Nathan Delhaye

Smartphones

Galaxy S9 vs. Pixel 2: What is the Best Android Phone of 2018?

The amount of choice available within the Android smartphone market can be overwhelming. Allow us to take the sting out of your search. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two of the giants of the scene: the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Google Pixel 2.


Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung’s flagship smartphone has recently received a modest hardware update, with the big leaps centring on its camera.

Samsung-Galaxy-S9-Sides-Pink

Pros

The most impressive aspect of the Galaxy S9 is its camera setup. The 12MP back camera delivers beautifully sharp photos, with dual aperture that can handle all lighting conditions. It also provides an amazing 240fps HD slow-mo feature. The front-facing camera will produce selfies in 8MP, and you have the option to use Samsung’s new AR Emoji feature to create awesome snaps.

Beyond the camera, the S9 has received an upgrade under the hood, and is now the most powerful Android phone on the market. Bixby has experienced an improvement, and is far more accurate than previously. The fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone has also been relocated to a more convenient position.

Cons

Samsung have consistently innovated in the smartphone market, and it was disappointing to discover that the hardware design did not receive a substantial update. Granted, it was impressive in 2017 and the curved infinity screen still packs a punch, but a year is a long time in technology. Although it still comes in considerably cheaper than the iPhone X, the S9 is a substantial investment. Consequently, for owners of the S8, there’s very little incentive to upgrade.

Best for:

The S9 is undoubtedly a brilliant phone, and it’s a great choice for owners of anything older than an S8. If you’re considering a switch from iPhone, the quality and reliability of the S9 will make for a smooth transition. If you already own an S8, hang tight for now.

Check out the best prices for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+:

Google Pixel 2

Snapping at the heels of Samsung since 2016, Google’s own brand of phones has provided a viable alternative to Apple and Samsung, with a heavy emphasis on camera quality and an optimal Android experience.

Google-Pixel-2

Pros

The Pixel 2’s camera arrangement is just as impressive S9. The 12.2MP camera on the back has an f/1.8 aperture, whilst the selfie camera delivers images in 8MP, with a aperture of f/2.4. Both cameras can manage low light conditions with ease, and you’ll be able to blur the background of your portraits, whether you use the front or back camera. The Pixel 2 also has a 240fps slow-motion mode, just like the S9.

Cons

The handset design is a little dated. Whilst Google have certainly narrowed the bezel of the Pixel 2, making the 5 inch screen pop, it’s nowhere near as sleek as the S9 or the iPhone X. The 3.5mm headphone jack has also been removed; whilst we understand that wireless headphones are becoming even more popular and affordable, it’s still preferable to have a back-up. As good as the camera is, the app is not as quick or convenient as that of the S9; photo-taking gestures, for example, are a stark omission.

Best for:

The Pixel offers an exciting alternative to the dominance of Samsung within the Android  smartphone market. The difference is camera capabilities is too close to call, but if you’re looking to take a lot of portraits, the Pixel just edges ahead. It’s also the best way to experience Android, without any awkward add-ons that can be found in phones from other brands (we’re looking at you, Samsung emojis!).

Check out the best prices for the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL:

The final verdict

You’re unlikely to be disappointed with either of these innovative smartphones, especially if you have an eye for photography. However, the overall experience offered by the Samsung Galaxy S9 is superior, which makes it the winner of the 2018 battle. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2019!