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Should you buy a Google Pixel 8 or wait for the Samsung Galaxy S24?

Should you pick up the Pixel 8, or wait for the Galaxy S24?
October 15, 2023

The Google Pixel 8 is now official. While the latest Pixel isn’t a massive departure from its predecessor, it does bring a more powerful Tensor processor and a few other improvements. Is it worth picking up, or should you wait for its biggest Android rival instead?

Pixel 8 vs Galaxy S24: Performance and specs

Google and Samsung might both run on Android and offer excellent photography experiences, but their approaches are fairly different. Below, we take a closer look at how they differ. Please note everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S24 series right now is based on rumors, but thanks to a ton of leaks we have a pretty solid idea of how Samsung’s next flagship is shaping up.

Pixel 8 is the best vanilla Pixel so far

google pixel 8 rose vs pixel 7 lime rear 3
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 8 is a relatively modest upgrade in several ways. There are still just 128GB and 256GB storage options. Additionally, it has the same 8GB of RAM, though it does upgrade to the faster LPDDR5X RAM standard.  Even the display is an AMOLED with the same Full HD resolution and 60-120Hz refresh rate. However, the screen is slightly smaller than its predecessor, at 6.2-inches versus 6.3-inches.

The good news is performance will still take a solid leap forward thanks to the new Tensor G3 SoC, at least on paper.

The new chip has next-gen ARM CPU cores consisting of a single Cortex-X3 at 2.91GHz, four Cortex-A715 cores at 2.37GHz, and four ARM Cortex-A510 cores at 1.7GHz. These are similar to the cores found in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, though the Tensor’s configuration is still not quite up to the same level of performance. There’s also a newer Mali-G715 GPU and a next-gen TPU. The TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) enables machine learning capabilities like Magic Eraser and advanced photo and video processing.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Tensor’s tendency to overheat, at least historically. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 both had problems with getting a bit too hot to the touch. We’ll have to wait and see over time if the Pixel 8 suffers the same fate.

While you might not think about software in terms of performance, good software support can help a phone shine bright for many years to come. The Pixel 8 is certainly up to this, as Google now promises seven years of OS updates, security patches, and feature drops. Right now, Samsung offers four years of OS updates and five years of security, putting Google in the lead here. That is unless the Galaxy S24 makes a change to its software commitment.

Galaxy S24 will see the return of Exynos after all

Samsung Galaxy S24 SmartPrix OnLeaks 2
Samsung Galaxy S24

Earlier this year, the Galaxy S23 broke tradition, eschewing Exynos processors completely in favor of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in all regions. It was suggested this would be the norm going forward, but over the last few months, rumors have called this into question.  The most recent rumors come from the Korean outlet The Elec, which claims the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus will utilize the new Exynos 2400 SoC in every region except the United States. On the bright side, the Galaxy S24 Ultra supposedly will still retain Qualcomm chips globally.

The Exynos 2400 is rumored to have a single high-performance Arm Cortex-X4, four A720 cores, and four power-efficient A520 cores. It’s also said to offer AMD’x next-gen graphics technology. This is in contrast to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is rumored to have an eight-core setup. The Snapdragon will reportedly have one Cortex-X4 core, two A-5XX cores, five A7XX cores, and an updated Adreno GPU. The latter chip is also supposedly getting a major machine learning upgrade.

It looks like the Galaxy S24 will bring back the global Snapdragon and Exynos split.

While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will likely be the better performer, the Exynos 2400 is a decent upgrade and should still provide a decent experience. We’re just a little disappointed to see Samsung return to its old SoC fragmentation routine.

As for the phone’s other specs, the Galaxy S24 will reportedly jump to 13th-generation (M13) OLED panels that are thinner and more power-efficient. The Galaxy S24 is also rumored to have 12GB of RAM and a base storage size of 256GB. You can also expect a 512GB storage variant, though we haven’t heard anything about a 1TB version for the Galaxy S24 or S24 Plus just yet.

Pixel 8 vs Galaxy S24: Size comparison and design

The Google Pixel 8’s design isn’t a massive departure from its predecessor. There’s a similar metallic camera bar on the rear, though it’s a bit thicker than the Pixel 7’s camera visor. The phone also has slimmer bezels and a curvier design with rounded corners. It’s also a much smaller phone, measuring 150.5 x 70.8mm with a thickness of 8.9mm.

It looks like the Samsung Galaxy S24 won’t change things up much either, at least for the vanilla model. According to images leaked by tipster OnLeaks and SmartPrix (as seen above), the Galaxy S24 will have the same overall design just with flatter, polished edges.

While we don’t have an official word on dimensions yet, Samsung has kept the same overall footprint since the Galaxy S22. The Galaxy S23 measures 146.3 x 70.9 with a thickness of 7.6mm, while the Galaxy S22 has the same thickness but measures 146 x 70.6.

Pixel 8 vs Galaxy S24: Camera

google pixel 8 rear hazel 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Pixel 8 camera isn’t a dramatic departure from the one found on the Pixel 7, though it’s not without a few changes. The new Pixel 8 has an improved 50MP sensor with a wider aperture of ƒ/1.68, which should allow better picture quality. The 12MP ultrawide lens also has a wider field of view at 125.8 degrees, versus 114 degrees on the Pixel 7.

Most of the Galaxy S24 camera rumors have been about the Ultra. While it’s possible the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus will still have a few surprises, rumors suggest most of the improvements have to do with software. Well-known leaker Yogesh Brar claims the S24 will have “massive” software improvements. For what it’s worth, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is expected to have some big machine learning upgrades, so this could be related.

After all, the Pixel’s hardware is never as cutting edge as some of its rivals, and yet it’s still one of the best camera phones due to its excellent video and image processing. Perhaps Samsung is hoping to take a similar approach with the Galaxy S24.

Pixel 8 vs Galaxy S24: Battery life and charging

google pixel 8 rose vs pixel 7 lime rear 2
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Pixel 8 has a 4,575mAh battery, about a 220mAh increase from last year’s Pixel. Not only is the battery bigger, but charging has also seen a nice upgrade from 20W to 27W. This isn’t as impressive as many of the other best Android phones, but it’s still a jump forward.

The Galaxy S24 is rumored to have a 4,000mAh battery, which is a 100mAh increase from its predecessor. As for charging speeds? Unfortunately, current rumors suggest it will retain the same 25W wired charging speeds as the Galaxy S23. This is a bit disappointing, though the actual battery charge times should be pretty similar between these two phones.

How long do I have to wait for the Galaxy S24?

The Galaxy S flagships typically arrive sometime between January and February of 2024. Unless this pattern changes, we’ll see the Galaxy S24 in the next three to four months at a special Unpacked Event.

Pixel 8 vs Galaxy S24: Will there be a price difference?

google pixel 8 rear hazel 3
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
  • Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, S21 Ultra: $799, $999, $1,199
  • Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, S22 Ultra: $799, $999, $1,199
  • Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, S23 Ultra: $799, $999, $1,199

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is still a few months off, so we can’t speak on official pricing yet. Still, we can draw a few conclusions based on Samsung’s recent history.

While the last few models have stuck to the same $799 starting price, this wasn’t the case for every region. Earlier this year, Samsung increased prices in the UK and most of Europe due to growing inflation. The US might have avoided this price increase in 2023, but odds are the Galaxy S24 will end up $100-$150 more per model next year.

If Samsung increases pricing, it won’t be alone. The Google Pixel 8 starts at $699, a price hike of about $100 from the Pixel 7. On the bright side, it’s still likely to be at least $100-$250 cheaper than the Galaxy S24.

Should you buy the Pixel 8 or wait for the Galaxy S24?

Google Tensor G3 logo Pixel 8
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 8 is a good phone, but it’s not exactly an Earth-shattering upgrade, especially when compared to the superior Pixel 8 Pro. The biggest change is the new Tensor processor, which introduces a few new AI tricks like Audio Magic Eraser and modern ARM cores. The Samsung Galaxy S24 is also looking like a mostly iterative experience, but there are likely still a few surprises in store for us that we aren’t aware of yet.

Regardless of whether you prefer Pixels over Galaxy phones or have no real preference, our best advice is to wait a little longer unless you absolutely need a new phone now and can’t hold out any longer. Even if you don’t end up interested in the Galaxy S24, there’s a good chance you’ll get a better deal on the Pixel 8 when the next Galaxy comes out. Google has a history of cutting prices a few months after launch, usually around the time its newest Samsung rival shows up.

Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 8
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 8
Bright display • Upgraded face-unlock • Improved camera
MSRP: $699.00
A bright display from Google's 2023 flagship phone
The Google Pixel 8 introduces the new Actua display, a 6.2-inch panel that's 42% brighter than the Pixel 7. Backed by the fully updated Tensor G3 chipset, and a new 50MP camera, this promises to be one of the more exciting Pixel phones.