Our Opinion

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus 256GB is a significantly better phone, but the Google Pixel 2 XL 64GB is significantly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend!

Google Pixel 2 XL 64GB  Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus 256GB 
Google Pixel 2 XL Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
74.2
83.5
Value for Money Score
66.2
56.4
Price ₹ 37,981 onwards ₹ 65,900 onwards
Launch Date (India) Oct, 2017 Mar, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.0 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version Android 8.0 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6 inches 6.2 inches
Screen Resolution 1440x2880 pixels (~ 537 pixels per inch) 1440x2960 pixels (~ 531 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display Features P-OLED, 3D Curved Glass, Always-on Display Super AMOLED, 3D Touch (home button only), Always-on display, Infinity Display
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.35 GHz 2.8 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 835Ranked #8 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Exynos 9810Ranked #4 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 540 Mali-G72 MP18
RAM 4 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 12.2MP 12MP + 12MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features F/1.8 Aperture, 1.4um Pixel Size, 1/2.6" Sensor Size, Laser Autofocus, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), Portrait Mode, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face Detection, HDR, Panorama 12MP: F/1.5-2.4 Aperture; 26mm Focal Length; 1/2.55" Sensor Size; 1.4µm Pixel Size; Dual Pixel PDAF, 12MP: F/2.4 Aperture; 52mm Focal Length; 1/3.6" Sensor Size; 1µm Pixel Size; Autofocus; 2x Optical Zoom, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Geo-tagging, Simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, Touch focus, Face/Smile Detection, Auto HDR, Panorama, HDR, Dual-Video rec., Slow-motion Video
Secondary Camera 8.0MP 8.0MP
Secondary Camera Features 1.4um Pixel Size, F/2.4 Aperture, Full HD Video Recording, Portrait Mode F/1.6 Aperture, Autofocus, Full HD+ Video Recording, Dual Video call, Auto HDR
Internal Memory 64 GB 256 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 400 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.9 mm 8.5 mm
Weight 175 gm 189 gm
Audio Output USB-C 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 Rated (up to 1m for 30 mins) Yes, IP68 Rated (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Battery Capacity 3520 mAh 3500 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Yes Yes
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Fast Battery Charging (7 hrs of charge in 15 min); Active Edge; 2 yrs Worldwide Warranty; DLNA; NFC; MIMO; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration; Google Lens; Unlimited Online Storage for Photos and Videos Scratch Resistant Back (Corning Gorilla Glass 5); Samsung DeX (desktop experience support); Qi Wireless charging; Bixby; NFC; ANT+ support; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration; Samsung Pay
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Attractive looking (and unique) design, and an excellent, premium, aluminium build
  • The black and white Pixel 2 XL looks especially gorgeous!
  • Great hand feel
  • Fully water-resistant body
  • The fingerprint sensor is both fast and accurate
  • Pretty compact design - this is the Pixel to get if you either have smaller hands, or value portability over a large display
  • Good display - bright and sharp (though not quite as rich as a best-in-class screens on Samsung's flagships, and it also has some discernible blue-shift when you tilt the display)
  • Has a bigger, sharper 6-inch display versus a 5-inch AMOLED display on the Pixel 2 - making it a better device for immersive video and web browsing more - plus, that higher resolution is especially advantageous when using a VR headset
  • This is Google's Android software, as it is meant to be - simple, clean, easy to understand - with a few handy add-ons like the Pixel Launcher, automatic offline music detection, and Always On lock screen
  • Google also borrows from the HTC U11's pressure-sensitive sides - you can squeeze the phone to open Google Assistant and tell it what to do
  • Top-end performance backed by the best-in-class Snapdragon 835 - the phone is consistently fast no matter what you throw at it - and matches other top-end flagships in benchmark tests
  • Another interesting and useful add-on is the Google Lens, built into the camera's photo app, which calls up a trove of information on objects like a landmark or a piece of art
  • More than anything else, the Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL is about its absolutely brilliant camera - which is arguably the best overall camera on any smartphone right now - even beating the likes of the iPhone 8 Plus, and Galaxy Note 8 (although not by a lot)
  • The best way to put it is that camera simply works, no matter what the conditions
  • It can handle all sorts of tricky environments like low light, shadows and brightly lit backgrounds - Google's HDR+ continues to beat the pants off of everyone else
  • And the addition of OIS helps take the camera up another notch from last year's Pixels
  • Even bokeh shots are managed rather well, and without any fuss (even without using a dual camera setup like other phones - purely using Google's excellent software algorithms)
  • All in all, this is a truly impressive camera, and a milestone in how far we have come with mobile photography
  • The front camera is pretty great too - and can also take bokeh-style shots like the rear camera - something thats only offered by a handful of phones right now
  • The presence of OIS takes up video quality a notch higher too - you will be impressed by how smooth and natural-looking the stabilization is
  • Other features like Motion Photos (similar to the iPhone's Live Photos) add to the fun too
  • The camera is also optimized and calibrated to support AR and comes with AR stickers - they work like regular photo stickers you add to your photos and video, but they're 3D elements and characters that move around and interact in real-life environments
  • Good audio quality via headphones
  • Good set of dual front-facing speakers
  • The battery life is solid - will comfortably last the day with moderate use - overall its similar to what you would get from the iPhone 8, or the Google Pixel 2
  • Pretty good charging speed too - you will get about 7 hours of battery life with a 15 minute charge
  • Of course, the Pixel 2/ Pixel 2 XL gets better the more you buy Google products - it’s a great universal controller for your Chromecast, works in tandem with a Google Home, and will work seamlessly with Pixel Buds too
  • On the whole, if you want the Android phone that does the most stuff, you might choose the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 - it remains the "All The Things" phone to beat - but if you want a phone you don’t have to learn to use or fuss with just to make work properly, you will want the Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL - for the ordinary user, this is the best Android phone out there, as on date
  • Absolutely luscious design, continuing the design language that was introduced with the Galaxy S8 series (which is not a bad thing at all) - and it has some really sizzling color options in purple and blue, which really helps those supple curves stand out - the body colors look deep, rich and ever-changing thanks to the way the glossy glass catches the light - you will be hard pressed to find anything remotely as elegant, and beautiful in the Android market
  • The biggest design change is on the back, where the fingerprint reader moves below the camera module - this corrects the worst design mistake of both Galaxy S8 phones and the Note 8
  • Water resistant body
  • The tall, 18:9, minimal bezel, 6.2-inch AMOLED screen is absolutely gorgeous and even brighter than last year's (15 percent brighter, in fact) - and the sexy dual-curved design adds to the charm
  • Samsung software on top of Android adds some useful extras, extending the core functionality of Android - it is one of the better, more refined UIs in the Android world
  • Whiplash-fast performance backed by the super powerful Samsung's Exynos 9810 (similar to the Snapdragon 845 in terms of performance) - performance is top-notch as expected under all use cases
  • Terrific camera - the first to bring a mechanical dual-aperture lens from DSLRs to the much tinier mobile phone, a feature that's designed to let in more light, reduce image noise and generally make your photos a lot better
  • The image quality in well lit situations is top-notch
  • Low light performance often borders on astounding - with the amount of brightness & lack of noise you will find in the shots (thanks to the dual aperture lens) - although its not very consistent (some low light photos are oddly washed out)
  • The Galaxy S9 Plus also one-ups the excellent Galaxy S9 with a second rear camera for taking portrait photos - they come out well with a good bokeh effect
  • The super-slow motion video mode is pretty cool too, and when you frame the shot well, can give some incredible result
  • The selfie camera is good too, and has a new Selfie Focus mode, which uses software (and not a second lens) to create a depth effect with the front-facing camera, similar to the Pixel 2, or the iPhone X
  • On the whole the cameras on the Galaxy S9+/S9 compare well with the those on the other top camera phones - the Google Pixel 2, and the iPhone X - it's a toss up between these 3 - the Galaxy S9+ can produce some truly exceptional shots especially in the dark, but perhaps the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 are just a bit more consistent all round, everything considered
  • Dual-speaker system is excellent, and makes for loud, rich audio - and results in one of the best speaker experience of any smartphone, ever
  • Call quality is fantastic too, with the AKG tuning really paying off
  • Also has the good old-fashioned headphone jack! (that's missing in a lot of other flagships now)
  • Good (though not exceptional) battery life - will definitely last the work day on a single charge
  • Supports fast charging (although it's not the fastest around)
  • Supports wireless charging
  • DeX Pad support is another cool feature that enhances the Desktop Experience Samsung introduced on last year’s flagship Galaxy phones
  • On the whole, while outside of the display, the S9+ isn’t a class leader in any category, but it’s good enough in all of them that the whole package makes for a great flagship phone - it will compete with the Pixel 2/XL and the iPhone X for the title of the best smartphone - which one of these 3 you might choose will depend on what specific things you value
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The larger screen size than the Google Pixel 2 means its not quite as comfortable to use and handle as its smaller cousin
  • No standard headphone jack - Google goes the way of the iPhone here - and that is kind of a drag for people who have a pair of great wired headphones or earbuds they'd rather keep using without an adaptor dongle (which comes included in the box)
  • The battery life while good, is certainly not class leading among the flagships - it is significantly behind for instance the Galaxy Note 8 and the OnePlus 5 - both of them comfortably give battery life of over a day
  • No support for wireless charging, that's now present on the likes on iPhone 8
  • Fragile glass front and back means you should buy a case day 1
  • The new face-unlock tool is not particularly secure (it might have been better for Samsung to build out a more refined version before rushing in to compete with the similar feature on the iPhone X)
  • The 3D avatar software is again not that well executed - the AR Emojis track your expressions poorly and need far more customization options
  • There’s also still no compelling use case for Bixby, Samsung's AI agent (though of course you have no compulsion to use it, and can instead keep using the Google Assistant)
  • While the camera is great generally, it can sometime make low-light photos look blurry and lack detail - even though brightness levels is excellent and noise is minimal - so its sometimes a double edged sword
  • Battery life is good, but not exceptional - some of the competition is ahead here
  • Among the two S9 variants themselves (standard, and plus), a lot of people might prefer the Galaxy S9, as it's a little easier to handle - the incremental improvements in the S9+ on the other hand (even bigger screen, more RAM, and a secondary rear camera) are arguably not that significant
  • Everything considered, S8 owners can skip the upgrade - the S9+ is excellent all-round, and incrementally better - but it's not a monumental change from the S8
  • Apart from the iPhone X and the Pixel 2/XL, the S9+ will also face tough competition now from lower priced flagships like the OnePlus 5T, which are almost as good on most of the important counts
  • The S9+ will also face direct competition from Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, which is pretty similar in many of the meaningful ways, but might come at a lower price
Expert Reviews
  1. It's the best smartphone for Android enthusiasts
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Buy the Pixel 2/XL for the best camera on any Android phone and fast Google updates
    cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. A really impressive smartphone with an absolutely killer camera
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. The fastest and smoothest Google Android device has a cracking camera, squeezable sides, great battery life and baked-in AI
    theguardian.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. The Google Pixel 2 XL has a class-leading camera
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. engadget.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. telegraph.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  10. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  11. mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  14. indiatoday.intoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  15. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. alphr.com in-depth Read Review »
  19. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  20. tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  21. androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  22. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  23. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  24. zdnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  25. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  26. businessinsider.in in-depth Read Review »
  27. gizmodo.com in-depth Read Review »
  28. pocket-lint.com in-depth Read Review »
  29. mirror.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  30. androidpolice.com in-depth Read Review »
  31. techadvisor.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  32. techcrunch.com hands-on Read Review »
  1. It's an awesome phone, the Samsung Galaxy S9+
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The Samsung phone you really want this year
    cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Thanks to blazing performance, solid cameras and long battery life, the Galaxy S9/S9+ continue to uphold the S series’ reputation for excellence
    engadget.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Samsung’s best phone with a big screen and superb camera
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Both Galaxy S9 and S9+ are solid, dependable workhorses with excellent displays, premium craftsmanship, and improved cameras
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. techcrunch.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. theverge.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. independent.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  11. telegraph.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  12. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  14. bgr.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  16. mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  19. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  21. hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  22. alphr.com in-depth Read Review »
  23. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  24. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  25. tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  26. androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  27. pocketnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  28. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  29. zdnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  30. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  31. pcworld.com in-depth Read Review »
  32. gizmodo.com in-depth Read Review »
  33. recombu.com in-depth Read Review »
  34. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  35. androidpolice.com in-depth Read Review »
  36. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  37. techadvisor.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  38. mirror.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  39. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  40. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  41. thenextweb.com in-depth Read Review »
  42. cnbc.com in-depth Read Review »
  43. firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
  44. wired.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
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