Pixel 6 and Galaxy S22.
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In the U.S., there are two smartphone brands that most people seem to go with—Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy. Both run on the same Android operating system, but that’s where most of the similarities end.

Google is in charge of Android, so people often say that Pixel phones run Android “as Google intended.” That’s obviously true—Google is controlling the entire software experience—but it’s still just one interpretation. Samsung’s version of Android is every bit as valid. Let’s find out which one might be the best fit for you.

The Case for Samsung Galaxy

Galaxy S22 models.
Jack Skeens/Shutterstock.com

Samsung takes a “maximalist” approach to its Galaxy smartphones. Some of them have massive screens with nearly a half dozen cameras on the back and more features than you can possibly use.

That’s pretty much the story on Galaxy phones. If you want an Android smartphone with all the bells and whistles you can imagine, look no further. Of course, not all Samsung phones are the same. The company pumps out phones at many price points.

Power user features aside, Samsung also has great software support. Samsung offers four Android upgrades and five years of security updates for a majority of its devices. That’s a long time, and it makes your purchase go further.

On the hardware front, Samsung is one company that tends to push the envelope. It’s essentially the only manufacturer making devices with folding displays for the U.S. More “normal” models, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, also have tons to offer.

That’s the case for Galaxy phones—tons of features, great software support, and high-end hardware. It’s hard to go wrong with a Samsung Galaxy phone if you’re an Android fan.

The Best Samsung Phones of 2022

Best Samsung Phone Overall
Samsung Galaxy S22
Best Mid-Range Samsung Phone
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Best Budget Samsung Phone
Samsung Galaxy A32
Best Samsung Phone for Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best Samsung Camera Phone
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best Samsung Foldable Phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The Case for Google Pixel

Pixel 6 devices
Google

Google Pixel phones are almost the exact opposite of Galaxy phones. The Pixel software is a much more minimal experience. You can think of Pixel phones as sort of the iPhone of the Android world.

You can pretty much do everything a Pixel can do on a Galaxy phone, but the opposite isn’t true. Pixel phones are not bloated with features. However, Pixel phones do have their fair share of exclusive features as well.

A lot of the focus on Pixel phones revolves around the cameras. If you want a dead-simple camera experience that will give you some amazing-looking photos, a Pixel is the best choice. You also get some Pixel-exclusive photo editing features to go along with it.

RELATED: How to Adjust Photo Lighting with Google Photos on Pixel

Google offers good software support, though it’s not quite as good as Samsung’s. Newer Pixel phones receive three years of Android upgrades and five years of security updates. Older models only get three years of Android upgrades and security updates.

There aren’t as many Pixel models to choose from if you’re looking for variety. Google typically releases two “flagship” models and a budget A-series device every year. Unlike Samsung, there isn’t really an “Ultra” model with everything you could imagine. The priciest Pixel only has two rear cameras.

The case for Google Pixel phones comes down to simplicity and camera performance. If you like Google, value simplicity, and take a lot of photos, a Pixel phone is a great choice.

The Best Android Camera Phones of 2022

Best Android Camera Phone Overall
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Best Budget Android Camera Phone
Google Pixel 5a
Best Premium Android Camera Phone
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best Android Camera in Low Light
Google Pixel 6
Best Android Camera Phone for Selfies
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
Best Android Video Phone
Sony Xperia 1 III

Which Should You Buy?

The story of Samsung Galaxy vs Google Pixel is really a matter of maximalist vs minimalist. Samsung has tons of different models, tons of features, many colors to choose from, and so much more. There’s truly a Samsung phone for everyone.

Google’s approach is much more focused and streamlined. It only releases a few phones a year in just a couple of colorways. The Pixel experience is intended to be simple and accessible to everyone. The camera takes a prominent role on Pixel devices.

Which should you buy? You would very likely be happy with either Android phone option. If you like to maximize what your smartphone can do, a Galaxy phone is an easy choice. If you prefer a more curated experience, a Pixel phone is a great choice. They offer very different ways to get to the same place, but the choice is yours.

The Best Android Phones of 2022

Best Android Phone Overall
Samsung Galaxy S22
Best Budget
Moto G Play (2021)
Best Mid-Range Android Phone
Google Pixel 5a
Best Premium Android Phone
Samsung Galaxy S22
Best Android Gaming Phone
ASUS ROG Phone 5S
Best Android Camera
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Best Battery Life
Moto G Power (2021)
Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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