OnePlus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: We Have a Titan Killer On Our Hands

Sharing experience of using OnePlus 6 while the Galaxy S9 Plus was away for repair work. Take a look to know how it turned out.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus

I recently broke my Galaxy S9 Plus’ screen so during the time it took for the screen to get repaired, I used the Oneplus 6 as my daily driver for two weeks. Did it make me regret my decision of buying a 70K flagship? Or Was I happy switching back to my S9 Plus? Let me share my experience of using these two phones before I give you a conclusive answer.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Design, Display

First things first, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is probably the most beautiful and premium feeling smartphone available on the market right now. You’re bound to fall in love with how good this device feels in your hand, and that feeling grows 100x once you turn on that display. I won’t go into the specs too much, but the S9 Plus’s screen is so good, I prefer streaming anything, and everything on it, rather than my 50-inch LED TV. The Oneplus 6 is no match for the S9 Plus’s design, but then it also costs half the money; and for its price point, I’d have to admit the OnePlus 6’s design is not bad at all. It feels premium enough in hand and that AMOLED display panel is no slouch when it comes to matching the S9 Plus concerning colour reproduction and vibrancy, despite having a lower FHD+ resolution compared to the Galaxy’s QHD+ resolution.

It’s not as alluring as the dual curved display of the S9 but is still good enough for all your media consumption needs. One thing that the Oneplus 6 falls behind is its loudspeaker performance. The single, bottom-firing speaker on the OP6 is nowhere close to the sounds that you can get from the Galaxy’s dual stereo speaker setup, and that’s one thing that adds significant value to content consumption on the S9 Plus. The OP6 is also lacking an official IP rating for water and dust resistance, but that doesn’t matter in most day-to-day situations, and costing nearly half the price of the S9 plus, this is one area where we can cut the OP6 some slack.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Hardware, Performance

If the phrase ‘evenly matched’ had a textbook definition, the OnePlus 6’s and GS9+’s hardware specifications would probably be the example for it. The OP6 I was using had 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, and it was running on the SD845. The S9+ in India comes with the Exynos 9810 chipset, and also features 6GB of RAM. While my time with the S9+, I was thoroughly impressed with its performance. It handles day-to-day tasks flawlessly and the RAM management on this thing is awesome! There were a lot of complaints about Samsung phones being laggy or stuttering but the S9 plus quashes all these thoughts and in style.

I always thought I was using the best Android phone available right now..and then, I used the OP6. I can’t put into words how fast this phone is. You have to use it yourself to believe it. Anything and everything opens in a jiffy on the OP6, and the phone hardly breaks a sweat even if you have a million apps open in the background. Not saying that the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus isn’t a fast performer, but if you compare these phones side by side, the OP6 will always be a nanosecond quicker whether you’re opening apps, launching games or just switching between apps.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Software

Both these phones are running on Android Oreo out-of-the-box, but that’s where the similarities end. While the OnePlus 6 is running on OxygenOS, which is hardly differentiable from the stock Android experience, the S9 Plus is running on the latest iteration of Samsung’s custom skin – Samsung Experience 9.0. With Samsung’s implementation, you get loads of customisation options like themes, wallpapers, icon packs etc., whereas in OxygenOS, you do get some minor aesthetic tweaks but it makes up for that with a host of functional customisations.

My favourite part of using the OP6 was the new gesture control system. Instead of using the Android navigation bar, OP6 supports iPhone X-like gestures like swiping up from the bottom centre of the screen to go to the home screen, swiping up from either side of the bottom to go back and swiping up and holding from the bottom centre to open recent apps. It felt awkward at first, but within the next few days, it had become second nature to me. And now coming back to the navigation bar on the S9 plus, kind of feels counter-intuitive and even primitive. The Samsung Experience UI does have its perks though. I love the Always On Display, Edge screen panels and how easy it is to multitask on the S9 Plus. Samsung has added a lot of minor yet helpful touches here and there. I find Samsung’s adaptation of Android much more useful than stock Android or even OxygenOS, and I hope they introduce gesture support soon enough.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Camera, Imaging

I won’t bore you with the specs here and get straight to the point. During the two weeks that I was using the OP6, I also happened to be travelling across Europe with my brother, who was an iPhone 7 and even a DSLR, for photography purposes. While I’m no camera expert, I’ll tell you this – the Oneplus 6’s camera is impressive. The OP6 camera was so good, we hardly used the DSLR and the iPhone 7, well let’s say it doesn’t even come close to the results that the OP6 delivered. It does exceptionally well in daylight photos, and the low-light photos are not bad by any means either. There’s a crazy amount of details in the pictures, and the dynamic range that it manages to capture is just mind-blowing.

Samsung’s camera is by no means inferior to the OnePlus 6, in fact, if matched shot by shot, it’ll probably win, but only by a tiny whisker. And this is when Samsung’s whole marketing game around the S9 Plus has been revolving around its cameras, just the fact that the OP6, which costs around 30K less, still manages to give the S9 Plus a run for its money, speaks volumes about how good the camera performance is. The S9 Plus has loads of features and modes in its camera and does well with the Live focus mode and Super Slo-mo mode. The same story repeats when it comes to selfie cameras, and the OP6 is more or less tied neck-to-neck with the S9 plus here too.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Battery

Battery life is probably the most important factor for me while buying a phone. While the S9 Plus comes with a 3500mAh battery, the OP6 comes with a smaller 3300mAh battery. During the last two weeks that I was travelling with the OP6, the phone did exceptionally well when it came to the battery life. The S9 Plus’ battery life isn’t bad per-say, and I easily get around 5 hours of Screen On Time SoT. But I feel that its display sure takes its toll on the phone as long spells of navigation using Google Maps or media consumption on the S9 tend to drain its battery fast, and this is one rare area where the S9 Plus leaves me wanting for more.

OnePlus 6 Marvels Avengers Edition

The OnePlus 6 benefits from having a lower-res display and maybe the super-efficient SD845 also comes into play, as despite having a smaller sized battery, the phone was easily giving me around 6 hours of SoT. And that’s not even the best part. The best part about my entire experience with the OP6 has to be Dash Charging. I had seen all the adverts surrounding it, but this was my first time of actually using a OnePlus device, and to say that I was impressed is probably an understatement. The phone charges crazy fast, with just 25-30 minutes of charging enough to pump the battery up from 15% to a solid 60-70%. The Galaxy S9 Plus comes with Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging too, but it’s just no match for how quickly the OP6 refuels. That adds to your satisfaction with the battery life because even during extended travels, all you need is a 15-minute break near a power outlet and your phone is ready to take on the world again.

OnePlus 6 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Verdict

Now is the time to reveal the winner of the comparison. The time we have all been waiting to answer the question – Is Oneplus 6 truly the “Flagship Killer” as touted? It’s been almost a week since I started using my Galaxy S9 plus again, and I’d be honest, a significant part of my satisfactory experience with the S9 plus is based on the awareness that I own expensive flagship phone. I love the feel of the Infinity display, and I really missed those stereo speakers, but if I take these things out, the OnePlus 6 was indeed a perfect Android phone. I had already realised how fast it was, and I realise it a bit more, now that I’m using the S9 Plus again. The OnePlus 6 just flew through everything, and those gesture controls were the most intuitive way of using any phone that I’ve tried. It did well in the camera department too, and the images were as good as they get from a smartphone camera. The battery life was great, and Dash charging left me awestruck every time. So yeah, As much as it hurts to accept it, I do think the S9 plus is way overpriced for the things that it offers, and if given a chance, I will buy the OnePlus 6 and use the extra money to go for a week-long vacation to Kasol.

OnePlus 6: What Worked For In Favour

  • Blazing Fast Performance
  • Battery lasts longer than the S9 Plus
  • Battery Recharging time is insanely fast
  • Excellent Camera Performance

OnePlus 6: What Made Me Miss My Galaxy S9 Plus

  • That Gorgeous curved Infinity Display
  • Stereo Speakers
  • The satisfaction of owning an expensive flagship device

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Having finished his Engineering, MBA and mid-life crisis, Rushil realized he’s really good at doling out information about smartphones and consumer technology without anyone asking. So now, he does that for a living. You can find him mostly on the Mysmartprice Youtube channel in his never-ending search for the perfect smartphone