Sunday, April 14, 2024
Smart Phones

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Pixel 8 Pro: expected differences


Intro

Samsung is expected to launch its S24 series earlier and some say this could happen as early as January 2024, so in about three months we may already have the new Galaxy S24 Ultra powerhouse.

The big news for the S24 Ultra is it will be the first mainstream phone with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, and expectations for that chip are sky-high, and then Samsung will also make some big changes to the camera system, and tweak the design as well.
Let’s see how all of this compares to the Pixel 8 Pro, a fast device with a capable camera of its own.

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Pixel 8 Pro expected differences:

  • Galaxy to be a slightly larger and heavier phone
  • Galaxy to have the mower powerful processor
  • Galaxy has four cameras on the back, Pixel has three (one less zoom camera)
  • Pixel has advanced photo and video editing features
  • Galaxy has S Pen
  • Both have 5,000-ish mAh battery size
  • Samsung supports slightly faster charging speeds

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Slightly bigger size on the Galaxy and it also has the S Pen

The Galaxy S24 Ultra and Pixel 8 Pro are both big phones, make no mistake about it, but while they are both big, the Galaxy is just a bit larger.

It has a slightly bigger 6.8-inch screen vs a 6.7-inch one on the Pixel, it has a wider stance, and it is expected to weigh quite a bit more at 233 grams vs 213 grams on the Pixel.

The Galaxy also sticks with the passport like shape with sharp corners, while the Pixel has rounded corners and a more traditional look.

The one defining element of the Galaxy Ultra series – the S Pen – is still here, but we don’t expect to see major changes to it.

The rest seems to be quite familiar – power and volume buttons are on the right side on both phones, there are no new buttons, and on the bottom you have a USB-C charging port. Both also get IP68 water and dust protection, which has been the standard on all flagships in the past few years.

The Pixel 8 Pro is available in three color choices: Porcelain, Obsidian, and Bay Blue. As for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, we still don’t know but expect to see a black version, a white one and at least one special color.

Both phones will have a slim box, with just a cable and no charger included.

Display Differences

We already mentioned the screen sizes: the Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to have a 6.8-inch screen, while the Pixel 8 Pro has a 6.7-inch display.

Samsung is expected to catch up with the Pixel here and upgrade to a screen that can hit 2,500 nits of brightness, a big upgrade from before (the Pixel has a 2,400 nit display).

Both also use LTPO panels with adaptive refresh rate that can modulate between 1Hz for static content and up to 120Hz for buttery smooth scrolling.

Samsung is also transitioning back to a flat screen. There will be just a very tiny curve on the glass, but nothing like in previous years, and the Pixel 8 Pro is also using a flat display. It seems that the time of curved screens is going away.

As for biometrics, both rely on a fingerprint scanner built inside the screen, but the Galaxy is expected to use an ultrasonic one, while the Pixel uses an optical fingerprint reader, which might blind you at night and is generally not quite as fast.

Performance and Software

Snapdragon vs Tensor
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to become the first mainstream phone to launch with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest creation, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, while Google relies on its own Tensor G3 chip.

As far as performance is concerned, the Snapdragon chip is much more powerful, and rumors say it is quite power-efficient too.

Let’s not rush to conclusions before we test this, but this chip sounds very promising.

One big IF however is that Samsung might go back to using two different chips depending on the market. In the US, the Galaxy S24 Ultra should get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but in the UK and Europe consumers might get a different version powered by a Samsung-made Exynos processor that could be slower.

When it comes to RAM, storage and prices, we are not sure yet with some rumors saying Samsung might bring back a model with 8GB RAM / 128GB storage (the S23 Ultra model started at 256GB), but that’s not certain. What seems more likely is that we get a base model with 12GB RAM and 256 GB storage, and then a 12/512GB and possibly a 16/1TB model. Some rumors even claim we might see a 2TB version too.

As for the Pixel 8 Pro, all versions come with 12GB of RAM, and you have either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage.

The other big difference between the two is the software.

Google made a splash by announcing seven years of software update support for the Pixel 8 series, and Samsung has to catch up as it currently has a commitment of four years of major OS updates.

As for the looks and styling, the Pixel goes with a clean Android style with no bloatware, but also some Google elements that you cannot remove from your home screen, while Samsung goes for its own styling with One UI 6 and it has a few more power user features and customization options.

Camera

Battle for best camera phone gets heated

Samsung and Google take two different paths towards achieving great image quality.

Both use high-end sensors, but Google bets heavily on AI and even cloud AI processing, while Samsung takes a more traditional approach and just goes heavy on the lenses and camera hardware.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to come with four cameras on its back, compared to three cameras on the Pixel 8 Pro.

The main camera will be the one you use the most, and it’s expected to be an updated 200MP shooter on the Galaxy, while the Pixel goes with a 50MP main sensor. In reality, you will get 12MP default photo size on both phones, with high-res photos as an option.

Interestingly, the Pixel 8 Pro seems to have the more capable ultra-wide camera with a larger 48MP sensor compared to a 12MP ultra-wide camera on the Galaxy (but again, let’s wait to test these two).

The area where Samsung makes bigger changes is the zoom camera. Gone is the 10X zoom lens and instead we get a new 5X zoom periscope lens with a 50MP sensor, and then an additional 10MP 3X zoom camera. So you have two zoom cameras on the Galaxy at 3X and 5X, while on the Pixel you only have a 5X zoom lens. What this means is that Galaxy will have a big advantage in the 3X to 4.9X zoom range.

We are yet to see if Samsung has prepared an answer for the Magic Editor and Video Boost feature on the Pixel 8 Pro.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Both the Galaxy and Pixel come with a dual-speaker system with a bottom-firing main loudspeaker and a helper speaker in the earpiece at the top.

Samsung uses a new design for the speaker on the bottom, using one pill-shaped cutout instead of multiple holes like it used to do before, and that might indicate that some other improvements to sound quality have been made, but it’s still too early to know.

As for haptics, the Pixel 8 Pro has been really impressive with tight and well-adjusted vibration motor, and we hope Samsung can match its quality.

Battery Life and Charging

Same-ish battery size, slightly faster charging on the Galaxy

The Galaxy is expected to have a 5,000mAh battery, same as in previous years, and the Pixel 8 Pro comes equipped with about the same size at 5,050mAh.

In reality, we expect both to last around a day and a half, but the Galaxy is a wildcard with that new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip inside which promises power-efficiency improvements, so let’s wait and see.

As for charging, you have 45W wired charging on the Galaxy which should take around an hour to top up the battery and 30W charging speeds on the Pixel 8 Pro which takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes for a full charge. Not the fastest phones around, but not terrible either.

Both also support wireless charging. For the Pixel, you would need Google’s own charger to achieve the advertized 23W charging speeds, while the Galaxy should hit up to 15W with a supported standard Qi wireless charger.

Specs Comparison

*Data marked with asterisk based on preliminary leaks, rumors or speculation.

As you can see, the big advantage of the S24 Ultra is mostly due to that new and more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. 

Summary

Samsung is expected to raise the bar with a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a refined camera system, and some design tweaks, and for those who want the S Pen it’s the obvious choice.

But Google has improved quite a lot on its own: the Pixel 8 Pro feels very smooth in daily use, the camera performance is great, and Google has taken on a serious seven year software update commitment. 

That would be one tough choice to make between these two, but we will be updating you with more details as the Galaxy S24 Ultra launch looms closer and they inevitably appear, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, let us know which one are you more excited about, the Galaxy or the Pixel, and why?



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