Samsung will launch its next Galaxy S flagship smartphones in the next couple of months, with rumours suggesting a launch date of 29 March. There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the two devices though, known as the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, giving us an idea of what to expect from the new devices.
How will they compare to their current competition? We have put the rumoured specs of the larger S8 Plus up against Google's larger Pixel device, the Pixel XL, to see how they might differ based on the speculation.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL: Design
- Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor expected on both
- S8 Plus should be waterproof, Pixel XL isn't
- Both should have USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio jack
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus will no doubt feature a lovely premium build, which will most likely continue with the glass and metal sandwich design found on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. According to the rumours and leaks though, Samsung will be ditching the physical home button on the front of the device in favour of an almost all-screen finish, repositioning the fingerprint sensor to the rear instead.
Measurements, especially width, are rumoured to be very similar to the S7 edge, which has a footprint of 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm. It is thought USB Type-C will be on board the S8 Plus too, along with the 3.5mm headphone jack which some other manufacturers have been keen to do away with. The S8 Plus is also thought to be retaining the IP68 waterproofing found on its predecessors.
The Google Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5mm, meaning it is a little wider than what is expected for the Galaxy S8 Plus and there is no waterproofing on board Google's device. It does offer a lovely premium design though, with metal and glass being the primary materials, though designed in a different way to what is expected from Samsung.
The Pixel XL also has USB Type-C and the 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and no physical buttons on the front of the device.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL: Display
- S8 Plus expected to have curved display
- Bigger display expected on S8 Plus
- Shaper display expected on Pixel XL
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is reported to be coming with a 6.2-inch curved display. As we mentioned though, despite the screen size increase, the S8 Plus is said to be sticking with similar measurements to the S7 edge, suggesting a big improvement in screen-to-body ratio.
There were a couple of rumours to suggest the resolution would see a bump over the S7 edge, but more recent reports have claimed Samsung will be sticking with a Quad HD Super AMOLED screen, but offer improvements for VR. If this is the case, the S8 Plus will have a pixel density of 473ppi.
The Google Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch flat display, which makes it quite a bit smaller than the expected S8 Plus and perhaps not as exciting in terms of design. It too uses AMOLED and it also has a Quad HD resolution however, meaning it will be slightly crisper and sharper on paper than the S8 Plus due to the size difference, with a pixel density of 534ppi.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL: Camera
- 12MP rear camera expected on both
- 8MP front camera expected on both
- S8 Plus could have OIS and wider aperture
There have been several rumours relating to the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus but the most reliable source claims the device will be coming with a 12-megapixel rear snapper and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
It has been claimed the front facing camera will also feature an iris scanner along with auto-focus, while the rear camera is said to be coming with a new visual search feature. Both are reported to have a f/1.7 aperture, which is the same as Samsung offered on the S7 edge.
The Google Pixel XL has a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with 1.55µm pixels and an aperture of f/2.0. It comes with phase detection autofocus and laser detection autofocus but not optical image stabilisation, the latter of which we hope to see on the S8 Plus. In terms of the front camera, the Pixel XL has an 8-megapixel resolution with fixed focus and an f/2.4 aperture.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL: Hardware
- Newer, faster hardware expected on S8 Plus
- Larger battery capacity expected on S8 Plus
- S8 Plus should have microSD
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is rumoured to be coming in two variants - one with the Exynos 8895 chip, the other with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. There have been numerous reports regarding RAM, with some claiming 4GB, while others have suggested both 6GB and 8GB. Internal storage is said to start from 64GB and microSD is claimed to be on board.
The Google Pixel XL runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, supported by 4GB of RAM. Storage options comprise a 32GB model and a 128GB model, neither of which offer microSD support for storage expansion.
The Galaxy S8 is said to be coming with a 3500mAh battery, while the Pixel XL has a 3450mAh battery, putting them almost on par in terms of capacity but bear in mind the S8 Plus will probably have newer hardware over the Pixel XL, which should hopefully mean improvements in performance.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL: Software
- Android Nougat expected on both
- Pixel XL runs vanilla Android
- Pixel XL has Google Assistant, S8 Plus will have Viv
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus will probably launch on Android Nougat from the box with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top. It will come with the Bixby voice assistant, Viv, and it has been claimed there will be an always-visible status bar, as well as the option to connect the handset to a monitor for a desktop view of Android.
The Google Pixel XL runs on the purest form of Android Nougat, meaning there is no extra bloatware or duplication, delivering a clean, seamless experience. The Pixel XL and its smaller sibling will also be the first devices to receive any new future Android updates and they also feature Google Assistant built-in.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL: Conclusion
Based on the rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus will feature a more exciting design over Google's Pixel XL, along with a larger screen within a similar footprint, faster hardware and a bigger battery capacity, which isn't too surprising given it will be the newer device.
The Pixel XL remains a fantastic device though and chances are the Pixel 2 will give the S8 Plus a run for its money whenever it launches. For now, if all the rumours come true, the Pixel XL will be for those who want a smooth, pure Android experience, while the S8 Plus will be for those after design and the latest hardware.
You never know though, things might sway in the Pixel XL's favour when the official specs of the S8 Plus are revealed so stay tuned.