OnePlus 7T vs. Galaxy Note 10: Which should you buy?

(Image credit: Android Central)

OnePlus 7T


Despite being $300 cheaper, the OnePlus 7T matches or beats the Note 10 in many areas. Its display, specs, battery life, and performance are all top-tier. It's missing water resistance, and extras like wireless charging and the S Pen, but for this price you may be willing to take the trade-off.

OnePlus 7T

Great value

High-end specs for less
Great battery life
Solid triple camera
Great 90Hz display
Consistently fast software
Weak front-facing camera
Larger and heavier
No water resistance rating

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

The Note 10 undeniably has the upper hand in the number of features, and bests the 7T in cameras and hardware quality. However, it's 50% more expensive, and that's an incredible step up in price considering so much of the experience is shared between the two.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

S Pen power

Incredible display brightness and colors
IP68 water resistance
S Pen stylus
Wireless charging
Slower fingerprint sensor
Software requires customization
Slower software update cadence

What's the difference between the OnePlus 7T and Galaxy Note 10?

It's tough to find two companies with more distinctly different philosophies than OnePlus and Samsung. The OnePlus 7T is all about simplicity and value for money, while the Note 10 is all about giving you the most of everything with less regard for the price.

These phones go toe-to-toe in so many ways, but the Note 10 goes above and beyond.

Specs-wise, both phones have you covered. You get everything you need here, with more than enough performance for today and years down the road. The OnePlus 7T has a slight advantage in battery life thanks to its larger capacity and lightweight software, but the Note 10 isn't far behind — and you get super-fast charging on both, plus wireless charging on the Note 10. When it comes to displays the Note 10 wins in overall brightness, colors and clarity, but the 7T has its own benefits in sheer size and a smooth 90Hz refresh rate.

The 7T's cameras are solid and consistent, but the Note 10 has it beat marginally on all three in the range — as you'd expect from a top-end phone. The quality of all three shooters is just consistently a little better on the Note, though it's closer than the prices would lead you to expect. The Note also has the benefit of a better front-facing camera with auto focus, and the ability to use the S Pen as a remote shutter for interesting shots no matter which camera you use.

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Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus 7TGalaxy Note 10
Operating SystemAndroid 10OxygenOS 10Android 9One UI 1.5
Display6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED2400x1080, 90Hz6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED2280x1080
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855+Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Rear Camera 148MP, 1.6 μm pixelsf/1.6, OIS12MP, 1.4 μm pixelsf/1.5-2.4, OIS
Rear Camera 212MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/2.212MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/2.1, OIS
Rear Camera 316MPf/2.2117° lens16MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/2.2123° lens
Front Camera16MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/2.0, fixed focus10MPf/2.2, auto focus
SecurityOptical in-screen fingerprint sensorUltrasonic in-screen fingerprint sensor
AudioUSB-CStereo speakersUSB-CStereo speakers
Battery3800 mAhWarp Charge 30W3500mAh25W wired charging12W wireless charging
Water ResistancenoIP68
Dimensions160.1 x 74.5 x 8.1 mm151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm
Weight190 g168 g

There are too many similarities when you comparethe specs and features, but one thing that clearly separates these phones is the software experience. OxygenOS on the OnePlus 7T is simple, clean, effective, and incredibly smooth. It has a solid set of features, but nothing that's overwhelming or in your way. There are no extra apps, toggles, or settings that you don't need. This is something that appeals to everyone, whether you're a power user or first-time Android convert — OnePlus software is simply incredible.

Differences in software philosophy is perhaps the biggest thing to consider here.

On the other hand, Samsung has software that needs to be all things to all people. It has several times the number of features, tweaks, and settings — and that can be overwhelming. Whether you're interested in using all of the Note 10's capabilities or not, there are things to configure and tweak. Once you get it set the way you want it, it's great, but it takes a lot of work to get there compared to the OnePlus 7T.

On a related note, the OnePlus 7T is already on Android 10, and OnePlus is much quicker with software updates than Samsung. If that's something that's important, OnePlus is more likely to appeal to you.

So what do you get in the Note 10 for the extra money that's clearly better? A lot of little things that all add up. There's the aforementioned camera differences, but the Note 10 also has extra features like wireless charging, an IP68 water resistance rating, and stereo speakers. It's easily arguable that the Note 10's hardware is nicer as well, though both are built on the same core metal-and-glass sandwich idea. The Note 10 is also notably smaller and lighter, if you feel the 7T might be pushing it for your hands and pockets.

Should you buy a OnePlus 7T or Galaxy Note 10?

OnePlus 7T and Galaxy Note 10

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

How much extra do you want to pay for marginal improvements and the S Pen?

The Note 10 does a lot more than the OnePlus 7T, has some specs that stand out, and has little tweaks and features that are unique. It also has an S Pen stylus that you can't get anywhere else for any price. However, the core experience isn't considerably different from the OnePlus 7T, which is a great phone in its own right and has a few advantages over the Note 10 — this definitely isn't the landslide victory for the Note you'd expect considering the price differences.

The most important part of this comparison, for most people, will be the $350 price delta. If you're not willing to spend over $900 on a phone, the Note 10 is automatically out of the running — and you'll go for a OnePlus 7T for just $600 and be extremely happy with the value it offers. When price isn't a factor (or is less of a deal-breaker), really look at how much you'll want the S Pen and extra features of the Note 10 compared to the simplicity and core capabilities of the OnePlus 7T. That'll help in your final decision.

Andrew Martonik

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