OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Galaxy S10+: Which should you buy?

OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+
OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+ (Image credit: Android Central)

OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus has done it again with the 7 Pro, offering an exceptional phone for a surprisingly low price. This time around we get much-improved hardware, an excellent 90Hz display and little bonuses like great haptics. The specs are incredible, as is the performance. But the new triple camera unfortunately comes up short.

OnePlus 7 Pro

Amazing value

Brilliant 90Hz display
Fantastic performance
Simple and intuitive software
The best possible spec sheet
Cameras are a step down
No water resistance rating
No wireless charging
No headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung's phones remain the standard by which all others are measured for a reason. The Galaxy S10+ does it all, with every hardware and software feature you could want. It has a brilliant display, its triple-camera combo bests OnePlus, and all of the little hardware additions add to the appeal. You just have to be willing to work with the software to make it your own.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

All-around best

Best display in the industry
Relatively compact and light
Higher quality across all cameras
Headphone jack and SD card slot
Wireless charging
Considerably more expensive
Cumbersome software tougher to learn
Slower (and shorter) software update schedule

What's the difference between the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+?

OnePlus is clearly looking at Samsung when it develops its phones, because the 7 Pro's resemblance to the Galaxy S10+ is uncanny. You're getting a very similar hardware design and build across both phones, with ample curved glass and shiny metal — and both are built extremely well. The 7 Pro has adopted the curved glass panes on front and back that Samsung popularized, as well as the pair of front-facing top and down-firing bottom speakers.

The hardware and design similarities between these phones is uncanny.

The similarities continue inside, where the spec sheets align incredibly closely. You're getting the same Snapdragon 855 processor, and memory and storage options basically line up depending on the model you choose to buy — the Galaxy S10+ simply has more base memory, and optionally higher storage. The displays are almost the same size, same resolution, and covered by the same Gorilla Glass 5.

There are differences to be found in the nuances here, though. The OnePlus 7 Pro's in-display fingerprint sensor is notably better than the Galaxy S10's, which is a boon to daily usability. The GS10+ swings back with IP68 water resistance, as well as a headphone jack, SD card slot and wireless charging — all crowd-pleasing features that widen its appeal and remind you why the OnePlus 7 is less expensive. And though the phones look very similar, it's tough to miss the OnePlus 7 Pro's overall larger size and weight — it's taller, wider and heavier.

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Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus 7 ProSamsung Galaxy S10+
Operating SystemAndroid 10OxygenOSAndroid 10OneUI 2
Display6.67-inch Fluid OLED3120x1440 (19.5:9)Gorilla Glass 56.4-inch AMOLED3040x1440 (19:9)Gorilla Glass 5
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage128/256GB128/256/512GB/1TBmicroSD expansion
Rear Camera 148MP, f/1.61.6 μm pixelsOIS, EIS12MP, f/1.5 or f/2.41.4 μm pixelsOIS, EIS
Rear Camera 28MP, f/2.41.0 μm pixelsOIS, 3X telephoto lens12MP, f/2.41 μm pixelsOIS, 2X telephoto lens
Rear Camera 316MP, f/2.2117-degree lens16MP, f/2.2123-degree lens
Front camera 116MP, f/2.0Fixed focus10MP, f/1.9Auto focus
Front camera 2n/a8MP, f/2.2Auto focus
SecurityOptical in-screen fingerprint sensorUltrasonic in-screen fingerprint sensor
AudioUSB-CStereo speakers3.5mm headphoneStereo speakers
ChargingWarp Charge 30W fast chargingQuick Charge 2.015W USB-C PDFast Charge 2.0 wireless
Water resistanceNoIP68
Dimensions162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm206 g157.6 x 74.1 x 7.4 mm175 g

There's quite a bit of nuance in understanding the differences between these phone's displays, despite looking the same on paper. The Galaxy S10+'s display is simply nicer overall, with marginally better colors, viewing angles and daylight visibility — all little things that add up to make it a pleasure to look at. The OnePlus 7 Pro isn't too far behind, though, and it has the bonus of a 90Hz refresh rate that smooths out any sort of motion on the screen in a wonderful way. I'd still take the Galaxy S10+'s display overall, but we're nearing the point of splitting hairs here.

Samsung has the best-in-class display, and its cameras are a notable step up overall.

While we're talking Galaxy S10+ strengths, let's highlight how its cameras are better than what OnePlus offers. Both phones ostensibly have the same camera setup — standard, wide, telephoto — but the GS10+ is on a higher level of quality and consistency. The main camera consistently takes more eye-catching photos, with much better dynamic range — even though it can sometimes over-smooth details a bit too much. Then you get to the wide-angle, which is considerably better on the Galaxy as the 7 Pro struggles with soft-to-blurry edges. And though the 7 Pro's telephoto has the upper hand with 3X zoom to the GS10+'s 2X, it isn't all that useful considering its small sensor and even weaker dynamic range than the main camera.

The GS10+'s front camera may be embedded in the display cutout rather than on a fancy pop-up mechanism, but the important feature here is that its selfies are better — and with auto focus, you won't take soft close-ups.

OnePlus has the software game locked down, and Samsung has to catch up.

The phones have near-identical batteries at 4000 and 4100mAh, but there are some differences in how that translates to battery life, and how these phones charge back up. The OnePlus 7 Pro wins the battery life game for casual use, as it idles very economically and barely uses any power when it's not in use. But for heavier days, that big 90Hz screen pulls down the power and can have you looking for an outlet a bit sooner than the Galaxy S10+ — it all roughly balances out in the end, but Samsung overall has the upper hand here in being able to survive a battery beating. The 7 Pro charges up faster using its in-box Warp Charge 30W charger, but Samsung also has an upper hand with wireless charging and support for both leading charging standards, Qualcomm Quick Charge and USB-C Power Delivery.

The final, and likely biggest, difference between these two phones is the software — not necessarily in execution, but in philosophy. The OnePlus 7 Pro has simple, unobtrusive, intuitive and easy-to-manage software that anyone can pick up and quickly figure out. It never slows down or bothers you over time, and simply gets out of the way and lets you do the things you want. There are tons of customization options if you want to tweak, but configuration isn't required just to use it. Samsung, on the other hand, overwhelms with so many options, configuration requirements and years of legacy features that get in your way — it can be tamed, but it takes a lot of time and in the end still can't match OnePlus for offering a clean software experience that just fades to the background.

OnePlus has also worked on its software update system to the point where it's consistently getting out updates — both regular security patches and full system upgrades — on a much quicker cadence than Samsung. If that expectation of regular updates is at all important to you, OnePlus is going to be a better choice.

Is the OnePlus 7 Pro or Galaxy S10+ right for me?

OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The most important part of this decision for most people is how much they're willing to spend. If you're on a budget, the OnePlus 7 Pro is immediately the better choice. For $670 to $750, it goes toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S10+ in nearly every respect: hardware, specs, performance and core features are all right there. Even the parts where it misses out, like the display, cameras and battery life, or marginal differences. And the OnePlus 7 Pro has a clear advantage in its software.

When you're on a budget, it's tough to justify buying a Galaxy S10+ when the OnePlus 7 Pro is so great.

The Galaxy S10+ will cost you some $200 more at each spec level, which is tough for many people to swallow when the differences are so small. Samsung gives you more hardware features — namely water resistance, a headphone jack, micro SD expansion, wireless charging — and adds in improved battery life, a better display, and better cameras. But in turn, its software can be tougher to configure and manage.

Depending on how you use your phone and how much value you put on simple software versus features and camera quality, you could easily argue that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a better phone than the Galaxy S10+ no matter the price. And that's going to make many people pick the OnePlus 7 Pro in order to save a couple hundred dollars. But if budget is truly no option, and you want the best of everything down to little individual features and specs, the Galaxy S10+ is going to be the choice to go with — you'll figure out the software over time, and enjoy everything the Galaxy has to offer.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.