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Pixel 2 vs Galaxy S8: Should you go Google or Samsung?

Google just launched its new Pixel 2 flagship phone, which boasts premium specs at a rather steep asking price. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Samsung’s Galaxy S8 does much the same.

However, while the Pixel 2 is a no-frills smartphone with a clean, vanilla version of Android Oreo on-board, the Galaxy S8 completely tweaks Google’s mobile OS to add a bunch of extra features. They also sport quite different designs and camera tech, so you’re going to get a very different experience depending on which phone you pick.

That’s why we’ve compared these two flagship devices side-by-side, so you can see which one is best for you. Check out the full video below.

As you can see, the Galaxy S8 sports a more attractive design, with that gorgeous edge-to-edge screen filling almost the entire front panel. Google went for a similar finish with the super-sized Pixel XL, although this standard smaller Pixel sports quite thick bezels just like last year’s model.

With the Galaxy S8 you get a much bigger display as well, despite these two phones being a similar size. The Pixel’s 5-inch AMOLED screen produces punchy colours and enjoys strong contrast just like Samsung’s 5.8-inch panel, although the Galaxy S8 is sharper (Quad HD vs Full HD). You also get support for HDR video with the Galaxy.

Samsung’s flagship also offers expandable storage, so you can boost the on-board space. With the Pixel 2, there’s no love for microSD memory cards; although you do at least get 64GB of storage as standard.

Although both mobiles run Android OS, Samsung has chosen to refresh the software with its own overlay. This changes the look and feel of everything from your desktops to the icons and fonts used in menus. You also get quite a lot of bonus functionality, from a gamers mode to health tracking and plenty of gesture support.

Check out our Galaxy S8 tips and tricks guide for a look at some of the best software features.

While these bonus modes are lacking from the Pixel 2, you do get Android Oreo straight out of the box - while S8 owners will have to wait a little longer for Google’s new OS. You also get the funky Active Edge pressure sensor, which loads the Google Assistant with just a quick squeeze. There’s no sensor on the S8, which uses Samsung’s decidedly iffy Bixby AI instead.

Performance is perfect on either of these blowers, thanks to the powerful chipsets packed inside. The S8 sports the same Snapdragon 835 platform as the Pixel 2 in regions such as the US, backed by 4GB of RAM as well. You’ll have the power to blast through the latest games for some time, and these phones also support mobile VR - Daydream for the Pixel 2 and Gear VR for the Galaxy S8.

Battery life is also respectable, with over a day of regular use per charge. The S8 offers wireless charging support, something missing from the Pixel, although they both boast a bit of fast charging when plugged in.

As for the camera tech, you’re guaranteed a strong snapper whichever phone you choose. Both phones serve up a single lens 12-megapixel rear camera which proves impressively strong in all kinds of lighting conditions. You can also shoot quite stable 4K resolution video, for those super-crisp home movies. Of course, the S8 once again packs in a bunch of extra features, including the AR mode which turns you into a cartoon character. If that’s your bag.

Stay tuned for our in-depth Google Pixel 2 review. Our other comparisons with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can be seen by following the links below.

Pixel vs Pixel 2

Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL

Pixel 2 vs OnePlus 5

Pixel XL 2 vs iPhone 8 Plus

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