When Samsung launches the Galaxy S-series, the industry sits up and takes note. As competition has become heated in the flagship space, where does the Galaxy S23 sit when compared to Google’s Pixel 7? Let’s examine the information.

Why are we comparing the Pixel 7 to the base model Galaxy S23? Well, for the past couple of years, Google has offered an incredible package at under $600 all without increasing prices. Conversely, Samsung has struggled to stop the price creep of entry-level flagship devices. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the undoubted star of the new lineup, but the base S23 will compete directly with Google’s own base model at the cusp of the Android flagship space.

There are a lot of similarities between this duo. Just which is the best option for someone looking for a new Android phone? This is everything you need to know.

Video – Galaxy S23 vs. Pixel 7

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Comparing the Pixel 7 to the Galaxy S23 hardware, and there is a lot to unpick as each device has its own strengths and weaknesses. Firstly, the size difference is not as stark as it would initially seem. The Galaxy S23 is a little smaller, so that might make it a more enticing option for those wanting a more “pocketable” smartphone. That said, this is less pronounced than we initially expected.

While Pixel 7 has a good 90Hz OLED display, it is a few levels below the Galaxy S23’s 120Hz AMOLED panel. This is apparent when used side-by-side, with the latter handset even having a substantially higher 1,750 nit peak brightness. Although not quite as bright, the Pixel 7 can still reach a maximum 1,400 nits in daylight conditions. We also applaud the usage of uniform bezels on all sides of the S23 too. More devices should prioritize reducing forehead and chin sections to accommodate even bezels on all sides.

After years of complaints, you’ll be pleased to know that all Galaxy S23 devices are set to ship with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processors. This means that of the two smartphones, only the Pixel technically ships with an Exynos-based processor. Tensor G2 is impressive, but it lacks the processing power of Qualcomm’s current flagship chipset.

Google Pixel 7 Galaxy S23
Size 6.3 inches 6.1 inches
Display 90Hz / AMOLED / FHD+ / Gorilla Glass Victus / 2,400 x 1,080 pixels / 416ppi 120Hz / LTPO / QHD+ / Gorilla Glass Victus+ / 2,340 x 1,080 pixels / 422ppi
Chipset Google Tensor G2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Storage 128 / 256GB UFS 3.1 128 / 256 / 512GB UFS 3.1
Battery 4,355mAh 3,900mAh
Rear camera 50MP wide / 12MP ultra-wide 50MP wide / 12MP ultra-wide / 10MP telephoto
Front-facing camera 11.1MP 12MP
Biometrics In-display fingerprint scanner / Face Unlock In-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner / Face Unlock
Colors Obsidian / Snow / Lemongrass Botanic Green / Cotton Flower / Misty Lilac / Phantom Black

For gaming, in particular, the Galaxy S23 should smoke the Pixel 7, and in tandem with the 120Hz display, things will be better with Samsung’s latest and greatest handset. Everywhere else, it’s impossible to tell the two phones apart in our time with each handset. For most people, you won’t see these performance gains when doing the basics.

Biometric security is provided by in-display fingerprint scanners on the duo. Software-based Face Unlock was added to the Pixel 7 series and is also available on Galaxy S23. We can understand that to some, this might be preferable if you do not like in-screen fingerprint scanners.

Samsung has made little tweaks to the Galaxy S23 design. The wrap-around camera is replaced with camera rings so that the entire series is more cohesive. The Pixel also includes design refinements with an all-metal camera bar and other tweaks. You do also gain an extra color option for the S23, which has more muted pastel colors.


It’s sometimes hard to explain just how different Samsung’s vision of One UI is compared to Google’s internal vision of how Android should look. Almost all of the “core” functionality is identical across the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S23, but visually you’ll see substantial variation. Android 13 is at the core of this duo, which is a minor improvement over Android 12.

One UI 5.1 is merely a step up over the version you can install on various Samsung Galaxy devices. This means more in-depth integration with Dynamic Color and Material You. Visually it’s familiar as One UI hasn’t evolved drastically over the past three to four years. Google has truly revised how vanilla Android should look and operate.

Google Pixel 7 Galaxy S23
Software Shipped with Android 13 Shipped with Android 13 w/ One UI 5.1
Updates 3 OS / 5 years of patches 4 OS / 5 years of patches
Features In-display fingerprint scanner
Face Unlock
Photo Unblur
Cinematic Blur
Google One VPN
Cough and snore detection
In-display fingerprint scanner
Face Unlock
AR emoji
Bixby Text Call
Meet x Note integration

Credit has to go to Samsung for the revised update schedule. Last year, the Korean firm said that all flagship phones moving forward will get four full OS version upgrades alongside five years of regular monthly security patches. Even Google has yet to fully compete with this support window. On Pixel, you’ll be able to get Android 16 within the device’s life span. It’ll also get then a further two years of regular monthly patches.

The Galaxy S23 will be supported up to Android 17 and then will have a further year of regular monthly security patches. When we consider the $200 premium for the S23 over the Pixel 7, this added support window seems more plausible. It remains to be seen if that would factor into most “average” buyers’ purchase process.


galaxy s23 pixel 7

We haven’t yet been able to delve into the battery capabilities of the Galaxy S23, but it sure looks disappointing given the $799 start price. Google has addressed life span woes in recent years by upping the battery capacity of all models and this stands the Pixel 7 in good stead in the coming years.

Just how the Galaxy S23 will cope with a 3,900mAh battery and display tuned to 120Hz each day remains to be seen. It is worth noting that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 does tout improved efficiency, which will be needed to ensure all-day life span.

Google Pixel 7 Galaxy S23
Battery size 4,355mAh 3,900mAh
Charging speed 30W wired (21W peak)
21W Qi wireless w/ Pixel Stand 2
5W reverse wireless
25W wired
10W Qi wireless
5W reverse wireless

If you care about charging speeds, neither smartphone offers super fast top-ups. The Galaxy S23 lags behind the Pixel 7 in wired, wireless, and even reverse wireless charging too. It is worth noting that the Pixel has enforced limits despite touting higher-rated charging using the official charge brick and Pixel Stand. Given the smaller internal cell, the Galaxy S23 could hit 100% in a shorter timeframe though.


Picking a “bad” smartphone camera is actually quite difficult these days. From the hardware down to the all-important software, cameras on flagship Android phones are very similar. Most of the differences are in how images and videos are tuned or processed.

From a raw hardware perspective, the Pixel 7 comes up short against the Galaxy S23. It includes a newer 50-megapixel main sensor with a faster aperture. There’s even a third rear camera sensor for telephoto shots that offers 3x optical zoom, which equates to 30x digital. An enhanced 2x digital zoom is offered with the Pixel 7 and caps out at 8x using digital zooming techniques.

Google Pixel 7 Galaxy S23
Main sensor Samsung GN1
f/1.9 aperture
f/1.8 aperture
Secondary sensor Sony IMX 386
12MP ultra-wide-angle
f/2.2 aperture
114˚ FOV
12MP ultra-wide-angle
f/2.2 aperture
120˚ FOV
Tertiary sensor 10MP 3x telephoto
Front-facing sensor Sony IMX 663
Camera hardware features OIS
Camera software features 8x zoom
Guided Frame
4K UHD 60fps (all lenses)
10-bit HDR10 Video
Real Tone 2.0
Cinematic Blur
30x zoom
Super HDR
Auto Framing
Director’s View
8K 24/30fps
960fps slow-mo

At least on paper, the dual lens setup on the Pixel 7 seems a like step down. Samsung and Google tune their images differently and that means that despite lacking a lens, the Pixel 7 has access to Google software features that you won’t find on the S23. Guided Frame and Real Tone 2.0 are two such functions Samsung phones lack.

Where the Galaxy S23 bests the Pixel is in the wealth of Pro modes and enhanced functions courtesy of the Expert RAW application. Both phones can shoot 4K 60fps but only the S23 is capable of recording 8K at 24 and 30fps. The selfie cameras also offer similar quality here at 11 and 12 megapixels respectively.

Galaxy S23 vs. Pixel 7: Which is the best Android device for you?

About upgrading: 9to5Google often gives specific product recommendations. Sometimes, we may suggest not upgrading, due to various reasons including, but not limited to: increased device cost, negligible performance gains, or environmental impact. Whether to upgrade is always your call, but our aim is to help you make as informed a decision as possible.

There is always a case for most people to look beyond the base model in the Galaxy S series. In 2023, this has never been clearer especially when we compare the Galaxy S23 to the Pixel 7. The extra $200 premium nets only a few hardware upgrades that will truly benefit the “average” buyer. Conversely, these upgrades might help longevity, which is an area the Galaxy S23 is potentially worth paying out a premium to pick up.

In our eyes, the Pixel 7 is cemented as the best entry-level Android flagship by virtue of that $599 pricing. It’s practically a steal. Samsung doesn’t appear to put as much focus on the base model of the S-series and it is starting to show especially given the asking prices. It is not necessarily a “bad buy,” it’s just not as enticing as Google’s own base model these days.

Pre-orders are open now for the Galaxy S23 at Samsung, Amazon, Best Buy, and more with a $799 retail price. The Pixel 7 retails for $599 in the US and can be purchased directly from GoogleAmazonBest BuyVerizonTargetAT&T, plus many more.

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About the Author

Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com