Android flagship phones have come a pretty long way in terms of hardware. Aside from massive spec upgrades, they now come in all shapes and sizes, each tailored for different price brackets, albeit with some compromises with features and functionality. Nevertheless, this has provided consumers with more choices, should they opt for something a bit more within their budget.
As such, Samsung’s base model Galaxy S23 serves as the most “basic” variant for this year’s Galaxy S-series flagships, and is aimed at buyers after a wallet-friendly option. For North American markets, the S23 goes up against other Android flagships such as Google’s Pixel 7, and for this one we’ve decided to put the two up against each other, and see what they have to offer. Let’s get started!
Design and Display
When it comes to display quality, Samsung objectively has the advantage. The S23 comes with a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which trumps the Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch AMOLED display, which is limited to 90Hz. For users looking for a smooth-looking display, then the S23 is the obvious choice. Of course, if you prefer a larger screen, then the Pixel will no doubt be more suitable for your needs.
Another major difference between the two phones is the design – the Pixel 7 goes for a more utilitarian-looking rectangular style, with a minimalistic camera bar that cuts horizontally on the rear panel. By contrast, the S23 goes for a more rounded design akin to its predecessor, and thanks to the smaller display and bezels, is a bit more compact overall.
As for camera hardware, the phones feature quite different set-ups. The Pixel 7 goes for a dual-array camera system at the back, which features a 50MP main sensor, accompanied by a 12MP ultrawide lens, which is joined by a 10.8MP front camera for selfies and video calls. The S23 meanwhile goes for a triple-sensor party at the back, featuring a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide lens, 10MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP selfie camera in front.
In this day and age, computational photography plays a major part in how smartphone cameras perform, and while photo quality is mostly a subjective affair, the addition of a telephoto lens on the S23 no doubt adds a different level of versatility that you won’t be able to get on the Pixel 7 (provided that you use the telephoto lens a lot), which means you can use the S23 for more long-distance shots with better quality, as well as add another layer of creativity to captured photos.
Internals and Battery
In terms of mobile processing power, Samsung has packed Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip into the S23 series phones, which comes with new additions like Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon Elite Gaming” features, which includes real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing for improved lighting and reflection effects in mobile games. Qualcomm also says that the 8 Gen 2 is also designed to be more power efficient, which should address battery drain issues on last year’s base model S22.
That’s not to say that the Pixel 7 chugs along slowly – the Tensor G2 chip is deceptively fast, and while it doesn’t vastly outperform its predecessor in terms of raw power, its performance is nevertheless impressive, being able to keep up with graphically-heavy games, and buttery-smooth speeds with everyday tasks. With that said though, if one were to refer strictly to benchmark scores, then the 8 Gen 2 definitely takes the cake. If you simply must have the latest Qualcomm chip in your hands, then the S23 is a great option.
Battery is where the Pixel 7 has a better advantage – Google’s flagship phone comes with a 4,355 mAh power cell, which is considerably larger than the 3,900 mAh battery inside the Galaxy S23. In all honesty, why Samsung once again stuck with a small capacity battery inside its flagship phone we’ll never know, but it goes without saying that the Pixel 7 easily takes this one.
Pricing and Availability
As for pricing, the Galaxy S23 currently goes for $799, which is around two hundred dollars more expensive than the Pixel 7 that retails for just $599. If you’re after a phone that’s reasonably fast, takes good photos, and has good battery performance, then the Pixel 7 is a definite winner right here. Of course, you can grab the S23 for much lower with special deals, but the same can be said for the Pixel as well.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 is probably easier to get, especially if you live in areas outside the US and Europe. Samsung’s reach in marketing, sales, and overall profits outperforms Google on a global scale, and for certain regions the Pixel is just downright difficult to purchase.
To make a long story short, whether or not you decide to get the S23 is up to you – for most people, it will be a matter of what they’re most familiar with, but it’s rather obvious that each phone comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, which should factor into one’s purchase decision. If you ever do decide to get the Samsung Galaxy S23 though, you can purchase it by clicking this link, which gets you a storage upgrade ($100 value) + $150 in Samsung Credit.