Do we have a good one for you today – the newly refined and beautiful Samsung Galaxy S6 goes up against the new, well-built, low-priced OnePlus 2. Here we have two flagships, one from South Korea and one from China vying to win this specification comparison, however, whenever a phone from China is involved, we also have to consider the price of the device. Does the Galaxy S6 have enough 'extras' to make it worth that extra price tag or is the OnePlus 2 such a value that it cannot be passed up? In this section will try to determine if there is any common ground between these two devices and then we will look at each individual device for a more in-depth look.
Both the Galaxy S6 and OnePlus 2 have very few things in common…not even their size in either display or physical size comes close, as the OnePlus 2 is larger all the way around. They both sport octa-core processors that are in direct competition with one another – Qualcomm and Exynos. One variation of the OnePlus 2 comes with the same 3GB of RAM, although OnePlus 2 has said that only the 4GB/64GB version will be available at first. The main cameras differ slightly with the OnePlus 2 having a 13MP sensor and the Galaxy S6 with a 16MP sensor, with both devices employing a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC). Both devices use a bottom-facing speaker – one on the Galaxy S6 and dual-speakers on the OnePlus 2.
The usual and some unusual suspects are here – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, and a microUSB port (v2.0 on the Galaxy S6 and Type-C on the OnePlus 2) for charging the device or transferring data. They both have non-removable batteries and both implement a fingerprint sensor. The 'unusual' part is that OnePlus decided to include a fingerprint sensor but neglected to include an NFC chip, as they had on the OnePlus One. This means that you can unlock the smartphone with the fingerprint sensor, but that is it – there will be no Android Pay or any means to pay a retailer using your OnePlus 2. Another feature missing from this flagship is the ability to rapidly charge your battery.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Samsung Galaxy S6
The Galaxy S5 was a solid phone, but failed to excite new buyers and Samsung was not happy about the resulting sales figures. Samsung made some drastic changes with their design of the new Galaxy S6 – no more plastic, instead we have an aluminum unibody with Gorilla Glass 2.5D on the front and Gorilla Glass 3D on the back. It comes in a variety of colors, such as White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and an exclusive Galaxy S6 color, Blue Topaz. The Galaxy S6 is beautiful from every angle with a premium feel and solid build.
The Galaxy S6 sports a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI) and this compares to OnePlus 2's FHD 5.5-inch display and 401 PPI. Samsung made several changes in their new Galaxy S6, and the first was to go with their in-house 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor using the first 14nm technology. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. The OnePlus 2 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit 810 octa-core processor. The Galaxy S6 is packing 3GB of the faster DDR4 RAM, compared to 3GB or 4GB of DDR4 RAM used in the OnePlus 2. The Galaxy S6 memory options are 32GB, 64GB or 128GB models with the new and faster Samsung UFS 2.0 flash memory with no room for expansion. The OnePlus 2 comes with options of 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB of internal memory with no room for expansion.
The Galaxy S6 main camera has a 16MP sensor with autofocus, LED Flash, a wide f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR and OIS. Samsung increased the FFC to 5MP and they wisely added the f/1.9 aperture, 120-degree wide-angle and Live HDR for excellent low-light group selfies and video chatting. The OnePlus 2 main camera is a smaller 13MP with all the right pieces – even laser autofocus – and a 5MP FFC…it should take great pictures, but the Galaxy S6 will win this competition.
The non-removable 2550mAh battery is small compared to the non-removable 3300mAh in the OnePlus 2, but it should get you through most of the day. However, if you run into trouble, the new Samsung battery can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and they included built-in wireless charging. The OnePlus 2 lacks any quick charge feature.
The Galaxy S6 has a few features not found on the OnePlus 2 – it is Samsung Pay ready, its fingerprint sensor is PayPal certified, includes NFC, built-in IR blaster, includes a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor, rapid charge and wireless charging for both Qi and PMA standards. It is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and will cost you about $200 on a two-year contract and $600 – $700 off-contract for the 32GB model.
OnePlus' follow up from their first smartphone, the OnePlus One, is the new OnePlus 2. This startup Chinese company builds a quality smartphone – we were impressed with their OnePlus One and is even more evident in the OnePlus 2 with a solid metal frame and trim. OnePlus is all about quality at a low price – however, it is difficult to build a flagship device with a low price without cutting some corners. OnePlus still uses the same FHD display, the same size camera, and then added 1GB of RAM, a fingerprint sensor, increased the battery from 3100mAh to 3300mAh and removed the NFC capability. What this means is that the fingerprint sensor can unlock the phone, but nothing else…no Android Pay, no mobile purchases at all and not a wise move on OnePlus' part.
The OnePlus 2 sports a 5.5-inch LTPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI versus the Super AMOLED 5.1-inch display on the Galaxy S6 with 577 PPI. OnePlus tapped Qualcomm for the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and to keep it cool, they underclocked it to 1.56GHz and 1.82GHz. This goes up against the 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor in the Galaxy S6. The OnePlus 2 has two options when it comes to DDR4 RAM/Storage – 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB – although, according to OnePlus, the 4GB/64GB is the only one available at the time of its launch and there is no expansion. The Galaxy S6 packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM with 32GB of internal storage with no room for expansion, although you get a 64GB or 128GB variant.
The camera in the OnePlus 2 retains the same 13MP sensor as the OnePlus One, but they improved it by adding larger pixels, laser autofocus, a dual-LED flash, a f/2.0 aperture and OIS. This goes up against the 16MP, autofocus, OIS and LED flash on the Galaxy S6. For the FFC, both the OnePlus 2 and Galaxy S6 include a large 5MP camera for selfies or video chatting. The OnePlus 2 increased the non-removable battery size from 3000mAh to 3300mAh and it goes up against the smaller, non-removable 2550mAh battery in the Galaxy S6, which has rapid charge and/or the wireless charging option.
The OnePlus 2 does come with a great sound 'system' built-in to the device. It is also using a newer USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer that uses a nice, reversible plug. It runs OnePlus' own OS called OxygenOS 2.0 over stock Android Lollipop 5.1. LTE works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks with the OnePlus 2 costing you $329 for the 16GB model, and $389 for the 64GB model…but OnePlus' website is showing the 64GB model for only $299.
…And The Winner Is…
This is another one of those tough decisions to make because of the price difference of these two great devices. Even though the price of the Galaxy S6 has been reduced, we are still looking at about a $370 difference – that is with a special $299 selling price for the 64GB OnePlus 2 on their website.
I know there are many OnePlus fans out there, and I know the OnePlus 2 is a big value, but of these two devices, the Galaxy S6 is definitely the more advanced of the two devices, both in terms of specifications and features. In today's growing mobile payment environment, the Galaxy S6 will service you well into the future with Samsung Pay, Android Pay and all of upcoming Android Marshmallow features on tap. If you are the type that gets a new phone every year, then that is not an issue with you now, but for most of us who have to hang on to their device for 2-3 years that is a very important consideration. For these reasons, I chose the Galaxy S6 as the winner of this specification comparison.
The Galaxy S6 has a better display, faster UFS 2.0 flash memory, a better camera, a more usable fingerprint sensor, NFC, heart and oxygen saturation sensor for the health enthusiasts, a built-in IR blaster, built-in wireless charging (Qi and PMA) and a rapid charge battery.
The OnePlus 2, the self-proclaimed "2016 Flagship Killer" is not going to 'kill' any 2015 or 2016 flagship without a QHD display, NFC compatibility, quick charge option or availability on all US carriers – it may kill them in price, but not specifications. The OnePlus 2 is a very capable device and we gave it a sterling review, but when compared to the Galaxy S6, it just does not hold up as 'future-proof' smartphone.
On price alone one could buy a new one every year and hope that OnePlus wises up and takes mobile payments seriously. It just seems like in its only second iteration, it still needs just a little more polish in a few areas before I would want it as my daily driver.
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