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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Which is best for me?

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: How does one of the most compelling flagship offerings in recent memory stack up against the most cutting-edge smartphone currently available? We pit the OnePlus 3T against the new Samsung Galaxy S8 to see what’s what.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Design

Take a look at most of the current top-tier smartphone crop and you’ll find sandblasted aluminium, precision milling, polished chamfers and pillowed glass on the front. The OnePlus 3 and 3T feature all of these traits, collectively giving you a great-looking and well-built handset as a result.

For the last three generations of flagships, Samsung has gone against the grain and opted for a predominantly glass design. In the case of the S8, that glass curves around on either side completing the form with a smooth metal frame and a near-seamless finish. It looks decidedly groundbreaking and immediately dates the more traditional design cues employed by the 3T.

Both phones give you a reversible USB-C connection but Samsung goes further by also rendering the S8 dust and water-resistant, as well as shaving off the camera bump of its predecessor. Ignore the bump and the 3T is actually the thinner phone, at least by a hair, however, it’s also heavier, wider and taller despite sporting a smaller screen.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Screens

Speaking of screens, OnePlus is one of the few manufacturers that sides with Samsung by using AMOLED panels on its top phones in place of LCDs. In the case of the 3T you’re getting a 5.5-inch 16:9 Optic AMOLED Full HD display that’s an unquestionable looker.

Colours are nice and punchy albeit lacking in accuracy, you’ll struggle to make out any individual pixels and maximum brightness is more than a match for bright sunshine. There’s also a blue light filter for easier evening viewing.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Screens

All that said, the S8’s 5.8-inch Super AMOLED ‘infinity display’ is arguably its biggest talking point and the most obvious aspect that sets the phone apart from rivals like the 3T. An unorthodox 18.5:9 aspect ratio stretches to the fringes of the phone’s front and its Quad HD+ resolution means that it outclasses the already pixel-packed screen on the 3T by some margin.

The S8's panel also echoes the OnePlus' in its maximum brightness, colour reproduction and blue light filter functionality almost exactly but takes the lead with superior viewing angles as well.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: OS

Both phones bring an augmented take on Android Nougat to the table. The 3T offers excellent customisation, a dedicated hardware profile switcher and The Shelf; collating notes, recent contacts, apps and general phone information in once place, whilst Samsung has opted for a more heavily stylised UI.

It complements the phone’s design well but will take more getting used to than the experience offered up by the 3T. Aspects like Bixby serve as an alternative to the Google Assistant, whilst a new performance manager helps better manage the phone’s resources over time.

Both phones also come with lightning fast fingerprint sensors which the 3T’s conveniently placed front and centre, whilst the S8’s is a little more awkward, offset on its back. To get around this, Samsung has also thrown in iris and face scanning as additional ways to unlock your phone.

Read next: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ Tips and Tricks

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Performance

The OnePlus 3T still feels like one of fastest phones around thanks in part to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor and a whopping 6GB of RAM. You won’t notice any real difference in everyday performance, however, the S8 may be better future-proofed thanks to a newer Exynos 8895 octa-core SoC (or Snapdragon 835 in the US) and 4GB of RAM that benchmark that little bit higher overall.

Storage on the OnePlus 3T is locked to internal only but trumps the S8 with both 64GB and 128GB skews, as well as dual-SIM functionality. The S8 meanwhile is currently only available with 64GB of internal space, still not to be sniffed at by any means but helped by the fact that the phone is also expandable by up to a further 256GB via microSD card.

Despite a smaller cell and more pixels to drive on that new screen the S8’s 3000mAh battery also holds up well alongside the 3T. Both phones give you between and day and a day and a half of use and both pack fast-charging tech, although the S8 takes about half an hour longer to reach 100 per cent than Dash Charging does on the OnePlus, which gets the job done in about an hour and 15 despite its bigger 3400mAh cell.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Cameras

If it’s megapixels you’re after then the OnePlus is the obvious choice as it deals out respectable 16-megapixel snaps from both its front and rear cameras; the latter of which also boasts OIS along with RAW still and 4K video support.

If it’s overall quality you want, then it’s worth losing a few megapixels for the superior imaging experience doled out by the Galaxy S8. Not only do both the front and rear snappers fair better in low light thanks to wider apertures but you’ve got more options and modes to customise the shooting experience, along with superior image stabilisation, smarter image processing and a slicker, more intuitive camera interface.

Read next: Samsung Galaxy S8 camera review and OnePlus 3T camera review

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Verdict

Despite it being a case of “anything you can do, I can do better” as far as the Galaxy S8 is concerned, at £689 SIM-free Samsung’s stunning new flagship is over 40 per cent more expensive than OnePlus’ top phone, and whilst you don’t get the cutting-edge design or class-leading camera of the S8, the 3T is still a stellar handset.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: Side by side

If you can afford the Samsung without reaching, it’s the smartest choice in the long-run, but if money’s a little tighter you wouldn’t be doing yourself a disservice by opting for the OnePlus 3T, not by a long shot.

You can watch the video comparison, here:

 

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