For quite a while now, Samsung has sat at the top of the smartphone food chain, presenting itself as one of the major players in the world of Android devices. OnePlus, a company that had initially positioned itself as an enthusiast budget brand, is now attempting to sit at the big kids’ table with the OnePlus 8, but is it enough?
We take a look at the new OnePlus 8 and how it stacks up to Samsung’s Galaxy S20. If you’re stuck on the fence deciding, our guide will help you make a final decision, selecting the smartphone best for you.
Design and display
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 continues forward with a familiar design; the only minute changes are to the rear camera assembly and position of the forward-facing camera. Constructed from metal and glass, the S20 comes in an assortment of three colors: Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, and Cloud Pink. Flip the device over, and you’ll find one of the most beautiful 6.2-inch Quad HD+ displays, sporting AMOLED technology and HDR10+ certification for vibrant colors. The S20 sports a 120Hz refresh rate, making everything from video games to scroll-through menus appear butter-smooth.
The OnePlus 8 has quite a muted design also constructed from metal and glass, sporting three color options: Glacial Green, Interstellar Glow (a purple-pink option), and Onyx Black. The back of the device proudly displays the OnePlus logo, and a stack of triple cameras sits atop the marking vertically. The 8 sports a slightly larger 6.55-inch display, also backed by AMOLED technology, providing an HDR experience. Somewhat slower than the Galaxy S20, the OnePlus 8 display sports a 90Hz refresh rate, but it still makes for a smooth graphical experience.
When it comes to performance between the OnePlus 8 and Samsung Galaxy S20, there isn’t much of a fight — it’s an immediate tie. Both devices sport the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and sport a minimum of 8GB of RAM. As we move up a tier, both Samsung and OnePlus provide the option to increase RAM up to 12GB for increased performance. With top-tier hardware, we don’t believe you’ll see much of a performance difference, as OnePlus has upped its game for its latest smartphone.
Battery life will require further testing on the OnePlus which includes a 4,300mAh battery, but for the Samsung Galaxy S20, which opts for a slightly smaller 4,000mAh option. Samsung’s S20 includes fast 25W charging but it’s left in the dust by the OnePlus 8’s 30W Warp Charge. Unfortunately though, the OnePlus 8 doesn’t include wireless charging like the OnePlus 8 Pro, so it loses some points to the Galaxy S20. Based on that exclusion, this is a tie.
The OnePlus 8 also brings forward a triple camera setup on its rear — a 48-megapixel f/1.75 wide-angle, a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro option. You won’t find any unique zoom technology here, but the OnePlus 8 stands out as a healthy option if macro photography is a particular hobby that you enjoy. Flipping around to the front camera, you’ll find a left-centered hole-punch with a 16-megapixel f/2.45 camera.
When it comes down to video recording, the Samsung Galaxy S20 can capture 8K video at 24fps or 4K UHD video at 60fps — both include HDR10+ recording capabilities and video stabilization. The OnePlus 8 doesn’t push into 8K territory, but can still capture a respectable 4K video at 60fps. Overall, both smartphones offer excellent camera performance with Samsung favoring more vivid color profiles; however, we would have liked to see more shadow detail from the OnePlus 8.
While the OnePlus 8 takes good photos, it’s edged out by the Galaxy S20’s improved camera.
Which is better for you?
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 comes in with a price tag of $1,200+, although we have regularly seen it on sale for as low as $1100. OnePlus, on the other hand, offers the OnePlus 8 at a standard price of $900.
Is a good camera good enough or do you need the best? That’s one of the key questions you should be asking when choosing between the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8. Both devices feature beautiful designs, but neither leave us awe-struck. While each device offers a few minor software features over the other, nothing stands out as revolutionary between these two devices. We can say, however, that if you are looking for a small Samsung device, you might want to keep looking as the display here is still quite large.
The OnePlus 8 pulls ahead in its price tag and excellent fast-charging abilities, while the S20 offers a better display, impressive cameras, and wireless charging. In the end, OnePlus 8 flashes around an attractive price, but Samsung brings a better assortment of hardware and an excellent camera to the table.