The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Google Pixel 2 are arguably about the best smartphone offerings in the market today. They are both excellent devices, though Samsung has the edge in hardware. However, the key difference between them would be software. This might be the key decider on who buys what. So here are some key differences between Google's software, and Samsung's.
Let's begin with Google. To start with, the Google pixel 2, since it is a phone straight from Google would be first in line for software updates. Just like previous nexus devices. While Samsung is not that far behind, Pixel 2 owners would always be ahead of the curve, which can be very useful especially in areas like security.
Secondly, the Pixel 2 has the benefit of being more easier to use than the Note 8. While the Note 8 is certainly not a messy phone, actually far from it as Samsung has cleaned up its software act nowadays, if you were to give someone who is just migrating to the world of Smart phones, he would find it easier to navigate the Pixel 2, than the Note 8.
My third point is that the Pixel 2 is closely integrated with the Google Assistant. This enables arguably the greatest implementation of smart assistants in our tech devices today. You can even use the Assistant right from the Pixel 2 camera. While Samsung has its own smart assistant, Bixby. compared with the Google Assistant, it seems half baked. Lastly, the Pixel 2 has the more polished applications. Google photos, Gmail, Chrome and so on are all better than their Samsung rivals. Not that the Samsung ones are not good, it's just that the Pixel 2 counterparts are much better.
When it comes to extra features, Samsung is undisputed king. In fact, many of Samsung's software features serve as forerunners before they appear on later versions of Google's pure Android software. For example, Samsung has been able to do split screen multitasking for years, before Google recently implemented it in its software.
To Samsung's credit, most of their extra features nowadays are genuinely useful such as annotating screenshots to hiding the notifications bar. Secondly, while Samsung is the king of extra features, it is also the king of customization. While you can customize the pixel 2, you need a third party launcher. As for Samsung, it gives you the ability to customize your phone to the very last element from the settings folder. Nothing is out of your reach.
Samsung is also an highly innovative company. In short when you get a Note 8, you can also get its whole accompanying galaxy of products. From the DeX computer stand, all the way to its VR headset, Samsung doesn't just sell you phones, it sells experiences.
Now the different paths these countries take can be easily figured out. Google is primarily an Internet Search Engine company, thus it has great focus on its software, while Samsung initially is a Manufacturing Company, thus it has great hardware. Either way, you can't go wrong with either choice.