Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – The new Samsung Galaxy S8 takes on the popular OnePlus 3T. The Galaxy S8 with its large Infinity Display and all-glass backing takes on the updated all-metal OP3T. Does the new Galaxy S8 have what it takes to outclass the revised OP3T? Samsung completely revised its Galaxy S series while the OnePlus took their popular OnePlus 3 and gave it new life with a few improvements. The OnePlus 3T will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US for 4G LTE and the Galaxy S8 will work on all major carriers. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the OnePlus 3T have a few things in common. The displays of the two devices are 0.3-inch different in size, but the larger S8 is slightly smaller in physical size and weighing in at 3 grams lighter than the OnePlus 3T. The displays both use the AMOLED technology, but the different resolutions, and different Gorilla Glass for protection. They use different processors and GPUs, although both come from Snapdragon and Adreno. They pack different amounts of RAM – 6GB in the OnePlus 3T and 4GB in the S8 – the same amount of storage at 64GB, but only the S8 has the means to expand its memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas and the front-facing camera (FFC) areas could not be more different – the Galaxy S8 uses a 12MP camera, and the OnePlus 3T uses one 16MP sensor – but both take great pictures. The FCC on the Galaxy S8 uses an 8MP while the OnePlus 3T uses another 16MP sensor. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as NFC for authorizing mobile payments, including Android Pay. They both use a non-removable battery, and both have rapid charge capabilities. They come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v5.0 in the S8 and v4.2 in the OP3T), GPS, NFC, and the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.

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.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung dropped the flat display on the Galaxy S8 and introduced us to their new Infinity Display that has no left or right bezels, making it look completely different from its predecessor. Gone is the physical ‘Home’ button, and gone are the ‘Back’ and ‘App’ keys that are now located on the lower part of the display that has 3D Touch capabilities. Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back and awkwardly located it near the camera lens; but Samsung added easier ways to unlock the device by way of facial recognition and an iris scanner. Just in the appearance alone, the Galaxy S8 is one sexy looking device, but did Samsung upgrade the specifications enough, and just how does it stack up to the much cheaper OnePlus 3T.

Samsung increased their Galaxy S8 from the 5.1-inch display used on the previous S series to a much larger 5.8-inch Infinity Display. Because the Super AMOLED display uses an 18.5:9 aspect ratio that makes it taller and slightly narrower and causes it to have a QHD+ display resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and 570 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The new display goes from edge-to-edge and takes up 83.6-percent of the front of the phone. When you unbox your Galaxy S8, the default resolution is set at 2220 x 1080 to conserve battery life, but you can jump into the settings and move it up. Samsung continued the tradition of the ‘always-on’ screen to help save battery life and to make it easier and quicker to check notifications. Samsung uses the newest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the front and back of the device. Samsung is the first to use the 10nm technology found in the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor. It is clocked at 2.35GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU rounding out the model coming to the US. The other countries will get Samsung’s excellent Exynos 8895 octa-core 10nm processor with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 expandable memory via a microSD card.

Samsung decided to stick with the excellent camera from the Galaxy S7 with a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor. Samsung decided to concentrate on making advancements to their imaging software, and so far, the picture quality looks excellent. The Galaxy S8 uses the same large aperture of f/1.7, a 26mm lens, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. Samsung did tinker around to the FFC by enlarging it from a 5MP to an 8MP sensor and then added its own autofocus. It still is a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR. Samsung also kept the same sized non-removable 3000mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.

Per Samsung’s usual practice, the Galaxy S8 has many features crammed in – some more useful than others. It comes with a useful IP68 certification, against dust and water, a heart rate monitor for those that exercise, an oxygen saturation sensor, and the new Samsung Health replaces Samsung’s S-Health. Samsung wanted its own personal assistant so Bixby is now part of the package. Bixby involves the camera as an option to answer your questions. If you point it at a historical building, you will receive some facts regarding the structure. If you aim the camera at a sign written in a foreign language, Bixby will translate it for you. The Galaxy S8 sports a new Samsung Connect feature to tie together Samsung’s appliances, SmartTVs, thermostats and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Samsung added another feature that has never proven to be popular – a DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a near desktop experience. Because it is a Samsung device, the S8 can use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which allows Galaxy S8 users more freedom to make mobile purchases. The Galaxy S8 will arrive one of two ways – with Android Nougat 7.0, followed by a quick upgrade, or it may include 7.1 by release time. It measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 will cost about $720 outright and is now available for pre-order with delivery no later than April 21.

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus took their OnePlus 3, updated it with a Snapdragon 821, and started selling their new flagship as the OnePlus 3T. The two devices are physically identical looking except for a subtle color change to a Gunmetal color. The Snapdragon 821 is reported to be 10-percent faster than the Snapdragon 820. OnePlus also improved the battery size from 3000mAh to 3400mAh and added a scratch-resistant lens cover over the primary camera. Because the OnePlus 3T has no expandable memory you have to settle for the base 64GB model or you can now purchase a 128GB model. The OnePlus 3T is an all-metal device that has excellent build quality, decent specs, and a decent price but how does it hold up to the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S8?

OnePlus does not like to use QHD displays, and the OnePlus 3T comes with their familiar FHD display with a new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 401 PPI. The OnePlus 3T includes the new Snapdragon 821 with the same dual cores as the 820 clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.35GHz and running the same Adreno 530 GPU as the OnePlus 3. The OnePlus 3T packs a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal storage. There is no expansion available, but you can now order a model with 128GB of internal memory.

OnePlus carried over the same excellent camera from the original OnePlus 3 but now includes a more scratch-resistant sapphire covered lens. The OnePlus 3T uses PDAF, an LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and OIS for stability. The FFC camera increased from an already large 8MP to a huge 16MP with a f/2.0 aperture to take great selfies and for video chatting. The OnePlus 3T has a larger 3400mAh non-removable battery that includes OnePlus’ Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

OnePlus has had a few hits and misses when it comes putting out a ‘complete’ smartphone, but the OnePlus 3T is OnePlus’ best effort. They included both a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip on their OnePlus 3T, allowing the user to make mobile payments as well as use Android Pay. If OnePlus would only include a model that would work on Verizon and Sprint, more users could enjoy the OnePlus experience. It runs mostly stock Android 7.0 Nougat (upgraded) with OnePlus’ OS called OxygenOS on top. The OnePlus 3T measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and weighs in at 158 grams. It will cost you about $440 USD for the 6GB/64GB model and about $480 for the 6GB/128GB model, and there is a choice of Gunmetal, Soft Gold, or Midnight Black.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

This was a tough decision – not in deciding which smartphone has the best specs as that would be the Samsung Galaxy S8 hands down – but because of the tremendous value that the OnePlus 3T offers. The OnePlus 3T’s biggest liabilities are the lack of memory expansion and the fact it will not work on the Verizon or Sprint networks. However, because this is a comparison on specifications, I am picking the Samsung Galaxy S8 as the winner in that department.

It is a no brainer with the larger, QHD+ Infinity Display, always-on display, the Snapdragon 835 processor, the Adreno 540 GPU, memory expansion, Facial Recognition, an Iris Scanner, IP68 certification, Heart Rate Monitor, Hi-Res Audio, Samsung Pay, Samsung Connect, Samsung DeX, and wireless charging. The Samsung Galaxy S8 at $720 is the complete package.

However, you may be an individual that doesn’t need the ‘complete package’ – if you are already using T-Mobile or AT&T, you care about nice photos, but not about memory expansion, and like a little larger battery and are okay with a FHD resolution display, then the $440 OnePlus 3T could be the smartphone for you. While an extra $270 will buy you the Aston Martin, the Cadillac might just suit you fine.

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