After months of waiting, Samsung Mobile formally announced the launch of its first two flagship smartphones for 2018 – the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ at MWC 2018. Both the smartphones will go on sale starting March and will also eventually make their way to India. Being flagship-class devices, it would be interesting to see how much faster and different the new phones are when compared to flagship class handsets from not too long ago. In this article, we will compare the smaller Samsung – the Galaxy S9 to two phones from 2017 and 2016 respectively – the OnePlus 5T, and the Apple iPhone 7.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 5T vs iPhone 7: Design, Display
In usual fashion, we start off things by talking about the design aspects of these three handsets. While the design of the Samsung Galaxy S8 was radical when it was announced at around the same time last year, the same surely cannot be said about its successor. The S9 is more of an evolution of the S8 design with minor refinements. The Galaxy S9 gets an aluminium frame and a toughened glass coating on both the front and the rear (Corning Gorilla Glass 5). The display panel on the S9 is the same as that of the S8 and measured 5.8-inches diagonally. This panel is a Super AMOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio that is currently only used by Samsung smartphones. The display has a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels and offers a PPI density figure of 570. The Samsung Galaxy S9 also happens to be IP68 certified water and dust resistant.
The OnePlus 5T was announced late last year as a mid-life successor to the OnePlus 5. The handset gets a 6-inch Optic AMOLED display that measures 6.01-inches across. The taller display also makes the OnePlus 5T the first OnePlus smartphone to feature an 18:9 aspect ratio display. With a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels, the OnePlus 5T delivers a PPI density figure of 401. Like the Galaxy S9, the OnePlus 5T gets an aluminium frame and has toughened glass at the front for scratch resistance. The rear panel, however, is made of aluminium. Unlike the Galaxy S9, the OnePlus 5T does not feature any form of IP certification for water and dust resistance.
The iPhone 7 is the oldest handset in this comparison having been replaced by the newer iPhone 8 late last year. The slightly old flagship device from Apple is similar in looks to the iPhone 6 and the newer iPhone 8. The handset features an aluminium body and toughened glass at the front. The display on the iPhone 7 measures 4.7-inches across and has a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels in the 16:9 aspect ratio. This endows the phone with a PPI density score of 326 – the lowest in this comparison. The iPhone 7 is also IP67 water and dust resistant.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 5T vs iPhone 7: Hardware, Software
The Samsung Galaxy S9 being the newest Android flagship in town also features the newest hardware of all the handsets in this comparison. The phone will be offered in two SoC options depending on where you buy the handset from. While the US and Chinese market will receive the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 version, units sold in India and other countries would come powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 Octa core chip. The phone will come with 4GB of RAM and three storage capacity options – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. For graphics, the Exynos version will use the Mali-G72 MP18 GPU while the Qualcomm versions will get to use the Adreno 630 GPU. The Galaxy S9 will run Android 8 Oreo at launch.
The OnePlus 5T being a handset from 2017 gets the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC- until now the fastest, most powerful chipset available for Android smartphones. The OnePlus 5T is offered in two versions – a 64GB version with 6GB of RAM and a 128GB version with 8GB of RAM. The One Plus 5T ran Android Nougat at launch and is scheduled to be updated to Android 8 Oreo in the near future.
The iPhone 7 uses Apple’s slightly older A10 Fusion SoC that houses a quad-core processor clocked at 2.34 GHz. The handset also gets a PowerVR Series7XT Plus GPU for graphics. At launch, the iPhone 7 was offered in 32/128/256 GB versions. All these versions came with 2 GB of RAM. As far as software is concerned, the iPhone 7 ran iOS 10 at launch and is upgradable to iOS 11.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 5T vs iPhone 7: Camera and imaging
The Samsung Galaxy S9 features an upgraded camera over the S8. The new rear camera features a 12-megapixel sensor with dual aperture capability. In the low light mode, the phone switches to the wider f/1.5 aperture while in the normal mode, the camera has a much narrower f/2.4 aperture. The primary camera also supports phase detection autofocus, OIS and LED flash. As for video recording, the S9 now supports 4K video recording at 60fps and slow-motion recording at 960 fps using the primary camera. The front camera happens to be an 8-megapixel sensor with a f/1.7 lens.
The OnePlus 5T gets a dual camera setup at the rear that consists of a 16-megapixel, f/1.7 aperture camera and a 20-megapixel, f/1.7 camera. Both the cameras support phase detection autofocus and dual LED flash. The rear camera supports 4K video recording at 30fps at its highest setting. At the front, the OnePlus 5T gets a 16-megapixel f/2.0 shooter with support for EIS. This camera can record full HD videos at 30fps. The primary camera on the OnePlus does not have OIS.
As for the iPhone 7, this handset gets a 12-megapixel, f/1.8 camera with support for phase detection autofocus, OIS and quad LED dual-tone flash. The iPhone 7 can record 4K videos at 30fps. At the front, there is a 7-megapixel camera for selfies and video calls. The front camera can also be used to record full HD videos at 30fps.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs OnePlus 5T vs iPhone 7: Price in India
While Samsung is yet to announce the official price of the Galaxy S9 in India, we do know that it is not going to be affordable by any stretch of the imagination. In the U.S., the price of the Galaxy S9 starts at $719.99 (roughly Rs. 46,600). The Indian price, however, would be a lot higher.
The OnePlus 5T is sold in two versions in India for the following prices.
- OnePlus 5T: 6GB, 64GB: Rs. 32,999
- OnePlus 5T: 8GB, 128GB: Rs.37,999
The prices for the iPhone 7 are as follows:
- iPhone 7, 32GB: Rs. 42,999
- iPhone 7, 128GB: Rs. 55,999
In case you are looking to buy a new high-end Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S9 might be a wise choice. In case you are really short on budget, you can settle for the OnePlus 5T which is a brilliant device for the price. The iPhone 7 while a decent handset has started to look a tad outdated in this company and is best avoided in favour of its newer models.