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Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T

AH Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T comparison
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In this article, we’ll compare the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T. There are quite a few differences between these two smartphones, while they also come with considerably different price tags. Is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra worth paying a premium for? Well, that’s what we’re here to answer, kind of. That answer will differ from one person to the next, and we’ll try to help you come to a conclusion on your own.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a generation ahead of the OnePlus 8T, technically, and the OnePlus 9 series is right around the corner. Comparing the Galaxy S21 Ultra to the OnePlus 9 Pro will be especially interesting. Still, the OnePlus 8T will remain considerably more affordable than both of those devices, so it may be worth buying for you. We’ll kick things off by listing their spec sheets, and will then move to other aspects of both devices. Let’s compare the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraOnePlus 8T
Screen size6.8-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate)6.55-inch fullHD+ Fluid AMOLED (120Hz)
Screen resolution3200 x 14402400 x 1080
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 888 / Samsung Exynos 2100Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM12GB/16GB (LPDDR5)8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB/256GB, non-expandable (expandable in some countries)128GB/256GB UFS 3.1; Non-Expandable
Rear cameras108MP (f/1.8 aperture, OIS, 0.8um pixel size. Produces 12MP images with 2.4um pixel size)
12MP (ultrawide, Dual Pixel AF, 120-degree FoV, f/2.2 aperture, 1.4um pixel size)
10MP (telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/2.4 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, optical zoom 3x)
10MP (telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/4.9 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 10x optical zoom, 100x Space Zoom)
48MP (Sony IMX586, f/1.7, 0.8um, OIS, EIS)
16MP (ultra-wide, Sony IMX481, f/2.2 aperture, 123-degree FoV)
5MP (macro, 3cm focal length)
2MP (monochrome)
Front cameras40MP (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree FoV, 0.7um pixel size, PDAF)16MP (Sony IMX471, f/2.4, 1.0um, EIS, Fixed Focus)
Battery5,000mAh, non-removable, fast battery charging (USB PD 3.0), Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare4,500mAh, non-removable, 65W fast battery charging
Dimensions165 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
Weight229 grams188 grams
Connectivity5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)
OSAndroid 11
One UI 3.0
Android 11
OxygenOS 11
Price$1,199.99€599 / €699 (8GB & 12GB) ; $749 (12GB only)
BuySamsungOnePlus

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T: Design

Both of these phones are made out of metal and glass, but they do look somewhat different. The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a curved display, and a centered display camera hole. The OnePlus 8T includes a display camera hole in its top-left corner, and it sports a flat display. Bezels are quite thin on both smartphones, though they do look thinner on Samsung’s offering, in case you care about that.

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AH OnePlus 8T image 911

The back panels also look different. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s rear camera housing is an extension of the phone’s frame, and is made out of metal. The OnePlus 8T comes with a more traditional camera housing, though it’s placed in the top-left corner as well. Both phones do deliver four cameras on the back, though, and a single one on the front. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera housing does protrude considerably more on the back.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra does have a considerably larger display than the OnePlus 8T, even though both are quite large. That results in larger dimensions for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung’s flagship is taller, wider, and thicker than the OnePlus 8T. On top of that, it is also considerably heavier, it’s almost 40 grams heavier. Both phones are quite hefty, though, and both are also quite slippery. Using a case with these phones may be a good idea. They’re both difficult to operate with one hand, due to their size and build materials.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T: Display

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. This is a 120Hz panel (adaptive refresh rate), which is protected with the Gorilla Glass Victus. This display is curved, and it has support for HDR10+ content. This panel does get quite bright, as it goes all the way up to 1,500 nits of brightness, as its maximum. The Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a higher screen-to-body ratio compared to the OnePlus 8T.

The OnePlus 8T comes with a 6.55-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Do note that this panel does not offer an adaptive refresh rate like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This display is flat, and it’s protected by the Gorilla Glass 5. It has support for HDR10+ content, in case you were wondering. The OnePlus 8T’s display also gets quite bright, by the way.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s display is, without a doubt, better of the two panels. The OnePlus 8T can hold its own, though, and then some. This is one of the best, if not the best, fullHD+ panel in the market. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s panel is quite probably amongst the best, if not the best, QHD+ panel in the market. So, there’s a lot to like here. Most people won’t really notice or care about the differences, as both displays deliver crisp, vivid images, and are extremely fluid on top of that. Both are quite sharp as well, and you really have to nitpick to notice the sharpness difference.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T: Performance

When it comes to performance, well, both smartphones deliver, and then some. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is technically a more powerful smartphone. It comes with more powerful hardware, as it’s one generation ahead of the OnePlus 8T. That Snapdragon 865 SoC inside the OnePlus 8T is still extremely powerful, while OnePlus used modern DDR RAM and UFS storage units, as did Samsung.

In regular, day-to-day usage, you won’t really notice much difference between them. Both are extremely snappy, and can do pretty much anything in a blink of an eye. Browsing, taking images and videos, using various apps, multimedia consumption, and everything else is on par on both of them. They’re extremely snappy in such usage scenarios, and unless you’re really pushing those processors to the max, you’ll be hard-pressed to notice the difference in performance.

If you do, however, end up pushing them with heavy games, video processing, or anything else you can think of, you will notice some difference. The Snapdragon 888 (Exynos 2100 in some markets) is faster in such regards. So, it will load games faster, for example, though the difference will be negligible for most of you. Both can run the most demanding games in the market without a problem, though.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T: Battery

In terms of battery life, both of these smartphones are excellent choices. In fact, these two phones are amongst the best flagship-grade phones when it comes to battery life. The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a 5,000mAh battery, while the OnePlus 8T includes a 4,500mAh battery. The Galaxy S21 Ultra does have a larger and higher-res display, so the difference in capacity is not surprising. Do note that its adaptive display does help with battery life a lot, though.

Both of these phones can push you all the way to 7 hours of screen-on-time, and over that mark. Do note that your numbers will vary depending on your usage, of course. If you’re not into gaming, though, and simply use your phone a lot for regular stuff, you should be able to hit that mark with both phones. The Galaxy S21 Ultra may offer a bit more in terms of battery life, but these two devices are quite close in that regard, we’d say they’re on the same level.

In terms of charging, that’s where they differ quite a bit. When it comes to wired charging, the OnePlus 8T has the advantage. It offers 65W fast wired charging, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra brings 25W charging to the table. The Galaxy S21 Ultra also doesn’t ship with a charger, by the way. Now, when it comes to wireless charging, that’s not even a competition. The Galaxy S21 Ultra offers it, while the OnePlus 8T does not. Samsung’s flagship offers 15W wireless charging, and 5W Wireless PowerShare aka reverse wireless charging.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8T: Cameras

We’ve mentioned earlier that both phones utilize four cameras on the back, and one on the front. Those camera setups are quite different in comparison, though. The Galaxy S21 Ultra relies on a much larger main camera sensor. What are the differences in images, though? Well, the Galaxy S21 Ultra tends to capture more details in good lighting, while the OnePlus 8T does tend to oversaturate and oversharpen images in some conditions. OnePlus did manage to adjust that via updates, and the images do look great, they’re just different in comparison.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra AH 11

Low light results are good on both. Both of them can light up the scene quite a bit, though once again, you’ll get different results. The Galaxy S21 Ultra can capture a bit more detail in such conditions as well. Ultra-wide cameras on both smartphones are excellent, and they can do a good job in all lighting conditions. The Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a periscope camera which is quite good in good lighting. It goes all the way up to 100x, but we wouldn’t recommend zooming in over 30x.

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Audio

Both of these smartphones come with stereo speakers, and good stereo speakers at that. The audio on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is tuned by AKG, but truth be said both of these smartphones deliver excellent audio. That goes for both their speakers, and audio through headphones. The audio through those speakers is loud, and crisp. You can’t expect miracles considering these are smartphone speakers, but still, they’re really good.

Neither of these two devices sports a 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll have to rely on a dongle, Type-C headphones, or simply use Bluetooth. No matter what you choose, if you have a good pair of headphones, you’ll get a really good sound out of it. The output is well-balanced, and even though audiophiles will have complaints, to regular consumers, both phones will provide really satisfying audio.