
|Colors||Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold |
Samsung.com Exclusive Colors: Graphite, Cream, Sky Blue, Violet
|Storm Black, Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral|