After the slightly disappointing OnePlus 2, the company has managed to rekindle the magic with its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3. With a very impressive new design, fantastic hardware, and a highly competitive price tag, the OnePlus 3 is in fact one of the best flagship smartphones on the market currently if you care about value for money. Of course, if you do not mind spending extra, you do have the option of going for more expensive flagship smartphones from more popular brands. Which is why we thought it would be a good idea to compare the OnePlus 3 against the most popular Android flagship on the market currently, the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Unveiled at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is not very different from its predecessor at first glance, but Samsung has made quite a few changes under the hood, making it one of the most complete Galaxy flagship smartphones yet. In a number of areas, the Galaxy S7 is a major upgrade over the Galaxy S6 and Samsung has addressed all the criticisms that reviewers and the consumers had with the Galaxy S6.
In our versus comparison today, we will be putting the OnePlus 3 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 against each other in ten different categories – Design, Display, Dimensions, Processor, Battery Life, Camera, Operating System, Price, Memory, and Connectivity. The winner of each round will be awarded 1 point, and the one that manages to bag the highest number of points by the end of our OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 specs battle will be declared the winner of our comparison today. So let’s not waste any more time and get started with our comparison.
A direct comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the OnePlus 3 isn’t possible in this round as the two are very different in terms of screen size. So we will pick the one with a higher screen-to-body ratio as the winner of the dimensions round.
The OnePlus 3 happens to be 152.7mm tall, 74.7mm wide, and has a 7.35mm thin profile. In terms of weight, the smartphone weighs in at 158 grams. Samsung Galaxy S7 with its 5.1” display is smaller with a height of 142.4mm, width of 69.6mm, and a 7.9mm thin profile. When it comes to weight, the Galaxy S7 is fairly close to the OnePlus 3 with a weight of 152 grams.
Even though the Galaxy S7 is definitely smaller, it is actually the OnePlus 3 that boasts of a slightly higher screen-to-body ratio. It is also almost identical to the Galaxy S7 when it comes to weight. That means the winner of the dimensions round is the OnePlus 3.
Now let’s shift focus to the displays on these two flagship smartphones.
The OnePlus 3 comes with a 5.5” Optic AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution, giving it a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. It comes with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on top to protect it against scratches and damage. The panel actually comes from Samsung and is similar to the Super AMOLED displays used on Samsung Galaxy and quite a few other flagship and high-end smartphones out there. As for the term “Optic”, it basically refers to the use of a dual-polarizing layer that allows it provide vivid and true-to-life colors. Compared to the IPS LCD display used on the OnePlus 2, the Optic AMOLED display of the OnePlus 3 does have many advantages. Some of them include better sunlight legibility, much deeper blacks, punchier color reproduction, as well as lower power consumption. Despite OnePlus’ claims of using a great display on their latest flagship smartphone, consumers have not exactly been bowled over by the quality. Some buyers have reported seeing a purple tint on the display, while almost everyone noticed that the color accuracy on the display is way off. While the former issue only affects a small batch of OnePlus 3 units, the company has issued an update to address the color accuracy issue. After the update, the OnePlus 3 display in the sRGB mode delivers impressive color accuracy and is actually a major improvement over the OnePlus 2 display in this regard. It also gets sufficiently bright, so sunlight legibility is also much better and is in fact better than most other smartphones out there. Overall, except for the lower resolution, the OnePlus 3 display is definitely not a disappointment in any way and is among the better flagship displays out there, provided you use the sRGB mode.
Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a 5.1” Super AMOLED display, boasting of 1440 x 2560 Quad HD resolution and a pixel density of 577 pixels per inch. The display features a layer of 3D glass on top, with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. Like other recent Samsung flagship smartphones with a Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy S7 display is an absolute stunner in terms of overall quality. However, when compared to the Galaxy S6 display, the Galaxy S7 display does have a few advantages that make it even better than its predecessor. Some of the key improvements include a higher peak brightness, slightly better calibration, and a new “Always On” display feature that we hadn’t seen before on any Samsung flagship handset. The display offers four different modes – Basic, Adaptive Display, AMOLED Cinema, and AMOLED Photo. While the default Adaptive Display mode offers really punchy and somewhat oversaturated color reproduction, the Basic mode delivers pleasing natural colors. In fact, in terms of color accuracy, the Galaxy S7 display is among the most color accurate displays on the market right now. The new “Always On” display feature, as you can guess by the name, keeps a part of the smartphone’s display on all the time, so you can check on missed calls, unread messages, battery percentage and more without having to press the power or home button every time. Of course, as you would expect, this does have an impact on battery life. It does not cause any burn-in however, as the graphics are moved around constantly and the display position also changes at regular intervals.
Even though both the OnePlus 3 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 have fantastic displays, the Galaxy S7 display does have a slight edge thanks to higher pixel density and slightly better calibration. So the winner of this round is the Samsung Galaxy S7.
While most manufacturers seemed to have ignored battery life with their flagship smartphones last year, things are turning out to be much better this year.
The OnePlus 3 is definitely an exception though, as it packs a smaller capacity battery than its predecessor. While the OnePlus 2 debuted with a 3300mAh capacity battery inside, the OnePlus 3 is equipped with a smaller 3000mAh capacity battery. The reason behind the smaller battery is that the OnePlus 3 is thinner as well as lighter than its predecessors. However, despite packing the smallest battery of all OnePlus flagship smartphones so far, the OnePlus 3 actually delivers better battery performance than the OnePlus 2. It is also equipped with Dashing charging technology that charges the OnePlus 3 from 0 all the way to 60% in just 30 minutes. The required Dash adapter is included with the smartphone, so you will be able to enjoy fast charging speeds as soon as you start using it. Unfortunately, OnePlus still doesn’t offer wireless charging support on its latest flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S7 on the other hand is equipped with a significantly larger battery than its predecessor. One of the main weaknesses of the Galaxy S6 was its rather average battery life, thanks to a relatively small 2550mAh battery inside. Samsung decided to listen to the consumers and equipped the Galaxy S7 with a significantly larger 3000mAh unit, which results in much improved battery life. Of course, the improved battery life isn’t just due to the larger capacity battery. Newer and more efficient hardware components, as well as improved software optimization also help deliver better battery life. And just like the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S7 offers support for fast-charging as well as wireless charging. However, while the Galaxy S6 only offered support for regular wireless charging, the Galaxy S7 supports fast wireless charging. There aren’t too many smartphones on the market right now with fast wireless charging support, so that’s definitely a plus point. The Wireless Fast charging is supported over both WPC and PMA standards.
While both smartphones are identical on paper, it is the Samsung Galaxy S7 that impresses more in the battery life department. Still, the difference is far from night and day, so either device should be able to impress you as long as you aren’t a heavy user. So the battery life round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Interestingly, the OnePlus 3 comes with a higher resolution camera compared to its predecessor, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 is equipped with a lower resolution camera than the Galaxy S6.
The OnePlus 3 is equipped with a 16MP primary camera at back, boating of a pixel size of 1.12 microns. The sensor used is the Sony IMX298, which does duty on quite a few other flagship smartphones as well. It integrates optical image stabilization (OIS), phase detection autofocus, as well as electronic image stabilization. The one slight disappointment is the fact that the sensor has been paired with an f/2.0 aperture lens, which does seem a little unimpressive when compared to most other flagship smartphones out there. Main features offered by the OnePlus 3 rear camera include Auto-HDR, dynamic denoise, manual controls with RAW image support, panorama capture, slow-motion 720p video capture at 120 fps, video recording up to 4K resolution at 30fps, Clear Image, face detection, and more. The front-facing camera on the OnePlus 3 is an 8MP fixed focus unit, using the Sony IMX179 sensor with a pixel size of 1.4 micron. It too has been paired with an f/2.0 aperture lens and can capture videos at up to 1080p resolution. Key features include electronic image stabilization and Auto selfie with smile capture.
Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a new 12MP camera at the back, with a new autofocus technology dubbed “Dual Pixel”. What it basically means is that each pixel on the Galaxy S7’s 12MP rear camera features two photodiodes instead of one on conventional sensors. This allows the sensor to focus much faster than most of its rivals. The technology is an upgrade over the phase detection autofocus that was used on 2015 flagship Galaxy smartphones and is used by most smartphone makers in their 2016 flagship smartphones. Coming back to the sensor, it boasts of a higher pixel size of 1.4 micron thanks to its lower resolution and larger 1/2.5” type size. The sensor has been paired with a bright f/1.7 aperture lens, which makes a major difference when it comes to performance in low-light. Some of the other key hardware highlights include optical image stabilization (Smart OIS as Samsung likes to call it), single LED flash, and a less protruding lens. On the software side, the Galaxy S7 comes with manual controls as well as support for RAW image capture. You also get features such as Hyperlapse, Motion Panorama, Motion Photo, Auto HDR, face detection, burst mode, and support for 4K video capture. On the front, the flagship smartphone is equipped with a 5MP selfie camera that has been paired with an f/1.7 aperture lens and can capture videos at up to 1440p resolution. Key features of the selfie camera include a Selfie Flash similar to the Retina Flash feature, a Wide Selfie mode, and various Beauty modes.
While the OnePlus 3 camera is definitely an improvement over the OnePlus 2 and on par with most of its rivals, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has an edge when it comes to overall performance. In low-light especially, the brighter f/1.7 aperture of the Galaxy S7 makes a visible difference. That means the winner of the camera round is the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Let us now turn our focus to the chipsets under the hood of these two flagship smartphones and find out if the Samsung Galaxy S7 can continue its domination in the processor category as well.
The OnePlus 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core 64-bit SoC. The Snapdragon 820 is the successor to the Snapdragon 810 chipset and comes with four custom 64-bit Kryo cores. Even though the Snapdragon 820 is not an octa-core SoC like the Snapdragon 810 from last year, it still comes in a dual-cluster configuration with two high-performance Kryo cores clocked at 2.15 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.6 GHz for efficiency. Manufactured on a 14nm second generation FinFET Low Power Plus node by Samsung, the Snapdragon 820 is quite a beast in terms of performance and yet delivers impressive efficiency as well. More than the performance, the improvement in efficiency is what impresses. Its predecessor was infamous for being unimpressive in terms of power efficiency and most handsets powered by the chipset exhibited severe overheating issues. Things are much better this year, with no Snapdragon 820-powered device exhibiting any severe issue. When it comes to performance, the Snapdragon 820 is one of the best mobile SoCs around currently, both in terms of CPU as well as GPU performance. Speaking of GPU, the chipset comes with the new Adreno 530 GPU, which is a much more powerful GPU than the Adreno 430 GPU integrated with the Snapdragon 810 chipset. Apart from the Adreno 530 GPU, the Snapdragon 820 also includes a new Hexagon 680 DSP, Snapdragon X12 integrated LTE modem, and the new Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging standard. Interestingly however, neither the OnePlus 3 nor the Samsung Galaxy S7 come with the Quick Charge 3.0 enabled as they both utilize different fast charging technologies.
Samsung Galaxy S7 too is powered by the very same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, although only for the US and Chinese markets. The international variant of the Galaxy S7 is powered by Samsung’s in-house developed Exynos 8890 octa-core chipset, which utilizes Samsung’s first custom developed Exynos M1 cores. The chipset is manufactured on the same 14nm second-gen LPP process node by Samsung. Like the Snapdragon 820, the Exynos 8890 is a dual-cluster SoC with four Exynos M1 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and four power efficient ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz. Graphics are handled by the integrated Mali-T880MP12 GPU, which is clocked at 650 MHz. When it comes to benchmark performance, the Exynos 8890 and the Snapdragon 820 SoC are more or less on par with each other, although the Adreno 530 does score slightly higher when it comes to graphics benchmarks. Conversely, the Exynos 8890 is slightly more efficient and as a result, the Exynos 8890-powered variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 offer longer battery stamina.
There is obviously no winner here as the OnePlus 3 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 are powered by the exact SoC. This means the processor round ends up in a tie.
Most connectivity features are dependent on the chipset inside, and since the OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy S7 both are equipped with the Snapdragon 820 SoC, will this round end up in a tie?
The OnePlus 3 features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, USB Type-C, and supports LTE Cat.6 (maximum download speeds up to 300 Mbps).On the other hand we have the Samsung Galaxy S7 with Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MiMo, Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, ANT+, Micro USB 2.0, and LTE Cat.9 support (maximum download speeds of up to 450 Mbps).
While faster LTE or a USB Type-C port aren’t going to bother anyone, it is disappointing to see that the OnePlus 3 does not offer dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity. Still, we are going to go with a tie here.
The OnePlus 3 comes in only one single memory configuration. While that may be slightly disappointing for some of you, the fact that the smartphone includes a generous 64GB of internal storage does make up for it to an extent. However, just like its predecessor, the OnePlus 3 does not include a memory card slot for further expansion. That means you will need to manage with the 64GB of storage on offer. On the plus side however, OnePlus is using the ultra-fast UFS 2.0 memory chip inside the OnePlus 3, which offers a significant performance jump when compared to traditional eMMC storage used on most smartphones. In fact, OnePlus claims the OnePlus 3 offers up to three times faster storage performance when compared to the OnePlus 2. The OnePlus 3 continues to impress with the RAM, as it is one of the few smartphones on the market right now to be equipped with 6GB of RAM. That’s right, the OnePlus 3 comes with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM, allowing for a smooth multitasking experience. However, the early firmware had some major issues with memory management, forcing apps to close down sooner than expected. This has now been fixed though, and the OnePlus 3 offers a better multitasking performance when compared to rival smartphones with 4GB of RAM.
Samsung offers a choice of either 32GB or 64GB internal storage with the Galaxy S7. While the Galaxy S7 doesn’t get a 128GB like its predecessor, it does address a major criticism that most reviewers had with the Galaxy S6. Samsung has managed to get UFS 2.0 storage working with a microSD card, so the Galaxy S7 does include a microSD card slot for memory expansion. This is probably the main reason why Samsung has decided to sell only the 32GB variant in most regions. Even in countries where the 64GB version is being sold, getting your hands on one could prove to be very difficult indeed. It is an upgrade over the Galaxy S6 when it comes to the RAM as well, with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM inside. Along with higher RAM, Samsung has fixed the memory management issue that plagued its 2015 flagship Galaxy smartphones.
While the Samsung Galaxy S7 offers a microSD card slot for memory expansion, the OnePlus 3 is equipped with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. That means we will have to call this round a tie.
The OnePlus 3 comes with a radically different design when compared to its predecessor. OnePlus has used a metal unibody design this time, made out of premium space-grade aluminum alloy. The premium material is not only light weight but also offers notable strength. With a maximum thickness of just 7.3mm, the OnePlus 3 happens to be one of the thinnest flagship smartphones yet with a full metal unibody construction. Sadly, the OnePlus 3 is only available in only one color option currently – Graphite. Soft Gold is also listed on the OnePlus store for now, but it is going to be available only later this month.
Samsung Galaxy S7 on the other hand is nearly identical to the Galaxy S6 in terms of design. It uses a strong space-grade aluminum frame in the middle and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the front as well as back of the device. There are a few differences though, such as a curved back for greater ergonomics, 3D glass on the front, and a less protruding camera at the back. It is also IP68 certified for dust and water resistant, which means you will not have to worry about any accidental liquid damage. In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is sold in Black Onyx and Gold Platinum color options.
Both flagship smartphones are quite premium in terms of both design and build, so it all comes down to individual preference. So the design round ends up in a tie.
The OnePlus 3 runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system with the OxygenOS custom UI layer on top. The custom OxygenOS offers native support for home screen and screen-off gesture controls, UI customizations, custom icon packs, Night Mode to filter blue light in the dark, and Shelf. While you do get additional features thrown in, it still remains very much close to stock Android. While the software is impressive, OnePlus doesn’t really have a fantastic track record with delivering major Android updates. One can only hope that things will be much better this time round with the OnePlus 3.
Samsung Galaxy S7 too runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS, with the company’s TouchWiz UX layer on top. The latest iteration of TouchWiz isn’t filled with bloatware like in the past, but Samsung has still added a number of features to make it more functional. Thanks to the reduced bloatware, all the performance issues associated with TouchWiz in the past do not exist anymore. Key software highlights include power saving modes to extract the most out of the battery, Game Launcher, Flipboard Briefing, Smart Manager, S-Health, S-Planner, and more.
On one hand, the OxygenOS on the OnePlus 3 is bloat-free and offers an almost stock Android experience, while on the other hand we have Samsung’s TouchWiz with more bloatware but greater functionality as well. We think it is fair to say that there is no clear winner here.
Like previous OnePlus devices, the OnePlus 3 is not being sold by any major or even minor carrier in the US. If you wish to buy the OnePlus 3, you will need to purchase one off the OnePlus store. In the US, the smartphone has been priced at $399, which is a lot lower than most other flagship smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S7 is widely available in the US through all the four major US carriers as well as most minor carriers. You can purchase it on a 24-month contract for a fee of $28 monthly from Verizon Wireless, $27.09 from Sprint, and $27.91 from T-Mobile. AT&T is selling the smartphone for a monthly fee of $23.17 for a period of 30 months. When purchased outright, the Galaxy S7 costs around $650.
Quite clearly, the OnePlus 3 is a lot more affordable than the Galaxy S7, making it the clear winner of this round.
We have now reached the end of our OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 specs battle. So let’s find out which of these two flagships has managed to emerge as the winner of our comparison today.
Out of the ten categories, we couldn’t determine a clear winner in five categories, which led to them ending up in a tie. The OnePlus 3 emerged victorious in two categories – Dimensions and Price. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 won three categories – Display, Battery Life, and Camera.
That means the winner of our OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 specs battle is the Samsung Galaxy S7. However, what you should note, is that the OnePlus 3 lost this comparison by a very small margin and it happens to be on par with the much more expensive Galaxy S7 in most areas. So if you do not wish to spend upwards of $600 on a flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3 is a fantastic option with hardware pretty much on par with any other flagship on the market today.