Every time a hot new phone comes on the scene, the instant reaction is to compare it to one of the biggest names — the leading Galaxy S device from Samsung of the year. This year it's the OnePlus 2 drawing the attention of phone enthusiasts, and the Galaxy S6 is the current big name in Android phones.
Looking at the two phones together, you can't draw many parallels in terms of design. The OnePlus 2's 5.5-inch screen makes it larger in each dimension than the 5.1-inch Galaxy S6, and has a curved back with sharper corners than the Samsung offering. They both have metal frames, which is a plus for everyone, though the OnePlus 2's is far more angular while the Galaxy S6 is rounded on the sides. You will see familiar lines on the edges for antennas on both.
You can't find many similarities in the design here, and each has its own identity.
The OnePlus 2 offers StyleSwap covers giving a variety of textures and colors to choose from, and none of them really match up closely to the solid glass pane on the back of the Galaxy S6. Perhaps the closest in feel is the Kevlar back, which is rather slick and smooth — all of the backs are curved, though, which hides the overall thickness of the OnePlus 2 and also makes it a bit more comfortable in the hand.
Speakers are in the same spot and are basically the same size (don't let the OnePlus 2 fool you, it just has a single speaker on the bottom). Of course the OnePlus 2 has a USB-C port to the Galaxy S6's MicroUSB, but considering how much older the GS6 is you can't fault it much for that. On the bottom bezel the OnePlus 2 adds a fingerprint scanner, which Samsung has made a big deal out of having on the GS6. The OnePlus 2's doesn't physically click like Samsung's, but does work as a touch home button regardless — and most importantly, it seems to recognize and unlock your phone extremely quickly, at least on par with the Galaxy S6 in our time with it.
Switching quickly to the specs, both phones offer lots to be happy with. OnePlus takes the cake with a 3300 mAh battery over the GS6's 2550 mAh, as well as 4GB of RAM over the Galaxy S6's 3GB. But the Galaxy S6 has a higher resolution screen at QHD, and in our anecdotal test the screen got brighter in daylight with its sunlight mode engaged, though it isn't as physically large as the OnePlus 2's. The GS6 does have a few line items that you don't find on the OnePlus 2 — notably wireless charging, quick charging, NFC and the option to buy a 128GB storage model.
In terms of software you're getting Android 5.1 on both, though OnePlus' OxygenOS is far cleaner and close to Google's vision of the operating system. Of course there are customizations — just like on the Galaxy S6 — but visually things are a lot closer to a Nexus or a Motorola device, and it's refreshing to see if you're put off by Samsung's design sensibilities.
A big question when comparing to the Galaxy S6 is the camera, and OnePlus is talking a big game this year. On the hardware front it definitely checks all of the boxes, with a 13MP sensor backed up by OIS and even laser autofocus (which the GS6 lacks) — but the camera app currently available in OxygenOS just isn't quite up to par with Samsung's new fast and smooth camera app. We'll need more time to determine how the actual pictures stack up, but in a quick side-by-side shot, things are looking promising for the OnePlus 2.
Though there aren't many things shared between the two phones, that doesn't mean the comparison isn't an interesting one. A lot of nit-picking about specific features and specs go out the door when you start to look at prices, where the OnePlus 2 comes in at $389 (just wait for your invite) and the Galaxy S6 will set you back north of $650 unlocked. Dollar-for-dollar the OnePlus 2 seems to offer a better value, but of course money isn't the only factor when buying a phone and the Galaxy S6 checks more boxes overall.