Google unveiled its two latest Pixel 7 smartphones yesterday. One of these new Pixel 7 devices carries the Pro badge and seemingly punches up at the Galaxy S22 Ultra. We looked at the standard Pixel 7 in the context of the Galaxy S22 and S22+ yesterday, so it's only fair we give the Pixel 7 Pro the same treatment to see what it's all about. Before the end, we may get a better idea of whether or not it can compete with Samsung's Ultra-branded flagship.
Google Pixel 7 Pro specs overview
The Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra have comparable displays. The Google flagship's screen is only 0.1-inch smaller than the Galaxy S22 Ultra's, clocking in at 6.7 inches, but both devices have 1440p display resolutions and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, can reach higher peak brightness levels of 1750 nits versus Google's 1500 nits.
Once again, the Pixel 7 Pro uses an in-house Tensor G2 chip rather than an Exynos or Qualcomm SoC. Real-world performance will have to be measured once the Pixel 7 Pro starts shipping to customers.
Google's flagship offers more RAM by default. In fact, the Pixel 7 Pro is available in only one RAM configuration of 12GB, whereas Samsung's flagship is available with 8GB or 12GB of RAM. On the flip side, Samsung offers more storage options, including 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. Google lacks a 1TB model; although to be fair, Samsung offers this variant exclusively online, and availability is not as widespread.
As far as the camera system is concerned, most people know by now that the software and the AI governing modern smartphone cameras can make a world of difference, and a strictly-spec-based comparison won't tell the whole story. Nevertheless, here's what the Pixel 7 Pro offers: a 50MP Octa PD Quad Bayer primary camera, a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with a 125.8-degrees field of view, and a 48MP Quad Bayer PD telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom.
Needless to say, Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra wins the camera battle on paper, thanks to one additional sensor, higher resolutions, and better zoom levels. Samsung's flagship has a 108MP primary shooter, a 10MP telephoto sensor that can achieve 10x optical zoom, another 10MP telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide shooter.
Finally, the Pixel 7 Pro is powered by a 5,000mAh battery with 30W charging, whereas the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the same 5,000mAh battery capacity with faster 45W charging. Neither phone ships with a wall charger.
Google Pixel 7 Pro is cheaper, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a few extras
As expected, Google's Pixel 7 Pro is more affordable than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but this comes with a few caveats. To begin with, Google's retail network is minuscule compared to Samsung's, so good luck buying a Pixel 7 Pro for its M.R.P. outside a few key markets. For context, the Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899, while Samsung customers can buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra for $1,049 after a $150 instant rebate (in the USA).
It's also worth noting that the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a few extra features. The additional telephoto camera is among them, but more importantly, the S22 Ultra carries the S Pen and a rich suite of productivity apps that work with the iconic input device. Google doesn't offer anything of the like.
And finally, even though the Pixel 7 Pro is a device made by Google, Samsung is the leading smartphone brand in terms of firmware support. And while this might surprise you, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will enjoy more Android OS updates than the Google flagship.
In conclusion, even though both phones share the flagship market segment, the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra are different enough not to step on each other's toes. In terms of raw specs, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is superior and has an S Pen, but the Pixel 7 Pro is an interesting proposition nonetheless, thanks to its sub-$1,000 price.