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Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. Phone 13: Can Samsung beat Apple?

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22
(Image credit: Apple/@OnLeaks and 91Mobiles)

The iPhone 13 vs Galaxy S22 comparison is what you need to preview what should be the biggest upcoming phone battle. It's going to take quite a bit to beat the new iPhone, at least based on our iPhone 13 review. Apple's new iPhones offer bigger batteries, brighter screens and camera enhancements, not to mention the best performing mobile processor. It's a tough act to follow.

However, the Samsung Galaxy S22 should be up to the task based on the leaks and rumors we've seen. This includes a possible new AMD-powered processor, highly advanced cameras and a Galaxy S22 Ultra that could truly take over for the Galaxy Note line with an integrated S Pen. We've also heard about faster charging.

This early iPhone 13 vs. Galaxy S22 face-off looks at how these handsets might measure up in the battle for best phone based on what we've seen from Apple's devices and what we've heard about Samsung's plans. Here's everything we know so far. 

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 price and availability

The iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 for a 128GB model, while the iPhone 13 costs $799. The iPhone 13 Pro costs $999, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max goes for $1,099. In addition to the 128GB base models, you can pay up for 256GB and 512GB versions of each phone; there's also a 1TB option for the two iPhone 13 Pro models if you don't mind parting with a small fortune.

Apple's currently offering rebates when you trade in your current phone to buy an iPhone 13. We're also keeping track of the best iPhone 13 deals.

Pricing for the Galaxy S22 is a bit trickier, given that we're not expecting to see that phone until January 2022 at the earliest. (Typically, new Galaxy S models have arrived in February, though Samsung moved up the launch of this year's S21 lineup.) We'd expect pricing to remain consistent from the Galaxy S21, which saw price cuts from the previous generation of Samsung flagships. That would give the Galaxy S22 a starting price of $799, with Plus and Ultra versions priced at $999 and $1,199, respectively. That's subject to change, as we get more information about the rumored phones.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 design

Outside of foldable phones, we're unlikely to see major changes to smartphone design, so expect the Galaxy S22 to look a lot like the Galaxy S21, just like the iPhone 13 adopted the iPhone 12's look. Still, some changes are reportedly in the works.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

Galaxy s22 renders (Image credit: OnLeaks/

Chief among them is the idea that the Galaxy S22 could use an under-display camera for its front shooter. This would pick up a feature introduced to Samsung phones with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It would certainly give the S22 an edge over the iPhone 13, which still has a notch interrupting its display, even if that notch is 20% smaller on Apple's new phones. However, photos taken  with under-display cameras have looked pretty lackluster so far, so Samsung will need to figure out a way to improve that if the feature is indeed headed to the Galaxy S22.

Another possible design change for the S22 is the phone's rear camera array. Renders have shown a p-shaped array, though we're going to need stronger evidence before we believe this is the direction Samsung will take. Apple slightly tweaked the camera setups on its iPhone 13 models — the cheaper iPhones now have diagonal lenses while the array is slightly larger on the Pro model to accommodate bigger cameras.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22 Ultra render (Image credit: Digit/OnLeaks)

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 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. Rumors suggest Samsung may adopt a rate of 1Hz to 120Hz for the S22 models.

All this talk of adjustable refresh rates leaves out the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini. They're stuck at a fixed rate of 60Hz.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 13 models feature the same screen sizes as their iPhone 12 counterparts at 5.4 inches (mini), 6.1 inches (regular and Pro) and 6.7 inches (Pro Max).

Rumors suggest Samsung is mulling a change for the Galaxy S22, offering smaller screens for all three models. That would give the S22 a 6.06-inch display (down from 6.2 inches), while the S22 Plus and S22 Ultra would come in at 6.5 and 6.81 inches, respectively. That's down from 6.7 inches on the Galaxy S21 Plus and 6.9 inches on the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 cameras

The iPhone 13 models have 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. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro models not only feature a bigger main sensor but a wider aperture for the ultrawide angle lens. The result is improved low-light photography, and the improved telephoto lens on the iPhone 13 Pro models — it supports a 3x optical zoom — doesn't hurt either.

iphone 13 vs. samsung galaxy s22

iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple's photo features go beyond hardware, though. The highlight of the iPhone 13 is a new Cinematic mode available on all four models. It lets you shoot video with a blurred background, and it can change what gets blurred as the focus of the shot changes. That's an improvement over the Galaxy S21, which offers a less sophisticated portrait mode for video capture.

Based on rumors, it sounds like Samsung could up its hardware game with the cameras on the Galaxy S22. While rumors initially pointed to the S22 ultra feature a 200MP main lens, the consensus now is that Samsung will instead opt for an improved 108MP sensor. The phone maker could also turn to an RGBW sensor instead of the standard RGB sensor in a move to improve colors in high-contrast scenes. That's one of the few weaknesses of recent Samsung camera phones.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

Galaxy S22 renders (Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

On the zoom lens front, the standard S22 could improve upon the S21's hybrid 3x zoom with a 3X optical zoom. Rumors also claim that Samsung is aiming to add 8K/60fps video capture, which could certainly help the electronics giant move more 8K TVs.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 performance

The Galaxy S22 will 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 multicore 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.

It will be up to whatever chipset Samsung uses in the Galaxy S22 to narrow that gap, and all signs point to Samsung turning to a 4-nanometer system-on-chip from Qualcomm. That's supposedly the Snapdragon 895, although that chipset has yet to be announced — Qualcomm typically reveals its forthcoming silicon by the end of the year.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

A15 Bionic (Image credit: Apple)

Regardless of what chipset Samsung uses, the Galaxy S22 could be in line for a graphics boost. Rumors point to Samsung using a GPU based on AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, which you'll find in the PS5 and Xbox Series X. That doesn't mean console-like capabilities in a smartphone, though it would give the Galaxy S22 a sizable bump in graphics processing power if that rumor pans out.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 battery life and charging

Galaxy S22 rumors suggest Samsung is taking a curious path with its next flagship phones, with signs pointing to two of the models featuring smaller batteries than their S21 counterparts. Neither the Galaxy S21 nor the Galaxy S21 Plus set hearts racing with their longevity, so a rumor that their successors are turning to batteries that are 3000 mAh seems like a missed opportunity to improve that performance.

There's more to battery life than the size of the battery — a more efficient chipset can help manage power consumption. And the rumored smaller displays on the Galaxy S22 series could also help.

The rumor of smaller batteries in next year's Galaxy S phones stands out in light of what Apple did with the iPhone 13. All four phones feature larger batteries — Apple hasn't disclosed how big they actually are — and it's no coincidence that battery times for each phone improved dramatically over their iPhone 12 counterparts. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, in particular, landed on our best phone battery life list.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy S22 could outshine the iPhone in another way, though, as Apple's latest phones continue to top out at 20W wired charging. The S21 can charge at 25W, and some rumors suggest that Samsung may further widen the gap with the Galaxy S22 by turning to a faster speed. Reportedly, Samsung is testing out speeds of 45W and 65W for the S22.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 software and special features

By the time the Galaxy S22 arrives, Android 12 will be out, so the new flagship phones will feature upgraded widgets and home screen customization tools. Samsung's One UI 4 interface based on Android 12 is already in beta and being tested by Galaxy S21 users, so that gives us some idea of what the interface will look like on future Galaxy phones.

iphone 13 vs. samsung galaxy s22

One UI 4 (Image credit: Samsung)

The iPhone 13 ships with iOS 15, Apple's latest software update offering major overhauls to the Maps, Safari and FaceTime apps, in addition to new features like Focus mode. We've been impressed by what we've seen with iOS 15, though as of this writing, Apple is busy stamping out bugs that have created some iPhone 13 problems

We would expect Samsung's next Galaxy S phone to maintain an advantage enjoyed by this year's Galaxy S21 Ultra — S Pen support. The S21 Ultra was the first phone outside of Samsung's Galaxy Note series to support the stylus, with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 adding support this past summer. In both cases, the S Pen was sold as a separate accessory requiring its own case, but at least one rumor suggests the S22 Ultra might include an integrated slot for the S Pen. This would fall in line with suggestions that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is being fashioned as a Galaxy Note successor.

iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 outlook

We won't know which phones will out on top in an iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 showdown until we're actually holding the S22 in our hands. But as is typical of the Apple-Samsung smartphone rivalry, next year's face-off figures to be a closely fought battle between two premium flagships. Stay tuned for updates as get closer to the Galaxy S22 launch.

Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.