Do we have a good one for you today – the entry-level OnePlus X goes up against the flagship Samsung Galaxy S7. Maybe a better term for this comparison would be ‘interesting’ rather than a ‘good one,’ but it is always nice to see just how much quality and specifications OnePlus can pack into a smartphone. Even with the price difference, both devices have a solid build and a premium look, although the final nod would have to go to the Galaxy S7. While OnePlus is very particular about their build quality, and while the baked ceramic shell on the OnePlus X looks great, the curved metal edges and glass on the Galaxy S7 just oozes of quality. There is no denying that the Galaxy S7 has the better specifications, but is it worth the $420 price difference? Let’s take a look and see just what these two devices have in common, and then we will delve into more detail.
When there is over $400 difference in pricing, you would think these two devices share very little specifications. However, there is a little bit of common ground that we can find – if we look hard. For starters, the OnePlus X and the Galaxy S7 are physically very close in size with the Galaxy S7 just slightly larger and weighing in at 14 grams heavier. The displays are also about the same size – 5.0-inches on the OnePlus X and 5.1-inches on the Galaxy S7 – and they both use the AMOLED display technology, although different resolutions. Both devices use a Snapdragon processor and Adreno GPU but are generations apart. They both offer a microSD card slot to allow expansion of the internal memory. The primary cameras are close in megapixels – 13MP in the OnePlus X and 12MP in the Galaxy S7 – however, the Galaxy S7’s camera is on a higher playing field.
The both have some of the usual suspects – WiFi (although the OnePlus X only has 802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth (v4.0 on the ‘X’ and v4.2 on the S7), GPS, and a microUSB port v2.0 for charging and data transfer. The OnePlus X is missing the NFC chip, which means it is a no-go for mobile payments. They both have non-removable batteries, but only the Galaxy S7 has a rapid charge feature.
Please take a careful 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 device in greater depth 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.
OnePlus announced their new “flagship killer” the OnePlus 2 and then shortly after that released the OnePlus X. Many were wondering how OnePlus would pull it off, as they always seem to have some glitch when it comes to making their devices available after their announcement. We first considered the OnePlus X as an entry-midrange device, but it turned out to be a real entry-level device. OnePlus was looking to compete in the sub-$250 category, and for the price, it does offer great value – but only for an entry-level smartphone. It sports a decent FHD AMOLED display, a decent camera, 3GB of DDR3 RAM, but no NFC – do you get the sense that this is a ‘decent’ device. It has the usual excellent build quality and premium look we have come to expect from OnePlus and all for a mere $250.
The OnePlus X sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and gives us a respectable 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) OnePlus went to the old parts shelf and grabbed up the old, but trustworthy, 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz – the optimum word there was ‘old.’ The OnePlus X has one option when it comes to RAM/Memory – 3GB of DDR3 RAM with 16GB of internal storage – but comes with a microSD card slot for expansion up to 128GB.
The primary camera in the OnePlus X retains their 13MP sensor from the previous model. OnePlus added phase detection autofocus (PDAF), an aperture of f/2.2, and an LED flash. OnePlus included a large 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) with a f/2.4 for selfies or video chatting. The OnePlus X comes with a rather small 2525mAh non-removable and offers no options for rapid charge.
Out of the box, the OnePlus X runs OnePlus’ OS called OxygenOS 2.2.1 over Android Lollipop 5.1.1, although it is scheduled to get Android 6.0 Marshmallow shortly. LTE bands work on several of the AT&T and T-Mobile bands. The OnePlus X will cost you $249 for the 16GB model and comes in Onyx, Ceramic, and Champagne.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Along with last year’s debut of the newly designed Galaxy S6 came a lot of excitement, so this year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 debut was much less exciting. It was the same metal and glass look, the same size display, as well as the newest of processors and improvements to the screen and camera areas. Samsung also cut back on its models by having one Galaxy S7 and one Galaxy S7 Edge. Samsung made a few subtle changes in the metal frame – curving it ever so slightly to make it easier to pick up off a flat surface.
The Galaxy S7 sports a beautiful 5.1-inch Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with a QHD resolution and 577 PPI. The US version of the Galaxy S7 gets the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. For those that live everywhere else, you will get an Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The Galaxy S7 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and has 32GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory, as well as expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card – another nice update from the previous year.
We were expecting to see a 21MP shooter on the Galaxy S7, but instead, we got a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera that has a larger sensor than the old 16MP used, allowing much more light and detail for better low-light shots. Other improvements include increasing the aperture to f/1.7, faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and they retained the OIS. Thinking back on the UltraPixels used by HTC, we were leery of only 12MP, but those fears were put to rest when national testers gave it the highest score for a mobile camera. The Galaxy S7 comes with a 5MP sensor for its FFC and then added a wide-angle lens, a large f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR, which should allow for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The S7 is powered by a large 3000mAh non-removable battery and comes with Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging.
What other features distinguishes the Galaxy S7 from the OnePlus X? We can start with the display – it uses the always-on technology to save battery life, and it has a QHD resolution. The Galaxy S7 has an NFC chip so Android Pay is available as well as Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. You can use the fingerprint sensor to unlock the device as well as authorize mobile payments – a feature built into Marshmallow. The Galaxy S7 has a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and quick wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver costs about $670.
…And The Winner Is…
Okay, you got me. As much as I would like to say the OnePlus X saves you so much money and is the winner of this comparison, I cannot. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is so far out of the OnePlus X's league; there is no contest. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is the winner of this comparison, pure and simple – and it should be the winner, as we were comparing an entry-level device against a flagship device.
We were curious if the $420 in savings would make the OnePlus X too irresistible to pass up…and the answer would be a resounding, no. I suppose if you need a basic phone for calling, texting, and taking the occasional picture or selfie, and are using the AT&T or T-Mobile network, it would be a good choice. However, other than that, look to the Galaxy S7, which while expensive, has been the subject of many promos, even buy one get one free (BOGO.)
The Galaxy S7 just has everything over on the OnePlus X – a much better display, processor, GPU, more and faster RAM, faster UFS 2.0 internal memory, more expandability, a much better camera, a larger battery with rapid charge and even wireless charging. It has a fingerprint sensor for added security and NFC for making mobile payments. Then there is the heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor – not to mention its availability on all US carriers.