Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3: Samsung or Google for your next phone?

How does the new Samsung contender match up against the current Google champ?

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3

If you're in the market for a top-of-the-range Android phone, you're spoilt for choice at the moment, and the selection is getting better all the time. Two phones particularly worthy of your attention at the moment are the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Google Pixel 3.

Here we're going to help you pick between the Galaxy S10 and the Pixel 3 by comparing these flagships in all the key areas that matter – the design of these handsets, the internal specs packed inside, the extra features on offer, and everything else that matters.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3: design

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10

You're certainly not going to be embarrassed to pull out either the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Google Pixel 3 out of your pocket, though the Galaxy S10 is the more modern-looking phone of the pair (the Pixel 3 launched four months earlier don't forget). The Galaxy S10 definitely has thinner bezels, and adds a hole punch notch in the top right-hand corner.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the bigger of the two phones as well, and by quite some distance. It brings with it a 6.1-inch, 1440 x 3040 pixel, 19:9 aspect ratio AMOLED screen. The fingerprint sensor is built into the display, so it doesn't affect the lines of the phone's back, and you can pick it up in white, black, green, blue, yellow or pink.

As for the Google Pixel 3, it offers a 5.5-inch, 1080 x 2160 pixel, 18:9 aspect ratio POLED screen, with a fingerprint sensor around the back underneath the camera. We do like the two-tone texture of the back of the Pixel 3, which is available in white, black or pink.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3: specs

Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

The Google Pixel 3 came out near the end of 2018, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S10 appeared near the start of 2019, and that's reflected in the specs on show. While the Google Pixel 3 certainly isn't a slouch in the performance department, there's no doubt the Galaxy S10 is the faster of the two handsets.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 packs in a Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 processor, depending on which region of the world you're in. That's combined with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 512GB of internal storage, which you can expand with a microSD card if needed. It's unlikely that you're going to find a more powerful phone in 2019.

In this regard the Google Pixel 3 might be in second place, but it's still very capable. You get a Snapdragon 845 processor powering everything, plus 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. There's no microSD card slot here, so you'll have to stick with what you've got – and you're probably going to want to opt for the 128GB model.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3: features

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10

So what else might you want to consider when it comes to comparing these two top-end handsets against each other? Both phones come with IP68 waterproofing and dustproofing, wireless charging capabilities, and screens capable of displaying HDR content using compatible apps, for example, so it's hard to split them there.

Google's Pixel 3 only has the one lens on its 12MP rear-facing camera, but such is Google's prowess with image enhancement software and AI, it remains the best in the business at producing excellent photos in a variety of conditions. The triple-lens 12MP+12MP+16MP camera on the back of the Galaxy S10 is good as well, but it doesn't seem to quite reach the heights of the Pixel 3 in terms of pure image quality.

Another reason you might want to opt for the Google Pixel 3 is that it comes with Google's unedited, unspoilt, stock version of Android – and with a Pixel phone you're guaranteed to get new Android releases as soon as they appear. Samsung's Android software has got better down the years, but it's still not quite up to the Google standard, and updates can take longer to appear.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3: verdict

Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

With two such excellent handsets up against each other, it seems almost unfair to pick a winner. When it comes to the best Android phones of 2019, the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Google Pixel 3 are definitely way up there (don't forget about the larger models in both these product ranges too).

Having launched four months later, there's no doubt the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a more powerful phone, and to our eyes it looks better as well. It's a supremely fast, gorgeous-looking handset that is likely to be setting the standard for flagship phones for the next 12 months or so.

It's not quite a slam dunk victory for the S10 though. The Google Pixel 3 has its own qualities, particularly in terms of the camera and the speed at which Android updates arrive. You might also be able to pick it up for less than the Galaxy S10 – check the widgets on this page for the latest prices on both these phones.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.