Samsung Galaxy vs. Google Pixel: Which Is the Best Android Phone Brand?Reading Time: 4 minutes
Samsung and Google are two of the best hardware makers in the Android world. So which makes the best phones, and which is right for you?
If you’re in the market to buy a new Android phone, you might be wondering which is better, Samsung or Google Pixel. We know that Samsung is the phone of choice for millions of Android users, but is it finally time to switch to Pixel?
Let’s compare the two and find out.
Price and Value for Money
While we do love Samsung flagships, they are quite pricey and admittedly come with a handful of overrated features you don’t need in your phone. Pixel phones focus instead on the essentials and are much more affordable, offering better value for money. For instance, the Galaxy S22 launched at $799 while the Pixel 7 starts at $599.
Such is not the case for their mid-range phones, though. Both the Galaxy A and Pixel a-series offer good value, but the former has more balanced specs and features without any major drawbacks, making it a safer choice for people looking for an affordable phone.
Unfortunately, both Pixel and Samsung phones don’t retain their value well and can lose about half or more of it in the first year alone. Both companies offer trade-in programs and bundle free goodies when you pre-order a new phone, though.
Pixel phones are known for their amazing computational photography, evident by their great dynamic range and ability to represent skin tones more accurately. You’ll also notice that photos from a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, for example, have slightly elevated colors while still looking natural most of the time.
However, Pixel phones struggle with video as switching between lenses feels jerky, and there’s a noticeable loss in detail when you zoom in or use the video stabilization feature when shooting moving objects. Also, many users complain that portrait shots on the Pixel look subpar at best.
Samsung’s flagships take sharper photos and videos, and have excellent edge detection for portrait shots. Flagship Samsung phones also have more zoom range to shoot faraway objects, and better macro photography to get closer to subjects and take sharper macro shots.
However, Samsung’s image processing is too aggressive sometimes, and it can lead to your photos looking over-processed. You may find that your photo is over-sharpened or the colors look too vibrant and unnatural, especially in challenging lighting conditions.
Both phones have a ton of camera features you can play around with, and there’s ultimately no winner between the two in terms of camera quality since both have their own jarring weaknesses that are yet to be fixed.
Although both run on Android, the software experience is different on Pixel and Galaxy phones. The Pixel is close to stock Android and fully embraces the Material You design theme, while Samsung uses One UI which is easily one of the best Android skins out there.
Being a Google-made phone, the Pixel is optimized to make better use of Google apps and services than any other Android phone. It’s also free from bloatware, receives quick updates, and gets new Pixel Feature Drops every few months to increase the device’s usability.
On the flip side, Samsung has more useful features, is more customizable, and offers four years of major Android updates compared to three on the Pixel. Both phones offer hardware-level security; Samsung does it with its Knox framework and Pixel does it with its Titan security chips.
Galaxy phones also communicate really well with Galaxy Buds and Watch. Sadly, they come with a lot of pre-installed Samsung apps, and although we like some of them, the sheer volume of bloatware is one of the worst things about Samsung phones.
Google Assistant is the best voice assistant overall no matter which device you’re using it on, and it works exceptionally well on Pixel phones for obvious reasons. In fact, you can even search for songs by humming lyrics to Google Assistant.
Samsung’s native voice assistant Bixby is not as capable at carrying out conversations or returning relevant results, but it’s much better than Google Assistant at device control.
For instance, Bixby can help change your wallpaper, restart your phone, turn off the screen, clear the device’s RAM, check for software updates, start voice or screen recording, and more.
We also prefer using Bixby Routines over Google Assistant Routines. Although both allow you to automate your phone, Bixby Routines is miles better since it’s easier to understand, can perform more actions, and doesn’t require as much participation to activate.
For instance, if you’re going out, you can set a Bixby routine to turn on Mobile data and Location, increase the ringtone volume, play your Spotify playlists, open Google Maps, and turn off Dark Mode—all without even touching your phone. This level of control makes Bixby Routines one of the best features on Samsung phones.
Although, Google leaps ahead again when it comes to image recognition. Google Lens is more competent than Bixby Vision at scanning scenes and returning relevant results such as translated text, product recommendations, and details of nearby buildings.
You’re much more likely to get better battery life on a Samsung phone than a Pixel phone, regardless of whether it’s a flagship or a mid-ranger. This is because Pixel phones use custom Google-made Tensor chips whereas Samsung flagships primarily use Snapdragon chips which are more efficient.
In the parts of the world where Samsung uses its own Exynos chips, things are much closer.
Credit where due, Tensor chips allow Pixel phones to be the smartest smartphone there is, but they’re not efficient enough to warrant the great battery life that Samsung offers. Pixel phones are also much slower at charging, sadly.
Granted, you can use the power-saving mode to extend your phone’s battery life, but that’s not a feature that you want to have to use. Simply put, if you want more battery life and faster charging, pick Samsung over Google.
Samsung or Google: Which Is Right for You?
Although Google Pixel phones offer better value and can take arguably better photos, they are not free from flaws. Many Pixel users reported facing software bugs, connectivity issues, and unresponsive fingerprint sensors. Furthermore, Samsung phones handle abuse much better than Pixel phones as has been demonstrated in durability tests.
All of these complaints lead us to conclude that Pixel phones are simply not as reliable as Samsung phones, at least not yet. The Pixel will give you more value, but Samsung is still a safer choice and is less likely to give you problems down the road.