Technology

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Which One Should You Buy?

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Comparison
Image Source: OnePlus.net (screenshot)

The much-awaited OnePlus 6 officially goes on sale in launch markets today. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 flagship was considered the best Android phone of this year so far, but now it has some serious competition. OnePlus 6 promises to offer premium-level performance and specs at a much lower price point. Let’s take a look at the detailed OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 comparison to see whether OnePlus 6 has what it takes to win over people looking to buy the Galaxy S9.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Design

Both the handsets have an all-glass design supported by a metal frame in the middle. And they are both protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5. The OnePlus 6 measures 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75mm and weighs 177g. It is larger and heavier than the Galaxy S9, which measures 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm and weighs 163g.

OnePlus has opted for a notch design similar to the iPhone X to increase the screen space. Samsung has resisted the temptation to copy the iPhone X notch. The top cutout helped OnePlus 6 offer a screen-to-body ratio of 83.8%, which is only marginally higher than the Galaxy S9’s 83.6%. Both the handsets have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and wide aspect ratios.

The Galaxy S9 gets a few advantages such as dual speakers, including a bottom-firing one. The S9 also comes with an IP68 rating for water- and dust-resistance. The OnePlus 6 lacks an IP rating, though it offers what OnePlus calls ‘splash resistance.’ The Chinese company has moved the Alert Slider to the right side of the phone. Both the handsets retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Display

The OnePlus 6 has a much larger 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution of 2280 x 1080p and 401ppi pixel density. In contrast, the Galaxy S9 sports a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity display that offers 2960 x 1440 resolution and a higher 568ppi of pixel density. While the S9’s screen is smaller, it more than makes up for it by offering better resolution and more vibrant colors. Samsung’s expertise in OLED technology remains unmatched.

The notch on the OnePlus 6 would not be as annoying as it is on the iPhone X. It is only about 3/4 of an inch across, and OnePlus allows you to hide it via software.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Hardware specs

Unsurprisingly, both the phones are powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 845 processor that is built using 10nm manufacturing process. Samsung also sells an Exynos 9810 variant of Galaxy S9 in international markets. The S9 is available with just 4GB RAM and 64GB of base storage. By comparison, the OnePlus 6 comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM configurations. It offers 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB of internal storage.

One advantage that the Samsung phone has over its rival is the microSD card slot. The S9 supports external memory of up to 400GB while OnePlus 6 doesn’t even have a microSD card slot. You do not have to worry about storage on OnePlus 6, though, if you buy the 128GB or 256GB storage variants.

Thanks to its higher RAM and software optimization, the OnePlus 6 is faster and more powerful than Galaxy S9. You’ll not experience any lag even while playing the most intensive games. In fact, recent real-life tests show that OnePlus 6 is even faster than the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 Plus.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Battery

My current OnePlus 5 offers almost two days of battery life between charges. Thanks to its larger size, the OnePlus 6 is able to pack a huge 3,300mAh battery compared to 3,000mAh on the Galaxy S9. The S9 supports both fast charging and wireless charging technologies. Surprisingly, OnePlus 6 lacks wireless charging despite featuring a glass back. The Chinese company offers its signature Dash Charge technology that delivers 60% charge in 30 minutes.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Camera

Talking about the camera, a fair comparison would have been between the Galaxy S9 Plus and OnePlus 6. The S9 comes only with a single lens on the back. OnePlus 6, on the other hand, has a vertically-aligned dual camera system. It consists of a 20MP and a 16MP lens, the latter of them offers OIS and a f/1.7 aperture. Wired says in its review that OnePlus 6 camera is certainly better than its predecessor, but it still struggles in low-light conditions. The portrait mode also sometimes blurs the foreground object.

The Galaxy S9 lacks portrait mode because there is no telephoto lens. It has a 12MP lens on the back with dual apertures of f/1.5 and f/2.4. It also supports optical image stabilization. Thanks to the dual apertures, it performs particularly well in low-light conditions. The camera can automatically switch between the two apertures depending on the lighting conditions to take the best possible photo.

Both the phones are capable of recording 4K videos at 60fps. The S9 records super slo-mo videos at 960fps at 720p resolution. In contrast, OnePlus 6 captures slo-mo videos at 480fps. On the front, the S9 has an 8MP selfie camera while OnePlus 6 has a 16MP snapper.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Software & security

Both the devices have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the back for authentication and security. OnePlus 6 also has a Face Unlock feature that is insanely fast, mapping your face and unlocking the device in just 0.2 seconds. It’s more about convenience than security. The Galaxy S9’s Intelligent Scan is more secure than Face Unlock, but it’s still not secure enough for financial transactions. Intelligent Scan combines data from facial recognition and iris scanner to enhance security.

The OnePlus 6 runs OxygenOS on top of Android Oreo. The Chinese company has done a pretty good job optimizing its software and keeping the bloatware at a minimum to deliver maximum performance. The user experience on OnePlus 6 is similar to the Google Pixel 2. What’s even more interesting is that it will support Android P beta out of the box. The Galaxy S9 runs Samsung’s custom Experience UI on top of Android Oreo. The device is loaded with tons of bloatware

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9: Price

Pricing has always been one of the biggest advantages of OnePlus devices. The Chinese company has increased prices with the OnePlus 6, but it’s still far more affordable than rival flagship phones. The latest OnePlus model starts at $529 for the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage model.  The 8GB/128GB version costs $579 in the US. By comparison, the 4GB/64GB Galaxy S9 starts at $729. That’s a huge difference considering the OnePlus 6 matches or outperforms its rival in most aspects.

The Samsung flagship is widely available around the world, and supports almost every carrier. The OnePlus 6 goes on sale in North America and Europe on May 22nd. Unfortunately, OnePlus devices work only with GSM carriers. It means it will be compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, and US Cellular only. It is unlikely to support Verizon and Sprint.

Conclusion

The Galaxy S9 is a great phone. But it’s incredibly difficult to opt for the S9 when you have a phone that sports a dual camera system, delivers better performance, has a bigger battery, and costs $200 less. The only drawbacks of OnePlus 6 are the lack of water-resistance and microSD card slot. If you can live with splash-resistance and no expandable storage, OnePlus 6 is the device to go for.