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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Which should you buy?

Google's best takes on Samsung's latest and greatest.
By
January 17, 2024
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
MSRP: $1,299.99
Check price
Positives
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display
Titanium build and Gorilla Armor durability
Loud, punchy speakers
Negatives
Expensive
Hit-or-miss on some AI features
Cameras struggle with motion
AI features only guaranteed to be free through 2025
Google Pixel 8 Pro
MSRP: $999.99
Check price
Positives
Excellent cameras
Improved wired charging
Premium build
Fun, exclusive Android 14 customizations
Industry-leading update promise
Negatives
Tensor G3 still benchmarks behind the best
Gimmicky temperature sensor
Some features not available at launch

Samsung took the wraps off of its latest flagships, the Galaxy S24 series, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra setting the early benchmark for other Android smartphones this year. It’s another year of refinement as far as the design goes but with a significant focus on AI-driven software and features. If that sounds familiar, it’s the exact intro we could have used for Google’s 2023 flagship, the Pixel 8 Pro. Interesting design refinements, upgraded hardware, and a plethora of new software features make for an interesting comparison between the two flagships. Here’s a look at the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro!

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: At a glance

  • The Pixel 8 Pro is cheaper than the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
  • The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a slightly smaller battery but charges faster than the Pixel 8 Pro.
  • Both have the same RAM and storage options at the high end, but the S24 Ultra's base model has double the storage.
  • The Galaxy S24 Ultra's titanium and Gorilla Glass Armor build is more durable than the Pixel 8 Pro's Gorilla Glass Victus 2.
  • The Galaxy S24 Ultra is more powerful than the Pixel 8 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraGoogle Pixel 8 Pro
Display
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
6.8-inch Dynamix AMOLED 2X Display
3,120 x 1,440
Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
HDR10+ certified
Google Pixel 8 Pro
6.7-inch Super Actua OLED
2,992 x 1,344
Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
HDR10+ certified
Processor
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Tensor G3
RAM
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
12GB
Google Pixel 8 Pro
12GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
No expandable storage
Google Pixel 8 Pro
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
No expandable storage
Battery
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
5,000mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless
Wireless PowerShare
Google Pixel 8 Pro
5,050mAh
30W wired charging
23W wireless charging (w/Pixel Stand 2nd gen)
12W Qi wireless charging
Battery Share
Cameras
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Rear:
- Wide-angle: 200MP, ƒ/1.7, Super Quad Pixel AF, OIS
- Main telephoto: 50MP, ƒ/3.4, 5x optical zoom, Quad Pixel AF, OIS
- Second telephoto: 10MP, ƒ/2.4, 3x zoom, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
- Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, Dual Pixel AF, 120-degree FoV

Laser AF
100x Space Zoom

Front:
- 12MP, ƒ/2.2, Dual Pixel AF
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Rear:
- 50MP main
1.2 μm, f/1.68, 82-degree FoV
1/1.31-inch sensor
2x "optical quality" zoom
OIS and EIS

- 48MP ultra-wide
0.8 μm, f/1.95, 125.5-degree FoV

- 48MP telephoto
0.7 μm, f/2.8, 21.8-degree FoV
5x optical zoom
OIS and EIS

Front:
- 10.5MP
1.22 μm, f/2.2, 95-degree FoV, autofocus
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
4G LTE
5G (incl. sub-6GHz TDD/FDD)
Wi-Fi 7
Bluetooth 5.3
Google Pixel 8 Pro
4G LTE
5G
Wi-Fi 7
Bluetooth 5.3
S Pen support
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Yes, integrated
Google Pixel 8 Pro
No
Operating system
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
One UI 6.1
Android 14
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Pixel UI
Android 14
Water resistance
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
IP68
Google Pixel 8 Pro
IP68
Security
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Optical fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Colors
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Titanium Black, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Violet, and Titanium Gray
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm
232g
Google Pixel 8 Pro
162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm
213g

Comparing Samsung’s latest flagship with Google’s best is always interesting, if only because of the timing. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, one of the first major releases of the year, has the advantage of what will be 2024’s high-end processor of choice, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The “For Galaxy” suffix returns, which means an overclocked processor that’ll be a touch faster than other Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 smartphones.

Google’s Tensor G3 wasn’t the fastest to begin with, even when compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the difference will be more pronounced with its successor. Of course, while the Galaxy S24 Ultra performs better in benchmarking tests, the Pixel 8 Pro is still smooth and quick, so differences in everyday usage should be negligible. Both phones have 12GB of RAM, and a 1-120Hz adaptive display refresh rate makes for an impressive experience.

Pixel 8 Pro and S24 Ultra 8
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Speaking of the display, both phones come with AMOLED screens with a Quad HD resolution. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is a touch bigger with its 6.8-inch screen and has a higher peak brightness at 2,600 nits, compared to 2,400 nits on the Pixel 8 Pro. Rounding out the hardware similarities, the two phones come with up to 1TB of built-in storage, although the Pixel 8 Pro has a base 128GB model, while the S24 Ultra starts at 256GB. Finally, you get an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance with both.

While Samsung and Google have different approaches to their software — One UI 6.1 with the former and the Pixel UI for the latter — things are closer than ever. That starts with software support. Google impressed with its promise of seven years of major OS and security updates with the Pixel 8 series. Samsung has followed suit with the same software support period for its latest flagships.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro cameras
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung also matches the Pixel 8 Pro’s AI features with the introduction of Galaxy AI. Many of these will be familiar to Pixel owners, from real-time live translation, chat assistance, a browsing assist mode, Circle to Search similar to Google Lens, and Samsung’s take on Magic Editor. These huge additions will allow users to take the productivity powerhouse to the next level. We’ll dive into Galaxy AI and everything it offers in the coming weeks.

While things are similar, Samsung still has an ace up its sleeve, or rather, a stylus in a built-in slot. The S Pen remains one of the best additions to the Galaxy Ultra line, and not many wax nostalgic about the Galaxy Note series anymore. Allowing for everything from note-taking to doodling and easy navigation to Air Actions, Samsung’s stylus remains one of the main reasons a buyer would pick the Galaxy S24 Ultra over the competition.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Design, size comparison, and colors

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Googel Pixel 8 Pro standing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

At first glance, the Galaxy S24 Ultra looks no different than its predecessor. Four cameras dot the top left corner of an otherwise plain back, giving the phone an industrial, if slightly boring, look. However, there are subtle changes. First, the S24 Ultra now features a titanium frame that results in a lighter phone that should be more durable. When you turn to the front, you get a flat display with no curves along the edges; it’s a screen protector manufacturer’s dream.

The overall dimensions of the two phones are pretty similar, except for the width, with the S24 Ultra coming in at 162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm, while the Pixel flagship has dimensions of 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm. Even with a 0.1-inch larger display, it’s impressive that the Galaxy S24 Ultra is as tall, thinner, and slightly wider than the Pixel 8 Pro. It’s still a hefty phone, though, at 232 grams, while the Pixel 8 Pro, which houses fewer cameras and doesn’t have a stylus tucked in, clocks in at 213 grams.

Pixel 8 Pro and S24 Ultra 4
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Pixel 8 Pro also has a subtle update to the design, with the cameras now behind a single window and housed on a silver bar. There are no two-tone colors anymore, with the Bay option the flashier choice, while the Obsidian and Porcelain are the regular, elegant options. On the other hand, titanium lends to more muted colorways with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which comes in black, gray, violet, and yellow, along with various Samsung.com exclusives.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Camera

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung and Google have different approaches to camera hardware. While the days of a single 12MP shooter are long gone, the Pixel 8 Pro’s 50MP primary camera, 48MP ultra-wide shooter, and 48MP telephoto lens lose the specs race on paper to the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s 200MP primary unit, 50MP telephoto lens, a secondary 10MP telephoto lens, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. The main telephoto lens on both phones comes with a 5x optical zoom, while Samsung’s secondary 10MP shooter has a 3x optical zoom.

Neither have the most impressive front-facing cameras. But the S24 Ultra also beats the Pixel 8 Pro on paper here, with its 12MP camera compared to the latter’s 10.5MP selfie shooter.

Google has always relied on its software smarts and AI features to take its cameras to the next level. This time, Samsung is doing much of the same with its Galaxy AI package. Apart from Samsung’s take on Magic Editor, a new ProVisual Engine will help reduce noise in photos taken at night or in poorly lit conditions, help you easily create and edit photos and videos, and more.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s camera software features are one of the main reasons the phone’s photography capabilities are so lauded. And now, with Samsung offering something similar, it’ll be an exciting fight in our in-depth comparisons. That said, both Samsung and Google flagships perenially top our list of the best Android camera phones, and the S24 Ultra is very likely to take its predecessors’ place.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Battery life and charging

Pixel 8 Pro and S24 Ultra 6
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Pixel 8 Pro has a slightly larger 5,050mAh battery compared to the 5,000mAh unit of the S24 Ultra. However, the overall experience will likely differ quite a bit. The Pixel 8 Pro’s battery life isn’t bad and will comfortably last a day with even heavier usage. However, it paled compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the story will likely stay the same with the S24 Ultra.

And when you do run out of juice, the Samsung phone will have you up and running sooner with its 45W wired charging, compared to Pixel’s 30W charging. The 8 Pro certainly isn’t as slow to charge as previous Pixels, but it’s still not nearly as quick as many of the competition.

The Pixel has the leg up in the wireless charging department, though, with 23W charging possible with the Pixel Stand (2nd Gen) and 12W with standard Qi chargers. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will charge at 15W with Samsung’s wireless chargers and at 10W with others. Both phones also come with reverse charging capabilities, which should help charge accessories like smartwatches and wireless earbuds on the go.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

  • 12GB/256GB: $1,299.99
  • 12GB/512GB: $1,419.99
  • 12GB/1TB: $1,659.99

Google Pixel 8 Pro

  • 12GB/128GB: $999.99
  • 12GB/256GB: $1,059.99
  • 12GB/512GB: $1,179.99
  • 12GB/1TB: $1,399.99

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra starts at $1,299, a hundred dollars more than the previous generation. But it’s not surprising, considering Samsung did hold its prices for a few years. If you decide to get the S24 Ultra, pre-launch is a great time to do so, with Samsung giving pre-order offers that include a $100 Samsung store credit, a free storage upgrade, and increased trade-in deals. The Galaxy S24 Ultra will go on sale on January 31.

On the other hand, the Pixel 8 Pro was released on October 12, 2023, at $999. However, the base model comes with 128GB of built-in storage, while the 256GB model, equivalent to the S24 Ultra’s base unit, is priced at $1,059. The Pixel gets discounted frequently, helping you save an additional $150 to $200 during these offer periods.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Which should you buy?

Pixel 8 Pro and S24 Ultra 3
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

There’s a lot to like with both smartphones, and things are closer than ever. The Galaxy S24 Ultra has the arguably better build with its titanium frame and Gorilla Glass Armor protection and comes with a faster processing package, a better camera setup on paper, and quicker charging.

Google’s commitment to seven years of major OS upgrades and security updates was a major selling point, but you now get the same with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Of course, Samsung also brings the fight to Google with Galaxy AI and its various software and camera features, but we’ll need a deeper dive to see how well it compares to Google’s effort, something that the Pixel phone is well-known for.

On the other hand, the Pixel 8 Pro is $300 cheaper, even when not considering its frequent discounts. The phone’s everyday performance is impressive, the cameras are among the best in the business, and the battery life, while not outstanding, isn’t problematic. It also comes with all the flagship features you’d expect, like dust and water resistance, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging, and doesn’t lag behind Samsung’s latest in this regard.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra, like its predecessors, remains a power user’s dream with the S Pen, one of the phone’s biggest selling points, and should get even better with a slew of AI-driven software. The Pixel 8 Pro may be better suited for casual users who want an excellent camera. But you get to save plenty of money with a phone with no obvious compromises compared to the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Which phone would you buy: the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra or Google Pixel 8 Pro?

350 votes
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display
See price at Amazon
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Excellent cameras
Fun, exclusive Android 14 customizations
Industry-leading update promise

FAQs

Yes. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro have an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

No, both Samsung and Google opted to go with flat displays for the Galaxy S24 Ultra and Pixel 8 Pro.

Yes, the Galaxy S24 Ultra and Pixel 8 Pro offer wireless charging. The Pixel 8 Pro is capable of 23W wireless charging with the Pixel Stand (2nd Gen) and 12W charging with regular Qi chargers. On the other hand, the Galaxy S24 Ultra features 15W wireless charging with compatible fast chargers and 10W charging with other standard Qi wireless chargers.

No, neither smartphone has a microSD card slot for expandable storage. Those looking for more can get the 512GB or 1TB built-in storage options.

Yes, but dual SIM support comes in the form of one physical SIM and one eSIM or two eSIMs.