Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: the key differences

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung's new top phone, combining a big screen with a large number of cameras, a high-end chipset, and more. But more than most years this is on Google's turf, because much like the Pixel 8 Pro, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is packed full of AI features.

So how do these two super-smart phones compare? Below we've answered that question, based both on their specs and our impressions in our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review and our Google Pixel 8 Pro review.

But if you want an AI-packed Samsung phone at a slightly lower price, be sure to also check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 review and our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: specs comparison

On the left, we've compiled a spec sheet for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, while to the right you'll find the specs of the Pixel 8 Pro, which launched a few months earlier.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: specs
Galaxy S24 UltraPixel 8 Pro
Dimensions:162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm
Display:6.8-inch AMOLED6.7-inch 'Super Actua' LTPO OLED
Resolution: 1440 x 31201344 x 2992
Refresh rate:1Hz-120Hz (dynamic)1Hz-120Hz (dynamic)
Chipset:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Google Tensor G3
Rear cameras: 200MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto (3x zoom), 50MP periscope (5x zoom)50MP wide, 48MP ultra-wide, 48MP periscope telephoto (5x zoom)
Front camera: 12MP10.5MP
Storage:256GB / 512GB / 1TB128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Charging:45W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless30W wired, 23W wireless (2nd-gen Pixel Stand), 12W wireless (Qi)
Colors:Titanium Violet, Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, Titanium OrangeObsidian, Porcelain, Bay

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: price and availability

Google Pixel 8 Pro review back angled shadow

The Google Pixel 8 Pro (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

As in our Pixel 8 Pro vs Galaxy S23 Ultra comparison, Samsung's Ultras don't come cheap and while the Pixel 8 Pro is the priciest of Google's smartphones to date, the South Korean company's new phone has largely maintained its predecessor's significantly higher initial asking price.

Specifically, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra price is $1,299.99 / £1,249 / AU$2,199 for the 256GB model, $1,419.99 / £1,349 / AU$2,399 for a 512GB version and $1,659.99 / £1,549 / AU$2,799 for the 1TB storage build. The phone debuted on January 17, with pre-orders for Samsung Galaxy S24 deals kicking off on the same day and the phone shipping on January 31.

Google's latest flagship, meanwhile, went on sale back on October 12, 2023. It was initially priced at $999 / £999 / AU$1,699 for 128GB of storage, $1,059 / £1,059 / AU$1,799 for 256GB and $1,179 / £1,179 / AU$1,999 for 512GB. US consumers also got the option of a 1TB build for $1,399, with no equivalent variant in other markets like the UK or Australia.

So not only is the Pixel cheaper to begin with, we've already seen discounts on the 8 Pro, as featured in our dedicated Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro deals roundup, meaning the gap is often even wider than the above pricing suggests.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: design

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back with S Pen mostly withdrawn

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra largely resembles its predecessor (and its predecessor's predecessor, for that matter), with a familiar squared silhouette, a four-lens floating camera design on the back, a metal frame, a glass front and back, and a display with wafer-thin(ner) bezels and a punch-hole front camera.

Some things – like IP68-certified water resistance – are consistent between generations of Ultra and keep step with the 8 Pro, while traits like the switch to a titanium frame – iPhone 15 Pro-style – give this latest Ultra cool points and a better strength to weight ratio than the aluminum frame of the Pixel.

Google Pixel 8 review Pixel 8 Pro back angled

The Google Pixel 8 (left) and Google Pixel 8 Pro (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

This material change – again, similarly to the latest Pro iPhones – also means a thinner design and a slightly lower weight than before, despite similar dimensions otherwise, with the S24 Ultra clocking in at 232 grams and measuring 162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm. This renders Samsung's phone 0.2mm thinner than the current Pro Pixel but still 19 grams heavier, due in part to its larger overall size and display, which would mark a noticeable difference in real-world use.

Samsung, as ever, offers more color options with this year's Ultra, so while the 8 Pro can be had in Obsidian (black), Porcelain (off-white) and Bay (a sort of sky blue), Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra colors include Titanium Violet, Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, and Titanium Orange; with some of those being exclusives, as with previous entries in the series.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: display

Pixel 8 Pro showing call screening

The Google Pixel 8 Pro (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

While Samsung has also been known to deliver great displays, the Pixel series' lineage isn't usually as notable in this department. That said, Google took things up a notch with its newly-branded 'Actua' panels across both Pixel 8 models.

In the case of the 6.7-inch 'Super Actua' OLED screen on the Pixel 8 Pro, you get a crisp 1344 x 2992 resolution, a dynamic 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate and an impressive peak brightness of 2,400 nits.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra sports a larger 6.8-inch panel with a
1440 x 3120 resolution, meaning it's sharper than the Pixel despite its size (489ppi versus 505ppi). It too boasts a dynamic 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate, and its peak brightness actually exceeds the Pixel at a 2,600-nit peak.

There's also the S Pen to consider, which adds stylus input to Samsung's Ultra, along with a number of integrated and third-party apps that support it for writing, note taking, illustration, and more. With the Pixel, you have your digits and digits alone.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Although the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra's cameras follow in the S23 Ultra's quad-rear camera arrangement, the company has ditched the 10x zoom 10MP sensor in favor of a 50MP 5x periscopic telephoto, along with the existing assortment of a 200MP main, 12MP ultra-wide and 10MP 3x telephoto cameras.

That's arguably an odd move, as it cuts the optical zoom range of the S24 Ultra short, compared to the S23 Ultra; though the sensor is a big upgrade. However, it still matches the Pixel 8 Pro, which features a triple rear camera setup of its own, with a 50MP primary camera, a 48MP ultra-wide and a 48MP 5x telephoto.

Even with the shorter optical range, one of the S24 Ultra's new abilities is the promise of 10x 'optical quality' zoom, which in our review we found it largely lived up to. While you lose some detail compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the 10x zoom images are of "better overall quality" thanks to superior color and dynamic range.

Google Pixel 8 Pro review camera angled BRTL

The Google Pixel 8 Pro (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

This is likely helped along by AI, and such AI enhancement is relatively new (at least from a branding standpoint) for the cameras on Samsung's phones, but is already commonplace on the Pixel, with the 8 Pro packing in an improved Magic Eraser, as well as the powerful new generative Magic Editor.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is designed to rise and meet the Pixel in this department, with the ability to reframe subjects in the shot (similarly to the 8 Pro), generatively fill in what's outside of the original image's field of view, and more.

Both the S23 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro find themselves on our rundown of the best camera phones currently. And while the S24 Ultra is a slight departure from the recipe Samsung has stuck to for the past couple of years, there's little doubt that it will make its way on there too, while also challenging the 8 Pro photographic feature set in areas that other rivals simply don't.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: performance and software

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra showing Advanced Intelligence settings menu

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra uses Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 silicon and it's as promisingly powerful as you'd expect, with our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review noting that it's the "first Android in memory to beat the iPhone in benchmarks."

The previous Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 already outpaces the Pixel 8 Pro's Tensor G3 chip in terms of raw power and gaming, even if you're highly unlikely to run into performance issues in day-to-day use with Google's phone. As such, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is the superior buy for those who want as much horsepower as possible and are serious about gaming too.

With Samsung having previously ditched a 128GB storage variant on its Ultra range and made the move to the latest UFS 4.0 storage standard, you'll have a choice of 256GB to 1TB in most markets. Meanwhile, the Pixel is only available in the US with 1TB and steps down to 128GB (accounting, in part, for its lower starting price), 256GB and 512GB (of UFS 3.1) storage everywhere else.

Google Pixel 8 review Pixel 8 Pro front angled

The Google Pixel 8 (left) and Google Pixel 8 Pro (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The two phones are equal when it comes to RAM though, with both having 12GB of the stuff.

As for software, the S24 Ultra arrived running Samsung's own One UI 6.1 atop the latest Android 14, while the Pixel sports Google's near-stock Android 14 user experience, which is undoubtedly less cluttered but less feature-rich too.

For the longest time, Samsung was the trend-setter in the Android camp when it came to long-term support across OS and security updates, with four years of the former and five years of the latter promised to the majority of its latest Galaxy smartphones.

Until the Pixel 8 series arrived, Google trailed behind with the offer of three and five years, respectively. But with the Pixel 8 Pro, you get a lengthy seven years of support, and Samsung has promised the same with the S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: battery life

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the bottom showing USB C port

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra arrived with a sizeable 5,000mAh battery, like the previous model, while the Pixel 8 Pro's cell clocks in at a whisker larger, at 5,050mAh.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s battery life is impressive, with our tests finding it would last for 16 hours and 45 minutes when web browsing over 5G, using its default Adaptive display mode.

By comparison, despite the larger cell and a chipset built on a similar 4nm architecture, the 8 Pro and its Tensor G3 should last a day of typical use, but aren't a match for the S24 Ultra.

As for recharging, Samsung has the lead there too, at least when wired, with 45W wired and 15W wireless charging, to the Pixel's 30W wired and up to 23W wireless charging (provided you're using Google's own 2nd-gen Pixel Stand, otherwise wireless recharge takes place at a peak 12W).

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: verdict

All in all, much like its predecessor, power is the name of the game and the main thing the Galaxy S24 Ultra can lord over the Pixel 8 Pro. However, Samsung isn't stopping there, encroaching on Google's existing offering of mobile AI smarts across productivity and photography.

While the curves of the Pixel 8 Pro will suit many, the hard-edged aesthetic of Samsung's last Ultra will likely sway others, while some might be enticed by its more exotic titanium build over the Pixel's more conventional aluminum frame.

Both phones deliver a great viewing experience, but the S24 Ultra's superior battery life and charging, as well as its ever-unique S Pen make for a more compelling smartphone experience than what Google offers.

That said, those who dislike clutter or having to pay absolute top dollar, may agree that the Pixel 8 Pro is far better value for money, despite Samsung catching up to Google's enhanced software promise.

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Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews.