Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. OnePlus 7T Pro: Which should you buy?

Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy S20 Ultra (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S20 in Cloud Pink

The Galaxy S20 Ultra takes things to a whole new level. The massive 6.9-inch 120Hz AMOLED display is an absolute delight to use, you're getting the latest internal hardware available, there's 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and a 108MP camera with a zoom lens that offers 10x optical and 100x hybrid zoom. There's nothing normal about this phone, and if you want to be on the bleeding edge of what's possible, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the phone for you.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Level up

Reasons to buy

Sublime 120Hz display
Meaningful camera upgrades
10x optical/100x hybrid zoom
45W fast charging
IP68 rating

Reasons to avoid

Wildly expensive
No 3.5mm jack
Big and unwieldy

OnePlus 7T Pro

OnePlus 7T Pro

The OnePlus 7T Pro may not have the best camera or differentiating features like wireless charging, but when it comes to everyday performance there isn't a phone today that comes close. That's down to the silky-smooth 90Hz display combined with the Snapdragon 855+ chipset, UFS 3.0 storage, 8GB of RAM, and optimized software in the form of OxygenOS. The software is what gives it that extra edge, and you're getting excellent value here.

OnePlus 7T Pro

Fast and furious

Reasons to buy

Outstanding 90Hz display
Clean software with fast updates
Snapdragon 855+ chipset
30W fast charging
Stellar value

Reasons to avoid

No wireless charging
No IP rating
No 3.5mm jack
Average battery life

OnePlus has set itself up as the go-to company for affordable flagships. The 7T Pro delivers incredible hardware and a smooth 90Hz display for several hundred dollars less than the competition. The phone is all about maximizing value, and it serves as a nice contrast to Samsung's latest flagship. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is a beast of a phone, offering the absolute best that money can buy today. Let's see what it brings to the table and whether it's worthy of the $1,400 asking price.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra redefines what it means to be a flagship

With the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung is taking things to a whole new level. Everything about the phone is supersized: you get a massive 6.9-inch QHD+ AMOLED display, a huge 5000mAh battery with 45W fast charging, the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset with 5G connectivity, and 16GB of RAM along with 512GB of storage.

With a 120Hz display and 108MP camera with 100x zoom, the Galaxy S20 Ultra takes flagships to a whole new level.

Honestly, it makes the OnePlus 7T Pro look tame by comparison, and that's something I never thought I would say. Samsung is making a bold statement here — the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the biggest and most feature-packed phone you'll find in 2020.

The list of features goes on and on. The AMOLED display has a 120Hz refresh rate, making everyday interactions silky smooth. Samsung has been making the best displays in the industry for several years now, and the addition of a high refresh rate panel gives the S20 Ultra an added advantage. The 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ make the S20 Ultra the ideal device to stream movies and play games. It's safe to say that this is the phone to beat when it comes to the display side of things.

OnePlus 7T Pro

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

The OnePlus 7T Pro also has a gorgeous display with a 90Hz refresh rate, and the bezel-less design makes it just as enticing to play games on. The resolution is QHD+ here as well, and the 7T Pro is using a Samsung-made AMOLED display. That said, it isn't quite on the same level as the S20 Ultra, and it's just missing that extra level of vibrancy that Samsung somehow manages to eke out of its flagships.

The S20 Ultra also takes a healthy lead when it comes to internal hardware. It's rocking Qualcomm's latest 7nm Snapdragon 865 chipset, and you get 5G connectivity. There's also 12GB of RAM as standard, and the 512GB edition has an insane 16GB of RAM. What's more interesting is that this is the first time Samsung is using LPDDR5 RAM on its phones.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra costs a hefty premium, but it also has all the extra features you're looking for.

That's the same amount of RAM as I have in my gaming machine, and I don't see how you'll ever need that much RAM on your phone. Android in its current state doesn't use more than 8GB of RAM, so putting 16GB is overkill. Samsung is positioning DeX as a full-fledged desktop service, but in real-world usage, it still feels too limited.

Then there's the battery: the S20 Ultra has a massive 5000mAh battery with 45W fast charging, and the 7T Pro features a more modest 4000mAh unit with 30W fast charging. The 7T Pro is also limited to 4G, so if you're looking to try out 5G connectivity, you're out of luck.

Samsung is offering serious camera upgrades with the S20 Ultra, with the primary 108MP sensor joined by a 48MP zoom lens that delivers 10x optical and 100x hybrid zoom. There's also a 12MP wide-angle lens, and you get a 40MP camera at the front for selfies. The 7T Pro offers decent optics, but it is thoroughly outclassed here.

Both phones have metal-and-glass designs, and they're rocking screens that curve on either side. The S20 Ultra's defining design trait at the front is the cutout for the front camera, and you get a seamless finish on the 7T Pro thanks to the retractable camera module.

You're not going to find a 3.5mm jack on either phone, but the S20 Ultra has IP68 water resistance and wireless charging. The 7T Pro has neither, and that's one of the ways OnePlus can sell the device for under $700.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy S20 UltraOnePlus 7T Pro
Operating systemAndroid 10One UI 2.0Android 10OxygenOS 10.3
Display6.9-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED3200x1440 (20:9), HDR10+Gorilla Glass 66.67-inch 90Hz Fluid AMOLED3120x1440 (19.5:9), HDR10+Gorilla Glass 6
ChipsetSnapdragon 8651 x 2.84GHz A773 x 2.42GHz A774 x 1.80GHz A557nmSnapdragon 855+1 x 2.96GHz Kryo 4853 x 2.42GHz Kryo 4854 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485Adreno 6407nm
Storage128GB/512GB UFS3.0128GB/256GB UFS3.0
MicroSD slotYesNo
Rear camera 1108MP, f/1.80.8um, OISDual Pixel PDAF48MP, f/1.60.8um, OISDual Pixel PDAF
Rear camera 248MP, f/3.5OIS, telephoto10x optical/100x hybrid zoom8MP, f/2.4OIS, telephoto2x optical zoom
Rear camera 312MP, f/2.21.4um, wide-angle16MP, f/2.0wide-angle, 117° FoV
Rear camera 4ToF sensorNo
Front camera40MP, f/2.2Autofocus, 4K video16MP, f/2.01080p video
Connectivity5G NSA, Sub-6/mmWaveWi-Fi ax 4x4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0AptX HD, LDAC, NFC, A-GPSWi-Fi ax 2x2 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LEAptX HD, LDAC, NFC, GPS
AudioUSB-CStereo speakersUSB-CStereo speakers
ChargingUSB-C PD45W15W wireless chargingUSB-C 3.130W
Water resistanceIP68No
SecurityIn-display fingerprint (ultrasonic)In-display fingerprint (optical)
Dimensions167 x 76 x 8.8mm220g162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm206g
ColorsCloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cosmic Gray, Cosmic BlackMirror Gray, Nebula Blue, Almond

The one area where the 7T Pro dominates is the software. OxygenOS continues to be the best third-party skin, and OnePlus has done a fantastic job optimizing the animations for the 90Hz display. The result is that in day-to-day use, the 7T Pro absolutely flies.

OnePlus has also done a remarkable job with updates, consistently delivering new features and security updates as they become available. Samsung made a lot of gains in this area — particularly with One UI 2.0 — but there are still vestiges of legacy elements around, and it's just not as clean and bloat-free as OxygenOS.

It all comes down to how much you're willing to spend for that camera

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Bader

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

At the end of the day, choosing between the S20 Ultra and the 7T Pro comes down to what you want from a phone. If you want to be the first to try out 5G connectivity and need the absolute latest hardware, then the S20 Ultra is the phone for you. In addition to the latest hardware, you're getting a stunning 120Hz AMOLED display, a camera that could be one of the best we'll see this year, and 100x hybrid zoom.

You can buy two OnePlus 7T Pros for the price of an S20 Ultra, but the camera is the deciding factor here.

But know this: you can get two 7T Pros for what you'll end up paying for the S20 Ultra. The $1,400 retail price is utterly ridiculous, but the S20 Ultra is a ridiculous phone. The sheer hardware on offer here is incredulous, and if you're looking for the best flagship around and money is not an object, then the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the obvious choice.

But if you're looking to save some cash, the 7T Pro is a great alternative. The 90Hz display is just as fluid, the Snapdragon 855+ chipset is just as fast at everyday tasks, and OxygenOS is the third-party skin to beat on Android. If you're okay with missing out on 5G for another generation, there's plenty to love on the 7T Pro.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.