Phone Comparisons: OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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It's time to compare the OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. These two phones are the best OnePlus and Samsung have to offer at the moment. The Galaxy S20 Ultra was announced back in February, while the OnePlus 8 Pro arrived earlier this month. Both phones are quite compelling, and quite pricey, so we'll try to figure out which one is best for you.

As per usual, we'll compare these two phones across a number of categories. We'll kick things off with a spec comparison, and then move to design, display, performance, battery, and other comparisons. At the very end, we'll share our final thoughts on the two phones. This comparison will hopefully help you make a purchasing decision.

There's no doubt that both of these smartphones are quite compelling. They are, after all, the best these two companies have to offer. There is a price difference to consider, and quite a few differences overall. So, let's kick off the OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison, and see how these two stack up.

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Specs

OnePlus 8 ProSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Screen size6.78-inch QHD+ Fluid AMOLED display (120Hz), MEMC6.9-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display (120Hz)
Screen resolution3168 x 14403200 x 1440
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 865Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM8GB/12GB (LPDDR5)12GB/16GB (LPDDR5)
Storage128GB/256GB (UFS 3.0); non-expandable128GB/512GB (UFS 3.0); Expandable up to 1TB
Rear cameras48MP (Sony IMX689 sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 1.12um pixel size, OIS, EIS, PDAF, laser autofocus)
48MP (Sony IMX586 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree FoV)
8MP (telephoto zoom, 3x optical hybrid, f/2.4 aperture, OIS)
5MP (color filter, f/2.4 aperture)
108MP (f/1.8 aperture, 79-degree angle lens, wide-angle)
48MP (f/3.5 aperture, 24-degree angle lens)
12MP(f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree angle lens, ultrawide)
Depth Vision (ToF camera)
Front cameras16MP (Sony IMX471, f/2.4 aperture, EIS, fixed focus)40MP (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree angle lens)
Battery4,510mAh, non-removable, 30W fast battery charging, 30W fast wireless charging, 3W reverse charging5,000mAh, non-removable, 45W fast battery charging, 15W fast wireless charging, 9W reverse charging
Dimensions165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5mm167 x 76 x 8.8mm
Weight199 grams221 grams
ConnectivityLTE, 5G, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi, USB Type-CLTE, 5G, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner (optical)In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)
OSAndroid 10
OxygenOS
Android 10
Samsung One UI 2
Price$899 / $999$1,399
BuyOnePlusSamsung

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Design

In terms of the design, the two are somewhat similar, and yet different. Both devices feature a frame made out of metal. The OnePlus 8 Pro includes glass on the back, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra utilizes ceramic instead. That is one reason why the S20 Ultra is considerably heavier than the OnePlus 8 Pro. The OnePlus 8 Pro weighs 199 grams, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra is quite hefty at 222 grams.

Both phones have almost no bezel, and both include display camera holes. The OnePlus 8 Pro's display camera hole is placed in the top-left corner. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's is centered at the top of the display. Both of those display holes are quite small, though, and chances are that not many people will be bothered by them.

Both devices include curved displays, though the OnePlus 8 Pro's is much more curved than the one on the S20 Ultra. They have four cameras on the back, each, though those cameras are differently-placed. The OnePlus 8 Pro's cameras are centered in the upper portion of the phone's back. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's sit in the top-left corner of the phone's back. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera module is definitely larger, and it protrudes a bit more than the OnePlus 8 Pro's.

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Both of these devices are quite slippery. Most of you will probably want to protect your investment, and apply a case on them. Now, as to which of the two we prefer, well… this is a tie in our eyes. We prefer the placement of the display camera hole on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but on the flip side, the OnePlus 8 Pro's back looks much nicer, and the phone is considerably less heavy. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is nearly impossible to use with one hand without being annoyed while doing so. It is taller, wider, thicker, and heavier than what OnePlus has to offer.

Winner: Tie

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Display

What about the display? Well, truth be said, these two phones have amazing displays. These two panels are amongst the best in the industry, if not the best ones. The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a 6.78-inch QHD+ (3168 x 1440) Fluid AMOLED display. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra rocks a 6.9-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED display. Both panels are huge, and both are curved. They do offer a slightly different aspect ratio, though.

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Both of these displays offer 120Hz refresh rate. The thing is, 120Hz refresh rate and QHD+ resolution work at the same time only on the OnePlus 8 Pro. If you set 120Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, your resolution will automatically switch to fullHD+. The company is working on optimizing that, so that you can use both at the same time, though. At least that was the case at the time of writing this comparison.

Both displays support HDR10+ content, and both are protected by the Gorilla Glass 6. In the case of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, it's the Gorilla Glass 6. In the case of the OnePlus 8 Pro, it's either Gorilla Glass 5 or 6, we're not sure. The bottom line is, both of these are great panels, in practice. They offer extreme sharpness, they're quite bright, and the blacks are truly deep. Both displays are color-accurate, though you can play around with that in the settings. Colors are punchy, and viewing angles are great as well.

We won't nitpick, so we'll say they're tied. Some OnePlus 8 Pro panels do have some issues at the moment, at the time of writing this review, though they'll be fixed soon via updates. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's 120Hz + QHD+ issue will also be fixed via an update. So, these two displays are in the same league in terms of quality, there's no doubt about that. It's also worth noting that both are manufactured by Samsung.

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Winner: Tie

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Performance

So, both of these phones are flagship-grade devices, so you'd expect great performance out of them, right? Well, you should, and you'll be glad to know that they deliver. Both phones are really smooth in pretty much every way. Each of these two phones can handle even the most demanding games from the Play Store with ease. Regular tasks such as media consumption, app switching, browsing, taking photos, etc., are a piece of cake for these two devices.

OnePlus 8 Pro 1 AM AH 16
OnePlus 8 Pro: Display

Both of them are equipped with the best processor Qualcomm has to offer, the Snapdragon 865, and both deliver 5G. The European and Indian Galaxy S20 Ultra models do come with the Exynos 990, though. Both phones include LPDDR5 RAM, and plenty of it. All that, in addition to Android 10, and custom skins, equals really great performance out of both smartphones, no doubt about that.

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Having all that in mind, there is some difference between them. Even though both perform admirably, the OnePlus 8 Pro does feel a bit smoother. That's hard to deny once you use both of these phones. It just feels as if OnePlus did a better job with optimizations, as even the company's animations feel smoother. We've also stumbled upon one or two hiccups from the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is almost not worth mentioning, but there you go. We'll give a very small advantage to the OnePlus 8 Pro here, even though both are great in this regard.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Battery

If battery life is important to you, and it should be, then you'll be glad to know that there's nothing to worry about here. Both of these phones offer QHD+ displays, and also 120Hz refresh rate, but despite that, they're capable of delivering in the battery department. We've been able to get over 6 hours of screen-on-time out of these two phones, without a problem. Do note that MEMC is something you should consider disabling on the OnePlus 8 Pro. It is a battery-draining feature, and you'll find that it's not as useful as you may initially think.

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In any case, once you disable MEMC, getting over 7 hours of screen-on-time on the OnePlus 8 Pro is possible. That may be lower if you set both QHD+ and 120Hz at the same time, we'd consider you leave the resolution on 'auto' setting, you won't even notice the difference. In terms of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, we've had a bit of a different experience with battery life. First, the phone went nuts and was delivering over 8 hours of screen on time. Then we got around 5, and in the end, it settled at around 6+ hours. That will all depend on your usage habits, of course.

If you're a gamer, you can expect lower numbers, of course. The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a 4,510mAh unit, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra packs in a 5,000mAh battery. Both phones offer fast wired and wireless charging. The OnePlus 8 Pro provides 30W wired and wireless charging, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra delivers 45W wired and 15W wireless charging. The OnePlus 8 Pro offers 3W reverse wireless charging, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra offers 9W reverse wireless charging.

So, what's the verdict? Well, they're quite balanced in this regard as well. The OnePlus 8 Pro does offer faster wireless charging, considerably faster. You'll need a proprietary charger for that, however, and it also offers less in the reverse wireless charging category. The difference is much less noticeable in the wired charging, though. They also offer similar battery life in general, so, we can't really choose just one here. They're quite balanced.

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Winner: Tie

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cameras

OnePlus released a stable update for the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro before the two phones went on sale. That actually changed the whole perspective on the phone's camera system. It improved it quite a bit. So, that's the update that every user that bought the phone was welcomed with when firing up the device. OnePlus finally has a phone that can compete with the best out there in terms of camera performance, from the get-go.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is no slouch either, quite the contrary. Samsung went on a limb here and decided to utilize one of its sensors as the main camera on the device. It turns out that the 108-megapixel camera is really capable, but it has its downsides. The Galaxy S20 Ultra also has a feature the OnePlus 8 Pro doesn't, that periscope camera on the back, which enables those crazy zooms.

switch to Oneplus 8 pro
OnePlus 8 Pro Camera

What are they like in day-to-day use, in practice, though? Well, truth be said, we'd give the OnePlus 8 Pro a bit of an advantage in that regard, at least based on how things are at the time of writing this comparison. Both phones are able to provide great details in good lighting. They're actually quite similar in that regard. The colors are punchy, and the dynamic range is great. Do note that the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a tendency to over-process some images still. That especially goes for images with high dynamic range.

In low light, both phones are quite compelling. Both devices can light up a scene quite a bit, though we'd argue that the OnePlus 8 Pro gets more detail out of such shots. That especially goes if you use the low light mode. The ultra-wide camera on the OnePlus 8 Pro is also a bit better in our opinion. That is not surprising as the company is using the same sensor that it used as a primary sensor on last year's flagships, and on the OnePlus 8.

In the video department, the two phones are much more similar. Both can provide great video footage, at 60fps, and 4K resolution. OnePlus really stepped up in the video department as well this year, as this is a huge boost over what last year's phones were able to provide. All in all, we'll give this one to the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Audio

Both of these phones offer stereo speakers. The main speaker is placed at the bottom of both phones, while the second one is located above the display. Those two speakers are really good on both phones. Truth be said, the difference is not that big at all. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's are perhaps a little bit louder, but that's barely noticeable. Both offer crisp sound, and are well balanced, while the distortion is almost not noticeable, it doesn't matter how loud they get.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review AM AH 18

Neither of the two phones offers a 3.5mm headphone jack. You can either utilize a Type-C port, or Bluetooth. Once you hook up a good pair of headphones, you'll notice some differences in the audio department. The Galaxy S20 Ultra does better with lows and highs, while the two phones are quite similar when it comes to mids. Just because of that, we'll give a tiny advantage to the Galaxy S20 Ultra here, though that's not something many people will notice nor care about.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The overall winner

OnePlus 8 ProSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Design
Display
Performance
Battery
Cameras
Audio

That brings us to the end of our OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison. So, as you can see, the OnePlus 8 Pro did win in more categories, but only barely. Both of these smartphones are great options, there's no doubt about it. But if you consider some smaller advantages that the OnePlus 8 Pro has, plus its more affordable price tag, we'd argue that it's the better choice. On the flip side, Samsung is a much more popular brand, so it may be easier to resell later on. It's up to you, we've given you the facts based on our experience, so… decide for yourself.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro