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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Android flagships compared

Samsung has released its flagship smartphone for 2024, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, but how does it compare to Google’s own top-of-the-line Pixel 8 Pro

The Galaxy S Series and the Google Pixel are two of the most popular picks in the world of Android phones. Both devices share the same traditional smartphone form factor, setting them apart from competing foldables, and both phones run Google’s latest version of its Android operating system, Android 14. 

However, there’s much more to each phone than appearance and operating system. Stay on this page to discover how the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra stacks up to the Google Pixel 8 Pro when it comes to the design, display, camera, specs and battery life.

Design and display 

When it comes to their designs, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro have a similar size and feel to them. 

The Samsung is slightly wider and heavier than the Pixel, while the Pixel is a tiny bit slimmer. The Samsung also has a more durable titanium frame compared to the traditional aluminium one on the Pixel 8 Pro and the Samsung comes in a wider variety of colours. 

The camera modules on the rear of either phone also appear very different, with the Pixel sporting a horizontal metallic bar, while the Galaxy keeps its cluster of cameras in the upper left corner of the phone. 

When it comes to their displays, the Samsung has a slightly larger 6.8-inch AMOLED screen to the Pixel’s 6.7-inch OLED display and a higher 2600-nit peak brightness to the Pixel’s 2400-nit brightness. 

Both phones take advantage of matching 120Hz variable refresh rates and always-on technology. 

The last difference lies in the S Pen stylus which comes packaged with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. This makes doodling and note-taking feel more natural on the Samsung phone. 

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The Google Pixel 8 Pro features a triple camera made up of a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 48-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with a 126-degree FOV and a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor with 5x optical zoom. 

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the other hand, has a quad camera consisting of a 200-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with a 120-degree FOV, a 50-megapixel periscope telephoto sensor with 5x optical zoom and a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom. 

Interestingly, Samsung has reduced its zoom capabilities from 10x optical zoom on the Galaxy S23 Ultra to 5x optical zoom on the S24 Ultra, which might sound like a downgrade. However, the sensor itself is much larger, meaning you can expect improved image quality from the 5x zoom camera. 

The Samsung also has a bigger front camera and a higher video resolution at 8K/30fps and 4K/120fps up from the Pixel’s 4K/60fps video. 

Both cameras are incredibly capable and versatile, making the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro two of the best camera phones around right now. We found that the camera on the Galaxy S24 Ultra offered great clarity, vibrant colours and excellent dynamic range. The Pixel 8 Pro’s camera is likewise impressive, delivering striking images with vibrant but subtle colours, huge amounts of detail and accurate skin tones. 

Both camera phones also benefit from a range of AI-powered shooting and editing features. 

On the Galaxy S24 Ultra this includes the Generative Edit for erasing distractions and straightening a crooked image and Instant Slo-mo to give any video that slow-motion effect. The Pixel 8 Pro also uses generative AI to transform images, with the Magic Editor turning grey skies into blue ones and removing objects from your image. There’s also Best Take which grabs the best facial expressions from a selection of photos and imposes them over your chosen image, allowing you to make sure no one is blinking or scowling in a group photo. 

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Specs and features 

When it comes to performance, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro are powered by two different flagship chipsets. The Galaxy S24 Ultra packs a custom version of Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset designed for Galaxy phones, while the Pixel 8 Pro uses Google’s own Tensor G3 processor. 

You can see how the two smartphones compare when it comes to performance in the table below, with the Galaxy outperforming the Pixel in every single one of our benchmarking tests. 

While both phones top out at 1TB of storage and 12GB of RAM, the Pixel 8 Pro includes the smallest 128GB storage option, which might help the company to keep the price of the smartphone down. As it is, the Pixel 8 Pro starts at $999/£999, while prices for the Galaxy S24 Ultra begin at $1299/£1249. 

As already mentioned, both phones run on Google’s Android 14 operating system. However, where the Pixel runs the cleanest version of Android, Samsung places its own One UI skin on top of the latest version of Android. 

The Galaxy also supports Samsung DeX, while the Pixel 8 Pro packs a temperature sensor. 

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Battery life 

Finally, it’s important to consider battery life before picking up a new phone. 

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro share very similar battery sizes, but how does this translate to real-world use? We found that both phones were able to deliver a full day of use on one charge, often with enough battery left to get us through the beginning of the next day. 

When it comes to charging, there are a couple of differences here. Samsung supports faster 45W wired charging, enabling it to hit the 50% mark in 26 minutes. The Pixel took 39 minutes to reach the same point when paired with a 30W charger. 

The Pixel, meanwhile, delivers faster wireless charging with 23W support to the S24 Ultra’s 15W. Both smartphones support reverse wireless charging. 

Final verdict 

When it comes to Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro are both brilliant options. 

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has a more powerful chipset and this is reflected in the price. However, both smartphones benefit from stunning displays, versatile cameras, all-day battery lives and plenty of AI-powered perks.

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