Opening apps on two phones side by side to determine which is faster takes precise timing and a bit of preparation, so major OEM OnePlus decided to take its latest comparison in another direction entirely by flinging chunks of cactus at two poor souls working to compare its latest and greatest, the OnePlus 5T, to Samsung's venerable Galaxy Note 8. Two men, their exposed flesh painted with targets, put the two phones to the test as cacti rain down on them. Their skill at operating a smartphone is, presumably, close to equivalent. While the fact that the first man to leave is holding the OnePlus 5T does not objectively mean that the phone is faster, though the two phones are shown side by side a second later opening up the same app, and the sleek OnePlus 5T inches out Samsung's beast of a smartphone by a few milliseconds.
OnePlus has long banked on the fact that its phones take a minimal approach to Android, leaning toward the stock experience that Google curates for the Pixel lineup. This means that they have fewer special features compared to the likes of Samsung and LG's flagship devices, but these phones are just as capable in many ways, and can run all the same apps, with the exception of manufacturer exclusives. This has been how OnePlus' phones have continually managed to speed ahead of the competition, with the help of top-notch hardware, and it's a pattern that OnePlus will likely continue.
For those who need a reminder, both the OnePlus 5T and a common variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 use Qualcomm's powerful Snapdragon 835 processor. In some territories, the Galaxy Note 8 uses Samsung's in-house Exynos 8895 processor. Both versions of the Galaxy Note 8 sport 6GB of RAM, though the OnePlus 5 can have 4GB or 6GB of RAM. Their screen resolutions, another important factor for overall performance, are much the same, barring a few extra pixels for their unique form factors and screen dimensions. OnePlus' video ad on YouTube does not have any information about which variants of both phones are being used, and the Exynos processor is very close to the Snapdragon in terms of raw processing power. It's conceivable that the OnePlus 5T could outrun both variants, since it runs a lighter version of Android.