Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro: Which smartphone should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro: Which smartphone should you buy?

Choosing which phone to buy next can be a dilemma to many people. There are endless brands and models to pick from, and the frequent new releases only make it a tough process. Samsung recently released its Galaxy S22 Plus, along with the rest of its flagship lineup — which includes the Galaxy S22 Ultra. You may want to buy the Plus model, as it’s one of the best phones currently available on sale. However, it’s wise to consider other options beforehand to make sure it’s the right device for you. This is us pitting the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro — the battle between two mighty flagships that share the same price tag.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Apple iPhone 12 Pro
CPU
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Exynos 2200 (EU and UK)
Apple A14 Bionic
Body
  • 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
  • 196g
  • 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
  • 189g
Display
  • 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • 2340 x 1080p
  • 48-120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate
  • 240Hz touch sampling rate in Game Mode
  • 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED Display
  • 2532 x 1170p
  • 460 PPI
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • HDR10
  • Dolby Vision
  • Ceramic Shield
Cameras
  • Primary: 50MP, f/1.8
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.2, 120° FoV
  • Telephoto: 10MP, f/2.4
  • Front-facing: 10MP, f/2.2
  • Primary: 12MP, f/1.6
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.4, 120° FoV
  • Telephoto: 12MP f/2.0
  • Front-facing: 12MP, f/2.2
Memory
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB Storage
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB Storage
Battery
  • 4,500mAh
  • 45W wired fast charging
  • 15W Qi wireless charging
  • Wireless PowerShare
  • 2,815mAh
  • 20W wired fast charging
  • 15W MagSafe charging
  • 7.5W Qi wireless charging
Connectivity
  • 5G (mmWave/sub6)
  • 4G LTE
  • Ultra-Wide Band (UWB)
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Sub6/mmWave 5G
  • 4G LTE
  • Ultra-Wide Band (UWB)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance IP68 IP68
Security Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor Face ID
OS One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 iOS 15
Colors
  • Cream
  • Sky Blue
  • Violet
  • Graphite
  • Green
  • Pink Gold
  • Phantom White
  • Phantom Black
  • Pacific Blue
  • Silver
  • Graphite
  • Gold
Material
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • Armor aluminum frame
  • Glass back
  • Stainless Steel frame
Price Starts at $999 Starts at $999

Build and Design

The Samsung Galaxy S22 and Apple iPhone 12 Pro share a few design elements. However — for the most part — they’re two very different phones in terms of looks. Starting with the back, the Samsung phone features a vertical alignment for its three rear cameras. On the contrary, the iPhone goes for a stovetop camera design. Which of the two arrangements looks cleaner and more appealing completely depends on you. Design is a very subjective matter, and we’re only making objective observations here.

iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Moving on to a design similarity, both phones have a matte glass back. Thanks to the matte texture, neither of the two flagships should attract obvious fingerprints — the way a shiny glass back would typically do. Additionally, light scratches are unlikely to be very apparent on both of them. It’s still a wise idea to protect them with a case. After all, glass is glass, and glass can break.

Both the Galaxy S22 Plus and iPhone 12 Pro have the logo of their respective manufacturer on the back. Additionally, the flashlight is placed towards the top right of the camera system. Neither of the two devices has an outrageously appalling design, and they’re both built with solid materials. So unless you’re specifically picky about a certain element, the backs of these phones shouldn’t be taken into consideration when weighing the pros and cons of each. It’s worth pointing out, though, that the iPhone 12 Pro has a stainless steel frame — which is more durable and premium-looking than the aluminum one on the Galaxy S22 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus against tree

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

When it comes to the front, we expectedly also have similarities and differences. For starters, both the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro have edge-to-edge displays with no bottom chins. This enables users to indulge in immersive experiences — such as movies, mobile games, and other forms of full-screen digital entertainment. Notably, though, the Apple phone has a notch, while the Samsung one goes for a hole punch. Yes, the latter is small and not as visible, but some people adapt to the former just fine. It’s really up to you to decide whether the notch is a deal-breaker or notch.

Finally, the Galaxy S22 Plus comes in eight (!) different colors to choose from, while the iPhone 12 Pro is available in four only. It’s worth noting, though, that four of the Samsung phone’s colors are exclusive to orders made through the company’s website. So if you’re getting your Galaxy S22 Plus from a different retailer, then you’re limited to four options only.

Display

Front of smartphone screen with camera cutout

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

We mentioned in the Build and Design section above that these two flagships have similarities and differences when it comes to the front display. While both feature edge-to-edge displays, you get more screen real estate on the Galaxy S22 Plus. That’s because its hole punch is smaller than the notch, and — more notably — it has a 6.6-inch screen. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro has a notched 6.1-inch display. Bigger isn’t always better. Some people, especially those with relatively small hands, prefer tinier phones. So which size works for you is really up to you.

iPhone 12 Pro and Galaxy S21 Plus

When it comes to resolution, we have a clear winner here — the Apple iPhone 12 Pro. It has a 2532-by-1170p resolution, which defeats the 2340-by-1080p of its rival. However, this isn’t the only matter you should consider — especially when both screens have relatively high resolutions. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has an adaptive refresh rate of 48-120Hz, with 240Hz touch sampling rate support in Game Mode. The iPhone settles for a mere 60Hz. You may notice a difference when quickly scrolling through long lists or playing intensive games.

Speaking of screens, the Galaxy S22 Plus comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor. So you can unlock your phone by placing your registered fingertip(s) on the screen itself. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro utilizes the TrueDepth camera system — housed in the notch — for authentication. Worry not, though — iOS 15.4 will allow you to use Face ID on your iPhone 12 Pro, even when you’re wearing a mask.

Performance

When it comes to performance, we must consider many aspects. While the iPhone 12 Pro is over one year old, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of Apple’s A14 Bionic chip. It may not be the most recent out there, but it still is a valid competitor capable of landing a serious punch. The Galaxy S22 is powered either by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Samsung’s Exynos 2200. The latter is included in models shipping to Europe and the United Kingdom, while the former ships to the rest of the world. The Exynos chip has some issues, as we spotted in our testing, so we’d recommend skipping that out from your purchase consideration.

For starters, the Snapdragon chip was released a year and three months after the A14 Bionic. However, don’t let the timeline fool you. Newer doesn’t always equate to better, and this is partially the case here.

apple a14 bionic chipset

When it comes to both the single-core and multi-core CPU scores, Apple’s chip shatters the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Additionally, the A14 Bionic chip is more efficient when it comes to battery life. So you get better performance while consuming less battery power. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip wins the GPU round — it performs better in games and OpenCL/Vulcan. Also, it has two more cores and a smaller transistor (4 nm versus 5 nm for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and A14 Bionic chips respectively). Both the SoCs shine in their own way, and you’d be fine with either. Just stay away from Exynos.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus could be a better choice for you if you play plenty of heavy games on your phone. Otherwise, the iPhone 12 Pro is a smoother device that should remain supported and updated for a longer time. It’s also worth pointing out that iOS objectively doesn’t require as much processing power to run as Android OS. So while the Galaxy S22 Plus has 2GB of RAM more, it might not necessarily perform better.

Cameras

Plenty of users care about the cameras included in their smartphones the most. This is completely understandable and justifiable — as many of them document their lives online, and sharper shots can express moments more dramatically. Not everyone cares about the technical specifications and the details power users tend to look into. After all, flagships nowadays function just fine when it comes to day-to-day tasks. A lower pixel density isn’t going to affect average users in any way.

When it comes to rear cameras, both phones have three lenses — primary, ultra-wide, and telephoto. The 50MP primary camera on the Galaxy S22 Plus wins over the 12MP one on the iPhone 12 Pro, despite the latter having a better aperture. Similarly, the ultra-wide on the Galaxy phone wins for having a better aperture — as both phones have 12MP ultra-wide lenses. And finally, the 12MP telephoto lens on the iPhone beats the 10MP one on the Samsung phone. Which device takes better photos depends on the modes you’re using and the environment you’re in. For the most part, though, the Samsung phone is better at what it does in this department.

When it comes to front-facing cameras, we have a clear winner here — Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro. The phone has a 12MP TrueDepth camera system, while the Galaxy S22 has a 10MP camera in its hole punch. If you plan on taking plenty of selfies and vlogs, then the Apple phone could be what you’re looking for. If you tend to stand behind the camera, then the Samsung middle-range flagship is the one to go for.

Battery Life and Charging

This part can be tricky — a larger battery doesn’t always mean a longer battery life. Some processing chips drain more power than others, and the device’s operating system and its optimizations play a big role in the matter. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has a 4,500mAh battery, while its rival has a 2,815mAh one. The former promises 54 hours of audio playback on a single charge, which is beaten by the latter’s 65-hour promise.

However, audio playback isn’t exactly an accurate way to measure battery performance. How much apps consume battery power and how long the device lasts on a single charge with normal, everyday use matter more. iPhones tend to last very long on standby, while Android generally has a poorer comparative track record. So in effect, both the phones should just about last you through a day on light to moderate use, though heavier use may kill both of them before that. Ultimately, the iPhone 12 Pro wins this round.

Bottom of smartphone with USB port

As for charging, the Galaxy S22 Plus’ 45W fast wired charging defeats the iPhone 12 Pro’s 20W, although note that this observation is on the basis of the fact that the Galaxy S22 Plus’ 25W wired charging charges the same as its 45W charging — it still comes out on top. Additionally, the iPhone can charge up to 7.5W on a Qi wireless charger only. The Samsung phone doubles that value and goes up to 15W. In Apple’s defense, though, the iPhone 12 Pro offers 15W wireless charging — through MagSafe. It’s worth pointing out, though, that Samsung offers Wireless PowerShare, which is reverse wireless charging. This enables you to wirelessly charge other phones and accessories that support the Qi protocol — through the Galaxy S22 Plus. The handy addition remains nonexistent on all iPhone models, including those of the latest lineup.


Galaxy S22 Plus vs iPhone 12 Pro: Which smartphone should you buy?

We’ve broken down the main aspects of each of the two flagship phones from Samsung and Apple. Which one is right for you depends on your perspective and priorities. What do you need? What fits into your workflow? Are you tied into a specific ecosystem? Ask yourself these questions, then weigh the pros and cons of each device that we’ve dissected in this article. Ultimately, you’re the best judge when it comes to this particular matter.

Both phones start at $999 in the US, despite the iPhone 12 Pro being over a year old. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that Apple will likely support it for a longer period of time. While the Galaxy S22 Plus is still fresh, Samsung has promised only up to four years of major software updates. So if you care about running the latest and greatest OS to take advantage of the newest features, you may want to consider the Apple phone.

    The iPhone 12 Pro is powered by Apple's A14 Bionic chip and runs iOS 15. It supports MagSafe accessories and features a top notch.
    The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is the mid flagship of the company's 2022 lineup, bringing over top of the line performance, display, and camera capabilities. It runs One UI 4.1 (based on Android 12).

Which of the two phones will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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