Now that the Pixel 7 lineup has finally been launched, it’s never been a better time to pick up a new smartphone that kills it, whether you’re talking about the camera, display, performance or any other metric.
In this article, we’re comparing the Pixel 7 Pro, iPhone 14 and Galaxy S22 Ultra, three of this year’s biggest smartphones, to help you decide which one’s the better fit for you.
In terms of performance, all three smartphones have different processors on board. Apple’s A16 Bionic powering the iPhone 14 Pro, however, beats both the Pixel 7 Pro’s Tensor G2 and S22 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. They’re all based on a 4nm process, but the A16 bionic is hands down the best of the three, making the iPhone 14 Pro the best overall performer in this category.
In terms of memory and storage, all three devices have different variants and options. The Android phones — Pixel 7 Pro and S22 Ultra both come with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS3.1 storage, meaning unless you pick one over the other because of proprietary features offered by the manufacturers, overall performance is going to be almost identical.
The A16 Bionic beats Tensor G2 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 hands down. | Source: Apple
Keep in mind that none of these phones is even remotely slow or an underperformer here. All three of them have the latest chipsets from their respective manufacturers but Apple’s A16 just pulls ahead in terms of numbers. In real-life usage, you won’t notice much of a difference outside of just the general longevity of the device.
|Performance Specs||Samsung S22 Ultra||Google Pixel 7 Pro||Apple iPhone 14 Pro|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Tensor G2||A16 Bionic|
|Memory and Storage||Up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAMUp to 1TB UFS3.1 Storage||Up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAMUp to 256GB UFS3.1 Storage||6GB RAMUp to 1TB Storage|
Considering just how media-focused the internet is these days and the world is in general, having a nice display is an absolute must, and none of the phones disappoints here.
The S22 Ultra is the biggest of all three phones, however, coming in with a 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED display that looks absolutely stunning thanks to the 1440 x 3088 resolution and 1750 nits of peak brightness. Next up is the Pixel 7 Pro with a 6.7-inch AMOLED display running at 120Hz LTPO at a resolution of 1440 x 3120 and a peak brightness of 1500 nits.
Last but not least, the iPhone has the smallest display of the three coming in at 6.1-inches of Super Retina XDR OLED with a 120Hz LTPO refresh rate and a resolution of 1179 x 2556 with peak brightness reaching as high as 2000 nits.
Dynamic Island adds a lot to the iPhone’s display. | Source: Apple
As you can see, all three displays are quite highly kitted out to provide the best content consumption experience. The S22 Ultra and Pixel 7 Pro’s displays will feel quite similar in terms of how they look, so the choice is down to which exact display you prefer. As far as the iPhone is concerned, outside of a flat display, you also get Dynamic Island — features built around the pill in the display adding in more functionality.
That said, the iPhone’s peak brightness is higher than both Android contenders, meaning the screen will be much easier to read outdoors. It’s also a relatively pixel-dense screen for the size meaning you’ll get a little bit more sharpness.
|Display Specs||Samsung S22 Ultra||Google Pixel 7 Pro||Apple iPhone 14 Pro|
|Size and Resolution||6.8-inch AMOLED1440 x 3088||6.7-inch AMOLED1440 x 3120||6.1-inchesSuper Retina XDR OLED1179 x 2556|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz||120Hz LTPO||120Hz LTPO|
|Brightness||1750 nits (peak)||1500 nits (peak)||2000 nits (peak)|
|Extras||HDR10+Gorilla Glass Victus+||HDR10+Gorilla Glass Victus||HDR10Dolby VisionCeramic Shield Glass|
The cameras are one of the biggest differentiating factors between the three phones outside of software and the general ecosystem around them.
Rear Camera systems
In terms of the most number of cameras offered, the S22 beats both the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro thanks to its quad camera system consisting of the following cameras.
- 108MP main camera
- 10MP 230mm telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom
- 10MP 70mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom
- 12MP 120-degree ultrawide camera
It’s a much closer battle between the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro as both Apple and Google rely more on computational photography as compared to the sheer megapixel count. The Pixel 7 Pro however eeks out a narrow win on paper with the following three cameras on its back.
- 50MP main camera
- 48MP 120mm telephoto with 5x optical zoom
- 12MP 126-degree ultrawide
The Pixel 7 Pro might give the iPhone 14 Pro a run for its money in the camera department. | Source: Google
Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro comes with the following camera that it shares with its bigger sibling, the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
- 50MP main camera
- 12MP 77mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom
- 12mp 120-degree ultrawide camera
All three phones have relatively simple front cameras. Once again, Samsung wins when it comes to the megapixel count with its 40MP wide-angle front camera. followed by the iPhone 14’s 12MP wide-angle and then the Pixel 7 Pro’s 11.1MP wide-angle camera
Unless you really want the ability to take a lot of long-range photos on your phone, we’d recommend looking past the S22 Ultra here. Yes the Samsung phone has a lot of megapixels, and it’s by no means a bad camera, but Apple and Google’s computational photography enhancements, paired with the additional features both companies offer just make for an overall better camera experience.
The Pixel 7 Pro is yet to hit the market so we haven’t really seen its camera in action. However, based on what Google showed us at the launch even on October 6, it’s looking like a real contender to the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera system.
If you’re restricted by the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone is the obvious choice. But if you have a free choice between the three, the Pixel might just have the overall best camera experience despite the cameras not being that impressive on paper.
|Camera Specs||Samsung S22 Ultra||Google Pixel 7 Pro||Apple iPhone 14 Pro|
|Rear Cameras||108MP main camera10MP 230mm telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom10MP 70mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom12MP 120-degree ultrawide camera||50MP main camera 48MP 120mm telephoto with 5x optical zoom12MP 126-degree ultrawide||50MP main camera12MP 77mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom12mp 120-degree ultrawide camera|
Battery and charging
This is a bit of a mixed bag. Despite how important it is for a phone to last throughout the user’s day, all three of these phones don’t really have ridiculous battery capacities or charging speeds as we’ve come to see from the likes of Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OnePlus and Oppo among others.
In terms of sheer capacity, it’s a tie between the S22 Ultra and Pixel 7 Pro with both phones coming in with a 5000mAh battery, massively outclassing the iPhone 14 Pro’s much smaller 3200mAh battery.
The S22 Ultra and Pixel 7 Pro pack the same battery capacity. | Source: Samsung
That said, the energy efficiency improvements on the Tensor G2 chip and the A16 Bionic mean that despite its smaller battery, the iPhone 14 is still one of the longest-lasting iPhones and the Pixel 7 Pro will be able to get more runtime out of its 5000mAh battery. Once again, it’s not like the S22 Ultra is going to randomly die between your day, but if Google’s claims are to hold up, the Pixel 7 Pro should pull more hours over the Samsung and Apple offerings.
Charging speeds are unfortunately rather slow on all three devices, especially considering what the competition is pulling. The S22 Ultra charges the fastest thanks to its 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. While the Pixel gets beaten in terms of wired charging, coming in at just 30W, the wireless charging is faster than the S22 Ultra at 23W. The iPhone is ridiculously slow here with 15W wired charging, 15W over Magsafe wireless and 7.5W over Qi.
|Battery and Charging Specs||Samsung S22 Ultra||Google Pixel 7 Pro||Apple iPhone 14 Pro|
|Battery Capacity||5000 mAh||5000 mAh||3200 mAh|
|Wireless Charging||15W Qi Wireless4.5W reverse wireless charging||23W fast wireless charging||15W MagSafe wireless7.5W Qi Wireless|
Now the biggest factor driving a decision here is the software experience. If you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem, this comparison is pointless for you as your obvious choice is going to be the iPhone 14. However, if you’re an Apple user looking to switch to Android or vice versa, you have a mammoth decision on your hands.
It’s not easy jumping ecosystems as it usually leaves most if not all your accessories practically useless. That said, jumping from Android to Apple is often slightly easier.
If you decide to stay with Android, the Pixel will give you the purest Android experience of your life paired with five years of security updates and three years of platform upgrades. The phone comes with Android 13 out of the box and will be the first in line to get those security and feature updates from Google until the next Pixel arrives.
The Pixel 7 Pro is hands down the best Android experience money can buy. | Source: Google
The S22 Ultra ships with OneUI 4.1.1 which is based on Android 12 but the Android 13 update has already rolled out so it’s just a matter of updating your phone. That said, Samsung’s OneUI does have a few significant differences as compared to the stock Android you get on the Pixel 7 Pro.
Bottom line is, if you’re looking for the purest Android experience, the Pixel should be your first choice. Now that there’s an entire Pixel ecosystem consisting of earbuds and a smartwatch, you might want to build the Google ecosystem around you as well.
Samsung’s OneUI is a love or hate thing. If you’ve been using Samsung phones or have a Samsung smartwatch, the S22 will feel like an incremental update, but unfortunately won’t match up to the Pixels. Finally, if you’re looking to enter Apple’s rather tall-walled garden, the iPhone 14 Pro is a rather good entry point. Do keep in mind though that you will soon feel the need to invest more deeply in the Apple ecosystem as you use your phone more.
Pricing and availability
All three phones are out on sale right now, but the pricing is slightly different. The S22 Ultra can be found for around $800 or upwards based on the memory or storage capacity combination you want to get. That said, the phone starts at an eye-watering $1149 from Samsung, making it a much harder sell at MRP. The S22 Ultra does, however come with a built-in S Pen, so the insane price is kind of expected.
The Pixel 7 Pro is priced at $899. The iPhone 14, however, starts at $999.
The S22 Ultra can easily be the cheapest of the three phones, thanks to the phone’s early launch, there are a lot of deals going on all the time meaning you can often pick it up for much less than the retail price. It will take some time for the Pixel and iPhone prices to drop.
|Starting Prices||Samsung S22 Ultra||Google Pixel 7 Pro||Apple iPhone 14 Pro|
Someone who writes/edits/shoots/hosts all things tech and when he’s not, streams himself racing virtual cars. You can reach out to Yadullah at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.