Pixel 8 series wins 'Best Smartphone' at MWC

The mint colorway of the Google Pixel 8
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The GSMA gives out a series of annual awards at MWC, and this year, Google's Pixel 8 series won "Best Smartphone."
  • The Pixel 8 series is the first Android phone to win the award since the Galaxy S21 Ultra won in 2021.
  • Google's lineup of flagship phones won against the iPhone 15 Pro series, Samsung Galaxy S23 series, OnePlus Open, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

We've been raving about the Google Pixel 8 series since it was released last year, even including it on our best phones list. But now, the Pixel 8 series has officially won the "Best Smartphone" award from the GSMA. The award was given out at MWC Barcelona, and Google's win signifies the first time that an Android phone has won Best Smartphone since 2021. It's also Google's first-ever victory. 

GSMA's criteria for the award are as follows: "The Best Smartphone award combines outstanding performance, innovation and leadership as determined through assessment of smartphones on the market during the period January 2023 to December 2023, by world leading independent analysts, journalists, and influencers."

This description of the Best Smartphone award, spotted by 9to5Google, is especially significant. While the Pixel 8 series competed with the iPhone 15 Pro series, it did not have to face the brand-new Samsung Galaxy S24 series

Rick Osterloh, who is Google's vice president for devices and services, celebrated the win on X (formerly Twitter) following the announcement. 

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The Pixel 8 series was on the shortlist for the award along with the iPhone 15 Pro series, Samsung Galaxy S23 series, OnePlus Open, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. The Pixel 8 series beat out all of those great phones to secure the GSMA's Best Smartphone award at MWC.

The mint colorway of the Google Pixel 8

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The win obviously has significance for Google. It signifies how far the Pixel lineup has come in the last few years, forging great hardware with key software features and AI. But it's also a victory for all of Android because Apple was the two-time reigning champ of the Best Smartphone award before Google took the title. 

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max won the Best Smartphone award in 2023 and 2022, respectively. The last Android phone to win the award was the Galaxy S21 Ultra in 2021. It represents overall success for Android, as fewer Android users switched to iPhones last year.

Had the Samsung Galaxy S24 series been eligible for the award, Google would have faced fierce competition because Samsung's recent phones have key AI features. However, the timing of these releases affects the award situation every year, so this isn't a reason to take away from what Google has accomplished with the Pixel 8 series.  

Brady Snyder
Contributor

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.