OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 Edge comparison: who can beat the Samsung titan?

OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 Edge comparison: who can beat the Samsung titan?

OnePlus says its smartphones are flagship-killers, and the OnePlus 3 proves they aren’t kidding - but the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is loved by everyone and has been crowned one of the best smartphones money can buy. How do they compare to one another? Are there areas where the OnePlus excels and others where it falls short? Let’s find out in our OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comparison.

AndroidPIT oneplus 3 vs samsung galaxy s7 edge back
Both phones are well made, but the Samsung is prettier. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - design and build quality

Samsung’s Edge range has lots of fans, and it’s considered by many as the most beautiful range of phones that Samsung makes. The S7 Edge is no exception: it’s gorgeous. The OnePlus 3 isn’t quite as pretty. It isn’t ugly, but it doesn’t have the strong, distinctive character of its Korean competitor. It doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the smartphone crowd, although it’s perfectly well made and comfortable to hold. It just isn’t much to look at.

The Galaxy S7 Edge is a big phone, but it’s actually slightly smaller than the OnePlus: it’s 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm compared to the OnePlus 3’s 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm. The Edge’s curves make it look smaller than it actually is, but in terms of weight the phones are evenly matched: if you can tell that the Samsung is 1 gram lighter than the OnePlus you should probably sell your hands to science.

The main differences between the two phones’ designs are in the buttons. Samsung has the familiar oval home button and fingerprint reader, as does the OnePlus, but only Samsung offers a tactile button you can properly push. The OnePlus has an extra button to mute notifications, similar to the one you’ll see on Apple’s iPhones.

Do we have a winner? The Samsung’s much prettier but feels more fragile too; if we were to bet on which one would survive an accidental drop, we’d put our money on the OnePlus.

AndroidPIT oneplus 3 vs samsung galaxy s7 edge voulme buttons
The OnePlus has an extra button to silence the phone. You're excited, we can tell. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - display

As we’ve come to expect from Samsung the S7 Edge packs a Super AMOLED display. This one is 5.5 inches with qHD resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 pixels. The OnePlus has an AMOLED too, but its resolution is plain old Full HD at 1,080 x 1,920. There’s not that much difference between the screens in everyday use, but the Samsung one is sharper.

The Edge has another display trick, of course, and that’s its curved display which enables you to have shortcuts and notifications on either side of the main display. We’re not convinced that the curves are essential, but they’re certainly useful - as is Samsung’s Always On mode, which uses the AMOLED display’s ability to light individual pixels to display key information without hammering the battery.

The Samsung display is clearly superior, although just how superior depends on how important you think extra pixels and curved edges are. If you’re not so keen on the curves but want to stick with Samsung, you might prefer the plain and slightly cheaper Galaxy S7 instead.

AndroidPIT oneplus 3 vs samsung galaxy s7 edge display
Look at those curves. The Edge's display is higher resolution too. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - software

Neither phone comes with stock Android, although they come pretty close. OnePlus has its OxygenOS, while Samsung has TouchWiz. Both interfaces are based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and retain all of its features; what’s different is what the manufacturer adds. in OnePlys’s case that isn’t much beyond interface tweaks, but Samsung adds a whole bunch of preinstalled apps from Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook, WhatsApp and Google. And don’t forget the curvy bits of the display.

The choice here largely comes down to personal preference, as both interfaces are stable with no obvious lag or application crashes.

AndroidPIT oneplus 3 vs samsung galaxy s7 edge finger print scanner
Both phones have their own flavors of Android. OnePlus's is closest to stock. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - performance

There are two flavors of Galaxy S7 Edge: one with a Snapdragon 820 (US market) and one with an Exynos 8890 (Europe). We’ll focus on the European model here, which has an octa-core processor backed with 4 GB of RAM and an ARM Mali-T880 graphics chip.

The OnePlus 3 is one of the most powerful smartphones we’ve ever tested at AndroidPIT. It has the Snapdragon 820 running at up to 2.2 GHz per core, with 6 GB of RAM and an Adreno 530 graphics chip. If you’re reading this in 2020 then 6GB of RAM doesn’t sound like a lot, but here in 2016 it’s more RAM than anybody else’s flagship phones have got.

On paper, the OnePlus is faster: its AnTuTu benchmark was 140,573 points to the S7 Edge’s 128,603. But like the one gram difference between the phone’s weight, we can’t see any difference in real world use: they’re both flying machines.

AndroidPIT oneplus 3 vs samsung galaxy s7 edge cameras
The OnePlus has more pixels, but poorer quality photos. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - camera

Manufacturers like numbers: megapixels and apertures and ISOs. But you and I know that it’s quality, not quantity that matters: a crappy sensor can have all the megapixels in the world and still take crappy photographs. Samsung’s 12 megapixels doesn’t look like much on paper, but the f/1.7, dual-pixel system takes really good photographs. It’s one of the strongest features of the S7 Edge.

The OnePlus camera is better on paper and worse in reality. It’s a 16 MP, f/2.0 camera with optical stabilization, and we found it often took blurry photographs in automatic mode and poor quality images in low light. If you want to know where OnePlus had to cut corners to keep the price down, the camera is where we’d point our finger.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy s7 edge camera
The camera is arguably the S7 Edge's best feature, other than its display. / © NextPit

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - battery

Someone at Samsung appears to have specified a tractor battery for the S7 Edge: its 3,600 mAh battery is enormous even by phablet standards, and could probably power a Tesla for a fortnight. The OnePlus has a relatively titchy 3,000 mAh, but its lower screen resolution is less demanding. In practice both devices run happily all day long, but the Samsung lasts fractionally longer while the OnePlus charges fractionally faster.

androidpit money cash 5
Is choosing the Samsung over the OnePlus a bit like doing this? / © ANDROIDPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - verdict

We’re channeling Sir Mix-A-Lot here, who famously sang “I like big butts and I cannot lie”. We’ve got some big buts here. The Samsung has the better camera, but. The Samsung has a better battery, but. The Samsung has a better display, but. The Samsung has a curved screen, but.

All the buts come down to the same thing, and that’s money. The Samsung is a brilliant device, but it also has a €800 / $799 price tag. The OnePlus is €399 / $399. The Samsung’s better, but is it four hundred euro or dollars better? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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  • Ruturaj Hagawane Oct 24, 2016 Link to comment

    qHD is quarter HD = 960x540, S7 edge is QHD -> Quad HD = 2,560x1,440.

  • Martin Ephgrave Jul 12, 2016 Link to comment

    Do you mind Google in your life do you really want China in your pocket as well ?

  • Robert Johnson Jul 11, 2016 Link to comment

    The Samsung S7 and S7 Edge are very good phones but they are too costly and have too much bloatware.

  • Martin Ephgrave Jul 11, 2016 Link to comment

    The big BUT is limited lte or 4g in Australia + you have to pay for postage which brings it very close to Samsung in Price

  • justin bergmans Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Not to be disrespectful. But, I've got the op3 and also had the s7 and Huawei P9 and compared the camera quality on each in different lighting and range. The P9 seemed to be the softest,but still took decent images. The s7 was the best, especially in dark environments. But, the thing is the op3 took images that were pretty good and not that far off except in the darkest situations. Maybe you had a glitch in the software. The op3 seems to take great pictures.

  • drkmgiri Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I feel like not comparing them,
    except different price plus 3 more attractive in that respect

  • Tochukwu osakwe Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    S7 is still the plus3 is good too but if i have the cash for s7 i would definitely go for it

  • Ravi Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Guys Samsung is great but Value for money is OP3. I feel the day OP is able to match the camera software that will create further ripples.

  • Mark Armitage Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I sold my Samsung S7 Edge in favour of a OnePlus 3 and overall am a few hundred quid better off, despite losing some money on the sale. Do I regret my decision? No! I actually prefer the OnePlus 3 in most respects. The OS is much less clogged up with bloatware and the enhancements are genuinely useful, unlike most of the Samsung ones in Touchwiz. The OnePlus seems slightly faster in practice and doesn't get hot in use. Battery life is at least as good if not better. The camera is marginally worse but that margin is very small. Twice the memory and 1.5 times the RAM for the OnePlus. USB type C connector is a benefit too. And then there's the screen. The Samsung's again is marginally better but the OnePlus 3's screen is really good and the lower resolution makes no difference in day to day use. If they were exactly the same price I would struggle to choose between them, knowing what I know now, but with a price of £309 (OnePlus) v £639 (Samsung) it is a complete no brainer.

  • Asghar Akbar Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Samsung galaxy s7 edge very best

  • storm Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Both have dropped off my list of brands in prime consideration. Samsung for needless micromanagement of the user with its efuses, Knox hassles and rooting hurdles. OnePlus for poor quality and worse customer service

    • Rob Geeson Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

      We live in the god damn future now and these devices are nothing short of absolute miracles. Stop being an idiot, Storm.

      • storm Jul 10, 2016 Link to comment

        With such a low standard for miracles, it's not surprising you're impressed.

    • mr robot Aug 22, 2016 Link to comment

      What poor quality? i'm very interested in buyin OP3 so i like to know what issues you have had. Also share some facts about the customer service.

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