OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: quick camera comparison

The OnePlus 3 rippled the calm waters of the smartphone industry with its arrival: a $400 phone with premium design and the powerful Snapdragon 820 chip found in $700 to $800 phones from Samsung and LG, it's a true steal.

How does the OnePlus 3 do when it comes to the camera, though? The OnePlus 3 features a 16MP rear cam with the Sony IMX 298 sensor and sporting a 1.12μm pixel. The sensor features phase-detection auto-focus for faster lock of focus, as well as optical and electronic image stabilization that should combine for more stable footage. The lens on top is an f/2.0 one. Up front, there is an 8-megapixel shooter that also has big aspirations.

Of course, technical details don't tell you anything about the actual quality of the pictures that come out of the phone. The camera experience on the OnePlus 3 is also nice: with a very well-made and clean interface, and with support for the neat quick launch feature (double click the lock key to start the camera from anywhere). And nothing gives a better idea about the quality as a comparison against one of the finest camera phones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S7. We've downscaled images from both phones to 680 pixel width to focus not on detail, but on overall image quality, as after all, most photos online are rarely viewed in full size. Take a look at the images and do let us know: which one do you like better?

#1: Outdoor scene

Outdoors on a bright sunny day, the cameras have the perfect conditions to give their best. It's no surprise that both images look nearly equally good. In fact, even cheaper phones would likely be able to capture similar results in these nice conditions. Still, details matter and you can take a closer look to find the small differences between these two images. Note how the Galaxy S7 has that unnatural oversharpening to images that makes the image look over-processed. 

#2: Indoors

Indoors is where things start to get more complicated. As light gets scarce, smartphone cameras with their relatively small sensors have more trouble capturing sharp and good-looking pictures. Nonetheless, these two do great: both the OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy S7 here have taken an image that retains the wide range of color in this room. Notice the slightly darker exposure chosen by the OnePlus 3 here and how that contributes to a slightly more balanced picture with no color leak.

#3: Oriental bench

At a slightly different angle, this bench with oriental motives looks stunning on both images. Both have captured it sharply, but the OnePlus 3 seems to have done a better job retaining that striking red color and has a more balanced exposure, while the S7 goes dark at the edges.

#4: Airplane model

Again, both do similarly well here, but with their nuances: quite noticeably, the S7 goes for that extreme sharpening and slightly colder color tones, while the slightly warmer tonality with a softer, more balanced look. Still, both are great images.

#5: Macro

This rose in full bloom appeared stunning in real life. The two phones here capture vastly different colors: the dark, ruby red color from the OnePlus 3 contrasts with the light reds from the Samsung Galaxy S7. Neither are true-to-life: the color of the rose was in fact something in the middle, so we call this a draw.

#6: Selfie

Wow, what a difference. The smudgy selfie from the Galaxy S7 looks vastly inferior to the detailed and well-balanced shot from the OnePlus 3, where you can spot details in my beard and overall the image just look a mile ahead. This is one impressive selfie camera, OnePlus!

What are your thoughts about the images from the OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy S7? Which ones do you like better?

Related phones

  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh
Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



1. JesseJames

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

Its not even close

19. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Meaning what? The OnePlus 3 killed it IMO. Better exposure, more realistic color in the comparisons (gs7 pics were cold), better DOF. I didn't see a single example where the gs7 which is twice the price of the op3 actually had a defintitive win. So when you say "not even close" what does that even mean?

23. iushnt

Posts: 3097; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Come on, you know the gs7 is far better

25. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

yes you are right @iushnt Even with 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 has some trouble with multitasking compared to the S7 Edge

34. VVayne

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

So what, it's half the price, what would you expect?

72. deftozzz

Posts: 14; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

I love seeing these pathetic iPhone galaxy fanboys... Have you seen new speed tests with the ram management fix applied? It's better than the exynos s7... One day when u win your own money maybe u will give it some value and stop being a victim of consumism!

30. Furbal unregistered

Gs7 is only better in low light imo. Probably takes better video though

33. VVayne

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

Sure, unless you know what you're doing, and would like to use some fancy app from play store that uses camera2 API. Good luck with that sir. Oh, right, and those cam apps, can achieve in some cases better results than the S7.

76. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Well, base on those samples, 1+3 killed it. Only one over saturated was the rose

29. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Go put your glasses on

32. Furbal unregistered

Oversharpening ruins photos. One reason why I'm using a g5 right now. Ill take sandy grain over false edges and colder tone any day. But that is user preference

37. karan1402d

Posts: 89; Member since: May 28, 2015

Samsung Galaxy S7 trounces OP 3 in every image barring selfie shot. The details resolved in shots by 12MP S7 are far higher than 16MP OP3 camera. OP3 images are too softs, strands of grass appear as blocks even in brrroad daylight. In picture of rose, OP3 is not even able to focus properly

39. ph00ny

Posts: 2031; Member since: May 26, 2011

Sadly the OP3 had the same focus issues before the release with the CEO's teaser pics. Not sure if anyone told them that there is a focus issue

83. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Not every image. The OP3 does seem to do better on the indoor shot (#2). On the other hand, the selfie shot is biased in favor of the OP3 because it was taken closer up therefore yielding more detail. To be fair, they should have taken the photos from the same distance.

62. CoryMeetsWorld

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

OP3 photos look likey they were taken from a Moto X 1st gen with it's terrible camera. The Op3 camera is gah-bage an the images it produces are gah-bage. Also you will be the last of the major phone makers to get an OS update. OP is terrible with updates.

66. dazed1

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Twice? pathetic haters, the price difference is only 150$!

2. fisher

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 29, 2016

$399 vs $699 phone..... the difference of image quality is not as huge as price.. especially low light is not bad either.. good job OnePlus!

63. CoryMeetsWorld

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

Yeah get terrible images with a OP3. Or get stellar images on GS7 and I hate Samsung. But the OP3 does a terrible job. And OP is a terrible company.

64. Furbal unregistered

If you get one, use HD not hdr auto in low light. The processing on it makes results much better. I am getting some very good low light shots

3. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

The Samsung S7 picture quality is definitely better. But, the OnePlus is not far off in my opinion. The cost to performance ratio is in OnePlus's favor. If your willing to pay $300-400 extra for a slightly better camera, then you might be too into pictures and better off buying a dedicated camera.

16. maherk

Posts: 6876; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

As if you only get a better camera with the S7 lol

24. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Your quite right, but for me it is not worth the extra price. To each his own. With technology changing on a yearly basis I can save the extra cash and buy the OnePlus Four next year and come out ahead. If you did that with the Galaxy line you would pay probably $1200-1400+. If you have the money great, but the S7 is not 2X the better phone for 2X the cost. If it was then it would probably be worth it.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Get out of here. I tested a GS7 next to my Z3C, and while the Samsung had the better picture (mainly in that it was brighter), it was in no way miles ahead. The differences in these new phones' cameras are shrinking daily. Find a phone that has features you like, one that looks/feels nice, and that you can easily afford. I would much rather save the extra $250-300 dollars, personally, than to have some name brand.

48. Dattack

Posts: 61; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

I don't know in what world you live, but the camera of the Z3(c) is not really that special, while the GS7's camera is pretty freaking great. Your phone will get literally slaughtered in low light.

4. Ahsanzafar

Posts: 36; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

ONE Plus 3 is giving competition to S7

18. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

35. VVayne

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

that speed test is really irrelevant. But hey, you're the guy who understands phones, you know why this test has some meaning, tell us, right?

43. TerryTerius unregistered

When you're talking about one phone being 30-40 seconds faster than another that is one hell of a difference. I fully admit that for the price it's difficult to find fault with the one +3. But pretending as if it's simply irrelevant the 3 is that slow compared to the is this something I can't agree with.

71. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I had a go with the S7 and S7 Edge in a shop yesterday because my mate's looking to get his upgrade and must admit that I was surprised to still find it a little laggy! Now I don't mean laaaag as such, we're talking minute, but swiping the screen left and right was still not quite as quick and smooth as my two year old iPhone 6 (we compared directly) and in particular things like messaging - if I clicked the smiley option in the bottom left of the keyboard it took about a second to open the emojis where the iPhone is near instant, it's not a problem as such but with all that processing power and RAM I was disappointed my old phone with 1gb still felt quicker... It's what stopped me buying the A5 when I wanted a change from Apple before (admittedly a lower specced phone but it noticeably lagged). The camera was very nice though I thought and the screen good, we couldn't see a resolution difference in normal use though for all the constant talk about it on here.

73. TerryTerius unregistered

I'm going to be honest, as someone who uses an S6 plus and an S7 Edge on a daily basis, the only time the S7 has ever had any kind of real delay is when I'm using power saver mode. At least in my personal experience, I have no complaints.

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