Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Which Is Better?
If you’re looking to buy an Android flagship in 2023, the two best candidates right now are the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Google Pixel 7 Pro. The former starts at $1199 while the latter launched in October 2022 at an entry price of $899.
Right off the bat, the price difference of $300 is quite significant, even more so when you consider that the S23 Ultra is more expensive outside the US. Regardless, let’s compare the two devices side-by-side and see which offers the better deal.
Dimensions and Build Quality
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm; 234 grams
- Pixel 7 Pro: 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm; 212 grams
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is slightly taller, wider, and heavier than the Pixel 7 Pro but maintains the same thickness. Both phones have an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance and use an aluminum frame, but the S23 Ultra has stronger Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back whereas the Pixel 7 Pro retains the older, slightly weaker model of the same glass.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a superior ultrasonic fingerprint sensor whereas the Pixel 7 Pro retains an optical one that isn’t as reliable. Neither phone has a headphone jack or microSD card slot and they don’t come with a charger in the box.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is available in four colors: Phantom Black, Green, Cream, and Lavender; you can also choose from four exclusive colors including Graphite, Red, Sky Blue, and Lime if you buy from Samsung’s official website. The Pixel 7 Pro comes in three colors: Obsidian, Snow, and Hazel.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 200MP f/1.7 primary, OIS, PDAF, Laser AF, 8K video at 30fps; 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (120-degree FoV), dual-pixel PDAF, macro photography; 10MP f/2.4 3x optical zoom sensor with OIS; 10MP f/4.9 10x optical zoom with OIS and 100x digital zoom; Front: 12MP f/2.2, PDAF, 4K video at 60fps
- Pixel 7 Pro: 50MP f/1.9 primary, OIS, PDAF, Laser autofocus, 4K video at 60fps; 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (126-degree FoV), autofocus, macro photography; 48MP f/3.5 telephoto, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom; Front: 10.8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (92.8-degree FoV), 4K video at 60fps
Before we even begin comparing the camera of the S23 Ultra and Pixel 7 Pro, let us reassure you that both devices have amazing camera systems, and you can’t go wrong with either of them. That said, there are some key differences that make both stand out in certain areas.
One of the best features of the S23 Ultra is its new 200MP lens. In ideal lighting conditions, it’s able to capture a lot of detail in your photos, so you can zoom and crop into them later on. That said, you’ll probably be using the default 12MP or 50MP mode most of the time.
But details aren’t everything; we still believe the Pixel 7 Pro takes better photos overall because of its more clever image processing and the ability to better depict different skin tones via its Real Tone color calibration. Most people, most of the time, take photos of other people when using their cameras. If that’s the goal, the Pixel is the clear winner.
The S23 Ultra takes more shareable landscape shots and has cleaner video quality, better stabilization, and a 10X optical zoom lens. Both phones have a plethora of camera features: while the Pixel has Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and Motion Mode, the Galaxy boasts its Director’s View, Astro Hyperlapse, and 100X hybrid zoom.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x; 1440 x 3088 resolution; 501 PPI; 1750 nits peak brightness; 120Hz dynamic refresh rate with LTPO 2.0; HDR10+; Gorilla Glass Victus 2; Always-on Display; 89.5% screen-to-body ratio
- Pixel 7 Pro: 6.7-inch AMOLED; 1440 x 3120 resolution; 512 PPI; 1500 nits peak brightness; 120Hz refresh rate with LTPO; HDR10+; Gorilla Glass Victus; Always-on Display; 88.7% screen-to-body ratio
Both devices have very similar display specs, so you can’t go wrong with either of them, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra does win this category because of its slightly brighter and more boxy display with thinner bezels which make media consumption and gaming a bit more immersive. Still, the difference is not big enough to choose one over the other.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; 4nm fab; Adreno 740
- Pixel 7 Pro: Google Tensor G2; 5nm fabrication; Mali-G710 MC10 GPU
The Galaxy S23 Ultra uses a special overclocked variant of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and can easily outperform the Google Tensor G2 chip on the Pixel 7 Pro in terms of power. If you’re a gamer or content creator, you will greatly benefit from this extra power.
However, what the Pixel lacks in performance, it makes up for in intelligence. The Tensor G2 processor is the reason why Pixels are so good at image processing, speech recognition, translation, and everything else that requires AI and machine learning.
More power on the S23 Ultra means you can use it for much longer before your device becomes obsolete, but the smarter Pixel 7 Pro will handle ML-related tasks much better.
RAM and Storage
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 8/12GB LPDDR5X RAM; 256GB/512GB/1TB UFS 4.0 storage
- Pixel 7 Pro: 12GB LPDDR5 RAM; 128GB/256GB/512GB UFS 3.1 storage
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has the latest RAM and storage standards, LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0, that make the user experience feel faster and smoother. The device also comes with 256GB as the base storage and goes all the way up to 1TB.
The Pixel 7 Pro comes with 12GB RAM which is more than sufficient even for power users, but it does start at 128GB as its base storage and only goes up to 512GB.
For context, 128GB is enough for most people, but you’re going to need more space if you’re among the minority of people who take a lot of high-res photos and videos, play a lot of games, download a lot of movies, and share a lot of files on a regular basis.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 5000mAh battery; 45W fast wired charging; 15W wireless charging; 4.5W reverse wireless charging
- Pixel 7 Pro: 5000mAh battery; 23W fast wired charging; 23W fast wireless charging; reverse wireless charging
There’s absolutely no competition between the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Pixel 7 Pro when it comes to battery life; the former is the obvious winner even though both devices have the same 5000mAh total capacity. This is because the S23 Ultra has a much more efficient chip, whereas the Tensor G2 on the Pixel is more power-hungry.
Samsung also has faster charging at 45W whereas the Pixel is stuck at 23W. The latter does have faster wireless charging, but we’ve already explained why wireless charging sucks and is not a big deal. Both devices have reverse wireless charging to power your accessories.
More Power or Lower Price?
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is indeed a better flagship than the Pixel 7 Pro in most areas. It has a more powerful chip, longer battery life, more and faster storage, faster RAM, a built-in S Pen stylus, a 10X optical zoom lens, an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, better build quality, a refined camera system, Samsung Knox security, and the beloved One UI Android skin with one year more of OS updates than Google offers.
The Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have all that, but what it does have is a smarter chip, excellent photo quality, no bloatware, more RAM, deep optimization with Google services, an almost identical display, the Titan M2 security chip, and a ton of actually useful camera features.
In short, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a better phone, but the Pixel 7 Pro is a better deal.