Comparison of Top-End Phones Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max, Galaxy S23 Ultra

Comparison of Top-End Phones Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max, Galaxy S23 Ultra

Pixel 8 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: The Battle of the Titans

The Pixel 8 Pro, Google’s latest flagship phone, is geared up to challenge two dominant players in the premium smartphone market – the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. With its new processor, brighter display, and improved cameras, the Pixel 8 Pro seems ready to take on the competition. But how do these phones really compare and what sets them apart from one another?

Starting with performance, the Pixel 8 Pro runs on Google’s new Tensor G3 chipset, which is specifically designed to enhance the phone’s on-device AI processing capabilities. However, in benchmark tests like Geekbench, the Tensor chipset has shown less power in comparison to the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro Max or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. But don’t let that discourage you just yet. The Tensor chipset unlocks some impressive media-editing tricks, such as the Magic Eraser, Audio Magic Eraser, and Best Take features. These flashy software advantages give the Pixel 8 Pro an edge over its competitors, even though Magic Eraser is technically available for other phones through the Google Photos app.

One major advantage that the Pixel 8 Pro holds over its rivals is guaranteed software support. Google promises seven years of Android operating system and security updates for the Pixel 8 Pro, surpassing Samsung’s four years of OS updates and five years of security updates for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Apple’s support for older iPhones remains uncertain, as evidenced by the exclusion of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X from the latest iOS 17 update. This puts the low-end estimate for iPhone support at around five years.

When it comes to camera hardware, the Pixel 8 Pro boasts a 50-megapixel main shooter, a 48-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens capable of 5x optical zoom. On paper, these cameras have the potential to produce sharper photos than the 12-megapixel ultrawide and telephoto cameras found on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, Apple’s unique “tetraprism” technology in its zoom camera may have something to say about that. Additionally, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra poses a formidable challenge with its whopping 200-megapixel main camera. While its ultrawide camera is only 12 megapixels, it compensates with two telephoto cameras – a 10-megapixel lens offering 3x optical zoom and another 10-megapixel lens capable of 10x optical zoom, allowing for up to 100x digital zoom. Of course, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s top-tier camera specs come at a higher starting price of $1,200, compared to the Pixel 8 Pro’s $1,000 and the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s $1,100 price tags.

In terms of selfie cameras, all three phones offer similar capabilities. The Pixel 8 Pro sports a 10.5-megapixel front-facing camera, while both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra come with 12-megapixel selfie shooters.

Moving on to design, each phone has its own distinct look. The Pixel 8 Pro retains the wide horizontal camera block found in its predecessor, with a metallic stripe wrapping around the rear camera module, which also houses a flash and a temperature sensor. The rest of the phone’s rear cover is made of matte glass, and its sides are rounded. On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Pro Max maintains its predecessor’s flat sides and square camera block, with larger lenses that protrude further. As for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, it is the largest physically but features a minimalist design, with just the five cameras popping out of the undecorated back cover and rounded sides.

In terms of display, the Pixel 8 Pro’s 6.7-inch OLED screen, with a resolution of 3,120×1,440 pixels, offers a brighter viewing experience with a refresh rate of 1 to 120Hz and a maximum brightness of 2,400 nits. The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 6.7-inch OLED display has a slightly lower resolution of 2,796×1,290 pixels, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 6.8-inch AMOLED display matches the Pixel 8 Pro’s resolution at 3,088×1,440 pixels. Both Apple and Samsung phones feature 120Hz adaptive refresh rates.

When it comes to additional hardware specifications, the phones are quite similar. The Pixel 8 Pro comes with 12GB of RAM and storage options ranging from 128GB to 1TB. Apple does not disclose the amount of RAM in its iPhones, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max is believed to have 8GB of RAM, with storage options of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. The Galaxy S23 Ultra starts with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which can be upgraded to 12GB of RAM and options of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. None of these phones offer expandable storage options, so relying on cloud storage or connecting an external SSD is your best bet.

Battery capacities remain undisclosed by Apple, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max promises up to 29 hours of video playback. In comparison, the Pixel 8 Pro houses a 5,050mAh battery, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra possesses a 5,000mAh battery. In terms of charging capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the first Apple phone to feature a USB-C port, offering 25 watts of ENBLE charging and 15 watts of wireless charging. Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 Pro supports up to 30 watts of ENBLE charging and 23 watts of wireless charging, whereas the Galaxy S23 Ultra reigns supreme with 45 watts of ENBLE charging and 15 watts of wireless charging.

To further compare the Pixel 8 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and Galaxy S23 Ultra, refer to the side-by-side comparison table below:

Google Pixel 8 Pro Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Display size, tech 6.7-inch OLED 6.7-inch OLED 6.8-inch AMOLED
Resolution 3,120×1,440 pixels 2,796×1,290 pixels 3,088×1,440 pixels
Refresh rate 1-120Hz adaptive 120Hz adaptive 120Hz adaptive
Dimensions (inches) 6.4x3x0.3 inches 6.29×3.02×0.32 inches 6.43×3.07×0.35 inches
Dimensions (millimeters) 162.6×76.5×8.8 millimeters 159.9×76.7×8.25 millimeters 163.3x78x8.9 millimeters
Weight (grams, ounces) 213 g (7.5 oz) 221 g (7.81 oz) 234 g (8.25 oz)
Mobile software Android 14 iOS 17 Android 13
Main camera 50-megapixel (wide), 48-megapixel (ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto) 48-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 200-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (3x telephoto), 10-megapixel (10x telephoto)
Front-facing camera 10.5 megapixels 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Processor Google Tensor G3 A17 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM/storage 12GB RAM + 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 8GB + 256GB; 12GB + 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Expandable storage None None None
Battery 5,050 mAh Undisclosed 5,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Under display None (Face ID) Under display
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None None None
Special features 5G, VPN by Google One, 7 years of OS, security and Feature Drop updates, front-facing camera with autofocus, 13W Qi wireless charging, 30W ENBLE charging, USB-3.2 speeds via USB-C, IP68 dust and water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on front and back 5G, Action Button, Always-On display, IP68 water resistant, MagSafe, Dynamic Island, 5x optical zoom (120mm equivalent), satellite connectivity, eSIM, thread networking technology 5G, IP68 water resistant, wireless PowerShare, integrated S Pen, 100x Space Zoom, 10x optical zoom, UWB, 45W ENBLE charging
US price off-contract $999 (128GB) $1,199 (256GB) $1,200 (256GB)
UK price £825 (128GB) £1,199 (256GB) £1,249 (256GB)
Australia price AU$1,575 (128GB) AU$2,199 (256GB) AU$1,949 (256GB)

In summary, the battle between the Pixel 8 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and Galaxy S23 Ultra signifies the constant advancement in smartphone technology. Each device possesses its own unique features and strengths, whether it be the Pixel 8 Pro’s AI processing capabilities, Apple’s renowned ecosystem and support, or the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s exceptional camera prowess. Ultimately, choosing the right phone comes down to personal preferences and priorities.