If you’re looking to buy a somewhat compact flagship smartphone, there aren’t many choices. Luckily, there are a few, and they’re pretty good. In this article, we will compare two such phones, the ASUS ZenFone 9 and the Samsung Galaxy S22. Both of these phones were announced in 2022, but the ZenFone 9 is newer. Both of these phones are quite compact, especially compared to the vast majority of other offerings on the market.
As usual, we will first list the specs of these two phones and then compare them in several categories. We’ll compare their designs, screens, performance, battery life, cameras, and audio performance. They look considerably different, while their internals are also different. Their price tags are somewhat similar, which is another reason why you might be looking into both.
|ASUS Zenfone 9||Galaxy S22|
|Screen size||5.9-inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display (60-120Hz refresh rate)||6.1-inch FullHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate)|
|SoCs||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Samsung Exynos 2200|
|RAM||8GB/16GB (LPDDR5)||8 GB (LPDDR5)|
|Storage||128 GB/256 GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable||128GB/256GB, not expandable|
|Rear cameras||50MP (f/1.9 aperture, 23.8mm wide-angle lens, 1.0um pixel size, OIS gimbal, PDAF)
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, FoV 113 degrees, 1.4um pixel size, 14.4mm lens)
|50MP (f/1.8 aperture, 24mm lens, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF, 1.0um pixel size)
10MP (f/2.4 aperture, 70mm lens, telephoto, 1.0um pixel size, OIS, PDAF, 3x optical zoom)
12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 13mm lens, 120 degree FoV, 1.4um pixel size)
|Front cameras||12MP (f/2.5 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 27.5mm lens, dual pixel PDAF)||10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 26mm lens, Dual Pixel PDAF)|
|Battery||4,300mAh, 30W non-removable wired charging (charger included)||3,700mAh, non-removable, 45W wired charging, 15W Qi wireless charging, 5W wireless PowerShare|
|Dimensions||146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1mm||146×70.6×7.6mm|
|lester||169 grams||167 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||Side fingerprint scanner||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)|
A 4.1 user interface
ASUS ZenFone 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22: Design
These two devices are very easy to differentiate because their designs are not that similar. They both include display camera holes, but in different places, while the Galaxy S22 has thinner bezels, although the ZenFone 9s are quite thin as well. Flat screens are included on both phones, however. The cameras on their backs have entirely different designs. Both on the ZenFone 9 come as two separate camera islands. The three on the back of the Galaxy S22 are all part of the same camera module and are surrounded by metal.
That said, both phones use an aluminum frame. Galaxy S22 has glass on the back, while ZenFone 9 uses polymer material. However, three different color variants of the ZenFone 9 each have a different iteration of polymer, so they feel different in the hand. One is smooth, the other rough and the other in the middle of the road. The Galaxy S22’s glass backplate is exactly what you’d expect, given that it’s glass. By the way, it’s Gorilla Glass Victus+.
The ASUS ZenFone 9 is considerably more grippy, mainly due to its backplate. It also has mostly flat sides, which also makes it easier to grip. The phone has been really well designed so it doesn’t cut your hand or anything like that. Both phones are nearly identical, but the ZenFone 9 is narrower and thicker. They also weigh almost the same, just under 170 grams.
ASUS ZenFone 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22: Display
The ZenFone 9 features a 5.9-inch FullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Super AMOLED display. This screen is flat and offers a refresh rate of 120Hz. It supports HDR10+ content and reaches up to 1,100 nits of peak brightness. We’re looking at a 20:9 aspect ratio and around 445 ppi here. The Gorilla Glass Victus is included on top of this panel, in order to protect it. A display camera hole is in the upper left corner.
The Galaxy S22, meanwhile, features a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X FullHD+ (2340 x 1080) display. This panel is also flat and offers a 120Hz refresh rate. HDR10+ content is also supported by this display, while this panel can reach 1,300 nits of brightness. Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus+ protects that panel, and we’re looking at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio with around 425 ppi. The Galaxy S22 includes a center-display camera hole.
Note that the maximum brightness on both screens can only be achieved in automatic mode. That said, both of these panels are truly excellent. Viewing angles are excellent and both are quite vivid. They’re more than sharp enough, and both screens are also well-optimized when it comes to touch sensitivity. You’ll be more than happy with either screen, because we really have no complaints.
ASUS ZenFone 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22: Performance
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 powers the ASUS ZenFone 9. The Galaxy S22 comes in two SoC variants, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200 units. Exynos 2200 units are sold in Europe only. Both devices use LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage. The ZenFone 9 offers up to 16 GB of RAM, while the Galaxy S22 only has one RAM variant, it gives you 8 GB of RAM.
These specs are really powerful, but what does that mean for the actual performance of these devices? Well, both companies have done a good job in terms of optimization. Thing is, the ZenFone 9 felt smoother in actual use, at least in our experience. Just to be clear, we used the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 variant of the Galaxy S22 most of the time. The Exynos 2200 offered significantly lower performance, but we didn’t get to use it for long.
The Galaxy S22 has some hiccups here and there. Even slowdowns happened from time to time. Nothing major, but something worth noting, considering the ZenFone 9 had no such issues. The ZenFone 9 comes with much cleaner software, which means less bloat, which could be one of the reasons. It also has a more powerful SoC, and it felt a bit cooler in everyday use. In general, however, both phones performed very well and will be able to handle anything you throw at them.
ASUS ZenFone 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22: Battery
The ASUS ZenFone 9 comes with a 4,300mAh battery, while the Galaxy S22 includes a 3,700mAh unit. And yes, you will feel the difference. The ZenFone 9 has much better battery life than its predecessor. We were able to break through the 7 hour screen time mark without issue, on several occasions, and we still have some battery left. Even 8 hours of screen time is achievable.
The Galaxy S22 can’t come close to such numbers. Around 5-5.5 hours is what we were able to get with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 model most of the time. Sometimes he was able to hit 6 hours of screen time per hour. It all depends on what you do with your phone, of course. Your usage will likely be significantly different, so your mileage may vary. We haven’t really played many games with either device, so bear that in mind.
ASUS’ flagship supports 30W wired charging and comes with a charger in the box. It also supports reverse charging, in case you need to use it as a power bank. The Galaxy S22, on the other hand, supports 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. Note that Samsung’s device does not include charger in the box, however, you will need to buy one if you don’t have one at home.
ASUS ZenFone 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22: Cameras
The ZenFone 9 includes two cameras, while the Galaxy S22 has three on the back. A 50-megapixel main camera is paired with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera on the ZenFone 9. The Galaxy S22 has a 50-megapixel main camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. So, is the camera performance good on these two phones? In short, yes, but they are not the best camera smartphones.
The ZenFone 9 managed to surprise us with its camera performance. ASUS has improved a lot over the ZenFone 8, and the ZenFone 9 does a better job than the ROG 6, despite having the same main camera. The ZenFone 9 takes vivid images, with plenty of detail, and it does a good job in low light too. It leans towards the Pixel style with its colors. The phone’s cameras handle HDR situations well, although you may need to use touch to focus occasionally to get the perfect shot. It also does a great job of maintaining the same color science between its main and ultra-wide cameras.
The Galaxy S22 also has very good camera performance. It also leans towards vivid shots, with plenty of saturation. It does a good job in low light, although the difference between its main and ultra-wide cameras is obvious when you look at the colours. When it comes to telephoto shots, the Galaxy S22 is the better of the two, which makes sense given that the ZenFone 9 doesn’t have a telephoto lens.
A lot of people would say the Galaxy S22 takes better photos just because of its name, but you’d be surprised at the results. Both are extremely capable in the camera department, and the ZenFone 9’s OIS gimbal definitely helps with both images and video.
Few flagship phones include an audio jack these days, well, the ZenFone 9 does. ASUS has managed to find space for it inside this rather compact case. The Galaxy S22 doesn’t, however. Both phones however have stereo speakers and also support Bluetooth 5.2.
Are the speakers of these two phones good? Well, yes they are. Both deliver punchy, well-balanced sound, and vocals are clear either way. There’s even bass in both sets of speakers. Both sets are loud enough and chances are most people will be happy with either pair.