Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 – which is the better Android?

Will the Pixel 8 see itself overpowered by the Galaxy S24?

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 - which is the better Android? Image shows a red VS sign in between the Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8, on a purple blue gradient background.

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With another flagship in the race, let’s see how the latest Galaxy compares to Google’s well-rounded Pixel with a rundown of the Galaxy S24 vs the Google Pixel 8. While the majority of the attention will fall on the S24 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro, the base models of these flagship lineups still make for an interesting comparison – especially if you want to spend less than $1000 on your upgrade.

So, now that we’ve got the full picture of what the Galaxy S24 brings to the table, it’s the perfect time to see how Samsung’s latest offering compares to the Pixel that only came out back in October 2023. With AI functionality and camera performance at the core of both smartphones’ marketing campaigns, let’s find out if Samsung or Google has executed the entry-level flagship better this time around.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 specs

Google Pixel 8 – Unlocked Android Smartphone with Advanced Pixel Camera, 24-Hour Battery, and Powerful Security – Obsidian – 128 GB

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SpecsSamsung Galaxy S24 Google Pixel 8
Dimensions147.0 x 70.6 x 7.6mm150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9 mm, 187 grams
Display6.2″ Dynamic AMOLED, 120Hz, 2500 nits peak brightness6.2″ ‘Actua’ OLED, 120Hz, 2400 nits peak brightness
ChipQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 / Exynos 2400Google Tensor G3 (4nm)
SoftwareSamsung One UI 6.1 / Android 14Pixel UI / Android 14
RAM8GB8GB
Storage128GB or 256GB128GB or 256GB
CamerasRear: 50MP main (24mm, ƒ/1.8), 12MP ultra-wide (13mm, ƒ/2.2), 10MP telephoto (70mm, ƒ/2.4)
Front: 12MP
Rear: 50MP main (ƒ/1.68, 82° FoV w/ OIS), 12MP (ƒ/2.2, 125.8º FoV)
Front: 10.5MP
Battery4,000mAh4,385mAh
ChargingUSB-C, 25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wirelessUSB-C, 27W wired, 17W wireless, 5W reverse wireless supported
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC supportWi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC support
ColorsCobalt Violet, Amber Yellow, Onyx Black, Marble Gray (Samsung Exclusive – Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, Sandstone Orange)Hazel, Obsidian, Rose
Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 specs table

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 features

Design

The design and size of a smartphone are crucial factors to consider when choosing a device. The Pixel 8 maintains Google’s signature design language, with small refinements such as thinner bezels and more rounded edges compared to its predecessor, the Pixel 7. Of course, the iconic camera bar is featured on the back of the phone, with its Gorilla Glass Victus casing and compact body being both sleek and durable.

Similarly to the Pixel 8, the Galaxy S24 refines, but doesn’t reinvent, the design language and aesthetic of the Galaxy S23. With its flat screen and flat frame, thinner bezels, and Armor Aluminum matte finish, the S24 marks a move towards a more durable yet more sleek design. As opposed to a camera bar, the S24 gets a trio of “floating” rear cameras that sit in the top left of its back panel. Overall, the designs of the two phones might not be hugely different, so it will likely come down to individual preference for which one appeals more to you.

Display Differences

When it comes to displays, both the Pixel 8 and the Galaxy S24 offer the exceptional visual experience now expected from modern smartphones. Both devices feature a 6.2-inch OLED displays with a high 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth scrolling and responsiveness in both media consumption and gaming. The Pixel 8 has already gained recognition for its impressive display quality, and of course, the Galaxy S24 has matched this standard. It also goes a step above, with an adaptive refresh rate that ranges from 1 Hz to 120 Hz rather than the 60 Hz to 120 Hz of the Pixel 8.

Cameras

The camera capabilities of smartphones have become an increasingly important feature as the years have gone by. While raw specifications provide an insight into camera performance, this isn’t the sole defining factor – in fact, image processing and software almost have equal importance. Let’s unpack the camera setup of the Galaxy S24 against the well-established power of the Pixel 8.

The Pixel 8 is known for its outstanding main camera, with the 50MP doing the heavy lifting alongside a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 10.5MP front camera. While this camera setup might be similar to the Pixel 7, the Tensor G3 processor has introduced huge improvements in computational photography and image processing to the Pixel 8. The AI post-processing features flaunted across Pixel 8 marketing campaigns were what really caught the attention of buyers, with the new additions of Magic Editor, Audio Magic Eraser, and Best Take being one of the device’s big benefits.

When it comes to the Galaxy S24’s camera system, its triple camera setup starring a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP telephoto lens doesn’t differ from its predecessor. The addition of the Galaxy S24’s telephoto camera provides an advantage in terms of zoom capabilities. Furthermore, Samsung has taken a page out of Google’s book when it comes to AI photography features. As predicted, big things are coming from Galaxy AI in the AI photography department. Dubbed ProVisual Engine, this suite of AI-powered tools comes with Edit Suggestion, Generative Edit, as well as an Instant Slo Mo feature. So, regardless of phone here, you’ll get impressive camera hardware and software.

Battery Life and Charging

In terms of battery life, the Pixel 8’s 4,385 mAh battery is still be bigger than the 4,000 mAh of the Galaxy S24. This is still a small improvement from the 3,900 mAh of the Galaxy S23, and while the Pixel 8 may offer longer battery life, the Galaxy S24’s slightly lower battery capacity may be offset by its higher performance capabilities and optimizations.

In terms of charging, both the Pixel 8 and the Galaxy S24 offer similar charging times for both wired and wireless charging. Both devices also support reverse wireless charging, allowing users to charge other compatible devices, such as your Galaxy Buds or Pixel Buds.

Performance

When it comes to power and performance, we’ve got a fierce competition on our hands. While the distribution of the chip may depend on the region, both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and the Exynos 2400 are next-gen and high-performing chipsets that should provide improvements across the board for the S24. However, while Galaxy S chips are usually considered well-rounded powerhouses, Google’s Tensor chips have been designed with specialist AI enhancements in mind. With the Tensor G3, Google upgraded every major subsystem, including the TPU, meaning that it’s supercharged with generative AI capabilities.

So, while the single and multi-core scores of the Galaxy S24 are likely to overpower the Pixel, the Tensor G3 brings a host of AI benefits and optimizations not found on any other device. Despite offering as realistically minimal hardware upgrade over the Galaxy S23, the optimizations found in Samsung One UI 6.1 and the Galaxy AI package makes the S24 a tempting investment over the Pixel 8. Across both devices, you’ll get seven years of OS and security updates, so regardless you’re getting a future-proof purchase that will serve you well up to your next upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 price

Now that we’ve moved from the realm of speculations to the pre-order period, we’ve got the full details on the Galaxy S24 pricing and how it compares to the Pixel 8. It comes as no surprise that Samsung has maintained the same pricing structure that it’s had for its previous Galaxy lineups, with the Galaxy S24 getting a starting price of $799 for the base model. This places it just $100 above the starting price of the Pixel 8, which Google has managed to keep relatively affordable at $699.

In terms of availability, the Galaxy S24 is now available to pre-order ahead of its full release date on the 31st of January. If you choose to do this, you also get the perk of a free storage upgrade, with Samsung offering the higher storage models for a more affordable price during this limited time only.

✓ Marla’s thoughts

How much were the starting prices of other Galaxy phones?

We’ve said there that we’ve seen three years of reliable pricing from Samsung, and that remains true. The base models of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S22, and the Galaxy S23 all started out at $799.

Is the Samsung Galaxy S24 better than the Google Pixel 8?

Both the Galaxy S24 and the Pixel 8 will both probably offer exceptional experiences for Android users, but it’s hard to make a final call on the verdict before we’ve seen the S24’s official release. The Pixel 8 introduces innovative AI-based features that enhance everyday use, while the Galaxy S24 might deliver on more traditional flagship qualities like display quality, camera performance, and speed. While Google has made significant strides in software support, Samsung’s reputation for hardware and camera excellence remains strong. Ultimately, the choice between the Galaxy S24 and the Pixel 8 comes down to personal preference and priorities, and both devices will compete fiercely for the title of best Android phone.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.