Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 – which Android is better?

Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 - which Android comes out on top?

Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 - which is the better android? Image shows the text "Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 - which Android is better?" next to the Pixel 8 and iPhone 15, on a purple green gradient background.

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In the world of smartphones, two popular entry-level flagships have caught the attention of tech enthusiasts: the Google Pixel 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S23. These devices both offer a range of impressive features and specifications that make them worthy contenders in the Android market, but how do they hold up when going head-to-head? In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the key differences between the Pixel 8 and the Galaxy S23, helping you make an informed decision on which device suits your needs and preferences.

Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 specs

SpecificationSamsung S23Google Pixel 8
Dimensions196 grams150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9 mm, 187 grams
Screen6.1-inch, 120Hz6.2-inch, 60-120Hz
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)Google Tensor G3
RAM8GB LPDDR5X8GB
Storage128/256/512GB128GB, 256GB
CamerasWide: 50MP, ultra-wide: 12MP Wide: 50MP, Ultra-wide: 12MP
Battery Size3,900 mAh4,385mAh
Charging SpeedWired: 25.0W, Wireless: 10.0WUp to 27W wired charging, 18W wireless charging

Design and Build

The Google Pixel 8 boasts a sleek and minimalist design, following the Pixel aesthetics of its predecessors, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6. It features a relatively compact body, weighing just 187g, making it comfortable to hold and use. The phone is protected by tough Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus on both the front and back, ensuring durability and resistance to scratches and damage from drops. In terms of colors, Google has once again brought forward a new color palette of Pixel phones, with the Pixel 8 being available in Obsidian (black), Rose (light pink), and Hazel (grey).

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is slightly larger and heavier, weighing 196g. However, its design does not compromise on aesthetics or ergonomics. Like the Pixel 8, it is equipped with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both sides, providing enhanced durability and a scratch-proof surface. Both devices offer excellent build quality and are resistant to daily wear and tear, with durable glass cases and aluminum frames and a dust and water resistant rating of IP68. The S23 gets an extra color option to the Pixel 8, being available in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender.

Display

When it comes to displays, both the Pixel 8 and the Galaxy S23 offer impressive visuals. The Pixel 8 features a 6.2-inch OLED Actua Display with a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels, 42% brighter than the Pixel 7. It boasts an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, automatically adjusting to conserve battery life when necessary. The display supports HDR, offering up to 1400 nits of HDR and 2000 nits of peak brightness, resulting in vibrant and immersive visuals.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 sports a slightly smaller 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. It also offers an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, capable of lowering to 48Hz. With HDR support and a peak brightness of 1750 nits, the Galaxy S23’s display is equally impressive, providing a delightful viewing experience. The size difference between the two phones means the pixel density is remarkably similar across the devices.

Software and User Interface

The software experience is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing a smartphone. The Google Pixel 8 runs on Android 14 out of the box, offering a clean and simple user interface. As a Pixel device, it provides a stock Android experience, with no extra pre-installed software. Google’s commitment to software updates is remarkable, promising seven years of both OS updates and security patches, including a theoretical Android 21. This is proof of Google’s investment in the Pixel 8’s future-proofness. As well as the latest Android software, the Pixel 8 also comes with the brand new Tensor G3 chip. It has had every major subsystem upgraded, including the TPU meaning that it is supercharged with generative AI capabilities.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 currently runs on Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5 skin layered on top. While the One UI offers a different interface compared to stock Android, it is relatively easy to navigate. Samsung provides four years of OS updates and security updates until 2028. The Galaxy S23 comes pre-installed with several Samsung apps, such as Samsung Health and SmartThings, which enhance the device’s functionality.

Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 camera

Both the Google Pixel 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S23 excel in the camera department, capturing stunning photos and videos. The Pixel 8 features a 50MP main camera with 2x optical zoom and a higher quality Super Res Zoom up to 8x. It also offers a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 10.5MP selfie lens. While the camera setup is similar to its predecessor, the Tensor G3 processor may introduce significant improvements in computational photography and image processing. Its AI post-processing capabilities have gotten a big boost, with new additions including Magic Editor, Audio Magic Eraser, and Best Take, a feature that lets you combine images by face replacement.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 boasts three rear cameras, a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. It also houses a 12MP front-facing selfie camera for high-quality selfies. The Galaxy S23’s camera system performs exceptionally well, especially in well-lit conditions, capturing detailed and vibrant images.

Pixel 8 vs Samsung S23 price

The Google Pixel 8 is priced at $699/£699 for the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 starts at $799/£849, offering 8GB of RAM and options for 128GB or 256GB of storage.

Final thoughts

Choosing between the Google Pixel 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S23 ultimately depends on individual preferences and requirements. Both devices offer impressive features, excellent performance, and high-quality cameras. The Pixel 8 excels in providing a clean software experience, fast OS updates, and industry-leading security patches. On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 offers a versatile camera system, powerful performance, and a refined user interface. It’s a close call between the two, and both phones are currently competing as some of the best Android phones on the market.

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.