Samsung Galaxy S22 could blow away iPhone 13 — here’s why

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
(Image credit: Future)

It looks like Apple is gearing up for a huge iPhone 13 series launch. In fact, based on one early report, the company could be boosting iPhone 13 production by as much as 20% ahead of a rumored Apple September event. 

But Samsung is reportedly waiting in the wings with its own Galaxy S22, which could surpass the iPhone 13 in a number of ways based on the rumors. For one, Samsung is already on record saying that it is partnering with AMD on a new Exynos chip, one that could deliver very impressive graphics power to Samsung’s 2022 flagship phone.

The Galaxy S22 could also sport a much more exciting and futuristic design, a more ambitious camera system, faster charging and more. Based on the early rumors and leaks, here’s how the Galaxy S22 could surpass the iPhone 13.

Samsung and AMD could overpower A15 Bionic

Samsung and AMD are officially partnering on a new Exynos mobile chip that has AMD's RDNA2 graphics architecture. The custom graphics will apparently offer ray-tracing and variable rate shading, among other perks, while promising unprecedented power from an Android phone. 

The Exynos 2200 chip with AMD muscle is expected to power laptops and tablets later this year, but it could also find its way to phones like the Galaxy S22 early next year. According to Ice Universe on Twitter, the new Exynos chip netted a very impressive 3D Mark Wild Life benchmark score of 8,134 with 50.3 frames per second.

By comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro Max hit 6,618 and 39 fps in our testing, which is well behind. But it's hard to know at this stage how much faster the A15 Bionic expected to power the iPhone 13 might be. 

A truly cutting edge design

While the iPhone 13 will reportedly shrink its notch by 25% or more, Samsung apparently has more ambitious plans for the Galaxy S22. Rumor has it that the new Galaxy S22 could feature an under-display selfie camera, one that only appears when you need it. We don't know if it will be invisible, but it would be much less of an eye sore than the notch.

Samsung is reportedly bringing this feature to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable phone first before it comes to other devices. In addition, it's a safe bet that Samsung will continue to offer an in-display fingerprint sensor on the S22. Apple reportedly won't be bringing Touch ID to its flagships until the iPhone 14 in 2022

Possible Olympus camera 

According to leaker Yogesh on Twitter, Samsung and Olympus have held talks about a possible partnership. He said the collaboration could lead to a special edition Galaxy Fold or the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Samsung has already pushed the envelope with cameras on the Galaxy S21 Ultra with its 100x Space Zoom, so we're excited to see what Samsung and Olympus could do together. 

However, Samsung will also need to step up its game on the software and computational photography side of things. For example, the iPhone 13 is tipped to feature a new portrait video mode along with astrophotography features for shooting the night sky. 

120Hz display on all models

With Apple's iPhone 13 lineup, only the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro are tipped to offer 120Hz ProMotion displays. That would leave the regular iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini with slower refresh rates.

But the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra should all feature 120Hz panels, just like the Galaxy S21 series. The S22 Ultra would go a step further with an LTPO panel, allowing the refresh rate to scale all the way down to 10 Hz for longer battery life. 

Galaxy S22 faster charging

Rumor has it that Samsung could be stepping up from 25W charging on the Galaxy S21 series to 45W charging on the Galaxy S22. This wouldn't be as fast as the 65W OnePlus Ultra, which is the fastest charging phone we've tested, but it would certainly be an upgrade.

Meanwhile, there's a rumor that Apple could be working on going from 20W charging to 25W charging for the iPhone 13, though the track record of the leaker is somewhat sketchy. 

Galaxy S22 vs iPhone 13: Outlook

I expect the iPhone 13 to be a success, but at least based on the rumors thus far the Galaxy S22 seems more exciting. I'm particularly keen to see if AMD's graphics make it inside the new phone, as Samsung (and all Android phones) have been trailing the iPhone in performance for some time. 

Throw in a potential Olympus-grade camera system, faster charging and literally no notch or punch hole up front and the Galaxy S22 could be a force to be reckoned with. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.