Speed and convenience
Apple's 2021 iPhone still sports the fastest processor of any smartphone, but it's missing some key features in the camera and display department.
- Slightly higher resolution
- Smarter camera
- Longer battery life
- MagSafe system
- No telephoto camera lens
- There's still a notch
- Screen is more prone to scratches
So bright and so smooth
Samsung releases its 2022 model of the Galaxy with a better camera, a better processor, and an amazingly bright display, but does it surpass the latest iPhone?
- Higher refresh rate
- Better display
- Offers optical zoom and 8K video
- More RAM
- Less battery life
- Slower processor
- Screen is more prone to cracks
The most advanced smartphones in the world of tech remain neck-and-neck with the release of Samsung's Galaxy S22. It's the exact same size as the iPhone 13 but there are plenty of differences between the two. As usual, the S22's camera has better hardware while the iPhone 13's cameras have more smarts and bigger sensors. Both have lightning-fast processors, but Apple continues to lead the charge in this category. But then Samsung pulls ahead in the display. Is one smartphone the clear winner? Let's take a closer look.
iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22: Key Differences
The hard specs of smartphones can be a bit misleading because better specs don't always add up to a better-performing phone. But it's worthwhile to look at the similarities and differences in black and white:
|iPhone 13||Galaxy S22|
|Design||Ceramic Shield front + Glass back and aluminum frame||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ front and back, aluminum frame|
|Colors||Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED||Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold|
|Display||6.1‑inch OLED display, 60Hz refresh rate||6.1-inch Amoled 2X display, 120Hz refresh rate|
|Processor||A15 Bionic||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|Camera||Dual lens 12-megapixel wide and 12MP ultra-wide rear, 12MP TrueDepth front||Triple lens 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto lens|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB + 4GB RAM||128GB, 256GB + 8GB RAM|
|Battery||3,095 mAh, Fast charging (20W charger sold separately), Qi wireless charging||3,700mAh, Fast charging (charger sold separately), Qi wireless charging|
|Size and weight||5.78x2.81x0.30 inches, 174 g||5.75x2.78x0.30 inches, 167 g|
|Software||iOS 15||Android 12|
In this table, the iPhone 13 and Galaxy S22 are strikingly similar. They are both encased in glass, front and back, with similar size dimensions. The Galaxy's camera is definitely looking better on paper with a 50MP main camera and telephoto lens, while the iPhone 13 rocks a crazy fast A15 Bionic processor. Both phones have a lot going for them, but the devil is in the details.
iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22 Design: Galaxy brings the brightness
Design is a subjective thing. Each of these models has a slick, streamlined design. The iPhone has a more angular, industrial look while the Galaxy keeps things smooth and organic. This year the color selections are also quite similar, although Samsung offers a few additional colors on their website that are not available in-store.
Both of them are encased in tough glass on the front and back, but the best iPhone has a tougher CeramicShield screen that is harder to crack. The S22, on the other hand, rocks its own durable Gorilla Glass Victus+, which may be more prone to cracking but is actually more resilient against scratches than the CeramicShield. For durability, they are both pretty tough.
When it comes to display, the Samsung S22 may win in this category. Granted, the iPhone 13 has a slightly sharper resolution with 2,778 by 1,170 pixels versus 2,340 by 1,080 pixels for the Galaxy S22. With that being said, the S22 is much brighter at an unheard-of 1300 nits! The iPhone 13 only boasts 800 nits by comparison. That, combined with the super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate of the Samsung S22, and you have one heck of an impressive display. The iPhone 13 is still only sitting on a 60Hz refresh rate, so it cannot compete in this area.
iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22 Performance: Apple silicon wins again
We can't talk performance without talking processors. In my opinion, there's simply no beating Apple silicon in recent years, but the 2022 Galaxy does boast a brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. While this does show some improvement over the previous Snapdragon 888, in testing it still falls somewhat short of Apple's A15 bionic processor. The iPhone 13 offers better speed and processing performance, although you may not be able to tell with the lower refresh rate. Since the iPhone also has a lower RAM, it is not always obvious that it performs faster than the Galaxy.
Speaking of memory, the iPhone 13 offers up to 512GB of storage, while the S22 only has 128GB and 256GB configurations available. This means you'll be able to keep a lot more data and images on the iPhone 13 if you go for the higher storage model, but that won't make much of a difference if you store everything on the cloud.
As for battery power, the iPhone 13 continues to wow with over 10 hours of usage per charge. The S22 has a smaller battery than previous models of the Galaxy, but due to its more dynamic refresh rate, it will likely stay at about seven hours per charge. The more efficient processor and lower refresh rate of the iPhone 13 means it uses up less power, and that equates to a longer battery life in general.
iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22 Camera: Hardware versus smarts
When comparing some of the best smartphone cameras on the market, it is hard to say which is better. The Galaxy S22 certainly has better hardware, sporting a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto lens with up to 3x optical zoom. The iPhone 13 doesn't have optical zoom at all, offering only a 5x digital zoom. The main camera of the iPhone is only 12MP as opposed to 50MP, but what the iPhone doesn't have in hardware, it makes up for in software.
While the sensors of the S22 have greatly improved, they are still not as sensitive as the iPhone's sensors, and the iPhone's smart software makes for some gorgeous photos, hardware or no hardware. Despite the better hardware, the Galaxy's photos simply don't offer the same crisp, clean details as the iPhone's photos, and this is mostly due to sensors and software. The iPhone's photos are generally more accurate with better lighting, while the Galaxy creates photos with more vivid colors and contrast.
As for video, both of these smartphones offer the newest technology in automatic framing, making it possible for the focus to automatically shift from one subject to the other, depending on where they are in the frame. The Galaxy S22 can do this in 8K, while the iPhone only offers this in Cinematic mode in 1080p. Even at its best, the iPhone creates 4K, not 8K video. While 4K works for the average person, if video resolution is important to you, you will probably prefer the S22.
iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22 Price: Different smartphone, same price
The iPhone 13 and Galaxy S22 both offer baseline models at $799. The price goes up from there if you choose higher storage capacities, but the cost difference is minimal. Since there's basically no difference in price between these two phones, your decision will more likely be based on performance, display, or camera capabilities.
iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22: Which should you buy?
When you compare these two smartphones spec for spec, there's some give or take for both. Gamers may prefer the Galaxy S22 for its brighter display and refresh rate, while photographers may prefer the more accurate photos produced by the iPhone 13. Videographers, on the other hand, would do well with the S22 for its 8K video capabilities.
Then there's the ecosystem. Android works better with PC computers and Android-based tablets, while Apple's iOS is a dream if all of your other devices are made by Apple. And let's not forget the MagSafe feature that now comes built-in to all iPhones. I personally use MagSafe on a daily basis, so I can attest to its convenience. The ecosystem is an important aspect of any smartphone, and it may even be the deciding factor in your decision, so consider carefully.
The smart pick
The Apple iPhone stays at the forefront of smartphone technology with the 2021 iPhone 13. This model still offers the better processor and comes with the super-convenient MagSafe system.
When it comes to performance, the Samsung S22 is neck-and-neck with the iPhone 13, and this model definitely offers the better display. When combined with the impressive camera hardware, this is one powerhouse of a phone.
Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.
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