The Google Pixel 7 Pro is Android Authority’s pick of the best phone of 2022

Every now and then a year goes by in the mobile world where a clear and overarching theme emerges. In 2022, that theme is unification. While there have been a few exceptions—whether it’s brash OEMs or established names trying to stand out from the pack—most of the industry’s hitters and familiar names have spent the past 12 months replicating past successes. Given the reality of global inflation driving up costs for brands and consumers, it’s not hard to see why so many brands are sticking to a tried and tested formula in an effort to weather the storm.

Additional impact was a calendar year for phones that, in general, looked a lot like the previous year’s group of contenders. The margins that separate good phones from great phones are thinner than ever, but even so, there are some clear highlights to be found from the class of 2022.

But what is the best phone in 2022? You’ve had your say in the Readers’ Choice Award, but now it’s time to be crowned Android AuthorityWinner of our Editor’s Choice Award for Best Phone of 2022 (as well as our top five), as selected by our editorial and review team.

How we picked our winner

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

“best” is the loader descriptor. How do you decide what’s “best” at anything, especially when talking about complex things like smartphones? After all, these are devices we carry around with us nearly every minute of our waking day; We are all sure that we have our own biases. Phones can also be evaluated in myriad ways – from their raw specifications to their perceived value for money, their objective benchmark numbers to personal preferences for how a particular user interface looks and operates.

This is a dilemma we constantly grapple with as our experts deal with the biggest consumer technology releases each year. power seal in Android Authority important to us. The hundreds, if not thousands of hours we put into testing and analyzing incrementally subtle changes between competing phones, or from generation to generation, give us a solid basis for expectations when surveying a given device as the best any given year has to offer. . And it’s not just about hardware testing, we’re always sure to take into account intangible metrics like long-term software support promises, track records, price and value (two different things entirely!), market availability, and more.

Only the best phone of the year can win our grand prize.

Our process for choosing our Editor’s Choice for Phone of the Year takes all of this to the hilt. Our shortlist brings together the year’s most popular and top-reviewed phones, with due diligence to ensure each major brand is represented across multiple price segments. This includes devices sold in the US only, as well as globally. From there, our experienced leadership team and trusted product reviewers each assign votes to their pick of the top five phones, ranking them from fifth to first as part of a scoring system. The phone with the most points wins.

Now, let’s get to the winner (and our runner-up!).

Android AuthorityEditor’s Pick Phone of the Year: Google Pixel 7 Pro

google pixel 7 pro camera strap

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

Best of 2022 Editors' Choice Award

For the second year in a row, the Google Pixel flagship took home our biggest award — but this time, it’s not just the Pixel flagship, it’s The Major Google. In 2021, we found the vanilla Pixel 6’s delicate balance of specs, overall quality, and affordability to be an undeniable combination. But in 2022, our hearts — and yours, it turns out! She was with Big G’s “Pro” show.

And it’s not hard to see why when you play the Pixel 7 Pro’s best qualities. It all starts with the refined design, which improves on the Pixel 6 series’ instantly iconic camera bar by layering an aluminum casing and stylish cutouts for each shooter. This attention to detail extends to the always-excellent camera suite, as Google’s computational photography smarts combine with expanded zoom capabilities, as well as new photography tricks like Photo Unblur. The latter is just one of many perks that Google’s second shot of its custom silicon brings, Tensor G2 — a machine-learning-focused chipset that eschews the CPU and GPU for brainpower, yet still manages to impress with its capabilities. sustainable performance.

The Pixel 7 Pro is a great linchpin for Google’s burgeoning ambitions in the ecosystem.

In 2022, Google has sought to broaden its horizons with an all-new set of devices to take over Apple’s dominance as the go-to ecosystem. But to get the ball rolling, it needed to offer a top-tier phone to liven up its ambitions. The phone was the Pixel 7 Pro, and what a phone it turned into.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best Google Camera • High quality screen • Big battery

Pixel 7 Pro is the best phone on Google’s list.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro takes the best features from the Pixel 6 Pro, and makes them even better. Enjoy several camera upgrades and some fun new software tricks, all for the same cost as the last generation of Pixel phones.

Second place: Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 in white

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

The Pixel 7 Pro was the winner, collecting just over a quarter of the total points in our vote from a shortlist of 20 phones. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about its smaller, flatter, and more affordable sister.

Matching its predecessor’s $600 lower price tag — an achievement that still seems too good to be true — makes the Pixel 7 perhaps the easiest phone to recommend of any hitting shelves in 2022. It lacks the Pixel 7 Pro’s bells and whistles, and its telephoto lens. Missing is a lower-res, 90Hz display, and even slower charging (seriously, Google, sort that out in 2023), but the Pixel 7 packs in the best contemporary Pixel experience, all with the $300 savings. You can’t argue with that.

Third place: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22 Ultra Note 1 wallpaper

Zarif Ali / Android Authority

What happens when the world’s most successful smartphone maker combines two of its premium devices into one? This would be the Galaxy S22 Ultra – a Galaxy Note / Galaxy S Ultra-hybrid that looked and felt instantly familiar, but in the best possible way. If the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the “peak of smartphones,” the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the ceremonial flag planted atop that peak.

However, despite being the best camera phone, offering all the additional functionality of the S Pen, and having the best software support outside of Cupertino, the indomitable Galaxy S22 Ultra nonetheless fell short of the more affordable Google alternatives in our vote. However, for those without limits in their budget, the mighty Samsung is still the clear winner.

Fourth place: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Pink Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera module

Eric Zeeman / Android Authority

The Plus member of each generation of the Galaxy S faces a tough dilemma: How can it strike the right balance between the Ultra’s overkill spec sheet and the entry-level model’s cheaper price tag to deliver something of real value? More often than not, the answer was no, with the Plus variant becoming the awkward middle child. This year, though, the Galaxy S22 Plus was a real all-around device that made that balance seem effortless.

Fifth place: Oppo Find X5 Pro

Oppo Find X5 Pro stands on a wooden back

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

It took an extra year for Oppo to crack our top five again after taking fourth place in 2020, but the Find X5 Pro deserves its place in the top echelons of the smartphone hall of fame in 2022. With a gorgeous, streamlined design and fast (wired) charging And wireless) and a world-class display, the Find X5 Pro wasn’t the most polished phone of 2022, but it was one of the most unique.

Readers’ Choice Award: Google Pixel 7 Pro

google pixel 7 pro camera strap on hand

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

2022 Readers' Choice Award Winner

From the bumper list of 32 phones, the Pixel 7 Pro emerged victorious. Congratulations to the Mountain View giant not only taking home our Editor’s Choice award, but also our Reader’s Choice award for best phone of 2022.

Check out our Reader’s Picks summary for an overview of how the Pixel 7 Pro’s hotly contested battle against a specific Samsung phone went down over several rounds of voting and more than 17,000 responses. It was closer than you expect!

While our phone of the year is completely closed, be sure to keep it locked Android Authority Throughout the holiday season, we’ll have more retrospective 2022 content, fun year-end articles, and more articles looking ahead to 2023 as we reflect on what lies ahead in the tech world.

Until then, from our families to yours, have a really Merry Christmas!

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