In recent years, Samsung and OnePlus have constantly earned spots near the top of the best smartphones list. And it still is the same way today.
It’s a typical battle. Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones mostly represent the height of high-end Android design, loaded with flagship features you might not see elsewhere. Meanwhile, OnePlus delivers smartphones that nearly match the robust flagships on most of those points, but manages to have a lesser cost in the process.
Occasionally, Samsung dominates and sometimes OnePlus claims the day. This post is about the battle between the new OnePlus 6 and the new Samsung Galaxy S9.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 made no major design stomps this year. It’s almost a carbon-copy the Galaxy S8, although they moved the rear fingerprint sensor to a more comfortable position. Which paved the way for a tall, curved screen, with very little top and bottom bezel. And also an all glossy glass on its back. Which is quite nice, but unremarkable.
The OnePlus 6 also looks a little bit familiar, although with the exception of the top screen notch. The top screen notch look is in vogue for new Androids this period. And like it or not, that approach makes the screen look pretty immersive.
Furthermore, OnePlus also embraces glass on its back this time around, the OnePlus 6 looks kinda similar from the back. All said, they’re very close: Samsung has more curves and also more bezel, while OnePlus goes for the notch. Pick your choice.
The screens are AMOLED, no matter which phone you choose. But there are some major differences at play.
The pretty obvious difference is the notch. Just like the iPhone X, LG G7 ThinQ, and Huawei P20, the OnePlus 6 chose to mold its screen around its camera module. You can “hide” this part using a software setting that sets the black status bar on either side. Meanwhile, it’s still physically present on its huge 6.28in display at a 19:9 aspect ratio.
Furthermore, the Galaxy S9 is curved on its sides but doesn’t use the notch with its 5.8 in 18.5:9 display. Both displays look pretty awesome. But with Samsung’s Quad HD resolution better than the 1080p screen of the OnePlus 6, the Galaxy S9 has the edge here.
Result: Samsung Galaxy S9
Flagship competitors require bold new thinking, which is why the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera added something different. Samsung added an adjustable aperture. This automatically switches from the default ultra-wide f/1.5 mode to a tighter f/2.4 when there is plenty of light on-board.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 sees improvements in low-light picture taking over its predecessor. Also, its 12-megapixel sensor is excellent all around. Pictures have pretty cool exposure and plenty of detail in heavy lighting conditions, as well. Huawei’s P20 Pro is above it on camera quality, but the S9 still has something to offer.
Meanwhile, the OnePlus 6 settles for a pretty nice camera setup, like its predecessors. Here, there are two f/1.7 cameras on the rear: a main 16MP sensor and a 20MP secondary shooter alongside. The huge sensor and optical image stabilization on the primary camera is a nice bonus perk. Also, you get the portrait/bokeh additions of a dual-camera setup.
Here, pictures are groggy and detailed with a nice handling of skin tones, also low light scenes are solid. But the colors seem to be grogged-up a bit much. In addition, there isn’t a way to enable more natural shots. Coupled with some exposure problems, the OnePlus 6 isn’t quite as admirable as the Galaxy S9. But it’s still very close to the S9.
Result: Samsung Galaxy S9
Hardware and Software
Both of these devices pack a real bump when it comes to this aspect. The Galaxy S9 goes for Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chipset in the UK and most other countries. Or the somewhat less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 elsewhere. Meanwhile, it’s the Snapdragon chipset you’ll find with the OnePlus 6, no matter your location.
Although, the Snapdragon isn’t so good with benchmark testing, in real-world usage you won’t find any difference at all. They’re equally super fast. You can even try out the Android P beta right now if you won’t mind the bugs.
Also, the OnePlus OnePlus 6 offers up more RAM, with 6GB in the main model or 8GB in the costlier model. While the 4GB RAM in the Samsung Galaxy S9 looks like plenty for a fast Android device in 2018.
Battery and Misc.
Coming to battery life, both of these devices have batteries built for a day of solid use. There’s a 3,000mAh battery pack in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and 3,300mAh battery in the OnePlus 6. OnePlus 6 has a larger, albeit lower-resolution screen.
Coming to storage, each device comes with 64GB on the base model, with 128GB and 256GB options available. But the Galaxy S9 also lets you use a microSD card for even more storage, while the OnePlus 6 doesn’t offer that option.
Finally, both of these devices have a 3.5mm headphone port. Which has eluded most 2018 flagships.
By the end of the day, do you really need all of these extras? Most importantly: are you willing to pay for these extras?
If yes, then by all means, go for the Galaxy S9. It’s a pretty cool Android phone that packs in plenty of power, flagship aesthetics, and lots more extra. But at £739 (N357,061) for the main model, it isn’t cheap.
Although the £469 (N226,602) OnePlus 6 isn’t cheap either, it’s a lot less cheap than the Galaxy S9.
But when you go down the core of what these phones are capable of, both are pretty fast and powerful. They both have amazing screens, and both take pretty good pictures. In my view, that extra £270 (N130,508) isn’t necessary.
Winner: OnePlus 6