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OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Which high-spec Android phone should you buy?

Nathan Spendelow Emma Sims
11 Aug 2017
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We’re teeing up newbie OnePlus 5 against Samsung’s revered Galaxy S8 to see which smartphone can earn the title of king of the Androids

The OnePlus 5 is already making waves in the Android space. A near-perfect masterpiece of five-star appeal, with a fantastic battery life, great camera and solid performance at a wallet-pleasing asking price. The thing is, there's one massive rival it has to contend with, and Samsung's Galaxy S8 is another top-dollar smartphone. It's the title match we've all be waiting for, this is the OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8. Let's see who can go the full 12 rounds shall we?

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Display

Both the OnePlus 5 and the Galaxy S8 have AMOLED display panels. The former’s comes in at 5.5 inches and wields a Full HD resolution, making its pixel density 401ppi. Pleasingly for some, its aspect ratio is a standard issue 16:9.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has an unconventional aspect ratio of 18:5:9, a 5.8 inch Super AMOLED display, and a commendable pixel density of 570ppi. Meaning the Samsung Galaxy S8 comes up trumps here, wielding a bigger and sharper display.

What’s more, the Galaxy S8 scores bonus points for offering Mobile HD – handy if you want to watch HDR content as it becomes available on Netflix and Amazon Video – something that the OnePlus 5 does not offer.

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Design

The Samsung Galaxy S8’s metal-and-glass sandwich design is slick. It has a lusted-after curved display with a single camera lens, and is finished off with a rear fingerprint sensor. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 5 sports an aluminium body with a chamfered edge and a fingerprint sensor displayed on the front of the handset.

Coming in at 153g with measurements of 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25mm, the OnePlus 5 is bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0mm, weighing marginally more than the OnePlus 5 at 155g.

Both handsets feature USB Type-C and, thankfully, a 3.5mm headphone jack. One-upmanship does abound, however, when we factor in the Galaxy S8’s IP68 water-resistant design, something conspicuously missing from the OnePlus 5, which has no IP water-resistance rating.

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Specifications

The OnePlus 5 runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and can be purchased with either 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage, or the marginally more expensive 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. Neither of the OnePlus models, however, offer a microSD slot for storage expansion. Battery capacity stands at 3,300mAh.

MicroSD is offered on the Samsung Galaxy S8, which runs either Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor. The handset comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage.

In terms of software, both smartphones run versions of Android’s Nougat; the OnePlus 5 uses OxygenOS, a modified version of Android Nougat 7.1.1, whereas the Galaxy S8 operates on Android Nougat but runs Samsung’s TouchWiz software over it.

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera

The OnePlus 5 camera is replete with a number of impressive specifications. There are dual cameras on the rear of the handset – a 16-megapixel main sensor and a 20-megapixel telephoto lens – while the front camera is also commendable, with 16-megapixel resolution and 1080p video recording.

As has become standard issue with high-end smartphones, the OnePlus 5 is capable of 4K video recording with electronic image stabilisation, and photography buffs among you will rejoice at the Pro Mode, permitting control over shutter speed and ISO, among other settings.

The Galaxy S8 also has excellent camera specifications, with a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, optical image stabilisation, and autofocus. The security-conscious among you will appreciate the Galaxy S8’s iris scanner, featured on the front of the device, a feature which has yet to land in the OnePlus stratosphere.

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Price

In terms of price, the OnePlus 5 is by far the less eye-watering, coming in at a fairly reasonable £449 for 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage or £499 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S8 retails at a substantially more expensive price point, setting customers back a hefty £679. In fact, the price tag was one of our few qualms with the handset.

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Verdict

Both of these smartphones are excellent, top-of-the-range devices. Whilst Samsung’s near-deified Galaxy S8 does have a sleeker, sharper and larger display, and features iris scanning to boot, its astronomical price tag may put consumers off, understandably so at £679.

Meanwhile, the OnePlus 5 has merits of its own, offering a dual camera on the rear, larger battery capacity, and more RAM.

Essentially, the decision comes down to personal design preference and budget, but we’d say the sixth smartphone from OnePlus just undercuts the Samsung S8 due to the surmountable price tag which comes without sacrificing excellent specs, essential features or an aesthetically pleasing design.

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