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Samsung Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 5T: How do they differ?

06 March 2018 5

When you are looking for a new top-tier Android smartphone there are two companies Samsung and OnePlus whose devices remains on top of the charts. Last year undoubtedly the OnePlus 5T and the Galaxy S8 was amongst the best Android flagship available on the market. Now the South Korea giant Samsung upgraded their Galaxy S8 with the Galaxy S9, the new Galaxy S9 certainly will challenge the existing flagship killer OnePlus 5T. At this year MWC show, the Galaxy S9 series announcement was indeed the key highlight and it has all prospects to be one of the best flagship smartphones of this year.

The OnePlus 5T was announced in last quarter of 2017, So it's not an old champ instead one of the last Android flagships announced in 2017. After the success of OnePlus 3T, the company now adopted the cycle of releasing T variant of their flagship smartphone in the second half of the year. The OnePlus 5T didn't bring any drastic changes over the OnePlus 5 instead it was an iterative variant with improved cameras and new 2:1 display. The biggest change in OnePlus 5T was indeed its bezel-less display which puts the OnePlus 5T in the same category like other bezel-less flagships announced last year.

On paper, both the latest smartphones are pretty great. The Galaxy S9 is indeed an impressive smartphone which sets a definitive path for flagships of this year. The OnePlus 5T impressive hardware with affordable pricing makes it pretty much on par with other top-tier devices. We already compared the Galaxy S9 against a number of its competitors, today we will put Galaxy S9 in head-to-head competition with the OnePlus 5T. Without any further ado, let's start with the design of both the devices.

68.7 x 147.7 x 8.5 mm
5.8 inches - 2960x1440 px
75 x 156.1 x 7.3 mm
6.01 inches - 2160x1080 px
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Design

In terms of design, both the Galaxy S9 and OnePlus 5T falls in a different category. The Galaxy S9 isn't bringing a completely new design instead of its an iterative design which Samsung introduced last year with the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S9's chassis is made up of metal with glass covering the rear side. The rear and front-facing glass are protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. On the other hand, the OnePlus 5T comes with an aluminum unibody design. It is also not a brand new design instead it looks a polished Apple device with round edges.

We have to admit the OnePlus 5T design isn't as refined as the Galaxy S9, still, it looks premium in hands. So you have two options in design either to adopt glass and metal sandwich design of Galaxy S9 or OnePlus 5T with the full metal body. Both the devices have a full front-facing display with trimmed bezels. Despite having large displays both the devices easily fits in palm thanks to the curvy design. The Galaxy S9 rear side is adorned with single camera module with the fingerprint scanner right below it. One of the prominent change in the new Galaxy S9 design from the predecessor is a change in fingerprint scanner position which is now at the more convenient position.

The OnePlus 5T rear side is adorned with dual rear cameras placed in the top left corner. The fingerprint scanner is on the rear in the center below the camera modules. In terms of looks, the Galaxy S9 wins this round due to more refined premium looks with a glossy finish. For the first time with the Galaxy S9, Samsung introduced Dolby Atmos front-facing speakers which provides amazing 360 degrees audio experience. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy S9 is IP68 certified device which means it can resist 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage. However, the OnePlus 5T lacks water and dust resistance. Both the devices have 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C port for connectivity and charging.

Display

The display panel on the Galaxy S9 remains the same Infinity display which we already saw in the last year Galaxy S8. The Super AMOLED display is of 5.8-inches with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 18.5:9. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy S9 display is dual curved from edges. Undoubtedly the Galaxy S9 display is one of the best display in the market.

As opposed to Galaxy S9, the OnePlus 5T is featuring a 6.01-inches AMOLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels. The OnePlus 5T's display isn't curved from edges. The display aspect ratio is 18:9. The display panel on the OnePlus 5T is also from Samsung that's why it is one of the best Full HD display in the market. Those who are unaware by default the Galaxy S9 display resolution is Full HD+ to save battery life. So on default settings, you might not find any difference in the picture quality of both the devices.

Hardware

Being the latest flagship the Galaxy S9 takes lead in the hardware section. The Galaxy S9 is powered up by the Exynos 9810 SoC. Its an Octa-core SoC, the first quad is clocking at 1.7Ghz whereas the power-cores clocks maximum at 2.7GHz. The US-bound variant is running on the Qualcomm's latest Octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoC. Both the variant are accompanied by 4GB RAM and built-in native storage is 64GB. The good thing is its native storage is further expandable using MicroSD card.

The OnePlus 5T was amongst the last flagships announced last year that's why it is running on the slightly older Snapdragon 835 SoC which is powering almost all flagships announced last year. The OnePlus 5T base variant has 6GB of RAM with 64GB native storage whereas the top of the line variant comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB built-in storage.

In terms of sheer power, both the devices are pretty much capable to handle everything. Both are pretty powerful to handle HIFI multi-tasking tasks. No matter you are an avid gamer or want to have a powerful device to be your companion in your business, both the devices won't disappoint you at all. Considering the price range the OnePlus 5T hardware is offering better value for your money.

Specs Galaxy S9 OnePlus 5T
Display 5.8-inches 6.01-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels 1080 x 2260 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845/ Exynos 9810 Snapdragon 835
RAM 4GB 6/8GB
Storage 64GB Expandable via MicroSD 64/128GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12MP 16+20MP
Front camera 8MP 16MP
Battery 3,000mAh 3,300mAh
USB Type-C Type-C
IP68 Yes No
OS Android Oreo Android Oreo

Software

As OS the Galaxy S9 is the Samsung's first smartphone which is pre-installed with Android Oreo straight out of the box with Grace UI layer over it. The Galaxy S9 is bringing all the goodies of Android Oreo and also it features Samsung's Bixby AI Assistant which can be accessed by simply pressing the side Bixby button. The OnePlus 5T was announced with Android Nougat 7.1 with Oxygen OS layer over it, later on, the device was updated to Android Oreo in January this year.

The UI experience on both the devices is quite different from each other. The Samsung's custom UI layer is a bit thick over the stock OS whereas the OnePlus 5T custom OS layer is pretty thin.

Camera

One of the major upgrade in this year's Galaxy S9 over the predecessor Galaxy S8 is indeed its camera setup. The Galaxy S9 is featuring one of its kind camera sensor with variable aperture. The rear primary snapper is a 12MP module with OIS. The aperture turns to f/2.4 in day-light conditions whereas in low-light conditions the camera switches aperture to f/1.5. It is the only smartphone in the market with such large aperture. It also takes shots pretty quickly.

The Galaxy S9 camera is pre-loaded with a number of features to allow users capture great shots. We will recommend considering Galaxy S9 if you are looking for a camera-centric flagship smartphone. Unfortunately, the OnePlus 5T camera isn't as great as its competitors. For sure it's one aspect which let the OnePlus 5T slightly down here. The OnePlus 5T sports dual rear snappers, the primary snapper is 16MP with f/1.7 whereas the secondary sensor is 20MP with f/1.7 aperture. The dual sensors perform pretty well in low-light conditions but the colors accuracy isn't as good as its competitors. The Galaxy S9 one of its kind cameras will certainly further push down the OnePlus 5T's camera.

The OnePlus 5T camera modules aren't the worst but instead, we can rate them above average. Up front, the selfie camera on the Galaxy S9 is 8MP with f/1.7 aperture whereas the OnePlus 5T features a 16MP module on the front which is way better than most of its competitors.

Battery

The battery cell on both the devices is pretty much comparable to other smartphones in this league. The Galaxy S9's battery cell is 3,000mAh. Its the same battery cell as the Galaxy S8. It supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0. Last but not the least it comes with wireless charging feature thanks to glass rear. The OnePlus 5T battery cell is 3,300mAh which charges pretty quickly thanks to Dash charge fast charging tech. It lacks wireless charging support due to metal design. Both the devices easily last one day on single charge.

Price

Being the latest flagship the Galaxy S9 is one of the most expensive Android smartphone available in the market. The Galaxy S9 is available for £739 in the UK whereas it cost $730 in the US. On the other hand, the OnePlus 5T base variant can be grabbed for $499 whereas the top tier variant cost $559.

The difference between the two flagships pricing is quite evident. The OnePlus smartphones are known for their affordability that's why it's not surprising at all to see OnePlus 5T offering top-tier specs at fraction of Galaxy S9's price. The Galaxy S9 is more expensive due to its refined build quality and few extra perks which won't available for OnePlus 5T owners.

Conclusion:

First thing is we have to admit the difference in release years plays a significant role here. Still, the OnePlus 5T competes pretty well against Galaxy S9 in a number of aspects. The design language is quite different on both the devices but the display panel on both the devices is Super AMOLED. In hardware section, the Galaxy S9 takes lead with latest gen chipset whereas the OnePlus 5T is ahead with more RAM and native storage. The Galaxy S9 storage is further expandable whereas that's not the case with OnePlus 5T.

The Galaxy S9's camera is definitely superior to OnePlus 5T and even better than most of the smartphones of this league. The higher screen resolution display of Galaxy S9 with dual curved edges is certainly an edge. The Galaxy S9 is one of the expensive Android flagships whereas the OnePlus 5T takes lead in this segment with its pocket-friendly pricing.

In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 5T in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons in coming days.

(last update 19 June 2018 @ 20:53)

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