Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 takes on the new OnePlus 3T. The Galaxy S7 has been out for several months, but it is Samsung's current flagship since there is no more Galaxy Note 7 model on sale. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the models Samsung will be pushing now, so it is only fitting we compare it to the OnePlus 3T. Considering the OP3T is simply an upgrade of the older OP3, as we have two devices that have been around. Which one of these devices has what it takes to win this competition? Let's see just what these two smartphones have in common and just how much they differ.
The Galaxy S7 and the OP3T do have a few things in common. Their AMOLED displays are different sizes – 5.1-inches vs. 5.5-inches, and this makes them different in physical size, but they weigh within 6 grams of one another. They both use a Snapdragon processor – the 820, and slightly improved 821, along with the same Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. They both offer a 64GB variant of internal memory – the Galaxy S7 can be expanded, but the only option for the OP3T is to purchase a 128GB model. The main camera areas are very similar, and both take excellent photos. They both have a non-removable battery with the Galaxy S7 enjoying wireless fast charging built in, but the OP3 has a larger battery. They both enjoy a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or authorizing mobile payments. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port – microUSB v2.0 on the Galaxy S7 and the newer Type-C reversible on the OP3T.
Please take a thoughtful 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.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Galaxy S series is usually released before other manufacturers in the spring of the year, and they look to see what innovations the Samsung Galaxy S series might bring with it. Although it was merely a refinement of the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge easily outsold all other Android smartphones. The same metal and glass construction, with small improvements on the outside, while a new processor is found on the inside. The camera area was about the most exciting new design this year as we all expected to see a 21MP+ sensor; but instead, Samsung used a Dual Pixel 12MP shooter.
The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED QHD display giving it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung added an 'always-on' screen, to help save battery life by giving it's users the ability to glance at the time, date, and notifications without turning on the main display. If you purchased your Galaxy S7 in the US, your processor comes with the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. In other countries, Samsung will use their 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 DDR4 RAM and has 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory, as well as possible expansion up to 256GB via a microSD card.
Samsung surprised everybody this year by dropping the 16MP lenses found in the Galaxy S6 series and replacing it with a Dual Pixel 12MP and increased aperture to f/1.7, including a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and OIS. The Galaxy S7's front-facing camera (FFC) comes with a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR. This combination allows for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung did increase the non-removable battery to 3000mAh, and it features Quick Charge 2.0 and Quick Wireless Charging.
The Galaxy S7 is suitable to use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay. This added feature allows S7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. It has IP68 certification against dust and water; it sports a heart rate monitor and oxygen sensor, and High-Res audio for listening through earphones. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams, is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, and costs about $670, although many specials are running, including BOGO.
Many are wondering why OnePlus did the subtle upgrade to their OnePlus 3 several months after its launch. Maybe OnePlus wanted to beat the holiday sales rather than wait until the usual spring launch. It almost makes you wonder what OP has in store for the spring with their OP4. On the outside, the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are identical except for a subtle color change to a Gunmetal color. Inside they added a slightly faster processor (10-percent), a larger battery (3000mAh to 3400mAh), an improved scratch-resistant lens cover on the primary camera, and changes in memory storage capacity (32GB to 64GB as a base.) The changes are certainly an improvement over the OP3 – a larger battery and faster processor, and more memory is always nice to have. We are looking at an all-metal device that has excellent build quality, but how does it hold up to the Samsung Galaxy S7?
The OnePlus 3T does not deviate from OnePlus' philosophy of using only using a Full HD display, although it does sport their new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 401 PPI. Although OnePlus used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor in their original OP3, they were able to up the stakes here on the OnePlus 3T to include the new Snapdragon 821 with the same sized dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz and running an Adreno 530 GPU for excellent graphics. OnePlus then packed in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 non-expandable internal storage, but you can now order 128GB of internal memory.
OnePlus has done a great job upgrading the camera area on their devices. It still uses the same camera as the OP3, but it does have a more scratch-resistant sapphire lens with the 16MP sensor for the OP3. It has a fast PDAF, LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and they threw in OIS for extra stability. The FFC camera increased from 8MP to a larger 16MP with a f/2.0 aperture for terrific social selfies and video chatting. The OnePlus 3T has a non-removable battery that jumped to 3400mAh in size that includes their rapid charge they call Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
OnePlus is finally growing into a 'full-service' company – they included both a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip on their OnePlus 3T, allowing the device to make mobile payments and Android Pay purchases with a swipe of your finger. Now if we can just get OnePlus to make their North American model work on all the main carriers they will have a real winner. It runs mostly stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with OnePlus' OS called OxygenOS on top and OnePlus promises that Nougat is not far behind. The OnePlus 3T measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and weighs in at 158 grams. It will cost you about $450 USD for the 6GB/64GB model and about $480 for the 6GB/128GB model. There is a choice of Gunmetal, and Soft Gold has finally arrived.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
I picked the OnePlus 3T as the winner over the very expensive Galaxy S7 Edge, but in this case, I am choosing the $670 Samsung Galaxy S7 as the winner over the $450 OnePlus 3T. It has more features, and I doubt that anybody has spent $670 on the Galaxy S7 in the past 2 or 3 months. The carriers as having so many sales and BOGO deals that it puts them in the same price range as the OnePlus 3T.
The Galaxy S7 has a better 'always on' display that is Super AMOLED with a Quad HD resolution, expandable memory, IP68 water and dust resistance, a better camera, Hi-Res Audio, heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, Samsung Pay, and wireless charging.
The OnePlus 3T is a real bargain but has only a Full HD resolution, no room to expand memory beyond the 128GB, and it only works on AT&T or T-Mobile. It has a slightly faster processor and more RAM, but they are insignificant differences. When you can get a Samsung Galaxy S7 for about the same amount as an OnePlus 3T – I have to call it the winner of this comparison.