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

Renders of the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 next to each other.
Digital Trends

The 2024 Android flagships have arrived in some stunning fashion, with the Samsung Galaxy S24 being one of the latest. But more than ever, the race this time around is not merely about who offers the fastest hardware but also the party that can pip rivals at meaningfully embracing AI.

Google knows that all too well. The Google Pixel 8 is one of the finest Android phones out there for its price, and despite a $100 lower asking price, it stands toe to toe with the Galaxy S24. If you are torn between Samsung and Google’s latest entry-point phones, here’s a breakdown of where each phone excels or falters against its rival.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 Google Pixel 8
Size 147.0 x 70.6 x 7.6mm 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm
Weight 167 grams 187 grams
  • 6.2 inches LTPO OLED, FHD+
  • 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate
  • 2,500 nits peak brightness
  • Flat edges
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Armor
  • 6.2 inches LTPO OLED
  • 120Hz
  • 2,000 nits peak brightness
  • Gorilla Glass Victus
Operating system One UI 6.1 based on Android 14 Android 14
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 8G + 256GB
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 “For Galaxy”

Exynos 2400

Google Tensor G3
  • Three rear cameras:
    • 50MP primary, (OIS F1.8, FOV 85˚)
    • 12MP ultrawide, ( F2.2, FOV 120˚)
    • 10MP portrait telephoto, 3x optical (F2.4, FOV 36˚)
  • 12MP selfie camera
  • Dual rear cameras:
    • 50MP primary camera (f/1.68, 82° FOV)
    • 12MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2, 125.8° FOV)
  • 10.5MP selfie camera (f/2.2, 95° FOV)
  • UHD 8K (7680 x 4320)@30fps
  • Slow motion 240fps @FHD, 120fps @UHD

4K at 24 FPS, 30 FPS, 60 FPS / 1080p at 24 FPS, 30 FPS, 60 FPS
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz + 6 GHz
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) with 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz + 6 GHz
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery & charging 4,000mAh with 25W wired fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging 4,575 mAh with 30W wired charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging
  • Cobalt Violet
  • Amber Yellow
  • Onyx Black
  • Marble Gray
  • Jade Green
  • Sapphire Blue
  • Hazel
  • Obsidian
  • Rose
  • Mint
Price Starting at $800 Starting at $699

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: design

The purple Samsung Galaxy S24 sitting upright by a plant.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is smaller and lighter than the Google Pixel 8, but it brings more subtle design changes compared to its Google rival. Aside from the new color options, the only major change from the design perspective is that the Galaxy S24 goes for flattened slides vis-a-vis its predecessor. The side rails are made out of what Samsung calls Armor Aluminum 2.0, while the glass shell is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

The Google Pixel 8 on a table.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On the Pixel 8, Google went for a more rounded profile around the corners, refined the appearance of the camera strip at the back, and gave it some new colors. The phone relies on a frame made of recycled aluminum metal enclosure and uses Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on either side. Both phones offer an IP68-certified dust and water-resistant build.

Google offers the Pixel 8 in Hazel, Obsidian, Rose, and Mint colors, while the Galaxy S24 comes in Cobalt Violet, Amber, Yellow Onyx Black, Jade Green, and Sapphire Blue trims.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: screen

Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 with the display turned on.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Both phones offer a 6.2-inch display with nearly identical resolution and refresh rate figures. The Dynamic AMOLED 2X (2340 x 1080 pixels) display on the Galaxy S24 offers a higher peak brightness output of 2,500 nits and can drop its refresh rate to as low as 1Hz to save energy.

A person holding the Google Pixel 8, showing the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Pixel 8, on the other hand, offers an OLED panel (2400 x 1080 pixels) that can offer 2,000 nits of peak brightness output while the refresh rate can only drop from 120Hz to 60Hz. Both devices offer a color depth worth 16 million shades and deliver a flat profile.

You’ll be happy with either screen, but given the Galaxy S24’s increased brightness and better refresh rate variability, it sneaks out with a win here.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: performance

The Google Pixel 8's camera module, seen from the side.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

This is where the differences and similarities become more apparent. The Pixel 8 draws power from the Tensor G3 chip, which is made by Google with help from Samsung. The Galaxy S24, on the other hand, comes in two silicon flavors. The variant sold in the U.S. offers Qualcomm’s AI-embracing Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, while other markets are getting the trim powered by the in-house Exynos 2400.

Based on the 4nm process, the third-gen Tensor silicon has a nine-core design that includes a Cortex-X3 prime core, four high-end Cortex A715 cores, and an equal number of Cortex A510 efficiency cores. Graphics are handled by the seven-core Immortalis-G715 GP on this one. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is also based on the 4nm process and relies on an eight-core architecture.

Leading the charge is a prime core based on the Cortex X4 clocked at 3.3 GHz, paired with five performance cores and two efficiency cores. Qualcomm’s offering relies on the eight-core Adreno 740 GPU, enabling hardware-level ray-tracing to produce more realistic shadow and light reflections in games.

The multitasking screen on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The 4nm-based Exynos 2400 relies on a unique deca-core design that includes a Cortex X4 prime core, five Cortex A720 cores in a 2+3 cluster, and four Cortex A520 cores to handle less demanding tasks. The Samsung silicon comes with the Xclipse 940 GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 3 architecture capable of hardware-accelerated ray-tracing in games.

On-device AI processing is part of the package on all three processors. However, they handle it a bit differently. Google has its Neural engine capable of natively running Large Language models like Gemini Nano, while Qualcomm and Samsung have their own AI engines that can perform local AI operations such as text-to-image generation and language translation.

Ultimately, this is a category the Galaxy S24 wins. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip inside the Samsung phone is comfortably ahead of the Tensor G3 chip, especially in graphics prowess, throttling, and efficiency.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: memory

A person holding the Google Pixel 8, showing the back of the phone.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Both phones offer 8GB of RAM, but the storage options may vary depending on the market. The Galaxy S24 is available in 128GB and 256GB storage options.

On the Pixel 8, you can also pick between 128GB and 256GB storage configurations. Furthermore, keep in mind that neither phone offers the facility to expand the onboard storage, and they will be getting space-hungry OS updates for seven years, so you might want to pick the 256GB storage option.

The storage options are identical for both phones, but with the Pixel 8 offering the same amounts of storage for $100 less, it takes the win.

Winner: Google Pixel 8

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: software

The Samsung Galaxy S24 sitting upright, showing its Quick Settings panel.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 runs One UI 6.1 based on Android 14. The latest iteration of Samsung’s Android interface comes with a whole bunch of new features — such as Circle to Search for looking up a highlighted item on the web, irrespective of the app you are using. Other notable features include real-time translation during phone calls, an interpreter mode for in-person on-screen language translation, automatic summarization and formatting suggestions in the Notes app, voice recording summarization, and more.

Samsung is also borrowing tricks from Google, such as writing style suggestions for message composition and in-chat translation that happens on-device. Thanks to partnerships with Qualcomm and Google, the pre-installed Gallery app now allows users to enhance images using AI. Titling and rotating images will now automatically involve filling the rest of the area using predictive pixel filling.

Likewise, you can select and move an object in the frame, and the AI will fill the void with intelligence environment-aware color fill. Other niceties include wallpaper support for always-on display mode, the ability to view Super-HDR photos in the Gallery app, and the merger of Nearby Sare and Quick Share into a single sharing platform.

A person holding the Google Pixel 8 showing the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On the flip side, Google’s take on Android is pristine, with nowhere close to the same amount of bloatware as One UI. Plus, timely updates and Pixel-first features set it leagues apart. It also benefits from its own host of AI smarts. The Google Assistant will hold your place in line during phone calls, filter out unwanted spam calls, automatically identify nearby songs, and a whole lot more. The Pixel 8 also benefits from regular Feature Drops, which add meaningful new features to the phone between the annual Android updates.

One UI has its strong suits, but the excellent blend of simplicity and useful software features on the Pixel 8 gives it the win.

Winner: Google Pixel 8

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: camera

A white Galaxy S24 laying on top of a gray Galaxy S24.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The biggest difference between the two phones is that the Galaxy S24 offers the convenience of a dedicated zoom camera. It offers a 50-megapixel primary camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom output.

A 12MP camera shoulders selfie and calling duties. The phone can record 8K videos at 30 fps and slow-mo videos at up to 240 fps. But thanks to on-device generative AI, it can also slow down regular high-res videos and transform them into slow-motion clips.

The Google Pixel 8's camera module.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On the Pixel 8, you get a 50MP main camera assisted by a 12MP wide-angle camera, while the front camera relies on a 10.5MP sensor. This one can only capture 4K videos at 60 fps but makes up for it with a ton of tricks like Macro Focus Video, Audio Magic Eraser, Face Unblur, Night Sight on Timelapse, and more.

Samsung is also trying to raise the bar with some impressive AI-centric camera features, but do keep in mind that the Pixels get a priority (and even remain get the exclusive rights) to some of the most advanced AI-assisted editing and camera tricks making their way to the Google Camera and Google Photos apps, respectively.

Both phones offer their own set of benefits. The Galaxy S24 offers the versatility of a dedicated zoom camera and a ton of camera tricks. The Pixel 8 is effortless at consistently clicking great pictures and adds a few surprisingly useful AI features into the mix. Until we can really put the Galaxy S24’s camera through its paces, we’re calling this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: battery and charging

All four colors of the Samsung Galaxy S24 next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Google has armed the Pixel 8 with a bigger 4,575 mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging. You can expect the battery to go from empty to 50% in 30 minutes.

The Galaxy S24 packs a smaller 4,000 battery that supports 25W wired charging. Both phones are Qi-compliant and support reverse wireless charging, which means you can transfer power to other phones and accessories, such as earbuds.

The Google smartphone charges quicker, but more importantly, it features a bigger battery. The gap is not much, but in a small form factor like these, married to power-hungry innards, every inch of an upper hand counts.

Winner: Google Pixel 8

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: price and availability

The Google Pixel 8's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 starts at $699 in the U.S. and is up for grabs from Google’s official online store and partner outlets. The $699 model gets you 128GB of storage, while the 256GB model sets you back $759.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 starts at $800 in the U.S. Preorders are open now, and units will start shipping by the end of January. You’ll pay $800 for the 128GB model and $860 for the 256GB one.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Google Pixel 8: verdict

Two Samsung Galaxy S24 units standing upright next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Both phones offer their own benefits, but it would ultimately boil down to three core metrics — camera, software, and silicon — which truly set them apart. Google takes the win with its signature Pixel experience on the software side, Samsung leads in the processor race, while the camera preference gets subjective here. But there’s also a gulf worth a minimum of $100 to consider. That’s not merely a saving in itself, but an added investment into accessories, such as a charging brick that doesn’t come in the retail box. It can also go toward buying a protective case, which is a must if you ask a sane person. Or maybe a pair of earbuds, like the OnePlus Buds 3, that offer noise cancellation perk for a sweet price of $99.

After-sales support is also a crucial consideration, at which Samsung’s expansive ground presence really eclipses the Google promises. Neither phone will be a bad choice, but if you want to get the best for your money and hope to enjoy the perks of a trusted brand with a track record of selling solid products, the Galaxy S24 should be higher on your radar.

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Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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