OnePlus 5 vs Galaxy S8: What’s the difference?

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Which should you pick?

The latest ‘budget’ flagship from OnePlus is here, offering serious specs and a nice design for under £500. But how does it compare to the current Android king? Let’s compare and see.

OnePlus 5 vs S8 Design: Which looks better?

Both these phones look great, but they each go in a very different design direction. The Samsung Galaxy S8 looks futuristic and modern, with sides that melt into each other and a curved screen that looks fantastic.

The OnePlus 5 is still very pretty, but it has a much thicker bezel running around the display than the S8 and it’s a bigger phone even though its 5.5-inch screen is smaller than the 5.8-inch version on Samsung’s flagship.

Both phones are made from metal and glass, but the OnePlus 5 has a matte black (or grey) while Samsung has stuck with a Gorilla Glass panel for the S8. The S8 is susceptible to hairline scratches due to the back, but the OnePlus feels a bit more rugged.

Due to the taller screen, the S8 is a lot narrower than the OnePlus 5, but neither are heavy and both can be used in one hand quite easily if that’s your thing.

Related: Best Android smartphones
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One big tick in the S8’s corner is the water-resistant IP68 body, which lets you submerge the phone in water for 30-minutes. The OnePlus 5 still lacks this feature, which is something of a shame but not surprising when OnePlus is aiming for a more affordable device.

Both phones have downward facing speakers on the bottom, along with USB-C ports and headphone jacks. They also both have fingerprint sensors, but the OnePlus 5’s front placement makes it a lot better than the rear placement on the S8.

OnePlus 5 vs S8 Specs: Which phone is more powerful?

Make no mistakes, both of these flagship phones are seriously powerful beasts that have enough horsepower to comfortably handle each and every app and game on the Play Store. They each have the latest processors, lots of RAM and fast storage.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes in two flavours, dependant on where you live, us Europeans get the Exynos 8895 model while those in the USA get one with the Snapdragon 835.

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All the versions of the OnePlus 5 run the 835, but there’s an option to double the 4GB RAM found on the S8 to a whopping – and sort of, pointless – 8GB. The base model comes with 6GB, though.

Both phones start at 64GB storage, but go in different directions from there. Our preference is the S8, which has a microSD card slot for expanding that storage by 256GB. The OnePlus 5 doesn’t have expandable storage, instead giving you the option of a 128GB model.

In Geekbench 4, the OnePlus picks up 1962 and 6719 in the single and multi-core tests which is very similar to the 2016 and 6530 scores the Galaxy S8 gets.
In terms of battery life, we have found both phones can make it through the day but not a whole lot more. The OnePlus 5 has a 3300 mAh cell slightly bigger than the 3000 mAh cell in the Galaxy S8, but Samsung’s flagship has a bigger, more pixel dense display to power.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Speaking of displays, the Galaxy S8 really goes all out here, Along with being curved, it packs a higher quad-HD resolution – the OnePlus 5 is stuck at 1080p – and has a peak brightness of 1000 nits for true HDR video.

Both panels are AMOLED and cover the DCI-P3 colour gamut, but we’d say Samsung comfortably has the better panel.

Both phones have very capable cameras, though the OnePlus 5 has two sensors on the back to give you a bit more freedom with your shots.

One is your regular sensor, which here is a Sony IMX 398 sensor with 16 Megapixels and an f1/1.7 lens. Next to it sits a telephoto lens, for 2x zoom, which is 20 megapixels with a much narrower f/2.6 aperture. It’s certainly an interesting setup, and having zoom without sacrificing quality is something the S8 doesn’t have.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 camera is excellent, if not quite as varied as the OnePlus 5. It has a single 12-megapixel sensor on the back, with a wide f1/.7 aperture and super-fast autofocus.

Both can shoot 4K video and have deep pro-modes for tweaking your settings. On the front the OnePlus 5 has a 16-megapixel sensor, while the Galaxy S8 has an 8-megapixel one.

We’ll update this article with further impressions when we have spent more time directly comparing the two cameras.

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OnePlus 5 vs S8 Price: Which is better value for money?

The OnePlus 5 starts at £449/$479, a lot more cash than the Samsung Galaxy S8 which starts at £689 and rises to £779 if you want the bigger Plus model.

Considering how much you get for your money with the OnePlus 5, it seems a much better deal than the S8 especially if you’re buying sim-free. The Galaxy S8 has a better screen and a sleeker design, but if those things aren’t important to you then the OnePlus 5 might be the way to go.

But, if you want the best phone available and money isn’t a problem then the Galaxy S8 is the way to go.

Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy S8 on O2 (3GB) – £75 upfront, £27/month
Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy S8 on Three (30GB) – £19 upfront, £35/month
Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy S8 on EE (15GB) – £0 upfront, £37.99/month

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OnePlus 5 vs S8 Summary: What’s the difference?

Here’s a short breakdown of the key differences between the Samsung Galaxy S8 and OnePlus 5.

Design: Both look good, but the Galaxy S8 does look much more futuristic and modern.

Specs: Two very powerful phones with the latest processors, camera sensors and RAM. Though the Galaxy S8 does have a nicer display.

Price: Samsung says the Galaxy S8 will start from £689, while the Galaxy S8+ costs an even higher £779. The OnePlus 5, on the other hand, starts at £449.

Value: The Samsung Galaxy S8 is far more expensive than the OnePlus 5, but it does pack in some more higher-end features. The OnePlus 5 is better value, but the S8 is still a great phone.

Which is your pick? Let us know in the comments below