google pixel 7 pro camera bar in hand

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

best of 2022 readers choice award badge

In all the years we’ve been doing a Reader’s Choice Award at Android Authority, we’ve never had a race this exciting. There were multiple twists we didn’t expect and the final winner won by one of the slimmest margins we’ve ever seen. In the end, though, the champion is the Google Pixel 7 Pro, which you have selected as your Reader’s Choice best phone of 2022.

Congratulations to Google for winning this prestigious award. The last time a Google-branded device won our Reader’s Choice award was in 2015, when the Nexus 6P walked away with the crown. But since the first Pixel phone launched in 2016, we’ve never seen a Pixel reign supreme. So this is a momentous year for Google.

But how did this all play out? We’ve summarized the twists and turns of the race below! Also, be sure to check out our Editor’s Choice pick for the best phone of 2022 — did we choose the same phone as you?

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best Google camera • High-quality display • Big battery

The Pixel 7 Pro is the top-of-the-line phone on Google’s roster.

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

Round 1: Fight!

EoY 2022 phone collage angled

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

In the first round of voting — which started on December 5, 2022 — we pitted 32 smartphones against one another. The match was pretty bloody. Roughly 28% of the phones didn’t get enough votes to break above the 1% margin, leaving just 23 to the fight. Out of all of them, only four were able to escape unscathed and head into the semi-finals. We saw over 3,300 votes during this round.

Aside from the four winners, we saw notable support for some underdogs. Although they wouldn’t become the best smartphone of 2022, the Asus Zenfone 9, Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, Google Pixel 6a, and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 walked away with 3% of the vote each. The Zenfone 9’s success, in particular, is notable when you consider Asus’ comparative stature in the mobile market.

The Nothing Phone 1 also garnered 2% of the vote, which is an impressive feat for a debut phone. The vanilla Galaxy S22 getting 2% of the vote is also notable, considering how much better the Galaxy S22 Ultra did.

You can see a tally of all the percentages below. Please note that the percentages do not all add up to 100% due to rounding.

Phone Votes Phone Votes
Phone

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Votes

25%

Phone

Motorola Edge (2022)

Votes

1%

Phone

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Votes

23%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Votes

1%

Phone

Google Pixel 7

Votes

10%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Votes

1%

Phone

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Votes

9%

Phone

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Votes

1%

Phone

Asus Zenfone 9

Votes

3%

Phone

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Votes

1%

Phone

Google Pixel 6a

Votes

3%

Phone

Vivo X80 Pro

Votes

1%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Votes

3%

Phone

Xiaomi 12

Votes

1%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Votes

3%

Phone

Motorola Razr (2022)

Votes

0%

Phone

Apple iPhone 14

Votes

2%

Phone

OnePlus 10T

Votes

0%

Phone

Nothing Phone 1

Votes

2%

Phone

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Votes

0%

Phone

OnePlus 10 Pro

Votes

2%

Phone

Poco X4 Pro

Votes

0%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy S22

Votes

2%

Phone

Poco F4 GT

Votes

0%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Votes

2%

Phone

Realme GT 2 Pro

Votes

0%

Phone

Asus ROG Phone 6

Votes

1%

Phone

Redmi Note 11

Votes

0%

Phone

Honor Magic 4 Pro

Votes

1%

Phone

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

Votes

0%

Phone

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Votes

1%

Phone

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

Votes

0%

Round 2: Semi-finals

iphone vs galaxy vs pixel on leather EoY 2022

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

With the elimination round complete, we started the semi-finals on December 6, 2022. This saw four heavyweights battling it out for the chance to be crowned the best smartphone of 2022. Those phones were the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 7 Pro, Apple iPhone 14 Pro, and Google Pixel 7.

Many of our readers were no doubt surprised that the Apple iPhone 14 Pro made it to the semi-finals. Not only did it make it, but it exited the semi-finals in third place with a solid 15% of the vote. That put it well ahead of the fourth place contender, the Pixel 7, which landed with 12% of the vote. It’s clear that plenty of our readers like iPhones!

Of course, only two phones could walk away the winners of this round, and those two were the Galaxy S22 Ultra in first place and the Pixel 7 Pro in second. At this point, we thought the Galaxy S22 Ultra was a shoo-in, considering it had emerged on top of both the elimination round and this semi-final round. Samsung had also won six out of the last seven Reader’s Choice awards dating back to 2015 — surely another win was guaranteed, right?

There were still plenty of surprises, though!

Phone Votes

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

39%

Google Pixel 7 Pro

34%

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

15%

Google Pixel 7

12%

The finals: The best smartphone of 2022 according to you

By December 7, 2022, we had whittled down the competition to just two devices: the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Pixel 7 Pro. So far, the Galaxy S22 Ultra was two-for-two in wins with the Pixel 7 Pro relegated to second place each time. Naturally, we expected that trend to continue and for the Samsung device to emerge victorious.

Unbelievably, the Pixel 7 Pro skirted by the Galaxy S22 Ultra to become the new reigning champion. Although the Galaxy S22 Ultra won the vote on Instagram and Facebook, it lost at Android Authority by a significant margin — 11%, actually. When we combined all the votes, that lead helped it stay in first by a slim margin, with it getting 52% of the overall vote. That left the Galaxy S22 Ultra with just 48%, and gave the crown to Google.

Phone Votes

Google Pixel 7 Pro

52%

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

48%

Honestly, this is one of the closest races we’ve seen for any Reader’s Choice award. Both phones are clearly terrific and our readers are quite passionate about them. Only one can walk away the champion, though, so congratulations again to the Google Pixel 7 Pro, the best smartphone of 2022 according to Android Authority readers!

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