Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: We compare the rumoured and leaked specs of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 flagship phone to Google’s super-premium Pixel handset. Should you buy a Pixel handset, or hang on for the Galaxy S8 to hit the UK?
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone is on the horizon, launching here in the UK on March 29. 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 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.
So how does the Pixel phone compare to the Galaxy S8, if those (multiple) leaks are correct? Here’s our full Galaxy S8 vs Pixel comparison review.
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|
|Processor||Snapdragon 821||Snapdragon 835|
|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
The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 packs a much bigger display than the 5-inch Pixel phone, but they both sport very similar dimensions if those S8 rumours and leaked images are anything to go by. You can thank Samsung’s super-cool bezel-shunning design, which has the screen curving around the very edges of the handset (something we already saw on Samsung’s earlier Edge handsets).
The Galaxy S8’s eye-pleasing curves make for a truly stunning finish, along with the usual glossy rear – which hopefully will be less smudgey than the S7. But while the Pixel phone rocks a more conventional design, that Really Blue model stands out from the crowd. And we still love the half-and-half glossy and matt finish on the rear end.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is fully water resistant but the Pixel phone is merely splash proof, so will only survive in a sudden rainstorm.
Read next: The most disturbing Galaxy S8 rumours so far
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 should be just as punchy as the Pixel’s, with Samsung’s typically vibrant image reproduction producing eye-pleasing visuals. And the S8 has the advantage when it comes to screen resolution, with a Quad HD panel instead of the Pixel’s Full HD display.
However, while Samsung’s Galaxy S8 offers microSD expandability, Google’s Pixel phone doesn’t give you the same option. In other words, you’ll want to splash out extra on the 128GB model if you want to carry around a big media collection.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Features
You get full Android Nougat on both of these phones, although Samsung has added in a fair few bonus bits. Expect some built-in health apps, tools for gamers, gesture controls and so on. Both phones also offer one-handed modes or tools, to help out in a pinch.
The Pixel packs in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor for silky smooth performance, no matter what. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus should take things to the next level however with its Snapdragon 835 chipset, offering a boost in performance as well as top download speeds (up to 1Gbps peak).
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).
Both phones also sport a fingerprint sensor. On the Pixel phone, this is mounted on the rear of the phone. While on the Galaxy S8, it’s rather funkily built into the screen itself.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel phone: Cameras
Like the Galaxy S7 before it, the Galaxy S8 apparently sports a 12-megapixel f/1.7 camera capturing impressively detailed and gorgeous-looking images even in low light. You can of course expect Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and all of the usual premium camera tech for capturing crisp, clear images. You can also shoot up to 4K resolution video too, as well as the usual slow-mo and timelapse footage.
Last year’s Pixel phones impressed us greatly with their 12-megapixel cameras, one of the few mobile snappers to prove a worthy rival to the Galaxy S7’s excellent shooter. You once again have PDAF (plus laser-guided autofocus tech) and a spot of digital image stabilisation to keep things blur-free, as well as support for up to 4K video resolution.
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.