The Google Pixel XL has been ranked as the best device from 2016, with much of this coming in courtesy of its solid design, top-notch hardware and the pure Android experience.
However, this ranking is set to take another direction now that the magnificent Samsung Galaxy S8+ is here. The new phone is definitely the most beautiful phone we’ve ever seen. When it comes to the design, the Google Pixel XL is nowhere to be seen, especially considering that the new phone has a completely new look as compared to the iPhone-like design we see on the Pixel XL.
Design and display
Even though the Google Pixel XL isn’t bad off with its rather uninspired design, its premium price tag means that it has a lot of ground to cover when compared to its closest rival in the same category – the Galaxy S8+. It gets even better for the latter thanks to the fact that it has an IP68 dust and water resistant certification.
The beautiful curves on the Galaxy S8+ are incomparable and given that the phone has just about the same size as the Google Pixel XL yet it packs a screen size that is 0.7 inches bigger makes it even better. Speaking of display, the S8+ has a massive 6.2-inch AMOLED panel with QHD+ resolution while the Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen with a QHD resolution as well.
Unlike before, there are no physical buttons on the front panel of the Galaxy S8+, which means it matches the Google Pixel XL in using on-screen keys. The story is also the same when it comes to the fingerprint scanner, which now lives on the back panel, but the Pixel XL has it in a better location than the S8+.
The 18.5:9 aspect ratio and Always On display feature add more to the Galaxy S8+ screen, making it the better option between the two.
Hardware and software
Being the newer variant, you’ll definitely give this one to Samsung Galaxy S8+. The phone packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC that is paired with either 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM in some markets. The storage capacity is great at either 64GB or 128GB and if any of these two isn’t enough for you, there’s room to expand it via a microSD card slot. For the Software, the Galaxy S8+ has Android 7.0 Nougat as the default OS and when this is compared to v7.1 that powers the Google Pixel XL out of the box, you’ll agree that there’s a lot bloatware in the S8+’s software.
The Pixel XL, on the other hand, has the most powerful hardware specs from 2016. These include a Snapdragon 821 SoC, 4GB RAM and either 32GB or 128GB storage. Unlike the Galaxy S8+, there’s no room for microSD card storage, which further adds more points to the S8+.
Camera and battery capacity
Last year, the Google Pixel XL camera was rated as the best in the smartphone world while Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge came in second. Given that the Galaxy S8+ is a successor to the S7 Edge, the obvious is that the camera has also gotten better.
Although you’ll come across the same 12MP Dual Pixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture used on the S7 Edge, there are lots of new software optimizations that are also aided by the photography prowess of the Snapdragon 835 that make it a much better option at the moment. Still, the Google Pixel XL’s 12.3MP shooter is on another level and even though it might not be the best in terms of hardware, the software side of the camera makes it the best you can find in the market. Both phones have the same 8MP lens on the front for selfies, but the f/1.7 aperture on the S8+ means better performance in low-light conditions.
For the batteries, you should get just about the same life on each handset, with the Google Pixel XL carrying a 3450mAh unit compared to the 3500mAh unit used on the S8+. In terms of extras, Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a flurry of them, with the most notable one being Samsung DeX.