Head-To-Head: Google Pixel 2 XL Vs. Samsung Galaxy Note8

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It's been a busy fall for large-screen Android smartphone releases. And while the LG V30 and the Essential Phone are intriguing, Samsung's Galaxy Note8 and Google's Pixel 2 XL are the fall's two Android debuts that have most caught our eye at the CRN Test Center. Both rank as major updates that are worthy rivals not just in the Android universe, but also with Apple's lineup of new iPhones for 2017.

Which of the new phones is the better fit for you? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center compares the Google Pixel 2 XL vs. the Samsung Galaxy Note8 on specs and price.


While Google's Pixel 2 XL features a sizable display at 6 inches, it is still not as large as the Samsung's Galaxy Note8, where the screen spans 6.3 inches. Both phones feature very slim bezels around the display, as well as OLED technology for excellent colors and contrast. Additionally, the two phone displays do not differ noticeably on resolution: the Pixel 2 XL comes in at 2,880 x 1,440, while the Note8 is 2,960 x 1,440.

Overall Size

Thanks to the nearly edge-to-edge designs of the two phones, they avoid being too unwieldy even with their large screen sizes. The Pixel 2 XL measures 6.2 inches x 3 inches, equaling 18.6 square inches on one side. The Galaxy Note8 is just a bit larger at 6.4 inches x 2.94 inches, equaling 18.8 square inches.

In terms of weight, the Note8 is also a tad heavier at 0.43 of a pound, vs. a weight of 0.39 of a pound for the Pixel 2 XL.


While rumors suggested that the Pixel 2 XL might feature a dual-camera setup, this turned out to not be the case. Still, Google doesn't think the phone needs it. The Pixel 2 XL camera has received the highest rating ever for a smartphone camera by research firm DxOMark, as Google pointed out in announcing the device. The phone includes a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with features such as optical image stabilization, a new type of portrait mode and improved autofocus.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Note8 does come with a dual-camera setup -- the first to be found in a Samsung smartphone. The system features a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom, paired with a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera. Both of the cameras have optical image stabilization, while other features include "live focus," which can blur a photo's background automatically.

Processor & RAM

The Pixel 2 XL and Galaxy Note8 share the same, powerful processor -- the eight-core Snapdragon 835, which is Qualcomm's fastest mobile processor. Users should not have too many complaints on performance as a result. However, the Note8 should get a boost from including a higher amount of RAM -- a massive 6 GB -- compared to the already-respectable 4 GB that's included in the Pixel 2 XL.

Battery Life & Charging

For the Galaxy Note8, Samsung promises 14 hours of WiFi usage on a charge, or 13 hours over 4G. Google hasn't provided estimates on battery life for the Pixel 2 XL, other than claiming that it will offer enough juice for "all day" usage. The Pixel 2 XL does have a large battery (3520mAh), though, which tops the size of the Galaxy Note8 battery (3300mAh).

Only the Note 8 is capable of wireless charging. The device, unlike the Pixel 2 XL, will charge up when you place it on a Qi charging pad, which is sold separately.

Water Resistance

The Galaxy Note8 comes out ahead in terms of water resistance, with a rating of IP68 -- meaning it's certified to withstand a half hour of submersion in 5 feet of water. The Pixel 2 XL isn't too far off with its IP67 rating; that suggests the phone can survive after a dip in 3.3 feet of water for that amount of time.

Connectors & Storage

The Galaxy Note8 has just one option for internal storage, 64 GB, though you can add 256 GB via a microSD card. Google is offering the Pixel 2 XL with 64 GB and 128 GB configurations. Pixel 2 XL owners will also get unlimited free cloud storage for all photos and videos they take with the phone.

Both devices utilize USB-C port for charging, but Google has removed the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Pixel 2 XL. The Note8, meanwhile, retains the headphone jack.

Special Features

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two devices is on the extras that are offered. The Pixel 2 XL integrates the Google Assistant, a voice-controlled assistant that has proven to be proficient at accomplishing tasks and answering questions in our tryouts (Samsung's virtual assistant, Bixby, remains a work in progress).

As with previous Note models, the Galaxy Note8 includes a digital pen that's housed in the phone itself. The device also features the capability for using two apps at a time in split-screen mode. Moreover, the Note8 works with DeX, a docking station that uses the phone to provide an Android desktop experience on your monitor.

Price & Availability

Due to its premium specs and special features, Samsung has made the Galaxy Note8 one of the most expensive smartphones on the market today, with a price of $930. The Pixel 2 XL isn't too far behind, however, with a starting price of $849. That's for a model with an equivalent amount of storage to the Note8, 64 GB.

The Galaxy Note8 is available now, but the Pixel 2 XL is still in pre-orders as of this writing. Shipping is scheduled to begin on Oct. 19.