After only five months, OnePlus has released the upgrade to the OnePlus 5 – the 5T. With minimal changes that more prominently include a new look, the 5T is now a true 2017 flagship. But while its functionality is exactly the same as the OnePlus 5, most might argue that the change could have been made with the next iteration of the OnePlus flagship.
Nevertheless, the 5T is upon us and will take on the current breed of flagships more appropriately in the war of design and screen real-estate – most notably, the Galaxy S8. Here’s the low-down on how they both compare.
The new screen on the OnePlus 5T is now one with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The phone will feature the company’s biggest screen on a phone. It comes with an HD+ resolution and minimal bezels on the top and bottom, though not as clean as the S8 comes. The display may be a Samsung made AMOLED panel, but it is completely different from what we get on the S8.
The S8 has a QHD+ resolution display with curved edges for a more immersive experience and even slimmer bezels. The aspect ratio is also set at 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Considered the best display on the market, it is really hard to beat, when talking about the actual performance. The S8’s display is also works with HDR content. It is a hair smaller than the OnePlus 5T’s, with a 5.8-inch display.
While the AMOLED on the 5T is still relatively good and while it doesn’t suffer from the elastic-y effect that the 5 came with, it still falls just short of the S8’s magnificent resolution, curvature and output. The 5T’s OLED panel may be good, but Samsung keeps the best display for its own handsets.
Both phones come with the Snapdragon 835, while the international variant of the S8 comes with the Exynos chipset. The 5T beats the S8 out on RAM, with 6GB/8GB offerings compared to the 4GB offering that we can only find on the S8. The 5T comes with either 64GB and 128GB of fixed storage, while the S8 comes with 64GB of on-board storage with expandability. Both phones come with Android Nougat out of the box.
Without a doubt, Samsung has given the world one of the finest specimens of a smartphone, save for a few discrepancies here and there. It is near perfect in design, but falls short of some minor accessibility inconveniences. The 5T’s design, despite being under-stated, is still derivative and not original in the aesthetic. While the company may have borrowed the chassis, the form factor has nothing new to offer.
The S8 comes with an all-glass exterior and a slim profile, with the only downsides to the design being the placement of the fingerprint sensor being just next to the camera instead of below it. Also, the company forces users to use Bixby with a special button on the side that can’t be remapped to anything else. The phone is, however, IP68 certified waterproof.
The 5T on the other hand, while not being waterproof, has its fingerprint sensor placed more appropriately and also has the convenient profile switch on the side. Both phones come with headphone jacks, making them one of the few remaining flagships to do so. But for its form and original design, the S8 takes the cake on this one.
Both phones shift with Android Nougat out of the box and while they have not received their Oreo update yet at the time of writing this article, they will be receiving their respective updates before the end of the year, hopefully. Both phones feature vastly different software, however.
The 5T’s is as close to stock as it can get, with Oxygen OS. Just like the 5 before it, the 5T’s speed and navigation through the OS is fast and responsive. There is reading mode for battery saving and decent amounts of customization as well. The S8’s software is a complete overhaul of Android with the Samsung Experience heavily skinned over Nougat. While the experience is fully customizable, the phone still struggles under heavy loads, and considering that it has been around for a better portion of the year, usage lags and stutters have been reported. The 5T, on the other hand, will continue to offer the buttery smooth experience as its predecessors before it, second only to the Pixels.
The optics on both the cameras are different, with the S8 harbouring a single sensor on the back and the 5T opting for two of the same lenses on the back. Starting with the 5T, the main sensor at the back is a 16MP camera with an aperture of f/1.7, with a secondary telephoto lens at 20MP with an f/1.7 aperture as well. Portrait mode is here too, and the camera offers decent lighting, including electronic image stabilization. The S8, on the other hand, is devoid of portrait mode, but still comes with a decently sized 12MP f/1.7 aperture lens with optical image stabilization.
At this stage in the game, the 5T seems to be the more offering consideration when compared to the S8 in terms of camera performance with its two lenses, better portrait photography and performance.
The OnePlus 5 may not have won this battle against the all-to powerful Galaxy S8, with its outdated design and screen capabilities. The 5T fills in those gaps and delivers well on its promise to not only be on par with the latest flagships like the S8, but also being better. At a value perspective, the OnePlus 5T is offered at the same price as the 5 was, with both variants offered at $499 and $560 respectively. The S8, is nearly $100 more than the top-end variant of the 5T, despite the having the inappropriate fingerprint sensor placement, the single-lens camera and the infamous Bixby AI.
Personal preference aside, while taking into the two phones’ capabilities objectively, both offer decent performance and specifications, but the 5T’s value over the S8 makes more sense and offers just what the consumers want. The OnePlus 5T is the winner here.