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Galaxy Note 8 vs Google Pixel XL: Google is falling far behind Samsung

by Danny Zepeda | August 23, 2017August 23, 2017 11:15 am PDT

After a year of anticipation, Samsung finally took the wraps off of the Galaxy Note 8. Its predecessor, which suffered a great folly in the form of an exploding battery, left a big gaping hole in the market that Google tried to occupy with the Pixel XL. Nearly a year later, the Pixel XL is still an excellent device while Samsung has rolled out the Note 8.

So, how do the two Android flagships stack up?

The Pixel XL is very much a product of being Google’s first attempt at creating its first smartphone. It offered an otherworldly Android experience but its physical design left a lot to be desired. The front is adorned with chunky bezels that don’t even house a fingerprint scanner, while the back features an awkward two-tone glass and metal finish.

Specs-wise, it holds up well. The 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and 3,450mAh still ranks high among Android flagships. The solid specs open the door for the best Android experience you will find on an Android handset.

Samsung’s strong suit has never been software, it’s been physical design and the Galaxy Note 8 puts this on full display. The Note 8’s crowning achievement is its 6.3-inch QHD+ AMOLED Infinity Display that is lightyears ahead of what is found in the Pixel XL. That, along with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM and a new dual camera, provide a top-of-the-line Android experience that few other handsets can contend with.

It’s still too early to come to a definitive decision of which device is better—both devices offer impressive experiences either via software or design. The Note 8 and Pixel XL are still solid Android flagships that should warrant your attention should you be in the market for a new device.

Check out the table down below to see how they stack up against each other on paper.

Samsung - Galaxy Note 8 Google - Pixel XL
Display Size 6.3-inch, 2960 x 1440 pixel display (522 ppi) 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixel display (534 ppi)
Resolution X 2960 1440
Resolution Y 1440 2560
Display Type Quad HD+ AMOLED QHD
Operating System Android 7.1.1 (at launch) Android 7.1 (at launch)
Processor Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor/Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor - Differs by market Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 6GB 4GB
Storage
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
  • 256GB
  • 32GB
  • 128GB
External Storage Yes No
External Storage Specs
  • microSD up to 256GB
Main Camera (Back) 12MP 12.3MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 8MP 8MP
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 LE Bluetooth 4.2
Battery 3300mAh 3450mAh
NFC Yes Yes
Connectivity
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • MST
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • USB Type C
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Geomagnetic
  • Gyroscope
  • Hall
  • Heart rate
  • Iris
  • Proximity
  • Pressure
  • Accelerometer / Gyrometer
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Hall
  • Magnetometer
  • Proximity/ALS
GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
  • Digital compass
  • GLONASS
  • GPS
Height 162.5 mm (6.40 inches) 154.72 mm (6.09 inches)
Width 74.8 mm (2.94 inches) 75.74 mm (2.98 inches)
Depth 8.6 mm (0.34 inches) 8.58 mm (0.34 inches)
Weight 195 g (6.88 oz) 168 g (5.93 oz)
Colors N/A Black, Blue, Silver
Supported Audio Formats MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE N/A
Supported Video Formats MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM N/A

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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