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Home / Features / Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8: which is best?

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8: which is best?

Two mainstream models with AI additions face off


If you’re reading these words, you probably typed “Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8” into Google. In which case, you’re in the right place. And if you’re torn between Samsung’s 2024 superphone and Google’s current handset, we don’t blame you. With slick designs, powerful innards, and plenty of top-notch camera hardware on offer, it’s a tricky decision to make.

That’s why we’ve summarised their specs, pros, and cons, in our head-to-head comparison below. Once you’ve read through it all, you should have a better idea of which handset is best for you. Or maybe you’ll have decided that something fancier like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the way to go instead. Either way, let’s dive in.

Price & release date

The Samsung Galaxy S24 released on the 31st of January 2024, while the Google Pixel 8 arrived on October 12 2023. At launch, the 128GB Galaxy S24 could be bought for £799 in the UK, and you could even snap up the 256GB version on offer for the same price (normally £849). In the US, you could buy the 128GB model for $800, and quick-fingered shoppers could take advantage of an early bird offer and grab the 256GB version of the Galaxy S24 for $800 too (normally $860).

Fast and numerous discounts means the Pixel 8 can be snapped up on Amazon for as little as £520 for the Rose version (or $549 on sale directly from Google), though other colour variants may cost a little more. The 256GB model was £759 on Amazon, but can be found on offer as well, while you can grab it for $609 directly from Google.

Given that the Galaxy S24 is the newer of the two handsets, it’s no surprise to see that it costs a little more than its Pixel rival. If you’re quick enough to snap it up on offer though, the price difference isn’t too bad, considering.

Design & display: Business in the front, party in the back

From the front, both handsets look strikingly similar, with pleasantly rounded corners and a central selfie cam cutout at the top of each screen. The S24 has gone for a cleaner iPhone-like look with its flat edges, and the rear is where the difference between the two handsets becomes very apparent.

The Galaxy S24 sticks to Samsung’s vertical camera lens setup, while The Pixel 8 opts for its more divisive horizontal bar. It’s all down to personal preference (we like both), but we imagine that more people will be drawn to the Galaxy S24’s safer, more minimalistic design. Both the Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 are slathered in Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for increased durability, along with the benefit of IP68 water and dust resistance, which is always welcome. Samsung has also waxed lyrical about the Galaxy S24’s new ‘armor aluminium 2 frame’, which apparently offers improved drop and scratch resistance. It does generally fare well in the real world.

On the business end, they both feature 6.2in AMOLED displays, with the Pixel 8’s 1080 x 2400 resolution ever so slightly edging ahead of the Galaxy S24’s 1080 x 2340 offering. That’s 416 ppi vs 428 ppi, and if you can spot the difference at arm’s length, then congratulations on your eagle-like vision.

As for the rest of the screen specs, the Galaxy S24 is the clear winner. It has a variable refresh rate of 1-120Hz versus the Pixel 8’s 60-120Hz, which should make it more efficient in terms of power usage. It’s brighter too, outshining its Google rival with a peak brightness of 2600 nits versus 2000 nits.

Performance, battery, software: Homegrown power

When you compare two Android flagships, they tend to share the same silicon, normally in the form of a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. But in this instance, we’ve got two homegrown chips living in each respective handset. In the Pixel 8 corner, we have Google’s own Tensor 3 processor — the company’s third-generation nine-core processor that’s capable of handling the latest games, multitasking, and AI wizardry.

In the US, the Galaxy S24 is rocking the more familiar (not to mention, beastly) Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy CPU, but for UK and the rest of Europe, it’ll instead have Samsung’s own Exynos 2400 for Galaxy chipset under the hood. Historically, Qualcomm’s offerings have bested their Exynos rivals in both power and efficiency, and that’s true again here – although performance is still very much up there among the best modern flagship. Combined with 8GB RAM each, you can expect a snappy, fluid user experience with both handsets.

On the battery front, the Pixel 8 has a significantly larger 4574mAh battery compared to the S24’s 4000mAh power cell. The Pixel 8 pro also has slightly faster wired and wireless charging speeds (27W/18W versus the Galaxy S24’s 25W/15W). There’s very little in it in terms of longevity, though; each one will last the day, but not a lot more.

In terms of software, Android purists will undoubtedly prefer the pure experience of Android 14 on the Pixel 8, while Samsung’s Android 14 experience has its own One UI 6.1 weaved throughout. Both handsets offer plenty of AI tricks, particularly on the photography front. Speaking of…

Cameras: Triple threat vs double trouble

The Galaxy S24 has a triple camera setup consisting of a 50MP main lens, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom. This beats the Pixel 8’s double setup of a 50MP main shooter and 12MP ultrawide, on paper at least.

Samsung’s extra hardware doesn’t quite give it the edge some may have expected, as the Pixel 8 has truly impressive photography prowess. There’s no denying the extra hardware versatility that Samsung is bringing to the table here, and the Galaxy S24 has plenty of weapons in the fight against Google’s AI smarts.

In a similar feature to the one found on the Pixel 8, the Galaxy S24 lets you remove objects from photos, or even replace them. Swapping out an ugly coffee cup in a portrait shop for a vase of flowers, for example, could potentially be the sort of feature that might prove to be very useful.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Pixel 8 verdict

Being the newer handset, the Samsung Galaxy S24 has a few notable hardware advantages. The brighter screen in particular, which also has more flexible refresh rates. The extra camera is another pretty big boon on paper, though Google’s image processing can do almost as good a job without a dedicated zoom lens.

It’s hard to ignore the Pixel 8’s lower price, and the fact it has a bigger battery. The design isn’t quite as head-turning, though, and some of Samsung’s AI enhancements are more appealing. Both are fantastic phones; if you’re already in on Samsung’s ecosystem the S24 is the sensible choice, but for everyone else I’d save the cash on the Google.

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Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.