How does the Pixel 7 stack up against Apple's iPhone 14 and the Samsung Galaxy S22?

The Pixel 7 line-up is now official but you may ask yourself how it stacks up against the competition. Here is a quick comparison of the specifications of Google’s latest flagship with Apple’s iPhone 14 line-up, and Samsung’s popular S22 series.

The brass tacks: Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro specifications

The standard variant of the Pixel 7 has a 6.3-inch OLED FHD+ display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. It runs on Google’s own Tensor G2 SoC, which is paired with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Your choice of storage options top out at 256GB of internal storage.

The Pixel 7 Pro has a 6.7-inch OLED QHD+ display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The screen can dynamically scale the refresh rate on the fly between 10Hz to 120Hz depending on the use case scenario.

Like the vanilla Pixel 7, the Pro variant runs on the same Tensor G2 SoC but is paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM instead. It gives you some flexibility when it comes to storage options, allowing you to choose between 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of internal storage.

The Pro variant has an enhanced camera module on the back that features a 50-megapixel primary sensor with OIS. Joining it is a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens along with a 48-megapixel telephoto lens.

The vanilla variant opts for a dual-camera module instead, retaining the primary sensor and ultrawide lens but omitting the 48-megapixel telephoto lens. Both variants have a 10.8-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Pixel 7 uses a 4335 mAh battery, while the Pixel 7 Pro uses a 5000 mAh battery. Both phones support the wireless Qi charging standard, and Google says both of them should be able to last all day. The company has also included an Extreme Battery Saver mode, which increases the usage to 72 hours.

Neither phone comes with a charger included in the box, which is a bummer but as you will find out, unfortunately, common in flagships these days.

Since it’s a Google flagship, both phones will run stock Android 13 out of the box, with the company promising three years of OS updates and five years of security updates.

Great! But how does it compare with the Samsung Galaxy S22? 

The Android smartphone market is unique, as in there are many competing products that all vie for the throne of the ultimate flagship. Samsung’s Galaxy series phones are widely seen as the de-facto Android flagships.

First off, the Galaxy S22 series offers three variants to choose from – the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Let’s take a look at the pricing first, The Pixel 7 standard variant is priced at Rs 59,999, while the standard Galaxy S22 will cost you Rs 72,999.

The Pixel 7 Pro will cost you Rs 84,999, while the Samsung Galaxy S22+ will cost you Rs 88,999. The third variant of the S22, the S22 Ultra, will set you back Rs 1,09,999.

It’s clear that Google has priced its phone competitively compared to the popular Android flagship but how does fare in terms of hardware?

All three Galaxy S22 variants run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, which is slightly older than the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 but still a very powerful chip.

Google, by comparison, is using the second generation of its custom Tensor SoC. The Tensor features an Octa-Core CPU with a Mali G710 GPU, while Qualcomm’s Chip uses an octa-core CPU with an Adreno 730 GPU.

The Snapdragon chip is slightly faster, but not by much. Google’s real bet is the Custom Machine Learning TPU embedded within the hardware and backed with Google’s proven AI smarts. Qualcomm’s chip also utilizes a 7th-generation TPU but it seems like a safe bet to assume Google’s chip will be better here, given the company’s work with AI.

As for screen sizes, Samsung allows you to choose between a 6.1-inch, 6.6-inch and 6.8-inch AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The Google phones give you a choice between a 6.3-inch and 6.7-inch OLED but are limited to a refresh rate of 90Hz on the standard Pixel 7. This means you are going to have to buy a Pro variant of the phone if you want a higher refresh rate.

One big advantage that the S22 series has is support for the company’s S-Pen, which is a popular accessory first introduced with the Galaxy Note series. The Pixel 7 has no such support, as of yet.

When it comes to the main camera module, The S22 and S22 Plus utilize a 50-megapixel main sensor, with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens. The S22 Ultra ups the ante with a 108-megapixel main sensor paired with the same ultrawide and telephoto lens.

The S22 and S22 Plus use a 10-megapixel front-facing camera, while the S22 Ultra uses a 40-megapixel camera on the front.

On paper, it seems that the S22 Ultra camera has the best hardware but Google’s software prowess with its cameras is well-known, which means that the Pixel 7 won’t be a slouch either. If anything the Pixel line-up is popular for its camera smarts.

The S22 has the smallest battery with 3700 mAh ticker, the S22 Plus has a 4500 mAh battery while the S22 Ultra has the biggest battery of the bunch with a 5000 mAh cluster.

So is the Pixel 7 better or worse than the Galaxy S22 series? The short answer is both. Samsung has it clearly when it comes to screen options, the SoC and support for peripherals like the S-Pen but people who want the Pixel smartphone won’t necessarily be buying it for those reasons.

The Pixel phones have always appealed to people who want a complete Google experience, and the Pixel phones pride themselves on giving you unfiltered, vanilla Android.

Okay, but how well does it do outside the Android ecosystem, is it comparable to Apple’s iPhone 14? 

Let’s start with the variants, Apple gives you choice between four variants – iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple’s flagships start at Rs 79,900, which will get you the standard no-frills variant of the iPhone 14, while the iPhone 14 Plus will cost you Rs 89,900. It’s worth noting that both of these phones don’t offer a new design, that is reserved for the Pro series.

Speaking of which, the iPhone 14 Pro starts at a whopping Rs 1,29,999 and gets absurdly expensive at Rs 1,39,900 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. It’s clear to see Apple isn’t really competing on price, so Google takes this round.

Coming to the screens, Apple offers you options between 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED and 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED. The main difference between the Pro and the standard variants is that it offers a dynamic refresh rate between 1Hz – 120Hz and the option of an Always On display for notifications and alerts.

While that seems comparable, Apple’s screens are known to be the best in the industry right now and the Pixel 7 screens, by comparison, have yet to be put to the test. Apple’s screen also offer much higher brightness values.

Coming to the hardware, Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus run on the same SoC as the iPhone 13, which is the A15 Bionic but with slightly better performance and a new five-core GPU compared to the four-core GPU from iPhone 13.

The Pro variants of the phone run on Apple’s A16 Bionic chip, which is the latest generation Apple silicon with a 16-core neural engine and brand new five-core GPU, which might be the best in class.

While Apple uses a hexa-core CPU in place of the Octa-core Tensor and Snapdragon chips, Apple’s performance is nothing to scoff at. The A16 bionic is one of the fastest SoC’s on the market and Tensor just cannot compete against it.

The problem is the price you need to pay to even get access to it. The A15 Bionic on the standard iPhone 14 models is still faster than the Tensor G2, but if you want the latest hardware, you are going to have to shell out upwards of Rs 1 Lakh, which immediately reduces the audience. While Apple has better hardware, it is also prohibitively expensive.

The standard iPhone 14 models use a dual-camera module that utilize a 12-megapixel wide camera and a secondary 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor.

The iPhone 14 Pro models now use a triple-camera module with a 48-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor.

Like Google, Apple uses a lot of software magic to set their cameras apart and honestly, between the two companies, you can’t really go wrong with either choice of camera modules.

As for battery life, Apple promises an all-day battery life on its phone, which is comparable to the Pixel 7.

Now comes the main differentiator, Android vs iOS. Thanks to an all-new Face ID set-up on the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple is pushing its new Dynamic Island technology really hard. There are also various improvements and new features within the software.

Android 13 is no slouch either. What might sway your mind, is Apple’s repeated insistence on being a privacy-first company, and while Google has taken some steps to alleviate its data harvesting image, it remains to be seen how Google will approach this in the future.

Your choice of software ultimately comes down to preference, if you are already invested in the Apple ecosystem and own some of the company’s products then iOS 16 will suit you better, on the other hand if you are more on the Android side of things, then the Pixel 7 is a no brainer.

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