On the surface, the Galaxy Note 8 and the OnePlus 5 seem to be equally capable in the camera department. Both offer dual cameras, both can provide optical zoom, both can add background blur to your photos to make your subject stand out better. The Note 8, however, has optical image stabilization (on both cameras, for that matter) and provides better optical magnification -- 2X vs 1.6X for the OnePlus 5, which gives it the upper hand as far as camera specs go.

Image quality

Although the OnePlus 5 has more megapixels -- 16MP vs 12MP for the Galaxy Note 8 -- it lags behind when it comes to detail preservation. Upon close inspection it is easy to see that Samsung’s phablet captures clearer photos. Same is the case when we use their secondary cams -- the 20MP shooter on the OnePlus 5 can’t match the amount of detail captured by the Note 8’s 12MP secondary shooter. The difference is even more pronounced in low-light situations.

It is also worth mentioning that the Galaxy Note 8 tends to “beautify” the scene - it would often add a saturation boost, making colors appear brighter than they do in real life. This does make certain scenes pop, but could not work so well with others. The OnePlus 5 appears to be more consistent when it comes to color accuracy, sticking to a more neutral, more realistic color representation.

Both phones can take portrait photos enhanced with that trendy background blur effect, also known as bokeh. But the results are a bit of a mixed bag. The Galaxy Note 8 easily produces clearer portraits, with better separation of the subject from the background. Plus, you can adjust the strength of the effect if you wish to, even if you’ve already taken the shot. But interestingly, the OnePlus 5 achieves a more realistic bokeh, coming closer to the kind of blur you’d get out of a dedicated camera. Still, we find the Note 8’s portraits better due to their higher overall quality.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 1.7
OnePlus 5 1.1

Video quality

Both phones can shoot video at up to 4K resolution, but again, the Galaxy Note 8 has the upper hand. One of the key differences we’re noticing is that when zooming with the Note 8, footage is clearer and much more detailed, as if the OnePlus 5 doesn’t use its secondary cam at all when recording video.


One thing both phones have in common is the presence of a headphone jack. However, only the Galaxy Note 8 comes with a pair of earphones in the box -- a pretty decent set tuned by AKG.

Speaking of audio, both handsets have a single bottom-firing loudspeaker, and we find it hard to pick a favorite. Let’s just say that they both sound loud and good enough -- not bad in terms of overall quality, but not spectacular either.

If you watch a lot of movies and TV shows on your mobile device, the Galaxy Note 8 is the more suitable choice thanks to its greater screen area and support for HDR content. But for regular YouTube videos, both handsets get the job done equally well, as the Note 8’s technical advantages make much less of a difference.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 0.78
OnePlus 5 0.96
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 74.6
OnePlus 5 77



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


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

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)


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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