Samsung's next Galaxy Unpacked event is scheduled for 29 March where it is expected to reveal the next Galaxy S devices.
The S8 and S8 Plus have been the subject of rumours for several months though, giving us an idea as to what might appear, but how will they compare to their competition?
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Design
- S8 and S8 Plus rumoured to have slimmer bezels
- S8 and S8 Plus rumoured to be waterproof
- All devices thought to have rear fingerprint sensor
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are rumoured to feature the same design, but differ in terms of physical size. It is thought they will retain the glass and metal sandwich build that saw the S6 and S7 devices rise to success, but the home button is claimed to be ditched in favour of an almost all-screen front.
According to the rumours, the S8 and S8 Plus will offer similar dimensions to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge despite a screen increase, potentially meaning a thickness around 7.9mm. The fingerprint sensor appears to be moving to the rear of the device and it is believed Samsung will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, while also introducing USB Type-C.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL also offer the same design as each other, except for size. Both have a primarily metal body with the top third of their rear featuring a glass panel. The Pixel is the smaller of the two, measuring 143.8 x 69.5mm, while the Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.8mm. Both are between 7.3 and 8.5mm thick and they both have larger bezels around the display than what it expected for the S8 and S8 Plus.
A circular fingerprint sensor is positioned on the rear of both the Pixel and Pixel XL and they both come with a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C. Google's devices come in three colour options, while Samsung's are reported to be coming in seven. Samsung's are also thought to be I68 waterproof, while the Pixel devices are not puddle or pool friendly.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Display
- S8 and S8 Plus both expected to be larger than Pixel and Pixel XL
- S8 and S8 Plus should both be curved
- S8 and S8 Plus both expected to have at least Quad HD resolutions
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is said to be coming with a curved 5.8-inch display, while the S8 Plus is rumoured to be featuring a curved 6.2-inch screen. As we mentioned above, it has been claimed the footprint of both devices will remain similar to their predecessors, meaning big improvements in screen-to-body ratios.
Resolution is still up in the air, with reports of both Quad HD and Quad HD+, but Super AMOLED technology is expected and we wouldn't be surprised to see HDR on board too. It is also thought there will be a virtual home button bored into the lower section of the displays.
The Pixel has a 5-inch display with a Full HD resolution for a pixel density of 440ppi, while the Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch display with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in 534ppi. If rumours are accurate, the Samsung devices will both be larger than the two Pixel handsets, but not necessarily sharper, depending on whether Quad HD or Quad HD+ is on board.
Both Pixels opt for AMOLED panels, but both have flat displays rather than curved. The do both have 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass however. Samsung will also no doubt opt for Gorilla Glass protection but rumours have yet to detail what grade.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Camera
- All devices thought to have 12MP rear camera, 8MP front
- S8 and S8 Plus expected to have OIS
- S8 and S8 Plus could have auto-focus on front
Based on the rumours, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will feature a 12-megapixel Duo Pixel camera on the rear, coupled with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It is thought both will have an aperture of f/1.7 and that there will be a new visual search feature on board the rear.
The front is also expected to come with auto-focus rather than fixed and iris scanning capabilities have also been suggested.
The Pixel and Pixel XL both have a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with 1.55µm pixels, along with an aperture of f/2.0 and a combination of phase detection and laser detection. There is no optical image stabilisation however, something Samsung is expected to offer.
On the front of the two Pixel devices, there is an 8-megapixel snapper with 1.4µm pixels and an aperture of f/2.4. It features fixed focus so while Samsung s looking like it will offer the same resolution, there may be improvements elsewhere.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Hardware
- S8 and S8 Plus should offer faster processor
- Larger respective battery capacities expected for S8 and S8 Plus
- All should have USB Type-C and 3.5mm headphone jack
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are reported to be coming with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895, depending on region. It is thought some regions will have 6GB of RAM, while others will offer 4GB and it is expected that at least 64GB of internal storage will be available, with microSD support for expansion.
Reports suggest there will be a 3000mAh battery capacity under the hood of the S8 and a 3500mAh capacity for the S8 Plus. As mentioned previously, it is thought the 3.5mm headphone jack will be retained and USB Type-C will be on board, as you would expect.
The Pixel and Pixel XL both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, like the LG G6, coupled with 4GB of RAM and a choice between 32GB of internal storage, or 128GB. Neither offer microSD support for storage expansion.
The Pixel has a 2770mAh battery, while the Pixel XL has a 3450mAh battery, both of which are charged via USB Type-C. The two Google devices also have the 3.5mm headphone jack, as we said above.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Software
- Pixel and Pixel XL have Google Assistant
- S8 and S8 Plus will have Viv assistant
- Quicker updates on Pixel and Pixel XL
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will both launch on Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top, meaning a little more bloatware on top of vanilla Android. The South Korean company has confirmed the devices will also feature the Bixby-powered personal assistant, Viv, and it is thought a dedicated button will be introduced to the design of the handsets.
The Pixel and Pixel XL both run on pure Android Nougat with no bloatware so they will be the first to receive any updates, while also offering a refined experience. They are Android's poster boys and they also feature Google Assistant built-in.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Conclusion
Based on the rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will feature a larger, sharper display, more powerful hardware, a larger battery capacity and a more exciting design than the two Pixel devices.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are fantastic smartphones though and although they might not have a curved display, or the latest processor, like the S8 and S8 Plus are expected to offer, they do have a pure Android software experience, along with an excellent camera.
Everything is speculation for now when it comes to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus but we will update this feature with the official specs when they are announced, as well as when we have reviewed it to see how these two devices compare in the real world rather than just on the spec sheet. It is also worth remembering that the Pixel 2 will be due in the next few months.