Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 6T

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the new OnePlus 6T takes on the popular Samsung Galaxy S9. Both devices are considered flagships by their manufacturers, although the Galaxy line has an S9 Plus model with more credentials. When it comes to looks, the Galaxy S9 is the clear winner, but the value aspect of the OnePlus 6T makes it look a whole lot better. When it comes to pure tech, the OnePlus 6T is right up there with the Galaxy S9 – they both use the latest SD845 and Adreno 630 GPU and both have great cameras. Sure, the Galaxy S9 has some extra window dressings (read that as bloatware) and a few additions to its list of worthwhile features, but the OnePlus 6T is loaded with the hard basics, more RAM, a great camera, and an even better price.

While these two devices are worlds apart, they have several things in common. They both use a large AMOLED display, although the OnePlus 6T is only FHD+ and the Galaxy S9 is QHD+. Both use the Snapdragon 845 processor and the Adreno 630 GPU for graphics. They both use a non-removable battery and a fast charge option – only the Galaxy S9 offers a wireless charging option. The usual suspects are there with NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth v5.0, and a USB Type-C Port for charging and data transfer. The OP6T and the Galaxy S9 each offer Google Pay, a fingerprint sensor, facial recognition, in an all glass body.

Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two high-end Android smartphones stack up against each other. Which one is the better purchase by offering the most technology for the least amount of money? Are you looking for a powerful phone, looks, or more features? We will attempt to answer these questions in this comparison.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung puts out many phones each year, but the Galaxy ‘S’ and Note series are the crème de la crème of their phone line. Today we are looking at the Galaxy S9, which is their ‘basic’ flagship smartphone, missing a few items of the Galaxy S9 Plus. The Galaxy S9 has a smaller display, less RAM (4GB vs 6GB), and only one rear camera. The remaining technology is as good as it gets – you get the Snapdragon 845, Adreno 630, Hi-Res audio, stereo speakers, and the same 12-megapixel camera with the new Adaptive Aperture feature. The Galaxy S9 also includes their new Intelligent Scan, which combines the facial recognition and iris scan together for a quicker and more accurate authentication. The phone is all Gorilla Glass 5, so wireless charging is available.

Samsung Super AMOLED display is simply the best on the market, and the Galaxy S9 is certainly no exception. It sports a 5.8-inch Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. This ratio makes the display look a tad bit thin and tall, but this allows for better movie and video viewing, as well as a perfect way to view multi-windows. Its QHD+ resolution produces 2960 x 1440 pixels and 570 pixels-per-inch (PPI) where you will experience vibrant colors and the blackest of blacks. Samsung has an excellent Always on Display (AoD) that allows the user to ‘peek’ at their notifications before they actually decide if they want to open the phone to read them. This saves battery life, but more importantly, makes it an easy tool for the user to manage their notifications.

The US version of the Galaxy S9 uses the same Snapdragon 845 used in the OnePlus 6T. It is an octa-core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz and paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable memory. If you need more internal memory, there is a 128GB and 256GB available depending on your location and carrier. The Galaxy S9 sold in other countries use Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 octa-core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz along with a Mali-G72-MP18 GPU. These two renditions are equally capable of running the Galaxy S9.

Besides the stereo speakers that Samsung included in the ‘S’ series this year, one of the more exciting features falls in the camera department with the new Adaptive Aperture. The aperture can be adjusted from a large f/1.5 for low-light conditions to a small f/2.4 for bright conditions. It is a 12-megapixel with their new Super Dual Pixels and uses Phase Detection AutoFocus  (PDAF), OIS, 8x Digital Zoom, and an LED flash. The FFC uses an 8-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.7, auto-HRD, and autofocus. This produces excellent selfies and video chats. The Galaxy S9 is powered by a 3,000 mAh capacity battery that should last a full day for the average user, however, most would have preferred a larger size. When you do need a charge, the Galaxy S9 uses Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging and quick wireless charging for both Qi and PMA formats.

As you forage your way through the many apps that Samsung puts on their phones, you will find some very useful and others not so useful. Samsung Pay is one of the good ones because it allows you to make purchases at some vendors that Google Pay is not accepted. Intelligent Scan adds more security with its biometrics using both the Facial Recognition and the Iris Scan to make a fast and secure connection. Not satisfied with Google Assistant, Samsung introduced their Bixby AI as competition. The Galaxy S9 is IP68 certified, it has a heart rate monitor, an SpO2 sensor, and a new blood pressure monitor. Most users will enjoy the new stereo speakers more than anything. They also included an AR Emoji program that is a great idea, but still a work in progress. Samsung did improve their DeX to where you only have to use a dongle to connect the Galaxy S9 to a smart TV. Samsung Connect lets the user control their smart appliances, thermostat, etc.

Colors often persuade a buyer, so many manufacturers are offering more colors than simply black and white, so the Galaxy S9 is available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, Lilac Purple, Burgundy Red, and Sunset Gold. The color choice is dependent on location and carrier. It comes with Android 8.0 (Oreo) out of the box, although has been upgraded to Oreo 8.1. The device measures 147.6 x 68.7 x 8.4 mm and weighs in at 163 grams. It is retailing about $800, but promotions are available.

OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is a full-fledged flagship with an AMOLED display, high-tech processor, and GPU. It will never be as beautiful as the Samsung Galaxy S9 with its Infinity Display, but has a more industrial look, but OP always prices their devices to sell. The OnePlus 6 came out earlier this year and the OnePlus 6T is the model that should have come out in the first place, however, this form of marketing has served OnePlus well over the years. You will get ample RAM, but memory is non-expandable. The dual camera is good overall and the software has also been updated. With the all Gorilla Glass design, it is odd that there is no wireless charging, no IP68 certification, and no headphone jack, however, the OnePlus 6T offers an on-screen fingerprint sensor.

The OnePlus 6T sports a 6.41-inch display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio that makes it look a somewhat thin and tall to allow for better movie and video viewing. If you like to do multitasking this aspect ratio is the perfect way to view multi-windows. It only has a FHD+ resolution producing 2340 x 1080 pixels and a density of 402 pixels-per-inch (PPI). OP does this to save money and battery usage while many techies want to have the QHD+ resolution. OP also chose to add the Apple ‘notch’ to their display, but they do protect the display with new Gorilla Glass 6.

The OnePlus 6T and Galaxy S9 get the same Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor clocked at 2.8 GHz and the powerful Adreno 630 for the best graphics you can throw at it, be it movies, videos, or gaming. There is a base of 6GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable memory in the OP6T. There is a model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of memory – no memory is expandable. Power to the OP6T is via a 3,700 mAh non-removable battery with their own quick Dash Charge - there is no wireless charging.

OnePlus jumped on the dual camera bandwagon early and the OnePlus 6T has different sized sensors. The primary camera is a large 16-megapixel with an f/1.7 aperture. PDAF and a dual LED flash work for both cameras. The other camera is the largest coming in with a 20-megapixel sensor, an aperture of f/1.7, as well as both EIS and OIS to enhance stabilization. The FFC is a large 16-megapixels, with an aperture of f/2.0, stabilized by EIS and comes with Auto HDR. OnePlus made it easier to zoom in and out on the OnePlus 6T by using the new Alert Slider to zoom in and zoom out when you open the camera app. There is also an improvement to the camera software that could be organized better, but adds much to the photo experience.

The OnePlus 6T is designed for those users that want the most for their money – it offers an AMOLED display, the same processor/GPU used in the Galaxy S9, offers more RAM and memory for better multitasking, dual cameras, and a large FFC. It also has Android 9.0 Pie with their OxygenOS UI – a light touch that leaves an almost pure vanilla Android that runs smooth and fast. The OP6T is well built and not bad looking (except for its notch), but just don’t go looking for a bunch of extra features.

The OnePlus 6 measures 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm and weighs in at 177 grams. It comes in Midnight Black, Mirror Black, or Silk White – and there is a difference between the two blacks. Pricing is set at $529 for the 6GB/128GB version and $550 for the 8GB/128GB version. The OnePlus 6T measures 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm and weighs in at 185 grams.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

As much as I would like to crown the Samsung Galaxy S9 the king of this comparison, but I must honestly pick the OnePlus 6T as the winner. I know it only has a FHD+ display (that is larger), but it has more RAM and more standard memory - although it is not expandable - it has the same processor and GPU, and a great dual camera area...and the best price you will find for that much phone.

Yes, the Galaxy S9 has a slightly smaller QHD+ display and a few options not found on the OnePlus 6T, but nothing to justify the price difference.

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