Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: We compare Samsung’s Galaxy S8 flagship phone to Google’s super-premium Pixel handset. Should you buy a Pixel, or grab Samsung’s latest premium handset instead?
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is an absolute beast of a smartphone, offering some seriously premium specs for an admittedly rather eye-watering asking price. Just head on over to our hands-on Galaxy S8 review if you want to know more about its specs and awesome features.
After the giddy heights of the Galaxy S7, you can bet pretty much any non-vital part of your anatomy that the Galaxy S8 will be one of the best phones of 2017. But will it improve on the already excellent and just as costly Pixel phone, launched by Google at the end of last year?
Google’s Pixel handset was the first phone to come with Android Nougat on board, showcased in some rather spectacular hardware. The Pixel not only boasted top-end performance and serious media chops; this 5-inch handset also wowed us with its beefy and impressively versatile camera tech.
Question is, how does the S8 compare to the Google Pixel phone and which is best for you? Here’s how the two stack up.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Specs
|Phone||Google Pixel||Samsung Galaxy S8|
|Screen size & type||5-inch AMOLED||5.8-inch Super AMOLED|
|Rear camera||12.3MP f/2.0||12MP f/1.7|
|Front camera||8MP f/2.4||8MP f/1.7|
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Design
Well, for a start, the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 packs a much bigger display than the 5-inch Pixel phone. Yet despite this, they both sport very similar dimensions and are more or less the same weight as well. You can thank Samsung’s super-cool bezel-shunning design for that, which has the screen filling almost the entire front panel. The Galaxy S8’s eye-pleasing curves make for a truly stunning finish, along with the usual glossy rear punctuated by a metal edging.
But while the Pixel phone rocks a more conventional design, that Really Blue model is still a looker with its vibrant in-your-face finish. And we still love that half-and-half glossy and matt finish, which really seems to divide opinion in others.
However, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is fully water resistant, while the Pixel phone is merely splash proof. So while the S8 will survive a dunking in a bathtub, the Pixel’s limit is a slightly harsh bit of rain.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Screen and media
The Pixel’s 5-inch AMOLED screen isn’t quite as roomy as the mighty 5.8-inch Super AMOLED panel of the Galaxy S8, but both phones should more than satisfy media fans.
The Galaxy S8’s display is easily as punchy as the Pixel’s, with Samsung’s typically vibrant image reproduction producing eye-pleasing visuals. And the S8 also has the advantage when it comes to screen resolution, with a QHD+ panel proving sharper than the Pixel’s Full HD display. Likewise, the S8 supports Mobile HDR video playback, making it reassuringly future-proof – and once again giving it a leg up on the Pixel.
As for storage space, the S8 is again the victor. You get full microSD expandability, something missing from the Google Pixel phone. In other words, you’ll want to splash out extra on the 128GB Pixel if you want to carry around a huge media collection.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Features
Concerned about security? Well, on both phones you’ll spy a fingerprint sensor tucked away ‘round the back. This is fast and impressively accurate as you might expect, allowing you to unlock your handset in an instant as well as pay for stuff. Samsung also offers up a nifty iris scanner, which can match your unique eyeball pattern even in the dark, for greater flexibility.
You get Google’s Android Nougat OS on both of these phones, although Samsung has added in a fair few bonus bits courtesy of the TouchWiz UI. The intriguing new Bixby AI could offer even more intelligence than Google’s virtual assistant, although only a full test will tell for sure.
Fans of mobile VR will be satisfied with either the Samsung or Google phone. The Pixel supports Google’s Daydream VR platform, which already offers a decent selection of games. Meanwhile Samsung has its own Gear VR platform, which boasts an even greater catalogue of VR games and experiences (as it’s been around longer).
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Performance and battery
The Pixel packs in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor backed by 4GB of RAM, for silky smooth performance no matter what. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 seems to be an easy match however, with its shiny new Exynos chipset. In both cases you get 4GB of RAM, to keep your apps running smoothly.
Samsung’s S8 sports a bigger battery too, at 3000mAh versus 2770mAh. Meanwhile Samsung has added the ability to wirelessly charge its flagship phone, something missing from the Pixel – although both handsets boast fast charge tech.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Cameras
Like the Galaxy S7 before it, the Galaxy S8 sports a 12-megapixel f/1.7 camera capturing impressively detailed and gorgeous-looking images even in low light. OIS and Dual Pixel focus are once again on board and you can also shoot up to 4K resolution video too, as well as stream live to Facebook and YouTube.
Google’s Pixel phone is a strong rival however, impressing us greatly with its own 12-megapixel snapper. Autofocus is just as strong, for a near-instant shutter speed, and the results are just as attractive in pretty much any lighting conditions. And like the S8, you can again shoot 4K resolution video – although there’s no live streaming support direct through the camera app.
Will the S8’s camera be better? Only time will tell, but you can bank on it being a bitter battle. Take a look at our in-depth Pixel camera review and stay tuned for our full Galaxy S8 Plus camera review.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: UK pricing
The bad news is that both of these phones are a bit on the expensive side.
The Pixel starts at £599 for the 32GB model, rising to £699 if you want to upgrade to the 128GB model. Already quite pricey, but the new Samsung flagship will empty your wallet further. The Galaxy S8 comes with a hefty £799 price tag, for the base storage model. Cripes.
Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus review. In the meantime, check out our Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus hub for more on Samsung’s big 2017 phones, and our Google Pixel and Pixel XL hub for everything you need to know about Google’s premium flagship phones.