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Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S23+: Trading blows

The Pixel 8 Pro and S23+ are both compelling smartphones

The Pixel 8 Pro is the best phone Google has ever made and one of the best phones of the year so far. Some incredible software features back up the new cameras, the new display is retina-searing, and the phone is guaranteed updates for seven years. These features raised the price over last year, putting it next to the Galaxy S23+. How does the Pixel 8 Pro compare?

Price, specs & availability

The Pixel 8 Pro starts at $1,000 for 128GB. It is available from Google and most retailers in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. The Galaxy S23+ starts at $1,000 for 256GB of storage and is available worldwide from Samsung and major retailers.

The Pixel 8 Pro also comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options which cost $1,060, $1,120, and $1,220 respectively. The S23+ maxes out at 512GB for $1,120.

  • Google Pixel 8 Pro Samsung Galaxy S23+
    SoC Google Tensor G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
    RAM 12GB 8GB
    Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB 256GB or 512GB
    Battery 5050mAh 4700mAh
    Ports USB-C USB-C
    Operating System Android 14 Android 13 with OneUI 5.1.1
    Front camera 10.5MP Dual PD sel�fie camera 12MP f/2.2
    Rear camera 50MP Octa PD wide camera, 48MP Quad PD ultrawide camera, 48 MP Quad PD telephoto camera 50MP f/1.8 OIS main; 12MP f2.2 ultrawide (120°); 10MP f/2.4 OIS telephoto (3x)
    Connectivity UWB, NFC UWB, NFC
    Dimensions 162.6 × 76.5 × 8.8mm 163.3 × 78 × 8.9mm
    Colors Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay Phantom, Cream, Green, Lavender + exclusive Lime, Graphite
    Weight 213g 196g
    Charge speed 30W wired, 18W wireless 45W wired, 15W wireless
    IP Rating IP68 IP68
    Price $999 From $1,000


A Google Pixel 8 Pro smartphone sitting on a park bench.

Both phones are similar in size and have rounded corners, glossy frames, matte backs, and flat screens. Despite those similarities, these phones look nothing alike. The Pixel 8 Pro further refines the camera bar introduced with the Pixel 6, made of metal with one glass cutout for the triple cameras. The S23+ cameras stand out as individual lenses in a vertical orientation. Both phones use Gorilla Glass Victus 2 front and back.

Around the front, the two devices look similar with their rounded corners and hole-punch. The key difference here is the fingerprint scanner. They’re both beneath the display, but while the Pixel 8 Pro sticks with an often-unreliable optical scanner, the S23+ has an ultrasonic sensor. The Ultrasonic scanner is faster, more accurate, and even works when your hands are dry or damp.


The Pixel 8 Pro's home screen

For years, Samsung has had the best displays available, but that’s no longer true. The S23+ is still impressive, using a 6.6-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution and 1,750 nits of peak brightness. Those are some solid specs, but the Pixel 8 Pro beats them with a 1440p 6.7-inch LTPO Super AMOLED display that reaches 2,400 nits.

The S23+ is perfectly usable in direct sunlight, but reflections and glare are still visible. That’s not an issue for the Pixel 8 Pro, which punches through the brightest of direct sunlight like it isn’t there.

Software and performance


The Pixel 8 Pro launches with Android 14, while the S23+ still runs Android 13 with One UI 5.1 on top. It’s currently in the middle of a One UI 6/Android 14 beta program running smoothly and should see a stable update in the coming weeks.

While Samsung has been the best Android OEM for software longevity for years now, that changes with the Pixel 8 Pro. The S23+ is guaranteed four Android upgrades with a fifth year of security patches, so it will end its days on Android 17. The Pixel 8 Pro will get an unprecedented seven years of Android updates, feature drops, and security patches. That means the Pixel 8 Pro will reach its last update with Android 21 in 2030.

Samsung Galaxy S23+

Source: Samsung

As for performance, both phones have pros and cons. The S23+ comes with double the storage for the same price, and it uses faster UFS 4.0, while the Pixel 8 Pro still has UFS 3.1. On the other hand, the Pixel 8 Pro has 12GB of RAM while the S23+ only has 8GB, and in my opinion, that’s more important for average use. The S23+ will download and install apps faster, but people don’t do that all day. The extra RAM will allow more apps to stay open longer without reloading, and that’s more important.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the S23+ is better than Tensor G3 in many ways. Ignoring artificial benchmarks, both phones feel as fast and smooth as each other, but the Pixel gets warm a lot faster, while the S23+ stays cool unless you push it hard with gaming. The 8 Pro doesn’t get as hot as the seven series or last year’s Exynos S22+, but it’s still warmer than we’d like.

Battery life and charging

The battery life on both phones is excellent. The Pixel 8 Pro has a 5,050mAh battery that can be charged at 30W over USB-C and 23W wirelessly, provided you have a 2nd generation Pixel stand. Regular Qi chargers max out 12W. The S23+ has a smaller 4,700mAH cell that can be charged at 45W over USB-C and 15W wirelessly. Unlike the Pixel, the S23+ can achieve its max wireless charging speed on any 15W Qi charger.

Despite the difference in battery size, the battery life is about the same. The efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the S23+ makes up for the smaller battery, and both phones will easily get you seven hours of screen time over a day or even last two days if you go easy on them.


Blue Google Pixel 8 Pro face down on carpet

This is where the Pixel 8 Pro shines, as its cameras are more on par with the S23 Ultra than the S23+. The 8 Pro has a 50MP primary sensor and dual 48MP sensors for ultrawide and 5X zoom. Google phones have been taking fantastic images since the Nexus 6P, and that’s only grown since the Pixel took over. New features this year make the cameras even better, although some won’t be available until an upcoming feature drop.

The S23+ doesn’t have bad cameras by any means. It has a 50MP primary, 10MP 3X telephoto, and 10MP ultrawide lens. The zoom lens on the S23+ has one advantage over the Pixels periscope: natural portrait photos. This 3X lens has a natural depth of field that’s perfect for portraits without any artificial blur. That’s where the advantages end, though, and in general, the S23+ can’t keep up with the cameras on the 8 Pro.

Which phone is right for you?

The choice is clear: the Pixel 8 Pro is our recommendation at this price. The 8 Pro contends more closely with the S23 Ultra than the S23+ despite costing the same as the latter. Sure, it doesn’t come with as much storage out of the box, but that’s made up for by the extra RAM, superior cameras, and seven years of support. Google has been getting closer to making an actual flagship phone ever since the Pixel 6 Pro, and this year, it has made a phone worthy of the name.

Google Pixel 8 Pro in Bay

Source: Google

Google Pixel 8 Pro

The smarter smartphone

$799 $999 Save $200

The Pixel 8 Pro is the most expensive non-folding Pixel so far, but it justifies that cost with flagship performance in almost all areas. Pixels have always relied on special software magic, but now there’s excellent hardware to back it up.

The S23+ is still going to be the right phone for a lot of people. Samsung has a vast ecosystem of devices, so if you already own a Galaxy Watch or earbuds, they’ll work better with the S23+ than the Pixel 8 Pro. It’s also frequently on sale, so it would be worth buying at the right price.

Samsung Galaxy S23+

The popular choice

The Galaxy S23+ is the S23 model most people will buy, and it’s easy to see why. The triple cameras might not be groundbreaking, but they’re consistently good, and One UI provides plenty of creature comforts that users have become accustomed to.

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