OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: killer flagships

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: killer flagships

OnePlus describes its smartphones as “flagship killers”, a moniker which has helped attract a significant following. The Galaxy S7 is one of the best Android smartphones we've ever seen, but it should be – it's the flagship phone of Android's biggest manufacturer. So can underdog OnePlus topple the giant? Here's our OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison.

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Let's see which is better: the OnePlus 3 (left) or the Galaxy S7. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Design

A sleek metal machine sandwiched in Gorilla Glass; Samsung really delivered the design goods with the Galaxy S7. It's gorgeous and the best a Galaxy S device has looked for years. The brushed metal sides are silky and the curved glass back is soft and sweet. Holding the S7 is what I imagine holding Audrey Hepburn’s hand would have been like. It'd make you glad.

Last year’s OnePlus 2 design, by contrast, was divisive. Many appreciated the grip and shape – indeed, I did. It’s a big square with metal edges and has this '90s TV remote' charm about it. Unfortunately, the paper-thin sandstone backplate grated on me after a while (though it did keep my skin soft). But the OnePlus 3 represents a significant redesign.

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Both phones are good-looking in design. / © NextPit

The OnePlus 3 features a one-piece metal unibody, which retains the angular aesthetic of its predecessor: I think it's a tangible improvement on the OnePlus 2. It also maintains the physical 'Alert Slider', which allows users to quickly switch between their notification profiles. 

Holding the S7 is what I think holding Audrey Hepburn’s hand would have been like. It'd make you glad.

The OnePlus 3 is slightly larger than the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7, and also thinner. However, it's not water-resistant like the S7 (this would increase manufacturing costs, which OnePlus keeps at an absolute minimum).

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So many fine lines. / © NextPit

It also has a fingerprint scanner, ensuring that it competes with the S7 on that front. Furthermore, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei told AndroidPIT that dropping NFC from the OnePlus 2 was a misstep. Great to see that it made a comeback in the OnePlus 3. 

The OnePlus 3 may not include water-resistance, microSD card support, or a heart-rate monitor, unlike the S7, but you might not require them. Deciding which is best of these device designs could simply come down to size and shape. Do you prefer holding big, metal squares or small, glass ovals?

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Different in style, but both are eye catching. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Display

Samsung’s displays are rarely anything less than crisp, bright and saturated, and the QHD display of the S7 maintains this form. Watching videos on this phone is like watching a dream of your high school crush knitting tiny socks in a meadow filled with sparkles. It’s bold, it's detailed, it's sublime, and individual pixels are basically invisible to the naked eye.

The OnePlus 3 can't match this with its Full-HD panel. But this means that you're paying a lot less for a device with a display that isn’t all that different. The S7's display is great, but it's not like it's a completely different entity from the next QHD smartphone display.  

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Two very different display resolutions. / © NextPit

I like the cooler color palette found in OnePlus's smartphone screens. Samsung's S7 houses that classic Super AMOLED warmth, but I find colder LCD blues more appealing.

Watching videos on the Galaxy S7 is like watching a dream of your high school crush knitting tiny socks in a meadow filled with sparkles

As for resolution, the OnePlus 3 has a Full-HD screen with the same resolution that both its predecessors have. With OnePlus making a bigger push into VR territory (it just recently revealed a VR headset, the OnePlus Loop VR), it would've made more sense to upgrade the display resolution to QHD to make super up-close viewing more impressive. 

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OnePlus has switched from LCD panels as it used on the OnePlus 2 (pictured) to a Samsung-built AMOLED display. / © ANDROIDPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Software and performance

The Galaxy S7 uses TouchWiz UI while the OnePlus 3 uses Oxygen OS 3.1.2, which is much more akin to the stock Android interface. Both interfaces have strengths and weaknesses.

Notable strengths of Samsung's software include download booster and its power-saving modes. OnePlus's Oxygen OS has some cool features also, like its gestures and its dark mode (which should be an option on every phone). You can learn more about individual software features at the links below.

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Samsung's TouchWiz interface is unmistakable. / © ANDROIDPIT

We know which direction OnePlus has taken the OnePlus 3's software. The company is more experienced now, the OnePlus 2 was the first time it implemented its own software after splitting with CyanogenMod following the release of the OnePlus One. And yes, it will undoubtedly look and feel better.

Ultimately, the similarities between OnePlus software and stock Android tend to make this device preferred among the hardcore Android following, but software updates are likely to hit the S7 before the OnePlus 3.

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The OnePlus Oxygen OS software owes more to stock Android than Samsung's skin. / © ANDROIDPIT

As for hardware, the OnePlus 3 has a Snapdragon 820 processor and 6 GB of RAM, meaning performance isn't wildly different between it and the speedy Galaxy S7, which houses the same processor in the US.

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Camera

The OnePlus 3 camera is acceptable. It’s not awful, but it has no standout feature like its competitors. Sony, LG and Samsung are the big boys in this area and I don’t know how OnePlus could challenge them without seriously increasing the cost of the handset.

  • See more OnePlus 3 photos in our gallery

The OnePlus 3 has a 16 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, OIS, phase detection autofocus, and LED flash. It also houses a decent 8 MP front camera. The main camera is good and reliable, but it's not the best camera you can get in a smartphone. If this is no problem for you, then going for the reliable budget option could be the way to go.

  • See more Galaxy S7 photos in our gallery

Building in high-quality camera components is a costly business; it's hard to squeeze in that quality without charging what Samsung does for the S7. If it wasn't, OnePlus would have an incredible product on its hands. Right now we'd just be happy with better autofocus.

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Two seriously good cameras, but the S7's is hard to match. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Audio

Audio quality is rarely the strength of smartphones. HTC’s Boomsound technology delivered the best experience in this regard so far while dual-stereo speakers – as found on the likes of the Sony Xperia Z5 – are a close second.

The Galaxy S7 has a bottom-mounted mono speaker, which isn't ideal for audio playback. The OnePlus 3 will, in all likelihood, have a mono speaker on the bottom of the handset also.

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Got beats? / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Battery

The battery of the Galaxy S7 was a big improvement for Samsung compared to the Galaxy S6. It’s a decent size and, despite Samsung’s own software skin and bright high-res display, it provides strong results. The S7 battery isn’t removable and neither is the OnePlus 3's. The OnePlus 3 competes with the S7 on fast charging, with it's Dash Charge.

Unfortunately, the OnePlus 3 has a smaller battery than the OnePlus 2 at only 3,000 mAh, which is the same as the Galaxy S7. It's tough to say who wins this category. They both could be better, but are good enough for a day's usage.

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Two batteries, one capacity. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: Price and conclusion

And here we arrive at possibly the most significant and important difference between these handsets. OnePlus has made a name for itself by delivering smartphones at extremely attractive prices.

These are the Labrador Retrievers of smartphone prices: beautiful and reliable. The OnePlus 2 launched at $329 for the 16 GB version and held its own against handsets $300 dollars more expensive. And it's now at an even more fetching price. At $399, the OnePlus 3 is still super affordable. 

With the Galaxy S7 currently costing around $600, we're all going to have to ask ourselves some serious questions with regards to which offers the most value.

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We love the S7, but the OnePlus 3 is a heartbreaker. / © NextPit

Which phone is better overall? Let’s put it this way: the Galaxy S7 hasn't been knocked off its perch as the number one Android phone by the OnePlus 3. Instead of trying to fight the S7 on specs and power, OnePlus has provided better value for the money. And, right now, I believe it has.

Which phone do you prefer? Let us know in the comments. 

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  • Márton Garamszegi Jul 2, 2016 Link to comment

    Okay... S7 Positives: Better camera, higher resolution, SD card. S7 negatives: software updates are ~1 year long officially, knox(i mean rooting), touchwiz(lagging as hell), price, OP3 has better scores due to SD820, and also cheaper....(omg) Samsung won't release source code, so no AOSP roms, or any non-touchwiz roms. But if you like better camera sd card slot and 1440p(which is unnecessary, and could cause lag) Go for the S7 for almost the double price ;)

  • Kaustubh Pendse Jun 24, 2016 Link to comment

    Hi I would say just go for Samsung s7 edge ......
    Guys just see Samsung Galaxy s7 has 4 G B of ram while OP3 has 6gb of ram.... and Samsung Galaxy s7 is for $650 and OP2 for $400 ..... Just see that is Samsung stupid or mad for making an amazing phone of 4gb ram for $650?
    It's becoz Samsung phones have guarantee that it will work just flawless for next 4 yrs minimum....
    While OP3 doesn't have guarantee that it will run properly for next 2 yrs or less !!!
    My friend has Samsung s4 which is still running amazingly after nearly 3.5 yrs of purchase.... while a friend has OP2 which is lagging having 4gb of ram and using since 6 months or less!!!
    If u want your phone to be a durable reliable and performance should not decease then simply go for Samsung Galaxy s7 than oneplus 3 !!!!
    I know price is the issue ...... if u wanna spend $400 on stupid Chinese brand then simply go for Nexus devices like Nexus 5x or 6p or else go for HTC or lg or Sony.....
    But don't go for oneplus 3 !!!!

    • Aidan Cler Jul 4, 2016 Link to comment

      lol nexus is google (american) andgood. sony is japanese. you're stereotyping chinese as horrible. dont do that.

      btw; nexus and sony phones are fine

      • Garrett Musto Jul 25, 2016 Link to comment

        The Nexus 5X is produced by LG (Korean) and the 6P is produced by Huawai (Chinese) so although the Nexus phones are sold by Google, they are manufactured in Asia.

  • Oscar Rodriguez Murphy Jun 24, 2016 Link to comment

    l love Galaxy phone of course but also don't mind trying my hand on the plus 3 or 4

  • An Droid Jun 22, 2016 Link to comment

    Value is a subjective concept. For someone who can afford an S7, and enjoy the advantages mentioned, AND brilliant support and backup, the 1+ is not an option. If you really cannot stretch your budget to get a S7, and can console yourself with lesser features, you probably won't slit your wrists for having to live with the 1+. It's not for me though.

  • Kunal Narang Jun 20, 2016 Link to comment

    I think that the OnePlus 3 is indeed a great value for money but it's not of the level of Samsung Galaxy S7. I like OxygenOS more than Touchwiz. Furthermore, you get an unlocked bootloader with OnePlus 3. So, it is easier to get CM on this device. I'll go with the OnePlus 3 personally, I don't have any use for the waterproof resistance.

  • John Davis May 30, 2016 Link to comment

    Lg G5 camera is better

  • Chuck Jones May 27, 2016 Link to comment

    This is a terrible article, it has no real specs. about the Oneplus 3, and yet compares those missing specs. to a Samsung 7?
    How crazy is this?

    • Scott Adam Gordon May 27, 2016 Link to comment

      Thanks for the comment Chuck Jones. We write these articles based on current rumors for several reasons. First and foremost, it gives readers who are thinking about a device upgrade some ideas about their potential options.

      Most of these leaks end up being accurate anyway. If you have any suggestions on how they could be made more informative or user-friendly, let me know :)

      • Chuck Jones Jun 5, 2016 Link to comment

        Yes, never use any phone from Oneplus in any article. They are a terrible company, with very badly designed phones.
        They still have yet to get officially Marshmallow on their last two phones. Crowd sourced beta does not even count. Their customer service and warranty support is atrocious. The Oxygen O.S. is buggy as hell.
        Why you and other bloggers waste your time with Oneplus, can only mean one thing.

      • Sergey Moraru Jun 19, 2016 Link to comment

        It is your own opinion, Chuck, right? Your answer "Yes" will ensure that everyone has it's own choice either to like the phone or not.

      • Jacob Jun 21, 2016 Link to comment

        Wow Chuck. Your response exposes you as truly biased and nonobjective. I'm guessing the blogger has now quickly dismissed you as has anyone else whose read the article and your comments.

      • tariq Jun 22, 2016 Link to comment

        Ignore that comment.. Great article! I loved it! I prefer the edge tho just cuz it looks cooler lol

  • Willy Yappy May 27, 2016 Link to comment

    OnePlus use OxygenOS NOT ColorOS, ColorOS is for Oppo, it was noted for it's customizability and more akin to the MIUI or in fact, TouchWiz. OxygenOS basically is a lightweight stock android, thus more or less fit your description

  • storm May 27, 2016 Link to comment

    They both put looks over function which I think is a mistake.

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