Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is the most feature-filled, beautiful smartphone you can get, period. It has the best camera, the best design, the best screen, and the latest specs.
Yet, despite these accolades, I’m still more attracted to the new OnePlus 5.
What could the Galaxy S8 possibly do wrong that makes me drift towards the OnePlus 5 instead?
I want to give the Galaxy S8 the credit it deserves, so check out all the things the Galaxy S8 can do that the OnePlus 5 can’t. Then, see why I’d still pick the OnePlus 5:
Facial recognition on the Galaxy S8 doesn’t always work well, either
The best way I’ve found to unlock the Galaxy S8 is to use facial recognition. It’s fast and requires far fewer steps than the iris scanner. Yet, it’ll occasionally fail to register my face, and I either have to tap the tiny button to re-attempt the facial recognition, use the ineffective fingerprint scanner, or enter my PIN number.
The Galaxy S8’s iris scanner is surprisingly fast and accurate, so long as you’re holding the phone at a perfect distance from your eyes and they’re lined up perfectly with the guide circles on the screen. Add the fact that it’s a multi-step process to use the iris scanner — press the home button > swipe the lock screen > line up your eyes with the phone — and it quickly becomes a frustrating experience. I turned it off eventually. It works, but it’s not as fast or convenient as a fingerprint scanner.
2. The OnePlus 5’s fingerprint scanner is accurate and incredibly fast.
Meanwhile, the OnePlus 5’s front-facing fingerprint scanner is easy to find, and it’s never asked me to re-scan my fingerprint after the first time. It’s also incredibly fast — much faster than the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint scanner.
Above, I’m pressing using each phone’s fingerprint at exactly the same time, and the S8 clearly has a delay to unlock compared with the OnePlus 5.
It’s easier to find the S8’s fingerprint scanner with the Samsung silicone case, but it’s still not great.
The case’s groove around the scanner helps guides my finger to the scanner’s center. Yet, the groove is so deep that not enough of my fingertip lands on the scanner unless I push hard with my finger. The Galaxy S8 often asks me to re-scan my fingerprint at least two or three times with the case, too.
3. Price isn’t the only thing. The Galaxy S8’s fingerprint scanner is surprisingly frustrating to use.
I simply don’t like the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. It’s a matter of personal preference, and my own preference is a fingerprint scanner on the front of the phone because it’s easier to find. I can also unlock phones with front-facing fingerprint scanners while they’re resting on a table without lifting the phone first.
With that said, Samsung may not have been able to make the Galaxy S8’s borders so narrow had it kept the fingerprint scanner on the front. So, I can understand why the scanner is on the back.
I should note that the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint scanner is surprisingly inaccurate unless you place your finger perfectly onto the scanner. That’s a big problem, as the fingerprint scanner isn’t easy to find with your finger. I always end up placing my finger near the scanner and sliding it over to the scanner’s center, and nine times out ten, it wants me to re-scan my fingerprint.
4. There are so many great Galaxy S8 features, so why would I go for the OnePlus 5?
The first thing that gets my attention is the OnePlus 5’s $480 price tag, compared to the Galaxy S8’s $720 starting cost. Price, on it’s own, is a huge factor. I can buy a lot of things I like for the $240 I’d be saving by going for the OnePlus 5, like video games, computer parts, and wine.
5. The Galaxy S8 is the reigning champion of smartphone cameras.
The OnePlus 5’s dual-lens camera certainly has its merits, as it’s an excellent camera that can do things the Galaxy S8 can’t, like the professional-looking Portrait mode and enhanced optical zooming thanks to that second telephoto lens. Yet, at the end of the day, the Galaxy S8 has the superior camera, especially in low-light situations.
6. The Galaxy S8 features Samsung Pay, while the OnePlus 5 only has Android Pay. There’s an important difference.
Samsung Pay on the Galaxy S8 works almost anywhere because it uses similar magnetic-based technology as a regular credit card. Meanwhile, the near-field-communication (NFC) based Android Pay on the OnePlus 5 only works on payment terminals that have NFC technology.
7. You can also use your face to unlock the Galaxy S8.
The Galaxy S8’s facial recognition also lets me unlock the phone by simply waking it up with the power button.
8. You can unlock the Galaxy S8 with your eyeballs.
I can hold up the Galaxy S8 to my eyes to unlock it without reaching for the fingerprint scanner.
9. The Galaxy S8 features wireless charging.
Wireless charging is a nice feature to have for topping up the Galaxy S8 during the day. I can rest the Galaxy S8 on its wireless charging dock more easily than plugging it in when I’m not using it, and it pretty much guarantees that I’ll never run out of battery.
10. The Galaxy S8 is water-resistant; the OnePlus 5 is not.
Samsung is keen to boast about the S8’s IP 68 water resistance, which allows it to survive down to a depth of 1.5 meters (nearly five feet) for up to half an hour.
The Galaxy S8 has a sharper display
You can set the S8’s display to a 1440p resolution, which is sharper than the OnePlus 5’s 1080p resolution.
11. The Galaxy S8 has a striking design compared to the OnePlus 5.
There’s no competition here. The combination of the invisible home button, curved display edges, rounded display corners, taller aspect ratio, and ultra-narrow borders around its display makes the S8 a strikingly beautiful smartphone that also more modern than the utilitarian design of the OnePlus 5
Speed Test – OnePlus 5 vs HTC U11 vs Galaxy S8
Shortly after the official launch of OnePlus 5 last week, the biggest story on the Internet was how the company was claimed to manipulate synthetic benchmark scores with its latest flagship smartphone by an investigative report. While the company’s initial response to the matter was far from convincing, the latest real world speed test comparison has revealed that the OnePlus 5 might actually have the hardware that can back the company’s tall claims to some degree. Separately, a Mint Gold colour variant of the smartphone has also been spotted getting clearance at a Chinese certification site.
In a speed comparison test video, posted on YouTube by Jeremy Ortega, OnePlus 5 can be seen outperforming other smartphones that also feature Snapdragon 835 SoC, i.e., HTC U11 and Samsung Galaxy S8. As a part of the performance test, Ortega launched 20 apps on all three smartphones, one after the other, in two successive rounds. While initial round shows the speed with which any app is launched for the first time, the second one shows the capability of the smartphone to launch an already opened app.
Notably, OnePlus 5 did not just manage to open all the apps faster than the other two smartphones under consideration, it managed to do so without breaking a sweat. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11 smartphones managed to go through two test rounds in around 2 minutes 19 seconds and 2 minutes 2 seconds respectively. However, OnePlus 5 managed to go through both rounds in around 1 minute 53 seconds.
It is important to note that the OnePlus 5 used in the test featured 8GB of RAM while the Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11 both packed 4GB of RAM each. The additional memory is likely to have impacted the performance of latest flagship by OnePlus but it also means that in real-world usage, the smartphone will manage to handle the daily tasks efficiently.
If we go by these results, OnePlus 5 seems to have taken its ‘Flagship Killer’ tag seriously. In our review of OnePlus 5, we said: “With Qualcomm’s speedy processor and the slick new OxygenOS, system and app performance is excellent. The phone uses the ample RAM onboard to ensure things run smoothly. On average, we found around 3.9GB being used, leaving us with about 1.7GB on the 6GB model.”
Finally moving to the other aspect of news, while the company has launched the OnePlus 5 in Midnight Black and Slate Gray colours, Mint Gold colour variant of the smartphone has now been spotted on Chinese certification website TENAA, as per a report by MySmartPrice. To recall, OnePlus 3T was previously offered in Soft Gold colour as well.
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