Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T

Introduction


The OnePlus 3T is one of the most loved phones of 2016: a $440 phone with top level specifications, it has it all from the good design to camera performance, battery life and smooth user experience. It’s a great-value-for-the-money device. But can it match the new bully on the block, the styled-up, futuristic ‘infinity display’ toting Samsung Galaxy S8?

Contrary to expectations, the OnePlus 3T with its 5.5-inch screen is actually a much bigger phone than the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8. The S8 is taller, prettier and has water-protection as well. It’s also packed to the gills with new features: new and more powerful Snapdragon 835, improved cameras with new Snapchat-like effects, new Bixby assistant and more.

Often, though, such features turn out to be nothing more than gimmicks. So that’s why we look at the whole picture, new features and core aspects of a phone: which one performs better in the daily grind? Which one has the better battery life? This and more, you will find answered right below.

Design

The OnePlus is designed well and has solid metal construction, but it’s bigger and much less comfortable to use with one hand. The S8, however, is even sleeker, more stylish and has water protection.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T

The OnePlus 3T is an aluminum phone with a solid construction that oozes a feeling of premium, expensive design. The phone has a slight curve to its back, that makes it fit in the hand a bit better, but it’s also undeniably big. It’s not quite iPhone Plus big, but it’s definitely wide enough to make it uncomfortable for one hand use. Add to that the fact that the OnePlus is slippery, and it is so much easier to drop this phone; and we all know the terrible consequences this might have.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T
The Galaxy S8, despite its equally large display, is actually the much smaller phone. And of course, it’s also built incredibly tightly, but it’s also something more: its reflective glass construction almost reminds me of looking at a miniature alien space ship. It’s mysterious, exciting, futuristic. The taller display makes it a phone that you can also comfortably use with one hand, an important practical advantage. What is beautiful, but not so practical is the glass back: it looks beautiful, but only when it’s clean and it is surprisingly good at… getting smudged with your fingerprints in a matter of seconds (we tested the black version where this is particularly noticeable). On a positive note, the S8 is nowhere near as slippery as the OnePlus, which is reassuring.

The S8 also has one important advantage over the OnePlus: it’s water-proof, with an IP68 rating, which means that it can remain under 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) of water for up to 30 minutes.

Weirdly, all of that great design effort from Samsung is spoiled by what has likely been a last-minute decision: a finger reader weirdly placed on the back of the phone, but not at the center where your finger naturally rests, but instead confusingly close to the rear camera. The Galaxy S8 also comes with face recognition, which we tested and found to be rather slow and requiring you to place your phone weirdly close to your head. It also has an iris scanner, which works better than face recognition, but it’s not as convenient as finger scanning as sometimes you just need to unlock your phone without staring at it. The OnePlus does not have these newer secure unlock methods, but has a fast and much more comfortably placed finger scanner on the front of the device, and this is enough to give it advantage.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3T

Dimensions

6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches

152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3T

Dimensions

6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches

152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The S8 ‘infinity display’ is the future: a bezel-less screen that is bright, sharp and with great color. The OnePlus is not bad, but you can tell it’s from 2016.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T

We have a 5.8-inch display on the S8, but it is taller and has a different aspect ratio than the current 16:9 standard. This means that you cannot and should not directly compare the diagonal (5.8” on the S8 vs 5.5” on the OnePlus 3T).

In fact, it’s immediately obvious that the OnePlus 3T is a much wider phone than the Galaxy S8. Let us do the important calculations for you, here is how the two screens compare in realistic terms:

The Galaxy S8 screen has 2.4% more area than the OnePlus 3T display
The Galaxy S8 screen is 8.8% taller than the OnePlus 3T display
The Galaxy S8 screen is 5.9% narrower than the OnePlus 3T display

In practical terms, let us point out once again just how much more comfortable it is to use the narrower display on the S8: it’s easier to grip the phone and operate it, and it’s less likely to drop it.

All but the cheapest phones these days are sharp enough for sharpness to not be an issue for the regular user. Geeks, however, would be happy to know that the S8 supports a higher, Quad HD+ (1440 x 2960 pixels) resolution than the Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixel) one on the OnePlus. This sharpness is hardly noticeable at all in daily use, and do keep in mind that the S8 actually defaults to a lower, Full HD+ resolution. You need to manually go into Settings > Display, and select the higher resolution. Obviously, Samsung itself thinks that the higher resolution is a bit excessive for most users.

While most screens these days are sharp enough, there is a real and easily seen difference in color. Both phones come with the option to show either more eye-popping colors or more toned down colors, and you get to pick that in Settings > Display (sRGB mode or Basic mode on the S8 is the more toned down option). We measured both screens against a set of industry standards, and both were very well balanced displays right out of the gate. This is important because it means that the displays will show colors the way image and video creators want you to see them. Check out our benchmarks, if you want the deeper dive.

The S8, however, is the much brighter of the two, and this definitely makes a difference, especially outdoors where this makes it much easier to read what’s on the screen. The S8 is also more comfortable to use at night, when it can become dimmer, and features a better executed night color mode.

The S8 display also features the newest Gorilla Glass 5 protective glass for the display, while the OnePlus has Gorilla Glass 4. The newer rugged glass on the S8 is better protected and will withstand drops from higher distance.



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17 Comments

1. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 544; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Oxygen OS is the fully customizable stock android unlike touch wiz crap.

14. tokuzumi

Posts: 1729; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

The S8 is quite customizeable. Plus, with a custom launcher, you almost never have to interact with TouchWiz.

2. jellmoo

Posts: 2522; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The S8 is objectively the better phone in most ways. That being said, I would take the 3t over it any day of the week.

3. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Oxygen OS. Contest over, OP3 wins

4. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5465; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Both the S8 and the Pixel do a great job in terms of call quality with clean and crisp sound..... the Pixel? ;)

5. jellmoo

Posts: 2522; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It's almost like they just copy and pasted the entire section from the S8 vs Pixel article. They wouldn't do that though.

6. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

"Both the S8 and the Pixel do a great job in terms of call quality with clean and crisp sound that is loud enough on both". Lazy editing from PA. Also OP >>> Samesung.

7. alexvoinica

Posts: 3; Member since: May 12, 2017

So basically in all tests, I mean all of them the S8 camera beat the OP3T and now in this versus S8 has a good camera and OP3T has a great one. That logic...

8. cmdacos

Posts: 3648; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Op3t looks like a dinosaur

15. michaelny2001

Posts: 304; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

perhaps, but it's also double the price. hands down Op3T is th ebetter value. i am ok with 15-20% less performance for half price.

9. Jason2k13

Posts: 1434; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Most high end phones are now almost equal to each other, so the real winner is battery life in 2017.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 30481; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

S8 gets it.

11. Ironboned

Posts: 77; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Seriously who the hell on Earth compares S8 and stupid Chinese junk OP3T ? Really did you stupid phonearena guys compared these 2 phones together ? Jesus Phonearena is f**ked up

12. IT-Engineer

Posts: 416; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Chinese Junk? Are you living under a rock?

13. ebilcake

Posts: 1188; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Galaxy S8 is easily the better phone, silly comparison really.

16. madara82

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

Well obviously samsung galaxy s8 is much better than oneplus

17. madara82

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

If the specification is awesome surley the price is awesome too.

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