Google Pixel 6 Pro
Beauty with brains
Experience Android the way Google wants you to
The Pixel 6 Pro isn't the latest and greatest in the Pixel series, but it's still a reliable and quality option featuring a great camera and stellar performance.Pros
- Excellent cameras
- Great software experience and support
- Value for money
- Poor battery life
- Buggy fingerprint scanner
- Sub-par connectivity performance
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was Samsung's flagship phone for 2022, representing the best the company had to offer. In many ways, it marked the unification of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines. Given Samsung's hardware prowess, it's no surprise that it ranked among the best Android phones that year. On the other hand, despite launching a few months earlier in October 2021, Google's Pixel 6 Pro remains a solid contender to the S22 Ultra. Still, like most premium smartphones, each one has its own pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which one is better for your needs. Let's take a look at how the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Google Pixel 6 Pro compare.
Price, availability, and specs
The Google Pixel 7 Pro has superseded the Pixel 6 Pro, with the 6 Pro no longer being on sale, at least not officially. The newer-gen Pixel is a much better device since Google fixed almost all the shortcomings of the older model. Even better, the Pixel 7 Pro is available for the same $900 price tag as the Pixel 6 Pro, although you can often find the older model being sold at significant discounts. Nevertheless, even at full price, the Pixel 7 Pro is substantially cheaper than the $1,200 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
If for some reason you still want the Pixel 6 Pro, you can find it on Amazon for around $500. While that price may tempt you to get the older model, we'd recommend spending a bit more for the Pixel 7 Pro if you can afford it — especially since you can find Google's latest flagship frequently discounted as low as $750.
Even though the Galaxy S22 Ultra has been overtaken by Samsung's 2023 flagship, the older model remains widely available across all major retailers, often at reasonably discounted prices. This could make it an attractive option if you're looking to save a few bucks, especially since the Galaxy S22 Ultra still compares favorably against its more powerful S23 Ultra successor for all but the most demanding power users. Still, we don't think it's worth considering unless you can find it on sale below the $1,000 mark.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Google Pixel 6 Pro SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Google Tensor Display 6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 AMOLED @ 120Hz (variable) 6.7” QHD+ (1440×3120, 19.5:9) LTPO OLED, 120Hz, Gorilla Glass Victus RAM 8GB, 12GB 12GB Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128, 256, or 512GB; UFS 3.1 Battery 5,000mAh 5003mAh, 30W (USB PD PPS) wired charging, up to 23W wireless charging Ports 1x USB Type-C USB Type-C Operating System Android 12 with One UI 4.1 Android Front camera 40MP f/2.2, 26mm 11.1MP f/2.2 (94° FoV, fixed focus) Rear cameras 108 MP f/1.8 primary, 12 MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 10 MP f/2.4 3x telephoto, 10 MP f/4.9 10x telephoto, 50MP f/1.85 primary (82° FoV w/OIS), 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (114° FoV), 48MP f/3.5 telephoto (23.5° FoV w/OIS, 4x optical and up to 20x “Super Res Zoom”) Connectivity 5G mmWave and sub6; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e; Bluetooth 5.2 5G, Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Ultra-Wideband Dimensions 163.3mm x 77.9mm x 8.9mm, 229g 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, 210 g Colors Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy + Samsung.com exclusie Red and Sky Blue Sorta Sunny, Cloudy White, and Stormy Black Price Starting at $1,200 Starts at $900
Like many premium smartphones, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Google Pixel 6 Pro feature an aluminum chassis with glass panels at the front and rear. Both phones are IP68 certified, sport stereo speakers, and miss out on the headphone jack.
Despite being a Galaxy S series phone, the S22 Ultra builds on the design of the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra. The S22 Ultra has a flat top and bottom with rounded sides complemented by the 6.8-inch QHD display's curved edges. This makes the phone a lot easier to handle despite its huge size. Samsung has managed to neatly integrate the camera bump into the phone's body as well — a far cry from the Pixel 6 series. The dedicated S Pen slot on the bottom left makes it easy to scribble notes or doodle. The S Pen is also new, with a rubberized texture making it nicer to hold.
As for the Pixel 6 Pro, its design has a lot more character, with the dual-tone back and the massive visor-like camera strip. Note that these are both massive devices, so if you don't like big phones, you might want to seek other options.
Nearly every flagship launched in recent years has an incredible display, and the Pixel 6 Pro is no exception. However, Samsung has continually pushed the boundaries with display quality and raised the bar again with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The S22 Ultra's 6.8-inch AMOLED display can reach a peak brightness of 1750 nits—far higher than the Pixel 6 Pro's 800 nits.
In terms of size, the display panels on the two phones are nearly the same — 6.8 inches on the S22 Ultra vs. 6.7 inches on the Pixel 6 Pro. They both feature QHD+ resolution with curved edges. The S22 Ultra has a Gorilla Glass Victus+ glass display panel, while the Pixel has regular Victus glass. They also feature in-display fingerprint scanners, though the Pixel's scanner is slow and inaccurate, leading to a frustrating user experience. The Galaxy S22 Ultra's ultrasonic sensor is much better in this regard.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra ships with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chipset, depending on where you buy the phone. Both are fabricated on the 4nm process and are 2022's flagship chips offering notably superior GPU and AI/ML performance compared to last-gen offerings.
The Pixel 6 Pro is powered by Google Tensor, the company's first custom smartphone chip. It has a lot in common with Samsung's Exynos 2200, with some added enhancements and modifications from Google to boost machine learning and AI performance. This SoC helps the Pixel 6 Pro provide some exclusive features like Magic Eraser, Face Unblur, instant voice typing with punctuation, and emoji support. That said, the Tensor chipset has caused Pixel 6 owners a lot of headaches, and while Google has worked out many kinks, a few remain.
AnTuTu Benchmark scores show the Galaxy S22 Ultra scoring slightly higher than the Pixel 6's Tensor SoC: 912577 vs. 716898 for the Pixel. But in real-life use, both phones deliver flagship-level performance and can easily handle demanding workloads. You can run as many apps and play as many high-end games as you want without running into performance hiccups. Sustained load is where the two phones start struggling. An extended gaming session of Genshin Impact or recording a lot of 4K videos in harsh sunlight will be enough for the chips to start throttling. This ends up negatively affecting their performance. Power efficiency is not their forte either. No wonder Qualcomm launched the TSMC-fabricated Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 to address the heating and efficiency issues.
Samsung has always provided plenty of RAM and storage on its devices, but the S22 Ultra is an exception. The Pixel 6 Pro ships with 12GB RAM as standard across the board, while the S22 Ultra base model has 8GB RAM. Surprisingly, that's even less than the S21 Ultra from last year. You can upgrade to a higher storage model to get 12GB RAM. The base models of the two phones ship with 128 gigs of storage, but while the Pixel tops out at 256GB, the S22 Ultra is available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB configurations.
Another important point to note: While Samsung and Google have equipped their phones with 5G, UWB, Wi-Fi 6E, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.2, the Pixel uses an underperforming Exynos modem that tests have shown is not as good as the competition when it comes to 5G connectivity. The S22 Ultra has a major advantage as it uses a newer 5G modem from Qualcomm, which theoretically allows it to reach higher 5G speeds and lands it among our picks for the best 5G phones. And apart from faster speeds, it also provides a better connectivity experience.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a higher resolution 108MP primary shooter with f/1.8 aperture and OIS. By comparison, the Pixel 6 Pro has a 50MP f/1.9 sensor with OIS. Both phones use pixel binning to output photos around 12MP in resolution. Google's phones are known for their camera capabilities, and the Pixel 6 Pro raises the bar. Still, Samsung has made solid AI and image processing improvements with its phone this year, especially in low-light scenarios.
There's a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera on the two phones, though the one on the S22 Ultra has a slightly wider FoV: 120° vs. 114°. The Pixel's ultra-wide camera is not as good as its primary sensor, while Samsung's ultra-wide shooter tends to do a decent job as long as there's enough light. There's a difference in their telephoto setup, with the S22 packing a more versatile setup consisting of a 10MP f/2.4 3x optical zoom camera and a 10MP f/4.9 periscope shooter with 10x zoom. With some AI magic and the 10x telephoto camera, the S22 Ultra can provide up to 100x Space Zoom. The Pixel 6 Pro features a 48MP f/3.5 telephoto lens offering 4x optical zoom and up to 20x Super Res Zoom.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is notably better than the Pixel 6 Pro in the video recording department in terms of quality and features. Apart from 8K video recording, it has Auto Framing that can automatically keep the subject in the frame. There are plenty of other camera features and video modes to play around with, too. Samsung also uses a Super Clear Glass lens on the S22 Ultra, which it claims should help reduce nighttime flares.
As for the front cameras, the S22 Ultra's 40MP selfie shooter has autofocus allowing it to capture sharper selfies. The Pixel's 11MP snapper is pretty decent, as well. In addition, the Pixel's wider field of view will allow you to fit more people in a selfie.
Battery life and charging speed
The Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra pack a hefty 5,000mAh battery. Coupled with the adaptive refresh rate and LTPO displays, they should easily provide all-day battery life, even under heavy use. Both phones have enough juice to last a day with moderate use. Anything more, and you will have to charge them in the middle of the day.
The Pixel 6 Pro seems to fare even worse in the battery life department, thanks to its inefficient Exynos modem. The initial Android 13 build only worsened matters, with many Pixel 6 users reporting increased idle battery drain. Despite moderate use, this leads them to top up the phone at least once in the afternoon or late evening. With newer updates, Google has fixed this issue, but don't expect the Pixel 6 Pro to last all day with heavy use.
In the charging department, Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra has a clear advantage — it can go from empty to 100% in less than an hour with a 45W charger. By comparison, Google recommends using its 30W USB-C power adapter with the Pixel 6 Pro, which only pulls around 23W of power. While it's good enough to charge the battery to 50% in 30 minutes, a full charge takes well over an hour. Unfortunately, none of the phones come with a bundled power adapter, so regardless of which you go with, you'll have to spend extra on it if you don't already have one.
The Pixel and Galaxy both support wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The Pixel 6 Pro only charges at 23W speed with the 2nd-gen Pixel Stand, and even then, a full charge takes ages. The S22 Ultra can be wirelessly charged at 15W on any Qi-compatible fast charger.
Which one should you buy?
The above comparison makes it abundantly clear that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the better phone. It has a better display, bundled S Pen, faster charging speeds, a more versatile camera setup, and a superior 5G modem. The company has also stepped up its game in the updates department and promises four years of OS updates and five years of security patches for the S22 series. This is even better than the Pixel 6 series, which is slated to receive three years of OS updates. If you'd rather not compromise on stability and have the money to spare, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the better buy with its new Android 13-based One UI 5 skin.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Galaxy S and Note hybrid we all wanted
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra packs everything you'd want from a flagship phone: a massive 6.8-inch QHD+ display, oodles of RAM and storage, an impressive camera setup consisting of a primary 108MP shooter, and a 5,000mAh battery.
The Pixel 6 Pro has the price factor going in its favor, but the problem is that Google's 2021 flagship phone has been marred with issues. You get a fantastic software experience and a great camera, but that's about it. The poor Exynos modem and battery life woes mean using the phone as a daily driver will be a struggle, especially if you are a heavy user. With the Pixel 6 Pro no longer being sold, you're better off getting the Pixel 7 Pro if you want a Google phone. You pay the same price and get a much better experience, battery life, and modem.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Experience Android the way Google wants you to
The Google Pixel 6 Pro marked a turning point in Google's Pixel lineup, being the first smartphone from the company to ship with its custom Tensor G1 chip. Despite all its flaws, it is hard to beat the Pixel's camera performance and the value it provides.