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Galaxy Note 9 vs. Pixel 2 XL: The Two Best Android Flagships Do Battle

by Danny Zepeda | August 9, 2018August 9, 2018 12:45 pm PDT

When you think of the best Android phones, you think of the devices offered by Samsung and Google, the former of which just unveiled the Galaxy Note 9. Google, meanwhile, offers the Pixel 2 XL.

The Note 9 is the flashier of the two, donning a sleek glass and metal body and S-Pen while also boasting features like wireless charging. Google went for a more understated look with the Pixel 2 XL. It’s mostly built out of metal with a design that doesn’t really stand out unless you bought the white version with the orange power button.

The differences continue with the software and camera. With the Note 9, users get the usual Samsung skin as well as the standard 12MP dual-camera. The Pixel 2 XL continues its stripped down approach with the Pixel launcher, which at this point is stock Android, and a single-lens camera.

There are clear differences that lean towards the Note 9’s favor. The Pixel 2 XL has a subpar display that was plagued with issues, lacks wireless charging and just doesn’t push the envelope enough.

It’ll be up to you to decide if that is enough to make the Galaxy Note 9 better than the Pixel 2 XL. You can check out the spec list down below to help you make the final verdict.

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Samsung - Galaxy Note 9 Google - Pixel 2 XL
Display Size 6.4-inch, 1440 x 2960 pixel display (514 ppi) 6-inch, 1440 x 2880 pixel display (537 ppi)
Resolution X 1440 1440
Resolution Y 2960 2880
Display Type Quad HD+ Super AMOLED QHD+ pOLED
Operating System Android 8.1 (at launch) Android 8.0 (at launch)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM 6GB/8GB 4GB
Storage
  • 128GB
  • 512GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
External Storage Yes No
External Storage Specs
  • microSD up to 512GB
Main Camera (Back) 12MP 12.2MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 8MP 8MP
Networks
  • Enhanced 4x4 MIMO/CA, LAA, LTE Cat.18
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Battery 4000mAh 3520mAh
NFC Yes Yes
Connectivity
  • USB Type-C
  • USB-C
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Gyro
  • Geomagnetic
  • Hall
  • Heart rate
  • Iris
  • Pressure
  • Proximity
  • RGB
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Hall
  • Magnetometer
  • Proximity
GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • GPS
Height 161.9 mm (6.37 inches) 6.2 inches (15.75 cm)
Width 76.4 mm (3.01 inches) 3 inches (76.2 mm)
Depth 8.8 mm (0.35 inches) 0.3 inches (7.6 mm)
Weight 201 g (7.09 oz) 6.2 oz (176 g)
Colors N/A Black, Blue, White
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

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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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