The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is official. This phone is basically the best smartphone in Samsung’s lineup at the moment. We’re not just talking about hardware, but the inclusion of AI features has truly made the Galaxy S24 Ultra one of the more compelling phones of 2024. But they’re not alone. Google’s Pixel 8 Pro launched in 2023 with AI features of its phone, making it a competitor to the Galaxy S24 Ultra, so which should you choose?
If there’s one thing we can’t really say we like about Google’s Pixel phones, it would be its design. Their Pixel phones tend to sport a design language that kind of lacks a bit of sophistication and maturity, but that’s just our opinion. The Pixel 8 Pro is no exception.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra features the use of titanium which lends an air of luxury, not to mention it makes the phone light and durable. Google’s Pixel 8 Pro still relies on aluminum for the frame, which is perfectly fine, but so do a ton of other Android smartphones.
The Pixel 8 Pro’s camera module is rather unique in terms of design, but whether or not it’s for you is a matter of personal preference. We think it’s kind of refreshing, at least compared to the sea of Android smartphones out there.
Both phones do come with an IP68 rating so you can rest assured when it comes to water resistance.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a slightly larger display measuring 6.8-inches, making it 0.1-inches bigger than the Pixel 8 Pro’s 6.7-inch screen. The Galaxy S24 Ultra also has the brightest display of any Samsung phone to date with a peak brightness of 2,600 nits. The Pixel 8 Pro isn’t too far behind at 2,400 nits. Both handsets also have a refresh rate of 120Hz.
The resolution of both phones are different, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra sporting a 3120×1440 resolution, while the Pixel 8 Pro has a 2992×1344 resolution. But in terms of pixel density, they’re not too far off at 505 PPI and 489 PPI respectively. Samsung’s flagship does use the newer Gorilla Glass Armor while the Pixel 8 Pro uses the Gorilla Glass Victus 2.
This is where the differences between both phones become more apparent. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is a performance beast. Benchmarks on Geekbench 6 show the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 blowing past the Google Tensor G3 in both single and multi-core performance.
To be fair to Google, they never claimed that its Tensor chipsets are designed to outperform Qualcomm’s offerings. It’s more about Google creating and managing its hardware and software on a similar scale as Apple. Perhaps future versions of Tensor will catchup, but for now, the Tensor G3 isn’t on par.
This doesn’t mean that the Pixel 8 Pro will be terrible in terms of gaming or running more demanding apps. It will ultimately depend on what you want to do with your phone and what you want to get out of it. If you want a more “pure” and “optimized” Android experience, the Pixel 8 Pro is definitely the better choice.
While the hardware shows how different the Galaxy S24 Ultra is from the Pixel 8 Pro, the software actually shows how similar both phones are. Samsung is introducing AI features to the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and some of those features are actually courtesy of Google.
This includes the new Circle to Search feature that lets users look up anything on their smartphone’s screen. There’s also new Android Auto features that can summarize text messages and offer up suggested replies. Samsung has included its own AI like Live Translate and Voice Recordings.
As for the actual Android experience, Google has long pivoted away from offering the “vanilla” Android experience you might find on older Nexus and Pixel phones. Instead, Google offers a more optimized version of Android, or rather, the version that they think is the best.
It is a more “pure” Google experience, so if that’s something you prefer over Samsung’s own interpretation with One UI, then this is something to consider. At the end of the day, both phones still run on Android and the core Android experience and features are there.
Google has never been one to stuff as many megapixels in their cameras as possible. The company famously proved many years ago that its single lens camera was capable of reproducing the quality and effects with dual cameras. Google continues that tradition today of relying heavily on software and its algorithm to help process its images.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra does pack a 200MP sensor for its main shooter and has also included some AI features in its camera software. This allows users to do things like reposition subjects in post, as well as offer users editing suggestions to get the best possible photo.
Our review of the Pixel 8 Pro’s cameras have found Google’s use of hardware and software to be pretty amazing, so for the most part, we expect both phones to be relatively on par with each other. The Galaxy S24 Ultra does have the added advantage of having one more telephoto lens which could benefit some users.
Pricing is where Google pretty much has Samsung beat. The Pixel 8 Pro is priced at $999. This makes the phone about $300 cheaper than the Galaxy S24 Ultra. If price is a concern for you, then the Pixel 8 Pro could be the better choice.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is priced starting at $1,299. If you’re questioning if you should spend that extra $300, luckily for you, Samsung is offering various pre-order deals where you can get $200 Amazon gift cards and up to $750 in trade-in value. So if you’re set on getting the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, then do check out these pre-order deals to save some money.
- Galaxy S24 Ultra – $1,300 with $200 gift card (use code FEA7SP3UFDJN)
- Galaxy S24+ – $1,000 with $150 gift card (use code MJ93PYFCJHOJ)
- Galaxy S24 Ultra – $800 with $50 gift card (use code TTYSDPOR7WPL)
Galaxy S24 Ultra
- Offer: Up to $750 Enhanced Trade-In + $50 Howl-Exclusive Samsung Credit + Free Memory Upgrade + $100 eCert + 10% Student Discount
- Offer: Up to $650 Enhanced Trade-In + $50 Howl-Exclusive Samsung Credit + Free Memory Upgrade + $75 eCert +7.5% Student Discount
- Offer: Up to $550 Enhanced Trade-In + $50 Howl-Exclusive Samsung Credit + Free Memory Upgrade + $25 eCert + 5% Student Discount
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