Samsung's latest Galaxy Unpacked event has revealed the next Galaxy S devices in the form of the S8 and the S8+.
The two devices have been the subject of rumours for several months but now all the leaks and speculation has been put to rest with the official details all available. The big question is, how do they compare to their competition?
Here is the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus stacked up against the Pixel and Pixel XL. You can also read our separate features on how they compare to the LG G6, as well as how they compare to their predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Design
- S8 and S8+ have slimmer bezels
- S8 and S8+ IP68 waterproof
- All devices have rear fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C and 3.5mm headphone jack
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature an identical design, but differ in terms of physical size. They retain the glass and metal sandwich build that saw the S6 and S7 devices rise to success, but the home button has been ditched in favour of an almost all-screen front and pressure-sensitve controls built into the lower section of their displays instead.
The S8 and S8 Plus offer similar dimensions to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge despite a screen increase, with the S8 measuring 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and the S8 Plus measuring 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm. The fingerprint sensor has been repositioned to the rear of the devices and Samsung has retained 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 the S8 and S8 Plus do.
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, as do Samsung's in the UK. Samsung's are also IP68 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+ displays both larger than Pixel and Pixel XL
- S8 and S8+ both curved with 18.5:9 aspect ratios
- S8 and S8+ both have at least Quad HD+ resolutions
The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a curved 5.8-inch AMOLED display, while the S8 Plus has a curved 6.2-inch AMOLED screen. As we mentioned above, the footprint of both devices remains similar to their predecessors, which is thanks to the 18.5:9 aspect ratio over the typical 16:9 ratio, making the new displays taller but not wider in order to offer a larger display diagonally.
Resolution on both Samsung devices is Quad HD+, which translates to 2960 x 1440 pixels, which is a pixel density of 570ppi on the Galaxy S8 and 529ppi on the Galaxy S8+. The two devices also have Mobile HDR Premium on board, which has been certified by the Ultra HD Alliance.
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. The Samsung devices are therefore both be larger than the two Pixel handsets, as well as sharper in the case of the Galaxy S8 and similar in the case of the S8+ and Pixel XL.
Both Pixels also opt for AMOLED panels like the Samsung devices, but both have flat displays rather than curved. The do both have 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass however.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Camera
- All devices have 12MP rear camera, 8MP front
- S8 and S8 Plus have OIS and Bixby Vision
- S8 and S8 Plus have auto-focus on front
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature a 12-megapixel Duo Pixel camera on the rear, coupled with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Both have an aperture of f/1.7 and the rear camera on both integrates a new visual search feature called Bixby Vision that allows users to scan things with the devices then returning information results or shopping options.
The front camera on the S8 and S8+ also features auto-focus rather than fixed and the two Samsung devices also have iris scanning capabilities. Additionally, the rear cameras use multi-frame image processing, meaning three images are taken and the information combined to produce one image with more detail.
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.
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 offers the same resolution, it offers improvements in the focusing department.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Hardware
- S8 and S8 Plus offer faster processor
- Larger respective battery capacities on S8 and S8 Plus
- All have USB Type-C and 3.5mm headphone jack
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus come with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895, depending on region. All models will offer 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and microSD support for expansion.
There is a 3000mAh battery capacity under the hood of the S8 and a 3500mAh capacity for the S8 Plus, both of which are charged via USB Type-C and support both fast charging and wireless charging. As mentioned previously, the 3.5mm headphone jack has also been retained.
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+ have Bixby assistant
- Quicker software updates on Pixel and Pixel XL
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus both launch on Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top, meaning a little more bloatware on top of vanilla Android. A new Samsung AI system called Bixby is present on both devices, launched via a dedicated button on the left hand side of the two handsets, and the S8 and S8+ also offer Google Assistant support.
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 feature Google Assistant built-in.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Price
- Pixel devices cheaper
- Samsung devices come with AKG headphones
The Samsung Galaxy S8 will retail at £689, while the Galaxy S8+ will cost £779. They come with AKG headphones in the box and pre-orders are open now with general availability starting 28 April.
The Google Pixel starts at £599, while the Pixel XL starts at £719.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Pixel vs Pixel XL: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature larger, sharper displays, more powerful hardware, larger battery capacities 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, they do have a pure Android software experience, along with an excellent camera.
We will update this feature when we have reviewed the S8 and S8 Plus to see how these two devices compare to the Pixel devices 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 so you might want to wait if you're leaning more towards Pixel.