Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Which phone wins?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro match-up is quite relevant to any user who wants to buy a $1,000 flagship phone. The two phones have some strong similarities, and while the iPhone 14 Pro is already here, and the Galaxy S23 likely isn't far off, the S22 and iPhone 13 Pro are still two excellent phones that'll serve you well for years to come.

The Galaxy S22 Plus bears more similarity to the basic Galaxy S22 rather than the Galaxy S22 Ultra in terms of its design and camera setup. The S22 Plus does improve on the S22 though, by offering a larger display and battery, plus a faster charging speed.

In contrast, the iPhone 13 Pro is more like a shrunken iPhone 13 Pro Max. The display is smaller but otherwise, the iPhone 13 Pro features almost identical specs, making it ideal for someone wanting the best iPhone experience but in a smaller or cheaper package.

Our Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro comparison reveals a close contest overall. Read on for a feature-by-feature breakdown to see how these two similarly priced phones measure up.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung Galaxy S22 PlusiPhone 13 Pro
Starting price$999$999
Screen size6.6 inches (2340 x 1080)6.1 inches (2352 x 1170)
Refresh rate48Hz-120Hz adaptive10Hz-120Hz adaptive
CPUSnapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US); Exynos 2200 (K)A15 Bionic
RAM8GB6GB (based on teardowns)
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras50MP wide (f/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2); 10MP telephoto (f/2.4) with 3x optical zoom12MP main (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4), 12MP telephoto (f/2.8) with 3x optical zoom
Front camera10MP (f/2.2)12MP (f/2.2)
Battery size4,500 mAh3,095 mAh (based on teardowns)
Charging speeds45W wired, 15W wireless20W wired; 15W wireless
Size6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches
Weight6.9 ounces7.19 ounces
ColorsPhantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink GoldGraphite, gold, silver, blue

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Price

Both the Galaxy S22 Plus and iPhone 13 Pro are widely available from wireless carriers and retailers alike, with each device starting at $999. The Galaxy S22 Plus is still being actively made and sold by Samsung though, while the iPhone 13 Pro has now been discontinued since the release of the iPhone 14 Pro.

That could mean it's hard to find the iPhone 13 Pro in stock, but also means you could find it for cheap by buying it second-hand or refurbished. The best iPhone 13 deals and best Galaxy S22 deals can help you get either phone at the lowest possible prices.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Design

Apple and Samsung have both taken design cues from the previous year's models when putting together the S22 Plus and iPhone 13 Pro. In Samsung’s case, that means keeping the "Contour Cut" camera bump for the S22 Plus. That said, this year’s version is a little smaller than the 6.7-inch Galaxy S21 Plus, with a 6.6-inch screen.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro

Galaxy S22 Plus (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That’s still larger than the iPhone 13 Pro, which continues to offer a 6.1-inch screen with a notch in the display to house the front camera and Face ID sensors. The phone features flat side rails and a square camera block as well.

In terms of color options, you can get the Galaxy S22 Plus in Phantom Black, Phantom White, green and pink gold, with additional options available when you buy the phone directly from Samsung. The iPhone 13 Pro comes in silver, gold, graphite or Sierra Blue.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: Future)

There’s not much separating the two devices here, though the larger size of the Galaxy S22 Plus will appeal to smartphone shoppers who want to maximize usable screen space. That’s especially true since Samsung’s phone offers only a punch-hole cutout for its camera as well as an in-display fingerprint sensor. The latter feature is missing from the iPhone 13 Pro.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Display

Other than the different size, there are some other notable differences in the displays used by the Galaxy S22 Plus and iPhone 13 Pro.The S22 Plus offers an FHD+ (2340 x 1080) panel, while the iPhone 13 Pro uses its own unique 2352 x 1170 Super Retina XDR resolution, making it slightly more detailed than the S22 Plus. Both phones feature OLED panels, which provides great color and brightness.

samsung galaxy s22 plus vs. iPhone 13 Plus

Galaxy S22 Plus (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung promises a peak brightness of 1,750 nits for the Galaxy S22 Plus, though in our testing, we recorded brightness at 648 with a light meter. That trailed the iPhone 13 Pro, which got up to 1,024 nits when adaptive brightness was turned on and 825 with that featured turned off. That said, we really like the color that Samsung’s display exhibits, and we think it’s one of the best displays overall.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: Future)

Both phones can ramp up to a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling and more immersive video, thanks to LTPO technology. However, when screens are more static, the iPhone 13 Pro can scale down to 10Hz, while the S22 Plus reaches 48Hz. (Samsung data transfer rates on its phone can be as low as 10Hz, but the refresh rate of the display itself can’t go any lower than 48Hz.) That means you should get better battery efficiency from the iPhone's display when reading or looking at static images or text.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Cameras

You'll find the same number of cameras on both the iPhone and the Galaxy, serving the same roles. The resolutions are a bit different though, as are the other special features.

On the Galaxy S22 Plus, you have a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 10MP 3x optical telephoto camera, plus a 10MP selfie camera on the front. The iPhone 13 Pro also has main, ultrawide, 3x optical telephoto and selfie cameras, but they are all 12MP in resolution. The iPhone 13 Pro includes a LiDAR sensor on the back, which helps the other cameras when you take special effect shots (like portrait mode) or are using AR apps.

So how does a Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro camera face-off shape up? In this close-up shot of daffodils, we see a slight coloration difference — things look warmer on the Galaxy S22.

It's the same result again with a wider shot of some public art near Paddington station. The warmth of the S22 Plus' shot is more appealing on its surface, but considering how grim a day it was in London when I took these shots, the iPhone's image is more true-to-life.

Ignoring the slight magnification difference in this ultrawide shot over the Paddington arm of the Grand Central Canal, we once again see Samsung's tendency to warm up photos more than it should. It's not as noticeable here, but the effect can be seen in the yellow streak of sky over the train station and the sandy yellow of the ground around the seating area.

Training the 3x telephoto cameras on this unique animated clock, the difference in color temperature has basically gone. If anything the colors are more intense on the iPhone shot. I also think the iPhone has produced a crisper shot, capturing the digital numerals and the curve of the clock's body much more capably than the S22 Plus has.

Finally, we have a portrait mode selfie of yours truly. Both shots are more color saturated than my real life face, but the two phones have gone about it in two slightly different ways. The S22 Plus shot produces a hyper-real coloration, while the iPhone 13 Pro goes with a pinker version. As for the portrait effect quality, I think the S22 Plus has done a better job here. The cut-out is more precise and smooth around my head, while the iPhone has added some strange flat parts to my haircut and ignored some of the loose strands.

I already wrote about how the Galaxy S22 Plus was a better night photography phone than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the 13 Pro's larger sibling. And it looks like in the day, Samsung is again just as capable of standing up to Apple's best. As long as you don't mind Samsung's saturated style of photo processing, it may even be the better of the two. But overall, I think Apple's slightly more realistic photo processing carries the iPhone here.

Winner: iPhone 13 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Video

Like the Galaxy S21 series before it, you can record video clips up to 8K at 24fps or 4K at 60fps on the Galaxy S22 Plus. Samsung’s newer phone also boasts enhanced stabilization and HDR for smoother and sharper video, along with auto framing for up to 10 people to make sure everyone who should be in shot is.

The iPhone 13 Pro maxes out at 4K at 60fps, but don't count it out just for that. Like the rest of the iPhone 13 series, the Pro offers Cinematic mode, which allows you to make a "focus rack" effect by quickly swapping between foreground and background subjects. You can also capture video in Apple's new ProRes format, a professional quality video codec that gives you additional control over how the footage looks during editing.

Winner: iPhone 13 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Performance and 5G

The core of the iPhone 13 Pro is not only more powerful than what you get in the Galaxy S22 Plus, it’s also simpler to understand.

Wherever you buy an iPhone 13 Pro, you’ll get an A15 Bionic chipset with 6GB RAM. The S22 Plus comes with either a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or an Exynos 2200 (depending on your country), and 8GB RAM.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy S22 Plus (Snapdragon 8 Gen 1)Galaxy S22 Plus (Exynos 2200)iPHone 13 Pro (A15 Bionic)
Geekbench 5 single-core1,2141,1471,733
Geekbench 5 multicore3,3613,4744,718
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited FPS604270

Whichever S22 Plus you use for comparison, the iPhone blows it away on the benchmark tests. As seen in our Galaxy S22 Plus benchmarks report, both single- and multicore results on the Geekbench 5 test for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200 trailed the best-in-class results put up by the iPhone 13 Pro. In graphics testing, the iPhone 13 Pro’s 70 frames per second score on 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited topped the respective 60 and 42 fps results turned by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200.

If you’re looking for just one test that shows the iPhone 13 Pro’s speed, consider the test we run in which we use Adobe Premiere Rush to transcode a video. The Galaxy S21 Plus took 48 seconds to complete the task, while the iPhone 13 Pro finished it in 26 seconds. That’s a real speed gap.

5G isn’t an issue for either phone. The S22 and iPhone 13 series have models which support both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G, meaning whichever mobile carrier you use you'll be able to get their fastest speeds on your phone of choice.

Winner: iPhone 13 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Battery life and charging

You'll find a 4,500 mAh battery inside the Galaxy S22 Plus, which is shrunken down from what Samsung offered in the Galaxy S21 Plus. The iPhone 13 Pro’s battery is even smaller though, at 3,095 mAh battery.

Battery size doesn’t tell the story here, as the iPhone lasted an impressive 11 hours and 42 minutes on our custom battery test in which we have a phone surf the web over cellular until it runs out of battery. That places the iPhone 13 Pro on our best phone battery life list.

galaxy s22 plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro

Galaxy S22 Plus (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy S21 Plus lasted 9 hours and 46 minutes under the same conditions, just about matching the average smartphone. Turning off the adaptive mode improved results to 9 hours and 57 minutes, though that’s still far short of the iPhone’s time.

When the time comes to recharge the phone, you'd better have a charger of your own on hand, as neither phone ships with one. The Galaxy S22 Plus offers the faster wired charging — 45W to the iPhone 13 Pro’s 20W speed. Both phones charge at 15W wirelessly.

The different charging speeds help the Galaxy S22 Plus go from fully drained to 70% charged after half-an-hour. The iPhone 13 Pro only makes it to 53% in that same time.

Winner: iPhone 13 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Software and special features

The biggest divide between these two phones is understandably their respective operating systems. The iPhone runs on Apple's proprietary iOS 15 (upgradable to iOS 16), while the Galaxy S22 uses Android 12 with Samsung's One UI 4 skin on top.

This version of One UI introduces features like adaptive system theming depending on your wallpaper and more granular privacy options. Samsung now offers four years of software updates for the S22, the most it ever has, meaning you'll be able to stay up to date for longer. 

samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: Future)

Meanwhile, iOS 16 offers the benefits of a super-customizable lock screen, the ability to recall messages and emails, Live Activities widgets and more. Apple hasn't said how long iPhone 13 Pro users can count on software support, but considering it currently offers iOS 16 on 2017's iPhone 8, it's likely you'll get five years of software upgrades or more.

Both phones feel great to use, so picking between them is essentially a matter of personal preference and familiarity.

Winner: Draw

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Bottom line

Picking a winner in a Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs. iPhone 13 Pro face-off is harder than you might think, given the similarities between the two models. But when stacking the phones up against each other, a clear winner emerges in Apple’s iPhone.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung Galaxy S22 PlusiPhone 13 Pro
Price (10 points)98
Design (10 points)109
Display (15 points)1413
Cameras (20 points)1518
Video (10 points)89
Performance (10)510
Battery life and charging (20 points)1618
Special features (5 points)44
Total(100 points)8388

While you'll feel like you got more phone for your money with the S22 Plus due to its larger size and display, the iPhone 13 Pro delivers on performance, cameras and battery life. While we like the Galaxy S22 Plus’ display, the fast-refreshing screen on the iPhone 13 Pro comes close to matching it.

Long-time Android phones will be extremely satisfied with the Galaxy S22 Plus, which provides a giant screen without the high price tag of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Still, the iPhone 13 Pro delivers on more of the key areas that people look for when evaluating which phone to buy.

Just remember though that if you're aiming to buy now, the iPhone 14 Pro is much easier to get a hold of. It may be worth investigating that as well as the Galaxy S22 Plus for a more up-to-date comparison. You could also wait until early next year when the Galaxy S23 series is expected to turn up, and will likely improve on the Galaxy S22's abilities further.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.