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Google Pixel 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S9: An invincible fight

19 October 2018 5

Finally, the wait is over for the Google fans as the company announced the much-awaited flagships Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Being the latest flagship phones, both the Pixel 3 phones emerge as new options for buyers who are looking to grab the new Android flagship phone. The Pixel 3 lineup has few extra goodies which aren't available for non-Google phones like the stock version of Android Pie with Pixel launcher, AI optimized cameras setup and much more.

To remain one of the best options in the market the Pixel 3 series will have to compete well against the already best options in the market. The Galaxy S9 was announced back at MWC this year but still, both are one of the best flagships in the market with top-tier hardware, stylish design, custom UI with Samsung's Experience UX layer over it.

As expected instead of focusing on the design changes Google paid attention to the software and AI features to provide one of the best UI experience. It will be an interesting battle to see how the latest Pixel 3 stack up against the Samsung's Galaxy S9. We already compared the Pixel 3 series against the predecessor as well as against the Cupertino's latest iPhone XS series. Today we will find out how two premium Android running flagships compete against other, surely it will be a tight race and the winner will emerge as the best premium Android flagship in the market. Without any further delay, let's start with the design.

68.2 x 145.6 x 7.9 mm
5.5 inches - 2160x1080 px
68.7 x 147.7 x 8.5 mm
5.8 inches - 2960x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Design


The new Pixel 3 series retains the design language of last year's Pixel 2 lineup, however, the finish is different. The chassis is made up of metal and rear has a complete glass panel. This year instead of half metal and glass, Google opted full glass rear with two texture finish. The upper portion featuring the camera setup has glossy finish whereas the bottom portion has a matte finish. In the bottom portion, the Pixel 3 has a circular fingerprint scanner and Google's G logo.

The Galaxy S9 chassis is made up of metal with glass covering the front and rear side. The glass and metal sandwich design of the Galaxy S9 looks more attractive. The Galaxy S9 has Infinity display with curved edges. Despite having 2:1 display both have thin bezels at top and bottom of the display. The Galaxy S9 has a single rear snapper on the rear in the center with fingerprint scanner right below it.

For connectivity, both have 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C port for connectivity. The device is IP68 certified which means it can resist under 1.5 meters for 30 minutes without any damage. In terms of color variants, the Galaxy S9 is available in Coral Blue, Midnight Black, and Lilac Purple colors.

The bezels on the Pixel 3 have dual front-facing speakers. If you are notch lover you will have to opt the larger Pixel 3 XL. The frame on the Pixel 3 is squeezable, you can active Google Assistant by simply pressing the edges. Like the Galaxy S9, the Pixel 3 has USB-C port but it lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack however it is IP68 certified. The Pixel 3 is available in Just Black, Not Pink and Clearly White colors.

In terms of dimensions, the Galaxy S9 is 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm and weighs 163g whereas the Pixel 3 is slightly smaller at 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm and weighs 148g.

Display

The Galaxy S9 is featuring a Super AMOLED Infinity display with curved edges. The display is of 5.8-inches with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels and aspect ratio is 18.5:9. It supports HDR Premium and pixels density is 529 pixels-per-inch.

The Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5-inches OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 and pixels density of 443 pixels-per-inch. Unlike most of the latest phone both the devices lack notch. As far as display quality is a concern both have OLED panels but the Galaxy S9 takes advantage due to better screen resolution and edges around the display. Both have Always On display feature to showcase few notifications without unlocking the display.

Hardware

Under the hood is the premium phones both are packed with the latest best hardware. The Galaxy S9 is available in two configurations, the US variant has the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset whereas the global model has the Exynos 9810 chipset. Both the variants have 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. It supports memory expansion up to 400GB via MicroSD.

The Pixel 3 is powered up by the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 845 chipset with 4GB RAM. The base model has 64GB storage whereas the top of the line model has 128GB. However, it lacks support for memory expansion. Both have same chipset and RAM options so no matter which smartphone you opt the performance is pretty much same. The pixel 3 has an advantage of the stock version of Android that's why it could be slick in few scenarios. Overall both are powerhouses with the latest best chipset in the market. Although the Galaxy S9 lacks dual front-facing speakers like Pixel 3 its stereo AKG-Tuned speakers perform pretty awesomely.

Specs Pixel 3 Galaxy S9
Display 5.5-inches 5.8-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64, 128GB Non-Expandable 64GB Expandable
Rear camera 12MP 12MP
Front camera Dual 8MP 8MP
USB Type-C Type-C
Battery 2,915mAh 3,000mAh
IP68 Yes Yes
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes

Battery

The Galaxy S9 lights are kept on by a 3,000mAh battery whereas the Pixel 3 has a 2,915mAh battery. In terms of battery life, both have average battery cell considering the latest phones have around 4,000mAh battery. Both have enough juice to last one day on a single charge but you can't expect it to go the second day. The Pixel 3 support Quick charge fast charging whereas the Galaxy S9 comes with Adaptive fast charging. Thanks to glass rear both the devices have Qi Wireless charging support.

Cameras

One of the key selling aspects of the latest flagships is indeed the cameras on board. Surprisingly when OEMs are adopting dual and triple rear cameras for their flagships, Google is amongst those who still believe the single camera is enough to perform all goodies with the AI prowess.

Being the base model the Galaxy S9 has a single rear snapper of 12MP with variable aperture. In stable lightening conditions, the aperture is f/2.4 whereas in low-light scenarios the aperture automatically turns to f/1.5. The sensor comes with optical image stabilization and support for 4K video recording, it can also capture super-slow motion videos at 960 frames per second. Up front, the selfie snapper is 8MP with autofocus and f/1.7 aperture.

The Pixel 3 has a single rear camera of 12.2MP with f/1.8 aperture. Apart from AI goodies of last year, the new sensor comes with few new features like Top Shot which automatically selects the best shot amongst the burst shot photos. Google uses AI to provide depth of field for portrait shots without a secondary sensor. Instead of dual rear cameras, the Pixel 3 has dual selfie snappers, the dual front-cameras are 8MP modules, the secondary sensor is a super wide-angle sensor.

Software

Being the Google-branded phone the Pixel 3 is pre-installed with the latest stock version of Android Pie with Pixel launcher. The device will receive major software updates for the next three years and the security patch at regular interval of time. Unfortunately, despite being the flagship phone of this year the Galaxy S9 is still running on the older Android Oreo with Samsung's Experience UI layer over it. If you are stock OS lover the Pixel 3 is a better option and if you like customization the Samsung's UI is a pretty good option.

Price

As far as pricing is a concern the Galaxy S9 is currently available at much-discounted price tag due to being six months older. The Galaxy S9 can be purchased around $650. The Pixel 3 is available in two variants, the base 64GB model is up for pre-orders at $799 whereas the 128GB variant is $100 more expensive.

Conclusion:

The good thing is the Galaxy S9 is still on par with the Google Pixel 3 in the hardware department despite being six months old. Both have glass and metal sandwich design, however, the finish is different on both the devices. Despite having all glass rear the Pixel 3 comes in two texture finish whereas the Galaxy S9 looks more attractive due to complete glass design. The dual edge display on the Galaxy S9 is certainly better than the flat Full HD+ panel on the Pixel 3.

In the hardware department, both the devices are equally good. In the camera department, the Galaxy S9 brings one of its kind cameras with variable aperture but it still can't compete with the AI prowess of Pixel 3 cameras. The Google Pixel phones are the best in camera department from last two years, it would be interesting to see how they compete against the Huawei's P20 Pro cameras which are currently the best in the market.

The Pixel 3 has an advantage of the stock version of Android and also it will receive software and security updates for the longer period. The three deciding aspects between the two devices will be design, UI experience and price tag whereas other aspects on both the devices are same. Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the Pixel 3 vs Galaxy S9 in the comments section below, Stay tuned for more comparisons.

(last update 18 August 2019 @ 11:18)

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Google Pixel 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S9: An invincible fight
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