Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Pixel 3 – Design
We may have praised the Pixel 3 for its improved design in our review, but let’s face facts. It’s a bit of a plain Jane. Comparing it to the Samsung Galaxy S10 really doesn’t do it any favours either.
The new Samsung wows with its front-filling display, which literally pushes back the boundaries with dual-curved sides and a novel Infinity-O front-camera arrangement. By contrast, the Pixel 3’s Frankenstein forehead and Buzz Lightyear chin leave it looking like a relic from the distant past. We’re talking, like, 2010 here.
Things are a little more interesting around back, as the Pixel 3 adopts a distinctive split shiny/matte glass finish. By contrast, the Galaxy S10’s all-shiny glass back feels a little more, dare we say, generic. Not to mention smudge-prone.
Fear not, though. Both phones have an IP68 rating, so they shouldn’t be letting foreign matter into their precious innards in a hurry.
Holding the two phones side-by-side, you’ll find that the Galaxy S10 is the slightly bigger of the two – though there isn’t all that much in it. They’re almost identical when it comes to thickness, and the Galaxy S10 is a mere 9g heavier.
Which actually serves to make the Galaxy S10 all the more impressive when you consider its specs.
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Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Pixel 3 – Specs and features
The Galaxy S10 is only slightly bigger than the Pixel 3, but remember what we said about its front-filling display compared to the Pixel 3’s rather old-fashioned design.
Sure enough, the Galaxy S10’s 6.1-inch screen is considerably larger than its 5.5-inch counterpart. It’s a much longer display, in particular, with a 19:9 aspect ratio leaving the Pixel 3’s 18:9 screen feeling positively stumpy.
The final bragging point the S10 has over Pixel 3 here is that it’s much sharper, with a QHD+ resolution packing way more pixels in than the Full HD+ Google phone. They’re both OLED panels, though, which means that both are vibrant and contrasty. Samsung is the OLED master, though, so we’d expect it to come out trumps on sheer picture quality.
|Galaxy S10||Pixel 3|
|Dimensions||149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm||145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm|
|Display||6.1-inch, 19:9 (Edge), Wide Quad HD+, Dynamic AMOLED+||5.5-inch, 18:9, Full HD+, P-OLED|
|Rear camera||Dual Pixel 12-megapixel OIS f/1.5 – f/2.4 AF
16-megapixel ultra-wide f/2.2 FF
12-megapixel telephoto OIS f/2.4 AF
|12.2-megapixel OIS f/1.8 AF|
|Front camera||Dual Pixel 10-megapixel f/1.9 AF||8-megapixel f/1.8 AF
|Memory||8GB + 128GB
8GB + 512GB
– microSD up to 512GB (all versions)
|4GB + 64GB
4GB + 128GB
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
|Fast battery charging
Qi wireless charging
|Security||In-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
2D face recognition
|Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor|
|Processor||Octa-core 8nm processor||Octa-core 10nm processor|
|Network||Up to 7 CA, LTE Cat.20||LTE Cat.16|
You can be sure that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be way faster than the Pixel 3, too. Google’s phone runs on the Snapdragon 845, which was the go-to CPU for a 2018 flagship. But the Galaxy S10 runs on 2019 hardware, including the Snapdragon 855 in select territories.
Most people (including us in the UK) will be getting Samsung’s own Exynos 9820 CPU, though. Early benchmarks suggest that this could be even quicker than its Qualcomm equivalent, though there shouldn’t be a lot in it.
Another edge that the Galaxy S10 has is the not insignificant matter of double the RAM. It also packs way more storage as standard, with the entry-level S10’s 128GB matching the top Pixel 3 model. Samsung’s phone also provides a microSD slot, which Google’s does not.
Samsung has also moved things forward with its use of an in-display fingerprint sensor, as opposed to the Pixel 3’s separate rear-mounted sensor. The S10 packs cutting edge ultrasonic technology, which promises to be even more secure than older methods. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s as speedy or reliable.
The Galaxy S10’s battery is around 500mAh bigger than the Pixel 3’s, but it’s worth remembering that bigger, brighter, sharper display. Both phones pack fast and wireless charging, though the S10 can also charge other wireless charging devices, which is a neat bonus.
Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Pixel 3 – Camera
It’s clear to see that the Galaxy S10 holds almost all the cards when it comes to a hardware face off with the Pixel 3. All except one.
While Samsung might have improved the S10’s camera offering with a triple-sensor set-up, it’s worth remembering that the Pixel 3 beat all comers in 2018 with just a single camera. Thanks to Google’s unparalleled software smarts, the Pixel 3 reels of the finest smartphone snaps in the business with minimal fuss.
There was certainly clear space between the Pixel 3 and the Galaxy S9 camera in the 2018 shootout. It’s going to be a big challenge for the Galaxy S10 to prove itself a match for the Pixel 3, let alone the superior of the two.
Of course, Huawei has provided a precedent for taking the fight to the Pixel 3 camera with brute force, courtesy of its own triple-camera Mate 20 Pro. The S10 offers hope for a similarly flexible shooter, with a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens combining with a variable aperture main sensor.
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On the selfie front, the S10 offers a 10-megapixel f/1.9 unit, while the Pixel 3 goes with a novel dual-camera 8-megapixel front camera.
Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Pixel 3 – Software
Samsung’s new One UI offers hope that the company has learned from the software mistakes of its past. It’s a much cleaner, more inviting and less cumbersome OS skin than the TouchWiz years.
However, it’s going to have to really knock it out of the park to beat Google’s own Android experience in the Pixel 3. We’ve seen from Apple the kind of gains your make when a hardware manufacturer has complete control of the software environment, and the Pixel 3 follows suit.
It’s a remarkably fluid, fast and intuitive experience. What’s more, it being a Google phone, you get all of the firmware and security updates as and when they’re ready. Samsung, on the other hand, has never been one for timely software updates.
The Galaxy S10’s software looks to be the best Samsung effort in some years. But we’re still giving the edge to the Pixel 3 and its homegrown Android Pie OS.
Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Pixel 3 – Price and availability
The Google Pixel 3 shipped in November 2018, and is available to buy now from a variety of retailers. Over on Google’s official storefront, prices start from £739 for the 64GB model, moving up to £839 for the 128GB model. The base 128GB Galaxy S10 costs £799, while the 512GB SKU costs £999 SIM-free.
Google’s Pixel 3 looks decidedly dated compared to the Samsung Galaxy S10, with inferior specs and a more prosaic bezel-heavy design favouring the newer device. There isn’t much of a price gap, either. Whether Samsung can close the camera and software gaps on Google remains to be seen, however.