By Holly, Mozillion Team
These two flagship Android phones from Samsung and Google are both packed full of superior features but which one is the right one for you?
Depending on your priorities when it comes to a smartphone, both excel in their own right but not necessarily in the same arenas. They also have lots of similarities like a 120Hz display refresh rate for smooth scrolling and gaming, top of the range processors and pro-level camera and video set-ups.
Let’s get into the difference between the two…
Build & Design | Samsung S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro
There are some distinct differences in the build and design of the S23 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro. Firstly the camera layout with Samsung separating its cameras into their respective lenses, with Google grouping theirs into one horizontal bar.
Then there are the rounded corners of the Pixel 8 Pro versus the sharper 90 degree corners of the S23 Ultra. Both handsets have immersive, large displays (6.8 inch for the S23 Ultra, 6.7 inch for the Pixel 8 Pro) so are big smartphones by nature but the Pixel 8 Pro sports a flat display compared to the S23 Ultra’s which is slightly curved at the edges.
If you are a fan of the S-pen stylus, it comes as standard with the S23 Ultra, but the Pixel 8 Pro has a temperature sensor on the back for measuring anything from a baby bottle to a human – useful tool or gimmick? Time will tell.
Processor | Samsung S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro
The processor or chipset determines how powerful, fast and efficient the smartphone is and the Pixel 8 Pro has the best chipset that Google has to offer. Google have also integrated impressive AI (artificial intelligence) features into theirs to enhance functionality and usage.
Samsung have also gone all out by equipping the S23 Ultra with their ‘Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy’ which has been made specifically for these smartphones and is the most powerful of the two. It has been purpose built to assist with high performance and resource intensive tasks like gaming, uploading and downloading.
Storage and memory – the S23 Ultra has 12GB of RAM and comes in 256GB, 512GB or 1TB options. The Pixel 8 Pro also comes with 12GB RAM with the same options as the S23 Ultra apart from the 1TB version which is only available in the US.
For software, the Pixel 8 Pro ships with Android 14 but this Android version will also be available to the S23 Ultra imminently as a free update.
It’s worth noting though that Google are now offering an impressive 7 years of updates compared to Samsung who are committed to 4 years of OS Updates and 5 years of security updates.
Camera and video | Samsung S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro
This battle here basically comes down to AI versus MP (megapixels).
The S23 Ultra boasts a whopping 200MP main rear camera which claims to be able to capture detail as impressive as the craters on the moon (albeit utlising a bit of AI in the process). However, reviews have been that sometimes these shots can seem oversaturated and are only really useful if you want to print poster sized prints or really really zoom in your photos. It also has a 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto and 10MP 10x telephoto offerings and big improvements to its Nightography features for those magical shots of the night sky. Nightography is now also available on the 12MP Dual Pixel Front-Facing Selfie Camera.
The cameras on the Pixel 8 Pro are also next level and it is here you really start to marvel at the power of AI on your content. Specs-wise, the Pixel 8 Pro boasts a 50MP main camera, 48MP ultrawide camera and 48MP 5x telephoto camera combo on the back, and a 10.5MP selfie camera on the front. The Pixel 8 Pro also offers other AI treats such as Video Boost, Magic Editor, Magic Audio Eraser, Night Sight Video and pro level features such as ISO and shutter speed controls usually only available on an SLR pro-level camera. The Pixel 8 Pro is also built for pro-level video capture as you can seamlessly switch between cameras while capturing 4K video at 24fps which is not possible on the S23 Ultra.
There’s no denying both phones produce stunning photos and videos and you’ll likely be impressed with either phone’s results.
Battery | Samsung S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro
Battery wise, it seems in this instance that size doesn’t matter as although the Pixel 8 Pro has the bigger battery at 5050 mAh vs 5000 mAh for the S23 Ultra, the S23 Ultra lasts longer in road tests by several hours, thanks to it being more efficient with its power use. Charging is faster on the Pixel 8 Pro however and both phones support wireless charging.
Price | Samsung S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro
Despite being the newer of the two, the Pixel 8 Pro will usually cost you less than than the S23 Ultra
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Summary
Although both smartphones are extremely desirable and high spec, the main differences between the two are the cost, battery life, AI tools, software updates and camera capabilities.
While the S23 Ultra sports the highest MP camera on the market at present, Samsung’s premium builds, a more powerful processor and a more efficient battery, the Pixel 8 Pro wins on longevity (7 years of software updates vs 5), AI editing tools and price.