Google Pixel was one of the best phones released last year. And Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was one of the worst because of its faulty battery. By the time Pixel hit the store shelves, the Note 7 was on its way out. Samsung had discontinued the flagship phablet. But the upcoming Google Pixel 2 will face stiff competition from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. The Note 8 will be available in stores around the world before the Pixel 2 arrives. Let’s check out who is likely to win the Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8 battle.

Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8
Image Source: Olixar / MobileFun (screenshot)

Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8: Both with have the same processor

The Galaxy Note 8 is the fastest Android smartphone released this year, even though many other phones such as OnePlus 5 run the same Snapdragon 835 processor. The Pixel 2 was previously rumored to run an improved Snapdragon 836 chipset. While most of the flagships released last year came with Snapdragon 820, Google had used an improved Snapdragon 821 in its Pixel phones.

Reliable tipster Evan Blass had previously said in a tweet that the Pixel 2 would run Snapdragon 836. But sources told XDA Developers that it would run the same SD835 chipset that powers the Galaxy Note 8 because there is no SD836. Blass later reported that Qualcomm had told Google that the new processor would be available in time for the Pixel 2. Qualcomm has been forced to delay the Snapdragon 836. Blass claims it will now arrive early next year under a different branding.

The new chipset would have given Google Pixel 2 the much-needed ammunition to compete against Samsung’s mighty Galaxy Note 8. The newer processors are usually faster than their predecessors. They are also smaller, and offer better battery efficiency compared to older models. A more advanced chipset would have given Google a major advantage over its rivals.

Google still has the advantage of software

If the rumors about Google Pixel 2’s hardware specifications are true, the only big advantage it will have over the Galaxy Note 8 is software. The Pixel 2 will run Android Oreo out of the box. Since Google controls both the software and hardware, it will be able to optimize software to deliver better performance. The Note 8, on the other hand, will have Samsung’s bloatware loaded on top of Android Nougat.

Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8: Display, RAM, and camera

In all other aspects, the Note 8 seems to have an edge. For one, DisplayMate recently described the Note 8 as the world’s best smartphone display. It offers the best viewing experience of any smartphone out there. It has a display brightness of up to 1200 nits, which is nearly 70% higher than the iPhone 7 Plus. Samsung has spent years perfecting the OLED display technology. The Pixel 2 will use OLED screens from LG Display, which is still a small player in the space.

The Galaxy Note 8 packs 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Samsung also offers 128GB and 256GB storage options in select markets. On top of that, there is a microSD card slot that allows you to expand storage by another 256GB. The Pixel 2 is rumored to offer 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. The Pixel phones lack microSD slots, meaning you cannot expand storage.

The camera is where Google may spring up a surprise. The Galaxy Note 8 has a dual camera system consisting of a 12MP telephoto and a 12MP wide-angle lens, both of which support OIS. Even the iPhone 7 Plus has OIS only in one lens. The rumor mill claims Pixel 2 will use only a single camera on the back. But don’t forget that the original Pixel with a single camera lens had outperformed every other smartphone in the camera department. We can expect the Pixel 2 to have a better camera than its predecessor. Google will reportedly offer electronic image stabilization (EIS) with Pixel 2 camera rather than switching to OIS.

Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8: Google to do away with the audio jack

The Pixel 2 is getting a few special features such as water-resistance, a squeezable frame similar to HTC U11, and an Always-On display. The Note 8 already offers an Always-On display and water-resistance capabilities, though it lacks a squeezable frame.

The Google Pixel 2 will lack a key feature, which may disappoint many fans. Just like iPhone 7, the Pixel 2 will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack. It is not yet known what prompted Google to do away with the audio jack. Google will instead include a USB-C to 3.5mm jack in the Pixel 2 box. The search engine giant is also said to be working on new wireless headphones that could be sold separately. The headphones are code-named “Bisto” and support Google Assistant.

Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8: The advantage of early release

The Galaxy Note 8 is designed for power users. It comes with an S Pen stylus. Pre-orders for the device have been far better than Samsung anticipated. Many Android users would already have purchased the Note 8 by the time Google announces Pixel 2. There will be other phones as well competing for consumer attention, including the iPhone X, iPhone 8, LG V30, and OnePlus 5.

According to Evan Blass, the Pixel 2 will be unveiled on October 5 and would go on sale a couple of weeks later. Google did a terrible job managing the supply chain for the original Pixel. Hope it has learned its lessons. If the Pixel 2 suffers supply issues like its predecessor, it will have a tough time competing with the Galaxy Note 8 and other handsets in the premium space.