Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: In-Depth Review

2023 was undoubtedly the year of Android. With Samsung setting the standards high at the beginning of the year with its release, Google Pixel is finally set to be the competitor we’ve been awaiting. And now that its flagship smartphone for 2023, i.e. Pixel 8 Pro, has finally been released, we can compare it with the most sought-after Android Galaxy in the market and decide which one wins the race. 

The two companies are known for packing high-end specs into their products, offering the best in terms of both performance and value. In general, the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra come equipped with the latest processing hardware, powerful camera setups, AMOLED displays, and reliable batteries. However, the devil’s in the details. And we’re here to peel back the layers and explore their differences, so you don’t have to.

Google Pixel 8 Pro's Winning Features

All AI-dependent users will be thrilled to explore the neatly crammed-up AI services and features that the Google Pixel 8 Pro brings to the table. The new Tensor G3 chipset is capable of powering both the AI and cloud-based functions with just a few taps. With the Magic Editor, you can change the subjects around, change the lighting, and more. 

Google's software update policies are also noteworthy. Earlier, Samsung had an edge for its four-year support window. However, the Pixel 8 series has changed the game with its promise to deliver 7-years of OS updates. Not to mention its party trick –– an on-board temperature sensor that lets you check the surface temperature of objects, drinks, and even your forehead. All that for $200 cheaper? Now that’s a real deal.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Standout Features

Now the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, is the most featured-packed smartphone to exist to date. Not only does it come with a faster charging battery (45W vs. Pixel’s 30W) and more base storage (256GB vs. Pixel’s 128GB), but it also comes with an S-pen stylus, the premium DeX mode, and a powerful 200MP sensor with 100x optical zoom (although they may use AI to generate fake Moon images, if you know).

Design and Size

Pixel 8 Pro looks pretty similar to its predecessors in terms of design aesthetics, except for a few minor tweaks. The latest model features a bit more prominent rear camera strip, curved corners, and even a slight curved display. On the contrary, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is larger and heavier, which is justifiable due to the jam-packed features and one-step additional protection against scratches and drops with the Armor Aluminum. 

The color options for Pixel 8 Pro are Porcelain, Bay, and Obsidian.

Whereas the Galaxy S23 Ultra is available in Green, Cream, Lavender, and Phantom Black.


The approach to camera quality by both these companies is pretty distinguishable. Where Samsung decided to bring the first-ever 200MP sensor, Google sticks to its 50MP but with a better light sensitivity. However, the former loses the camera megapixels race since it comes with a 12MP ultrawide camera and 0MP 3x telephoto (compared to Pixel’s 48 MP with 5x telephoto shooters), it comes with an additional sensor of 10MP 10x telephoto lens and the longest zoom-range to ever exist.

The Samsung Galaxy uses a 12MP front camera, whereas the Google Pixel relies on a 10.5MP sensor for the front camera with autofocus. The former records videos at 8K and slow-mo at 960 fps, while the latter maxes out at 4K video capture and 240 fps slow-mo. In short, where one lacks, the other excels.

Price & Value

Although the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes a bit pricier, it makes up by doubling the storage space comparatively. However, the base model of Pixel 8 Pro offers 12GB RAM, whereas the base model of the competitors offers just 8GB.

Since Samsung released its 2023 model earlier in February, you may find a discount on it. However, because the Google 2023 model is being released in October, and it comes with the latest Android 14, you'll always receive the Android version update ahead of Samsung users every year. To further sweeten the deal, Google is also offering a free Pixel Watch 2 with all pre-orders. In short, that's a $350 value, especially if you're planning on getting a new wearable.

Final Verdict

Since you’re investing thousands of dollars in a smartphone, it's essential to consider the options at hand and go for the one that gives you the best. However, for strong competitors like Google and Samsung, the selection can be tough. To wrap it up, let’s count the boons and banes of each.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra features the most powerful chipset, an S Pen for various purposes, a longer battery life, faster charging, and a superior camera setup. On the other hand, the Pixel 8 Pro boasts a slightly less polarizing design, user-friendly software with a longer update commitment, and exclusive AI-driven assistance and features. 

Now, you are the master of your sea in choosing your ultimate smartphone for this year and the years to come. 

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