Interface and functionality



Samsung didn’t make the Galaxy Note 8 for the mainstream consumer. It is a device targeting power users – those that know how to make the most of such a feature-packed smartphone. The OnePlus 5 was also tailored around the phone enthusiast niche, much like every OnePlus flagship before it. Despite this, the two phones approach the software part of the user experience in very different ways.


Visually, the Galaxy Note 8 is a step ahead, with more fluid and good-looking animations, with a better choice of display fonts and wallpapers, with coherent UI elements built around the same theme and style. By comparison, the OnePlus 5 is rather bland-looking, with black and white being the colors dominating its interface, although Android purists would appreciate its rather stock appearance.

Productivity is another strength of the Galaxy Note 8. The larger screen gives you more space to work on and fits more content vertically – while browsing a web page, for instance. Side-by-side multitasking also benefits from the extra-large display: you can have a YouTube video, an IM app, and the keyboard shown on the screen – all the same time. And the advantages of having an S Pen for note-taking, drawing, and UI interaction should be clear to anyone who has read our Galaxy Note 8 review.

The OnePlus 5 isn’t as flashy as the Note 8. It can’t quite match its productivity feature set either. But it offers a number of practical options that power users might find cool. One is the set of customizable navigation buttons at the bottom – you can use physical buttons or on-screen ones, you can rearrange them to your liking, you can even assign various shortcuts – a long-press of my back button pulls down my notifications, for example. And I’ve also activated the built-in dark theme – it not only makes the OnePlus 5 look cooler, but it saves battery too.

Processor and memory


This is one of the areas where the OnePlus 5 truly shines. With Qualcomm’s latest and best Snapdragon 835 system chip and 6 or 8 gigs of RAM, the phone is well equipped for both the present and the future. In fact, even the base OnePlus 5 matches the Note 8’s hardware specs -- and yes, it is just as fast, if not faster thanks to its lighter user interface. Both phones are great for gaming as they can run even the most demanding titles without any issues.

One thing we should mention is that the Galaxy Note 8 comes with a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The OnePlus 5 does not have such a slot, but we don’t see this as a dealbreaker when the 128GB model is priced at just $539.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 175439
OnePlus 5 178968
JetStream Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 67.884
OnePlus 5 69.780
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 60
OnePlus 5 60
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 39
OnePlus 5 40
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3422
OnePlus 5 3500
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 1877
OnePlus 5 1941
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 6552
OnePlus 5 6678

Web browsing and connectivity


Samsung has equipped the Note 8 with its own web browser, while the OnePlus ships with Google’s Chrome. While both work well and provide all necessities you’d expect, the larger, taller screen on the Note 8 fits more content, which makes for a smoother browsing experience. On top of that, Samsung's UI lets you have two web browsers open side by side at the same time, which could be handy.

As far as connectivity options carrier availability go, the Galaxy Note 8 can be bought from and used on all major US carriers, which makes it easy and convenient to own one. In contrast, the OnePlus 5 is sold unlocked on the manufacturer’s website. You’re not tied to a specific carrier, which is much appreciated, but the phone won’t work on Verizon or Sprint’s networks. Dual SIM is a go with this one, in case you need the functionality.

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39 Comments

1. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

Like you compare Lamborghini and Kia !

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Was about to point out the same thing. Either way, I think this comparison will appeal to those who are undecided between the OnePlus 5 and the Note8.

16. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

Finally got my note 8 the screen is noticeably better than my s8+

19. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

That's great, bruh. Which version of the Note8 did you get? What storage capacity?

26. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

It's only one version, I'm in the US

28. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Yeah, though I supposed you could have imported the Exynos version if you wanted... I got both the Snapdragon and Exynos versions Any standout feature you find in the Note8?

21. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

There is no comparison between a real phone like Note and others the difference is enormous only if "those" ignorant !

33. chenski

Posts: 768; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Haha note 8 may be better but it's not untouchable

9. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Kia and Hyundai.

20. maherk

Posts: 6873; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

He is talking about comparing a Note 8 to an iPhone, not comparing an iPhone 8 with an iPhone 7 :D

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31030; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lol...

32. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Add the iPhone as Yugo.

25. you_sukk_it

Posts: 219; Member since: Apr 11, 2017

why comparing a pile a pile of poo vs the note 8? compare it to the v30, lambo vs mclaren.

42. II2012

Posts: 13; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

Given Oneplus5 is the much faster phone maybe you got them the other way around? Not to talk about the longer lasting battery and the fastest charging of any phone.

45. bialh

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 30, 2014

Yes oneplus 5 is a Kia but its faster than the Lamborghini

2. twens

Posts: 1175; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

One plus 5 got kicked. Lol

14. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

just like how your mom's Camry got kicked by a Merc S-Class. Lol i know

3. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

I like how bezels are now a signifier of looking "dated". Really spoiled in just a year.

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Spoiled in longer than just a year. The bezel-less stuff began few years back with the Sharp Arquos Crystal.

5. nikhil23

Posts: 440; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

Can someone tell PA that they need to work on their display measurements. Like Note 8 has peak brightness of 1200 nits and Gamma intensity of 2.48 http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note8_ShootOut_100.htm

7. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Can't always expect accurate info from PA... Not even half the time.

10. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

I don't think they don't know that. But if they mention 1200 nits for Note 8 , then the iPhones will look miserable. So, better stick to the manual brightness(that no one use)

12. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I agree they are the only website that's saying this. They need to have a good reason for it to have 8.9.

34. chenski

Posts: 768; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Phonearena ratings are the worst, they gave my Nexus 6p 8.8 while both Nexus 6 and pixel got 9

44. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

That 1200 nit score is likely achieved using 1% white level. We don't know because DisplayMate does not say this anywhere. So is testing a display with just 1% white and 99% black on it a valid brightness test? If you think so, then you can look at their number. We test at 100% white and have done so for every smartphone in the last 4 years.

8. jellmoo

Posts: 2583; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Is the Note 8 the better device? Absolutely. Is it twice as good as the OnePlus 5? Not in my opinion.

11. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

The Note8 certainly isn't twice as good as the OnePlus 5... But how about after sales support and updates? Not to mention the freebies that come along with the purchase of the Note8.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2583; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It's all absolutely worth considering. These are also very different devices that target very different users and use cases. When it comes to "bells and whistles", the Note 8 is the big dog. The only thing is that a pay a premium for them. It's up to the individual consumer to decide whether it's worth it.

13. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

OP5 is like an Evo, and Note 8 is the BMW M3. one excels on where it should without any extra gimmick, while another is a bit of luxury.

17. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

That poor OnePlus 5 did not even stand a chance. This was summed up very well: "Anyone who is even considering the Galaxy Note 8 as their next Android phone is likely someone who does not make compromises. " Agreed, the OnePlus 5 was not even on my list, in fact most phones were out of the running once I saw the Note8. :)

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