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How the Galaxy S22 Ultra's specs beat the iPhone 13 Pro

Let the specs speak for themselves.

Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones | Photography | iOS | Android | Gaming | Outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
2 min read

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have been sitting happily at the top of the smartphone rankings since their launch, thanks to their awesome cameras, glorious screens and overall solid performance. But Samsung's new flagship phone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, launched at its Unpacked event Wednesday alongside the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus (and the Galaxy Tab S8), has a powerhouse lineup of specs that, on paper at least, means it offers some incredible competition to Apple's best phones. 

At 6.8 inches, the S22 Ultra's display is larger and higher-resolution than the 6.7-inch display on Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max. You may prefer the smaller 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro, and if so, Apple won't make you compromise on any of the key specs. Samsung's base Galaxy S22 is 6.1 inches, but many of its specs are pared down from the Ultra model. 

Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max spec breakdown

Inside, the S22 Ultra runs either Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor or Samsung's own Exynos chip, depending on your region. We've yet to fully test either of these chips, so it's difficult to say how performance will differ from the iPhone 13 Pro's on key tasks like gaming or photo editing. However, I'd expect both phones to be more than capable of handling any everyday gaming or media processing tasks you'd likely throw at them.

The camera setups are where you see big differences, with the S22 Ultra packing four rear cameras with a top 108-megapixel sensor and a whopping 10x optical zoom lens (plus lots of night photography upgrades). I loved this zoom lens on the S21 Ultra and I'm keen to see how it performs on the new model. Even if there's little improvement, it still offers a vast amount of additional zoom over the iPhone 13 Pro's 3x zoom lens. 

Read more: Samsung is phasing out the Galaxy Note, and it's about time

You can see the full rundown of specs in the chart below, but keep in mind that the overall experience of using either of these phones won't really come down to which one has bigger numbers on a chart. If you're looking to buy one of these high-performance phones then it's worth waiting for our full review of the S22 Ultra to see how it stacks up. 

For more, here's how the Galaxy S22 compares with the Galaxy S21, the S22 versus the S21 FE, the S22 Ultra versus the S21 Ultra and the Galaxy S22 Ultra versus Google's Pixel 6 Pro. If you're looking to buy Samsung's new phone, check out how to preorder the Galaxy S22.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro specs comparison

Galaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 ProiPhone 13 Pro Max
Display size, resolution 6.8-inch AMOLED (3,088x1,440 pixels)6.1-inch LTPO OLED; 2,532x1,170 pixels, 10-120Hz refresh rate6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 2,778x1,284 pixels, 10-120Hz refresh rate
Pixel density 501 ppi460 ppi458 ppi
Dimensions (millimeters) 77.9x163.3x8.9mm147x72x7.65mm161x78x7.65mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 229 g7.19 oz; 204 g8.48 oz; 240 g
Mobile software Android 12iOS 15iOS 15
Camera 108MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide) 10MP (telephoto) 10MP (telephoto)12MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide), 12MP (telephoto)12MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide), 12MP (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 40MP12MP12MP
Video capture 4KHDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60fps; ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30fps (1080p at 30fps for 128GB storage)*HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60fps; ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30fps (1080p at 30fps for 128GB storage)*
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Apple A15 BionicApple A15 Bionic
RAM/Storage 8GB + 128GB; 12GB + 256GB; 12GB + 512GB; 12GB + 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Expandable storage NoNoNo
Battery 5,000 mAh (45W wired charger)Undisclosed; Apple lists 22 hours of video playbackUndisclosed; Apple lists 28 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor In-displayNo (Face ID)No (Face ID)
Connector USB-CLightningLightning
Headphone jack NoNoNo
Special features 5G (mmw/Sub6), bundled S Pen, 100x Space Zoom (digital), 10x optical zoom, 47W charging supportProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz; lidar scanner; 5G-enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz; lidar scanner; 5G-enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $1,200 (128GB), $1,200 (256GB), $1,300 (512GB)$999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB), $1,499 (1TB)$1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB), $1,599 (1TB)
Price (GBP) £1,149 (128GB), £1,249 (256GB), £1,329 (512GB), £1,499, (1TB)£949 (128GB), £1,049 (256GB), £1,249 (512GB), £1,449 (1TB)£1,049 (128GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB), £1,549 (1TB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$1,999 (256GB), AU$2,149 (512GB), AU$2,449 (1TB)
AU$1,699 (128GB), AU$1,869 (256GB), AU$2,219 (512GB), AU$2,569 (1TB)AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$2,019 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB), AU$2,719 (1TB)

Samsung's latest flagship superphone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, packs an impressive lineup of specs, including a quadruple rear camera, a big, vibrant display and the S Pen stylus from the Galaxy Note series. Its price is high, but those of you looking for one of the best Android phones around should have this phone on your short list.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

The iPhone 13 Pro is the best phone Apple produces and it received a stellar score in our review. The new smartphone adds a third rear camera with 3x optical zoom (up from 2x on the iPhone 12), a stainless-steel body and a ProMotion screen with refresh rates of up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling.

Read our iPhone 13 Pro review.