Samsung Galaxy S22 beats iPhone 14 in four big ways

iPhone 14 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22
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The iPhone 14 is here, and it’s already one of the best phones around. You get the same blazing processor inside last year’s iPhone 13 Pro, improved cameras a fun new Action mode for video. And new safety features such as Emergency SOS via Satellite and crash 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 answers 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 along with areas where Apple's phone is tops.

Where Galaxy S22 beats iPhone 14

Galaxy S22 sports 120Hz display (with always-on)

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

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

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 offers a 120Hz display that can scale down to 48Hz to save power. Plus, Samsung's phone has an always-on mode for quickly glancing at the time, battery status and more without having to turn the phone on. This is yet another iPhone 14 Pro-only feature. 

Galaxy S22 features telephoto zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

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Every time I bring this up, there are some people who say they don't care about zoom. But I do, as a telephoto lens gives you more shooting flexibility. 

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

The regular iPhone 14's digital zoom is pretty skimpy, too, at just 5x. Don't get me wrong — the photo quality is great — but I like that Samsung gives you a true optical zoom in this price range. 

Galaxy S22 boasts faster charging (and USB-C)

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

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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 drained 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.

This is 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 around. USB-C to USB-C cables are pretty much ubiquitous now. 

Galaxy S22 has a SIM card tray

While phone makers are steadily embracing eSIM functionality for adding service to a phone, Apple's move to ditch the SIM Card slot entirely will not be embraced by all. Granted, 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 there are certain carriers that have not yet adopted eSIM, and there are some international travelers who really like the convenience of just popping in a new SIM card when they land in a different country. The Galaxy S22 gives you that peace of mind. 

Where iPhone 14 beats Galaxy S22

The iPhone 14 does beat the Galaxy S22 in a few ways. Here's a quick breakdown. 

iPhone 14's Action mode video is better

I've tried the Super Steady mode on the Galaxy S22 (bottom) versus the Action mode on the iPhone 14 (top), and generally I found the iPhone's footage to be a bit smoother but also more vibrant. So while Samsung got there 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 fewer cameras, though there are exceptions. 

Take this photo of dipladenia flowers. The iPhone 14's image isn't just more vibrant, it delivers an amazing level of detail in the petals and rendering the water droplets. There's also more contrast in the iPhone shot.

However, while the iPhone 14's Night mode preforms better outdoors, we got a weird blue cast on an image indoors in very low light. The S22's colors were more natural. 

iPhone 14 is faster

iPhone 14

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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 several tests — and one of our real-world performance trials. 

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

The iPhone 14 also wins in graphics performance; it turned in a score of 11,531 and 69 frames per second on 3DMark Wild Life compared to 9,976/59 fps for the Galaxy S22.

On 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 needed 47 seconds.

iPhone 14 vs. Galaxy S22 bottom line

If you're open to switching between iOS and Android — and that's a big IF — I think the Galaxy S22 gives you more for the money. You get a bunch of features Apple reserves for the pricier iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max — 120Hz, always-on display, telephoto zoom — for a very reasonable price.

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

Next: Follow our iPhone 14 launch live blog for all the reviews, early bugs, deals and more. 

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.

  • Jeanfor
    You have to look at the iPhone 14 Pro and max Pro.... it is an awesome phone. That review is comparing apples and oranges!