The arrival of the Galaxy S10 series is less than two months away at this point, at least based on rumors, but until that happens, the Galaxy Note9 is still Samsung's flagship. In this comparison, we'll pit the Galaxy Note9 against the OnePlus 6T, the latest and great offering by OnePlus. These two are amongst the hottest smartphones out there at the moment, and even though the price difference is considerable between the two, at least looking at their base models, both of these devices have plenty to offer in pretty much every way. So, as per usual, we will pit them one against the other in a number of categories that you can find down below, and before we get to that, you can check out the spec comparison between these two smartphones.
As far as the design is concerned, it's safe to say that both of these phones are nice-looking, though they're also quite different when it comes to sheer look. Both phones are made out of metal and glass, and both are curved on the back, which essentially means they're both quite slippery. Both phones ship with extremely thin bezels, though the Galaxy Note9 opts for a non-notch design, while the OnePlus 6T features a tiny teardrop notch at the top of the display. That notch basically makes it possible for the OnePlus 6T to have thinner top bezel than the Galaxy Note9, but it does away with an LED notification light which was present on the OnePlus 6T, and which is included in the Galaxy Note9. The look of the camera setup on the back of both devices is different, both feature two cameras, though their orientation is different on each device, the Galaxy Note9 opts for a horizontally-aligned camera setup, while the OnePlu 6T comes with vertically-aligned cameras. Both feature oval-shaped fingerprint scanners on the back, and both ship with rounded display corners. The Galaxy Note9 delivers a 3.5mm headphone jack, while that's not the case with the OnePlus 6T. These two phones feature almost identical displays, in terms of size, though the OnePlus 6T comes with a taller display aspect ratio. The OnePlus 6T is both shorter, narrower, and thinner than the Galaxy Note9, despite the fact its display is 0.01-inch larger than the one on the Galaxy Note9. Truth be said, we really can't decide to whom to give this category, as they both deliver in the design department, it's only a question as to what you prefer. If you want a phone with thin bezels and no notch, go with the Galaxy Note9 (presuming you don't mind the size), if you don't mind a notch and want a more compact phone, go with the OnePlus 6T.
Both the Galaxy Note9 and OnePlus 6T featured OLED displays, though the resolution on the Galaxy Note9's panel is considerably higher. The Galaxy Note9 comes with a QHD+ (2960 x 1440) display, which offers 516 ppi and an 18.5:9 display aspect ratio. The OnePlus 6T, on the other hand, sports a fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) Optic AMOLED display with 402 ppi and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The Galaxy Note9's panel is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 5, while the OnePlus 6T sports a sheet of Gorilla Glass 6 on top of its display. The Galaxy Note9's display is also HDR10-compliant, compared to the OnePlus 6T's panel. Both of these displays are extremely vibrant, and chances are that regular users won't exactly see much difference between the two, but the Galaxy Note9's panel is clearly sharper, and if you look at the two side-by-side, you will notice that the Galaxy Note9 is a step ahead in this comparison. We'll give this one to the Galaxy Note9, as it sports one of the best panels out there at the moment, though both displays are great, and if you're worried about the OnePlus 6T's panel, don't be, it will serve you just as well as the Galaxy Note9.
Winner: Galaxy Note9
Both of these phones are quite beastly when it comes to specs, and they both offer great performance. Depending on the variant, the Galaxy Note9 comes with either the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810, while the OnePlus 6T packs in the Snapdragon 845. The Galaxy Note9 includes 6GB or 8GB of RAM, while the OnePlus 6T comes in 6GB, 8GB, and 10GB flavors, depending on the variant. The bottom line is, both devices offer great hardware, capable of offering great performance, but the more significant difference comes when we look at software. The Galaxy Note9 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with Samsung's custom UI on top, while Android 9 Pie is expected to land soon. The OnePlus 6T ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box, with OxygenOS on top of it. OxygenOS is regarded to be one of the best Android skins out there, and plenty people prefer it over stock Android, claiming it's just as far or faster than stock Android. OxygenOS truly is extremely optimized, and it is a step ahead of Samsung's skin, while it's also considerably lighter compared to Samsung's offering. If we look at sheer performance, speed and reliability of both devices, the OnePlus 6T is a step ahead of the Galaxy Note9, despite the fact both are quite admirable in that regard.
Winner: OnePlus 6T
Battery life is extremely important these days, as we use our smartphones all the time, and some of us even use them for work purposes throughout the day. It's quite important that you don't run out of juice in the middle of the day, and you'll be glad to know that both the Galaxy Note9 and OnePlus 6T deliver in this regard. Both phones include rather large batteries on the inside, 4,000mAh and 3,700mAh battery packs, respectively. Their displays sizes are almost identical, but the OnePlus 6T comes with lighter software and a lower-res display, so the fact that the Galaxy Note9 has a slightly larger battery doesn't mean much here. Both devices are more than capable of offering you a full day's use, and the Galaxy Note9 even comes with some special battery-saving features. Charging is considerably faster on the OnePlus 6T, though, as the Galaxy Note9 offers only Quick Charge 2.0 charging speed, while the OnePlus 6T comes with OnePlus' proprietary charging which is amongst the fastest out there. The OnePlus 6T does not offer wireless charging, though, so if that's important to you, the Galaxy Note9 is the only real option here. We are leaning towards the OnePlus 6T in this comparison, though, as it was able to pull ahead of the Galaxy Note9 in terms of sheer durability, not to mention that its charging is considerably faster than what the Galaxy Note9 has to offer.
Winner: OnePlus 6T
Both the Galaxy Note9 and OnePlus 6T ship with two cameras on the back, though these two sensors are quite different. The Galaxy Note9 includes two 12-megapixel cameras, its main camera takes advantage of variable aperture, while the second is a telephoto camera. The OnePlus 6T includes 16 and 20-megapixel cameras, a regular shooter, and a camera with a wide-angle lens. Both phones have dedicated modes for low light, and both are admirable when it comes to shooting both images and video, that goes for both front-facing and rear-facing cameras, but the Galaxy Note9 has an upper hand here. Images taken with the Galaxy Note9 seem to be one step ahead of the OnePlus 6T, and that primarily goes for images which are taken in low light. Both camera setups can provide great shots in regular light, but in low light, the Galaxy Note9 pulls ahead. The Galaxy Note9 is also capable of shooting slow motion video at 960 fps, while the OnePlus 6T can do the same at 480 fps. In this comparison, the Galaxy Note9 pulls ahead a bit, as its cameras are capable of producing a bit better results overall.
Winner: Galaxy Note9
So, in conclusion, which of the two phones has the upper hand? Well, in all honesty, we could not decide, at least based on the categories that we used to compare them. These two phones are aiming at a considerably different type of users, which is also something that makes things more difficult. The thing is, the OnePlus 6T is considerably more affordable than the Galaxy Note9, and considering how close the two are in terms of quality, that is a huge selling point on its own. The device is extremely fast, quite possibly the one of the, if not the most fluid phones out there, not to mention its great battery life, and extremely fast charging. The Galaxy Note9, on the other hand, is a great option if camera quality is your top priority, or if you need all those additional features that Samsung's skin brings, not to mention the Galaxy Note9's S Pen stylus, which in collaboration with Samsung's skin, opens up various additional possibilities for the Galaxy Note9, Taking all of that into consideration, we really cannot decide between the two.