Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Google Pixel 7: what to expect

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The upcoming Galaxy S23 is shaping up to be one of the best compact phones of 2023, but if it wants to claim the number one spot it needs to offer a bit more than the already excellent and very affordable Pixel 7.
So what is that special sauce that Samsung has cooked up in the Galaxy S23? For starters, it’s the use of a brand new processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is said to fix overheating issues of previous chips and deliver a much faster performance than the Pixel. Then, you have a triple camera system, which includes a zoom lens that the Google phone lacks. And last but not least, the Galaxy S23 is actually quite a bit more compact than the Pixel.

In this article, we dive deep in the differences between the two and hopefully, after reading, you will be able to make the best choice of which of these two devices is a better fit for you. Read on!

Galaxy S23 vs Pixel 7 in a nutshell:

  • Galaxy is more compact
  • Pixel has a slightly larger screen (6.3″ on Pixel vs 6.1″ on Galaxy)
  • Galaxy has three rear cameras, Pixel only has two
  • Pixel has AI features the Galaxy lacks
  • Galaxy has One UI with multitasking features not available on Pixel
  • Pixel has noticeably larger battery
  • Galaxy supports slightly faster charging speeds
  • Galaxy to get longer software support
  • Pixel receives updates faster, but support is 1 year less
Table of Contents:
  • Design
  • Display Quality
  • Performance
  • Camera
  • Audio
  • Battery life and Charging
  • Specs Comparison
  • Summary

Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung Galaxy S23

View full specs

Google Pixel 7


Google Pixel 7

The Good

  • Compact and friendly design
  • Bright display
  • Excellent $599 starting price
  • Overall good image quality with the signature Pixel look
  • Good battery life

The Bad

  • Ultra-wide camera is still not wide enough
  • Some camera quirks and shutter lag
  • Not very inspiring performance-wise

Read more:
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Preview
  • Google Pixel 7 Review
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 7 Pro


The Galaxy is more compact and we expect it to weigh less too
One of the main differences between the Galaxy S23 and the Pixel 7 is just the size of these two. While both pass as “compact phones” in our books, the Galaxy is definitely the more compact of the two:
  • Galaxy S23: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm, unknown weight
  • Pixel 7: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm, 197g weight
The Galaxy is narrower, less tall and thinner, making it easier to operate with one hand, and we expect it to be significantly lighter than the Pixel. All of this is music to the ears of small phone lovers.
Both phones have their own unique identity. The Pixel has the camera strip on the back making it easy to recognize in a crowd, and the Galaxy has each camera lens separated, which is also a very modern esthetic. For all else, both phones are similarly well made, with an aluminum frame and toughened glass on the front and back. The Pixel 7 uses the latest and most durable Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, and we expect the same for the Galaxy.
Both phones also carry an IP68 water and dust protection certification, giving you a peace of mind that they will survive a drop in water or getting dusty.

Samsung traditionally offers a wide variety of colors to choose from, including the standard black and white, but also many others, so you will definitely be able to pick just the right tonality for your taste. The Pixel 7 comes in a more limited selection of three colors, a black one, a white one (our favorite), and then a cool “lemongrass” shade that also catches the eye.

Display Quality

Preliminary information points to slightly increased bezels on the Galaxy, but newer screen tech is possible
The Galaxy S23 has one advantage over the Pixel, however, and that is the screen. We expect to see the latest generation Samsung AMOLED display here with a fast 120Hz refresh rate and better color reproduction. The Pixel 7, on the other hand, also uses an OLED screen but only support 90Hz refresh and this refresh rate is fixed rather than changing dynamically as on more expensive devices.
Right now, it’s way too early for more specifics on screen quality, but be sure that we will be updating this section with our display measurements as soon as we get the Galaxy S23.


In terms of biometrics, both phones rely primarily on a fingerprint scanner built inside the screen. The Galaxy S23 uses an ultrasonic fingerprint reader which has recommended itself very well over the years, while the Pixel 7 uses an optical scanner, which is now better than in previous Pixel generations, but maybe a tad bit less reliable than the one on the Galaxy.
The two also have support for image-based face recognition. This is nowhere nearly as secure as the 3D Face ID that iPhones use, but it is nice to have nonetheless. Just remember that bad actors could possibly be able to spoof this without too much effort and that it won’t work very well in the dark.

Performance and Software

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on all Galaxy S23 models is hugely promising
If you haven’t heard the big news about the Galaxy S23 series, it is that all models will come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as per rumors. This is great news! Previously, international Galaxy models used to feature a sub-par Exynos chip, and now all customers will be treated to the same zippy experience.
This new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also happens to be a big moment for Qualcomm, which has had problems with overheating in previous chips (cough, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1).

Leaked benchmark scores show a big leap over previous models and over the Google Tensor G2 as well. Google says it doesn’t really compete in the synthetic benchmarks and is instead focusing on improving AI performance and machine learning tasks with the Tensor, but those synthetic benchmarks matter nonetheless and it’s the Snapdragon that is ahead there. 

Performance Benchmarks:

Geekbench 5 Single Higher is better

Samsung Galaxy S23


Google Pixel 7


Geekbench 5 Multi Higher is better

Samsung Galaxy S23


Google Pixel 7


View all
*Galaxy S23 results are based on leaks.
When it comes to software, both are Android, but both are also very different.
The Pixel 7 comes with Android 13 the way Google envisioned it, which is mostly a clean and enjoyable experience, with a few peculiarities of its own like a persistent search bar and “At a Glance” widget that you cannot remove. But apart from these little quirks, it’s a brilliantly smooth and pleasing experience. Plus, you get quite a few unique features:
  • On-device speech to text translation with extreme accuracy
  • Advanced photo editing tools: Magic Eraser
  • Portrait Mode effect on regular images with a simple edit
  • Call screening and others
Samsung, on the other hand, has its One UI 5.0 on top of Android 13. It looks just like Galaxy phones of the past, even if it adopts bits and pieces of the Material You design scheme that is most prominent on the Pixel. Samsung adds its own spice to this skin and the latest additions include more effortless multitasking and even multi-user support, all very cool features.
And then there is the software update situation. Samsung gives 4 years of major software updates, while Google promises 3 years. We appreciate the longer software support from Samsung, but we also have to remember that those software updates will arrive with a delay on the Galaxy, while the Pixel gets the new Android versions on day one, so that is also something to keep in mind.

In terms of connectivity, the Pixel 7 is said to come with an Exynos 5300 5G modem, which users report is a welcome improvement and fixes signal reception issues for many. The Galaxy, however, is expected to come with the even more advanced Qualcomm X70 5G modem, which should do an even better job with faster speeds and better performance.


Galaxy has three cameras, Pixel has two, but which one takes better photos and videos?
With a triple camera system on its back, the Galaxy clearly has at least one camera advantage over the Pixel. And yes, despite some new SuperRes zoom tricks, the 3X zoom telephoto camera on the Galaxy is still something that gives it a tangible advantage in zoomed shots.
For all else, the camera specs are not too different. Both phones come with a 50-megapixel sensor for the main camera, and then a 12MP one for the ultra-wide shooter.
The Pixel 7 features a brand new 2X zoom mode which uses a central crop of the sensor and provides much better quality than just digital zoom, and we are curious to see if the Galaxy S23 will also have this new trick. No news on that just yet.
We will be updating this section with actual camera samples and breaking down all the real-world differences as soon as we get the Galaxy, so bookmark this page and check back later for that.

On the video side, the Galaxy supports a few unique features like 8K video recording, which is missing on the Pixel. This is not something many people will use on a daily basis, but video enthusiasts will certainly appreciate having this option.

Audio Quality and Haptics

There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on either of these two phones. This is not a surprise, but rather the norm for high end phone, so like it or not, it’s the way things are.
As for the audio quality coming out of those loudspeakers, we would rank the Pixel 7 as just about average. Sound quality is actually very similar to that from last year’s Pixel 6, with minimal distortion, but it lacks the depth and bass of say an iPhone 13/14. Still, this speaker setup slightly outperforms the Galaxy S22, and ball is in Samsung’s court to step up the speaker game.

Battery Life and Charging

The larger size of the Pixel is also why it has a bigger battery
We have pointed to the smaller size of the Galaxy S23 as mostly an advantage for those looking for a compact phone, but a smaller phone inevitably comes with a smaller battery too.
The Galaxy S23 is expected to come with a 3,900mAh battery, nearly 10% smaller than the 4,355mAh battery cell used on the Pixel 7.

That is no small number.

We do expect, however, the Samsung phone to gain from a more efficient Snapdragon chipset and a newer screen technology. Still, it’s too early to know which of these two will have better overall battery life. We will be running our independent battery tests on these phones to give you some very specific battery life numbers, so bookmark this page and come back in a couple of months to see that data.
In terms of charging, no huge changes. Both the Galaxy and Pixel charge at speeds that do not impress, but we guess that these companies either consider those figures “safe” or they just don’t care about faster charging technologies.
You are expected to have a 25W max wired charging speed on the Galaxy and 21W on the Pixel, so the Galaxy should take around 1 hour and 10 minutes for a full charge, while the Pixel should take around an hour and 40 minutes.
Wireless charging is also supported on both, and both also have reverse wireless charging, which can be a useful feature to quickly top up your headphones or smartwatch.

Specs Comparison

And if you just want to see all the specs neatly laid out in a table, we’ve got you covered right below:

For even more details, head on over to our Galaxy S23 vs Pixel 7 specs comparison page, where we dive deeper in specifics like 5G band support and other interesting details.


As a summary, the Galaxy S23 is expected to really up the ante with a faster processor with excellent thermals, which we see as the biggest upgrade for the series in years. Samsung is bringing small, but welcome improvements to the camera and it has been adding new and useful features to its One UI recently. We also love that the Galaxy truly lives up to the “compact phone” ideal.

The Pixel 7, on the other hand, has a slightly less impressive specs sheet, but the actual experience of using it is extremely positive. The clean Google experience feels incredibly smooth, the camera quality is top notch, and the promise for day one Android software updates is still unmatched in the Android world.

Both of these look like incredible devices, so you can’t go wrong with either one. Budget shoppers should probably just stick with the Pixel as they don’t lose too much, while those who value the advanced features in One UI, a zoom camera and gaming performance would probably be better off with the Galaxy. Which one would you go for?
See also  Buy yourself a gift; grab a discounted Galaxy S21 Ultra or a Galaxy S20+ right now

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