I’ve had a good long time with both the Google Pixel 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S9, and there are some obvious ways where the Pixel 2 excels.
That’s not to say that the Galaxy S9 is bad in comparison. It’s a phenomenal phone that does a lot of things better than the Pixel 2, and I’ll make sure to highlight all those things in a later post.
But for now, here’s a look at the six biggest ways that the Pixel 2 is better than the Galaxy S9:
1. The Pixel 2 runs Android the way Google intended it.
The Pixel smartphones are Google-made, and that means you get the pure and clean Android experience. And it turns out that the clean Android experience doesn’t need to be messed with, which is something companies like Samsung, LG, HTC and so on keep ignoring.
Android on the Pixel 2 is speedy and lightweight compared to the version of Android running on the Galaxy S9. With its year-old specs, the Pixel 2 runs as smoothly – if not more smoothly – as it does on the Galaxy S9 and its brand-new innards.
2. You get the latest Android updates directly from Google the moment they’re released.
The Pixel 2 grants you access to the latest versions of Android, as well as any security updates, as soon as Google releases them. That’s something that no other other Android smartphone maker can boast.
The Galaxy S9 is a perfect example of this. It comes out of the box with the slightly older version of Android 8.0, and Galaxy S9 owners won’t likely see an update to Android 8.1 for several months, even though it’s currently running on the Pixel 2 phones.
In all fairness, Samsung’s slow updates aren’t the biggest deal, as you get a bunch of features on the Galaxy S9 that the Pixel 2 doesn’t have. Still, if you want to see and experience the latest updates from one of the most prolific software companies in the world, your best bet is Google’s Pixel 2.
3. I missed having the Pixel 2’s Google Home screen when I started using the Galaxy S9.
Swipe to the right on the Pixel 2 and you get the Google Home screen, which shows me things that I’m actively interested in.
Swipe right on the Galaxy S9 and you get Bixby Home, which is trying to do the same thing as Google Home, but it’s nowhere near as good, quite frankly. I just swiped through everything Bixby wanted to show me in Bixby Home and there was absolutely nothing of interest at all.
On the Galaxy S9+ I’ve been using, I’ve simply turned off Bixby Home, as well as anything else that has to do with Samsung’s Bixby smart assistant. Unfortunately, I can’t set Google Home to replace Bixby Home on the Galaxy S9.