Samsung’s latest flagship phones are out now, so we can now get serious about a Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 comparison. We still need to test the Samsung Galaxy S22 before we can fully evaluate it. But based on the phone’s specs and some hands-on time with the device, we have a pretty good idea of how it might measure up against the iPhone 13.
For starters, the Galaxy S22 brings a new chipset to the part that should give it a performance boost while consuming less power. Samsung has also improved both the main camera and the telephoto lens, which should give the Galaxy S22 a further edge over the iPhone 13 and its two rear lenses.
But there’s a reason Apple’s most affordable flagship is on our list of the best phones. The iPhone 13 runs on the most powerful mobile silicon we’ve tested and a bigger battery has improved battery life over this model’s predecessor.
This Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 face-off looks at how these handsets measure up so far. As we complete our Galaxy S22 review, look for a definitive verdict on which phone is best. This comparison will largely concentrate on comparing the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 with the base model Galaxy S22; comparisons with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Ultra will follow.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 specs
|Samsung Galaxy S22||iPhone 13|
|Screen size||6.1 inches (2340 x 1080)||6.1 inches (2532 x 1170)|
|Refresh rate||48Hz-120Hz adaptive||60Hz|
|CPU||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US); Exynos 2200 (K)||A15 Bionic|
|RAM||8GB||4GB (based on teardowns)|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Rear cameras||50MP wide (f/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2); 10MP telephoto (f/2.4) with 3x optical zoom||12MP main (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4)|
|Front camera||10MP (f/2.2)||12MP (f/2.2)|
|Battery size||3,700 mAh||3,227 mAh (based on teardowns)|
|Charging speeds||25W wired, 15W wireless||20W wired; 15W wireless|
|Size||5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches||5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches|
|Weight||5.9 ounces||6.14 ounces|
|Colors||Black, white, green, pink gold||Black, white, blue, pink, red|
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 price and availability
Both the Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 share a common starting price — $799. You can go cheaper with the iPhone 13 mini, which starts at $699, but you’ll get a much starter screen. Still, the only way to get a Galaxy S model for that cost is to turn to the $699 Galaxy S21 FE, which relies on last year’s hardware.
Move to the next model above either the Galaxy S22 or iPhone 13, and you’ll also pay the same amount. The Galaxy S22 Plus and iPhone 13 Pro both come in at $999.
No matter which model phone you get, you’ll start with 128GB of storage, after Apple upgraded the base capacity for its entry level phones with the iPhone 13’s launch.
The iPhone 13 has been on sale since last fall, and after constrained supplies, wait times are now minimal for Apple’s phone, which you’ll find available from every major carrier in addition to Apple. Check out the best iPhone 13 deals to see how you can on Apple’s phones.
The Galaxy S22 is available to buy right now, so make sure to check out our selection of the best Galaxy S22 deals.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 design
As expected, the Galaxy S22 looks a lot like the Galaxy S21, right down to the Contour Cut display that allows the phone’s rear camera array to blend into the side of the device. Then again, the iPhone 13 adopted the iPhone 12’s look, so it’s not like you can ding Samsung for lack of originality.
Samsung is making much of the sustainability of this year’s model, as the new Galaxy phones incorporate ocean-bound recycled plastics in the materials used to make the phone. Even with the plastics, the Galaxy S22 uses a primarily glass back. The Gorilla Glass Victus that Samsung uses on the S22’s front and back should go a long way to protecting the phone from drops, though it will be hard to top the iPhone 13’s durability.
Samsung gives you four color options — Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Pink Gold. That’s one fewer than the iPhone 13’s available colors, where you choose between black, white, blue, pink and red.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 displays
The iPhone 13 Pro models negated a big advantage Samsung enjoyed by adopting ProMotion displays with dynamically adjusting refresh rates. That allows the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max to scale their refresh rates between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on the on-screen activity. All the Galaxy S21 models offered that, though only the Galaxy S21 Ultra could scale down to 10Hz. The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus bottomed out at 48Hz.
For the Galaxy S22, Samsung has improved the adaptive refresh rate feature. Now, the S22 and S22 Plus models can scale down to 48Hz when on-screen activity is static. That should help preserve battery life — something the S21 models badly needed.
Of course, that change leaves the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini behind even further. Those phones are stuck at a fixed rate of 60Hz.
Samsung looked to improve the displays on the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus in other ways. Both phones feature Vision Booster technology, which automatically adjusts the screen based on ambient lighting; it can also adjust color contrast. The displays should be brighter too, with Samsung claiming a peak brightness of 1,300 nits for the Galaxy S22 and 1,750 nits for the S22 Plus.
We’ll need to test both phones to verify those claims, but unless they really fall short of the mark, the new Galaxy models should outshine the iPhone 13. Apple’s handset is rated at 800 nits.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 cameras
The iPhone 13 models quickly claimed a spot among the best camera phones, and when you look at the hardware improvements Apple’s introduced, it’s easy to see why. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini benefit from a larger main sensor that lets in more light than before.
What those models don’t feature, however, is a telephoto lens — something Samsung includes on both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus. Even better, Samsung improved the zoom capabilities of that lens from last year’s models. The Galaxy S21 used a 3x hybrid zoom on its telephoto lens. The 10MP telephoto camera on both the S22 and S22 Plus features a 3x optical zoom, so things should look sharper when you zoom in.
That’s not the only camera to get an upgrade with the Galaxy S22. The main sensor on both the S22 and S22 Plus is now a 50MP shooter. And the 12MP ultrawide lens on Samsung’s latest models has a wider field of view to capture more details. We’ll need to do a Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 camera face-off to compare photo quality, but in our limited hands-on time with Samsung’s phones, the cameras seem much improved.
Samsung didn’t stop with hardware. A new AI Stereo Depth Map is meant to improve the portraits snapped by the Galaxy S22, and when you capture video, an Auto Framing feature can detect and track up to 10 people, adjusting focus to keep everything clear. That’s an interesting counterpoint to the Cinematic mode Apple introduced to all of its iPhone 13 models. Cinematic mode lets you shoot video with a blurred background, and it can change what gets blurred as the focus of the shot changes.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 performance
Even with new and improved silicon, the Galaxy S22 is going to have a big hill to climb here. The iPhone 13 models all feature Apple’s new A15 Bionic chip, and it’s no surprise that this delivers the fastest performance yet from an iPhone. Our iPhone 13 benchmarks recorded a 22% improvement for the iPhone 13 Pro over the iPhone 12 Pro in Geekbench 5 multi-core scores. The gap with the Galaxy S21 has grown even wider, with the iPhone 13 Pro posting a 38% better result on Geekbench than the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Samsung is battling that with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for Galaxy S22 models released in the U.S. (In other markets, Samsung is using a different 4nm chip, believed to be its own Exynos 2200 system-on-chip.) We’ll need to do our own benchmarking to see how the Galaxy S22 measures up to the iPhone 13, but initial Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 testing on a reference device doesn’t suggest a big gain over the Snapdragon 888 silicon that powered last year’s best Android phones.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 battery life and charging
Apple and Samsung took different paths with the batteries in their phones. Stung by poor battery life in every iPhone 12 model save for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple boosted the size of the power packs inside the iPhone 13 models. The end result was better battery life across the board, with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max both landing on our best phone battery life list. The iPhone 13 turned in a respectable time of 10 hours and 33 minutes on our battery test in which phones surf the web over cellular until they run out of power.
Samsung is actually shrinking the batteries on the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, compared to their S21 counterparts. The S22 features a 3,700 mAh battery compared to 4,000 mAh in the S21. The Galaxy S22 Plus’ power pack shrinks from 4,800 mAh to 4,500 mAh.
The Galaxy S21 models didn’t impress in terms of battery life when their adaptive display feature was turned on, so Samsung seems to be gambling that the wider ranging refresh rate will improve things somewhat. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 also figures to be more power efficient, too, and the smaller screens on the S22 models means there’s less display drawing power. Battery testing the new phones will tell the tale.
The Galaxy S22 Plus promises to be the charging champ of the phones we’re looking at here. It supports 45W charging, while the Galaxy S22 remains capped at 25W. Both of those are faster than the iPhone 13, which continues to top out at 20W wired charging. None of these phones ship with a charger.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 software and special features
The Galaxy S22 arrives with Android 12 in tow, which means users will reap the benefits of that software’s new customization and widget features along with Samsung’s One UI 4 interface. Samsung is also promising better integration with Google Duo to let people on a video call watch programs together. That feature is available to iPhone users running FaceTime on iOS 15 as well.
The bigger news on the software front is Samsung’s commitment to four years of Android updates with the Galaxy S22. That’s an improvement over the three years Samsung used to provide for its flagship phones. The iPhone 13 still enjoys longer support — iPhones usually can run the latest version of Apple’s iOS software up to 5 years after their release — but Samsung is taking a step in the right direction here.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 outlook
On the surface, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus look like iterative updates over their predecessors. But the changes made in key areas like display and camera performance could make the difference in a Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13 battle.
We’ll know the true winner once we complete our review, but the Galaxy S22 introduces some key changes that make it a formidable rival to Apple’s iPhone.