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OnePlus 6T vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Confrontation of two powerhouses?

19 November 2018 6

OnePlus is amongst those OEMs who loves competing against big giants by offering solid hardware at budget-friendly pricing tag. The company all phones are referred to as "flagships killer" due to their premium-level offering at an affordable price tag. The OnePlus 6 was the company's offering for the first half of the year and recently the company took the stage to announce OnePlus 6T as the latest flagships killer.

The OnePlus 6T is quite special due to a number of aspects and certainly, it has all goodies to challenge phones which are almost double its price tag. The OnePlus 6T is the company's first phone which comes with carrier support i.e T-Mobile. We already compared the 6T against a number of phones in the market, today we will put it in a head-to-head comparison against Samsung's latest best Galaxy Note 9.

The OnePlus 6T base model is available at $549 whereas Note 9 starts at $999. Still, both have Super AMOLED display and Snapdragon 845 chipset. The OnePlus 6T also brings few improvements to the camera department which certainly will put slightly close to the Samsung's best-in-class sensors. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 9 is bringing a lot of extra goodies including Bluetooth enabled S-Pen, AI-powered cameras, a gigantic battery cell and much more. Without any further delay, let's find out how OnePlus 6T challenges Samsung's mighty Galaxy Note 9. ​

74.9 x 157.5 x 8.2 mm
6.41 inches - 2340x1080 px
76.4 x 161.9 x 8.8 mm
6.4 inches - 2960x1440 px
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Design

Samsung introduced new glass and metal clad design last year with the Galaxy S8 lineup. The company retained the same design language even for this year flagships with minor improvements. The front-facing side has Infinity display with ultra-thin bezels around the corner. The frame is made up of aluminum whereas the rear is covered with glass. Undoubtedly the design still looks quite striking despite being almost two years old.

The only prominent difference with the Galaxy Note 9 is the placement of fingerprint scanner below the camera sensors instead of right next to it. With the OnePlus 6, the company introduced glass and metal sandwich design. As expected the 6T retained the design but brings few significant changes. For instance, it doesn't have a fingerprint scanner on the rear side, the normal notch is replaced with an ultra-thin waterdrop notch. The 6T lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the Note 9 still has the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The 6T features the futuristic under-glass fingerprint scanner, it is the first phone in the US with the latest scanner. The scanner is not the only ultra fast but also it is quite efficient. Despite having gigantic display the 6T is still slightly smaller than the Note 9 and also it weighs less.

As far as the colors are a concern the Galaxy Note 9 was initially available in Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple colors, later on, the company brings Midnight Black and Cloud Silver options. The 6T was announced in Matte and Mirror Black, later on, only Purple color is announced. Another good thing of the Galaxy Note 9 is IP68 certification which provides resistance up to 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage whereas the 6T lacks this support.

Display

The Super AMOLED display panel on both the devices is 6.4-inches, however, the finish is different. The Galaxy Note 9 display edges are gently curved whereas the 6T has a flat display. The Note 9 screen resolution is Quad HD+ 1440 x 2960 pixels whereas the 6T measures at Full HD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels.

In terms of brightness, the Galaxy Note 9 has certainly an upper hand with above 600-nits brightness whereas 6T lags behind with around 400-nits. As a daily driver indoors you may not find any prominent difference but in daylight, the difference is quite evident. The colors accuracy, saturation and deep blacks on both the panels are on par to each other.

Hardware


Both the phones have the latest best Snapdragon 845 chipset under the hood, its an Octa-core chipset built on the 2nd gen 10nm process. In terms of performance, both are amongst the best in the market. As per Geekbench listing the OnePlus 6T 8GB RAM model achieves 8,972 points on multi-core test whereas the Galaxy Note 9 6GB RAM variant is slightly behind at 8,876.

The Galaxy Note 9 is the Samsung's first phone with a dedicated cooling system, the device remains cool even on hefty usage like intensive gaming for hours. A new SmartBoost feature is introduced by OnePlus which automatically kills the less used background apps, this feature certainly enhances the apps accessing speed.

The 6T is available in three configurations, the base model has 6GB RAM with 128GB native storage, the standard variant has 8GB RAM with 128GB storage whereas the top of the line variant has 256GB native storage. It lacks support for memory expansion via MicroSD. The Galaxy Note 9 has 6GB RAM and 128GB built-in storage, it also supports memory expansion via MicroSD.

Specs OnePlus 6T Galaxy Note 9
Display 6.4-inches 6.4-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 845
RAM 6,8GB 6GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB Non-Expandable 128GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear cameras 16+20MP Dual 12MP
Front camera 16MP 8MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes
Battery 3,700mAh 4,000mAh
OS Android Pie with Oxygen OS Android Oreo 8.1 with Experience UI

Camera


The camera is certainly one aspect where OnePlus phones always lag behind from being the best-in-class or equally good as flagships. On the other hand, Samsung always tries to set the standard quite high as far as cameras are a concern. It doesn't mean the OnePlus 6T cameras are not good but certainly not as good as its competitor.

The Galaxy Note 9 has dual 12MP sensors on the rear side. The primary sensor features variable aperture like the Galaxy S9 series which shifts to f/1.5 in low-light conditions whereas in stable lightening the aperture turns to f/2.4. The Galaxy Note 9's dual sensors come with AI support to detect scenes to better optimize camera settings before capturing the shot.

On the other hand, OnePlus also pays attention to the camera goodies rather bringing new hardware. The primary sensor remains 16MP with f/1.7 aperture and OIS whereas the secondary sensor is 20MP with the same aperture but lacks OIS. The 6T features a new dedicated Night Mode which enhances the exposure level during low-light shots. The portrait mode is also improved to provide better depth-sensing.

Despite having new software improvements the 6T lags behind the Galaxy Note 9 in low-light conditions. Up front, the 6T has 16MP sensor whereas the Note 9 rely on the 8MP sensor. Both the devices selfie cameras are capable to capture portrait shots with software prowess.

Software

Despite being the latest phone the Galaxy Note 9 was announced with the Android Oreo 8.1 back in August this year. On the other hand, the 6T is shipped with the latest Android Pie flavor straight out of the box with Oxygen OS skin over it. The Oxygen OS skin on the 6T is cleaner than the Samsung's experience UI. Samsung recently announced OneUI with a cleaner interface and specially optimized to use giant display phone single handily. The company confirms OneUI will be rolled out in early 2019 for the Galaxy Note 9 and other Samsung flagships.

Despite the fact, Note 9 is pre-installed with an older version of Android but it still brings a lot of goodies. The new S-Pen comes with Bluetooth connectivity which means now you can perform a number of tasks remotely like controlling music, using the S Pen button as a camera shutter and much more. The Samsung Dex convert the phones into mini PC, the good thing is these features are now accessible without using Dock. All you need HDMI cable and adapter to use this feature.

The Galaxy Note 9 comes with Samsung's own Bixby AI Assistant with a dedicated button on the left edge to access it on the go. The OnePlus custom UI is mainly focused to enhance performance by keeping most of the stock Android services. The gestures based UI looks quite superb. Apart from regular fingerprint scanner both the devices have facial recognition as a secondary biometric feature but it isn't as good as the 3D scanner of iPhone XS.

Battery

The Galaxy Note 9 lights are kept on by a gigantic 4,000mAh battery whereas the 6T has slightly smaller 3,700mAh cell. Both the phones bring significant upgrade over the predecessor as far as the battery size is a concern. On a single charge, both the devices have enough juice to last one day on a single charge.

Even on hefty usage, you can easily end the day on single charge. Thanks to glass rear the Galaxy Note 9 supports wireless charging but unfortunately, the 6T lacks this feature despite having glass on the rear. The 6T comes with the company's own Dash Charge tech which charges up to 60% battery in just 30 minutes whereas the Note 9 rely on the Qualcomm's Quick charge which isn't as fast as the OnePlus tech.

Price and Availability

In the pricing department, it is not an easy task to compete against OnePlus phones. The base variant of Note 9 with 6GB RAM starts at $999 whereas OnePlus 6T comes at $549 with the same configuration. If you choose the top of the line variant of 6T with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage you can grab it at $629. The Note 9 top of the line variant has 512GB storage, it is way more expensive at $1,249.

Both the phones are widely available across the globe. In the US the Note 9 can be purchased from all major carriers whereas the OnePlus joins hand with the T-Mobile for the carrier-bound variant of 6T. The 6T also supports Verizon and AT&T network in the US.

Conclusion:

The OnePlus 6T has a lot of goodies in this price tag. The best amongst all is indeed the top of the line hardware with cleaner and smoother user interface at much lower price tag than the premium flagships in the market. The 6T cost almost half than the latest Samsung's and Apple flagships. The best thing is it competes well against Note 9 including the display, hardware, and software. If you like the stock Android experience the OnePlus 6T is a better option but if you go with the functionalities the Note 9 has an advantage here.

One of the deciding aspect between the two phones in indeed the cameras. The Note 9 is capable to capture great shots in both daylight and low-light conditions whereas the 6T captures good in daylight conditions but it suffers in low-light scenarios despite having dedicated Night mode.

If you don't have an issue related to budget the Galaxy Note 9 certainly features rich phone with additional S-Pen and better cameras. However, the 6T is bringing the best value for your hard earned money at this price tag. In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding the OnePlus 6T vs Galaxy Note 9 in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons in coming days.

8.9 Hardware
6.2 Price Quality

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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(last update 13 December 2018 @ 05:08)

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