The Samsung Galaxy S22 beats the iPhone 14 in four big ways

The iPhone 14 is here, and it’s already one of the best phones out there. You get the same blazing processor inside last year’s iPhone 13 Pro, improved cameras, and a fun new Action mode for video. And new safety features like satellite emergency SOS and collision detection are on the way, making this flagship even more compelling.

But as you’ll see in our iPhone 14 review, there’s definitely room for improvement. And the Samsung Galaxy S22 already delivers on some of our iPhone 14 criticisms, thanks to a more robust feature set, especially when it comes to the display and cameras. Here’s how the Galaxy S22 beats the iPhone 14 as well as where Apple’s phone leads.

Where the Galaxy S22 beats the iPhone 14

Galaxy S22 120Hz Sport Display (with Always On)

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

You may have seen me write this before, but a 120Hz display is not a pro feature. And yet, Apple reserves its 120 Hz ProMotion screen for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. A 120Hz screen provides smoother scrolling (like when browsing the web), smoother animations, and better gameplay for supported titles. The iPhone unfortunately sticks to a 60Hz OLED display.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 offers a 120Hz display which can be reduced to 48Hz to save power. Additionally, Samsung’s phone has an always-on mode to quickly check the time, battery status and more without having to turn on the phone. This is another feature reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro.

The Galaxy S22 has a telephoto zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Every time I talk about it, there are people who say they don’t care about zoom. But I do it because a telephoto lens gives you more shooting flexibility.

The Galaxy S22 offers 3x telephoto zoom as well as 30x (digital) Space Zoom, allowing you to get much closer to your subject. The iPhone 14 lacks a telephoto zoom, which is only found on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

The standard iPhone 14’s digital zoom is pretty meager too, at just 5x. Don’t get me wrong – the photo quality is great – but I love that Samsung gives you true optical zoom at this price point.

Galaxy S22 offers faster charging (and USB-C)

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The iPhone 14 makes do with the same 20W USB-C to Lightning charging as the iPhone 13. As a result, the charging speed hasn’t improved. When charging a depleted iPhone 14, we got to 54% in 30 minutes and 27% in 15 minutes. The Galaxy S22 and its 25W charger reached 30% and 60% respectively in 15 and 30 minutes.

It’s not a huge difference, but the Galaxy S22 still has the edge. Plus, you don’t have to worry about having a USB to Lighting cable. USB-C to USB-C cables are pretty much ubiquitous now.

The Galaxy S22 has a SIM card tray

While phone makers regularly embrace eSIM functionality to add services to a phone, Apple’s decision to completely ditch the SIM card slot won’t be embraced by all. Admittedly, it’s easy to add a line to the iPhone 14, and it’s great that you can have multiple lines active at once (for business and personal if you want).

But some carriers haven’t adopted eSIM yet, and some international travelers really appreciate the convenience of simply inserting a new SIM card when they land in another country. The Galaxy S22 gives you that peace of mind.

Where the iPhone 14 beats the Galaxy S22

The iPhone 14 beats the Galaxy S22 in several ways. Here’s a quick breakdown.

iPhone 14 Action mode video is better

I tried Super Steady mode on the Galaxy S22 (bottom) versus Action mode on the iPhone 14 (top), and generally found the iPhone footage to be a little smoother but also more vibrant. While Samsung came first, Apple does it a bit better.

iPhone 14 has better photo quality (in most cases)

Overall, I think the iPhone 14 delivers better image quality from its few cameras, although there are exceptions.

Take this photo of dipladenia flowers. The iPhone 14 image is not only more vibrant, it offers an incredible level of detail in the petals and the rendering of water droplets. There is also more contrast in the iPhone photo.

However, while the iPhone 14’s Night mode works best outdoors, we got an odd blue cast on an image indoors in very low light conditions. The colors of the S22 were more natural.

The iPhone 14 is faster

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

I’m not going to tell you to buy a phone based on benchmark scores, but it’s worth noting that the A15 Bionic chip inside the iPhone 14 beats the Galaxy S22 on multiple tests — and one of our real-world performance tests.

On Geekbench, which measures overall performance, the iPhone 14 scored 1,727 in single-core and 4,553 in multi-core. That’s well above the Galaxy S22 (1,204/3,348).

The iPhone 14 also gains in graphics performance; it scored 11,531 and 69 fps on 3DMark Wild Life compared to 9,976/59 fps for the Galaxy S22.

In our video editing test, which involves transcoding a 4K video clip to 1080p in the Adobe Premiere Rush app, the iPhone 14 took 28 seconds to complete the task. The Galaxy S22 took 47 seconds.

Net result of the iPhone 14 against the Galaxy S22

If you’re ready to switch between iOS and Android — and that’s a big IF — I think the Galaxy S22 gives you more bang for your buck. You get a bunch of features that Apple reserves for the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max – 120Hz, always-on display, telephoto zoom – for a very reasonable price.

If you are an iPhone fan? The iPhone 14 is good, but I think the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are worth the splurge more than ever this year.

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