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

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

Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20+

The Galaxy S20 includes a ton of exciting upgrades, including a sublime 120Hz AMOLED display that sets new standards for the industry. The phone is packing the latest internal hardware, upgraded cameras, 5G connectivity, and a large 4,000mAh battery. Combine all of that with the extras — wireless charging and IP68 water resistance — and the S20 is the flagship to beat.

Samsung Galaxy S20

All the latest tech

Stunning 120Hz AMOLED display
Snapdragon 865 chipset
Enticing camera upgrades
Larger battery
Sub-6 5G connectivity
No headphone jack

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus continues to lead the way in terms of value. The 7T is a fantastic phone in 2020, and the 90Hz AMOLED display is silky smooth in day-to-day use. OxygenOS delivers the best Android interface out there, and the optimizations make the phone a delight to use. Add in 30W fast charging and top-notch hardware, and you'll understand why the OnePlus 7T is one of the best phones in the market.

OnePlus 7T

Fast and fluid

90Hz AMOLED display
30W fast charging
Snapdragon 855+ chipset
Android 10 with clean software
Stereo sound
No wireless charging
No water resistance

OnePlus is the company to beat in the value segment, and over the last three years, it's showed that it can hold its own with the likes of Samsung when it comes to the internal specs. Sure, its devices may not have the best cameras, but OnePlus' combination of robust hardware and clean software is hard to beat. With the Galaxy S20, Samsung is offering its most ambitious flagship in several years, with the phone offering a host of exciting new features. Here's how the 7T holds up next to the S20.

The Galaxy S20 is the best compact phone you can buy right now

With a height of 151.7mm and an overall weight of 163g, the Galaxy S20 is a fantastic "compact" phone in 2020. Phones have gotten increasingly larger over the last three years, and the introduction of QHD+ panels and 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates has also made devices that much more power-intensive. Then there's also the fact that this year's flagships have 5G connectivity, adding more strain on a battery.

The Galaxy S20 is a fantastic compact phone, and you still get a 120Hz AMOLED display and a large 4,000mAh battery.

For what it's worth, Samsung has managed to strike the ideal balance with the S20. The phone is small enough that it's still usable one-handed, but you still get a 6.2-inch display and a large 4,000mAh battery. We'll have to wait and see how that battery holds up with the 120Hz display and 5G, but the phone has a solid foundation.

The OnePlus 7T has a larger 6.55-inch display, but it's also 9.2mm taller. The display itself is one of the phone's strong points, with OnePlus offering a gorgeous Fluid AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate. The software has also been optimized to take full advantage of the refresh rate, and it's an absolute joy to use the 7T in everyday tasks.

On the subject of high refresh rates, Samsung is finally staking its claim in this segment by rolling out a 120Hz display on the S20. The Dynamic AMOLED screen on the S20 is sublime, and you have to use it to see just how fluid it is in day-to-day tasks. Samsung missed the 90Hz boat last year, but it more than made up for it with this 120Hz panel.

OnePlus 7T

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

The Snapdragon 855+ chipset on the 7T is one of the fastest in the market, but the Galaxy S20's Snapdragon 865 offers a smidgen more performance. Of course, you won't notice it in most day-to-day use cases, as the 7T is about as fast and fluid as the S20. However, a year or so down the line, the beefier hardware on the S20 could end up ensuring things don't slow down.

The OnePlus 7T has excellent specs, but you just get more with the S20: the SD865 chipset, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, IP68 rating, and wireless charging.

You get 12GB of RAM as standard on the S20, 4GB more than the 7T. The module itself is faster, with the phone one of the first to feature the latest LPDDR5 memory. We'll have to wait and see if LPDDR5 makes any tangible difference in day-to-day usage, but for now, Samsung gets to tout the feature as a point of differentiation for the S20. Both phones come with UFS 3.0 storage modules as standard, but there's no microSD slot on the 7T. You can add an SD card up to 1TB on the S20 if you're so inclined.

The S20 also has extras that you care about. There are IP68 dust and water resistance and 15W wireless charging. One of the reasons OnePlus is able to sell the 7T for $600 is by omitting features like wireless charging, and if you care enough about it the S20 is the obvious pick. In terms of wired charging, OnePlus has a marginal edge thanks to its 30W Warp Charge standard. The S20, meanwhile, has 25W fast charging over USB PD 3.0.

Samsung was the first to introduce a Wi-Fi 6 modem on its phones last year, and the S20 continues that trend. Wi-Fi 6 is one of those features that you don't really need to care about right now, but if you're looking to future-proof your investment, it is a point to consider. Wi-Fi 6 routers are becoming more mainstream, so if you are interested in picking up a new router, know that the S20 will be able to take full advantage of the low latency and high bandwidth on offer (provided if you have a decent enough internet connection).

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CategorySamsung Galaxy S20OnePlus 7T
Operating systemAndroid 10One UI 2.0Android 10OxygenOS 10
Display6.2-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED3200x1440 (20:9)HDR10+Gorilla Glass 66.55-inch 90Hz Fluid AMOLED2400x1080 (20:9)HDR10+Gorilla Glass 6
ChipsetSnapdragon 8651 x 2.84GHz A773 x 2.42GHz A774 x 1.80GHz A55Adreno 6507nmSnapdragon 855+1 x 2.96GHz Kryo 4853 x 2.42GHz Kryo 4854 x 1.80GHz Kryo 485Adreno 6407nm
Storage128GB/512GB UFS3.0128GB/256GB UFS 3.0
MicroSD slotYes (Up to 1TB)
Rear camera 112MP f/1.81.8um, OIS8K at 24fps48MP, f/1.6OIS, EIS4K at 60fps
Rear camera 264MP, f/2.00.8um, OIS, telephoto3x optical zoom, 30x hybrid12MP, f/2.2OIS, 2x zoom
Rear camera 312MP, f/2.21.4um, wide-angle16MP, f/2.2Wide-angle lens117-degree field-of-view
Front camera 110MP, f/2.24K video, autofocus16MP, f/2.0Sony IMX471
Connectivity5G Sub-6Wi-Fi 6 4x4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0NFC, AptX HD, A-GPSWi-Fi ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0AptX HD, NFC, A-GPS
AudioUSB-CStereo speakersUSB-CStereo speakers
ChargingUSB-C PD 3.025W fast charging15W wireless chargingUSB-C 3.130W fast charging
Water resistanceIP68
SecurityIn-display fingerprint sensor (ultrasonic)In-display fingerprint sensor (optical)
ColorsCloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cosmic Gray, Cosmic BlackGlacier Blue, Frost Silver
Dimensions151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm163g160.9 x 74.4 x 8.1mm190g

The Galaxy S20 has better cameras, but the 7T has cleaner software

Samsung has rolled out modest camera upgrades over the last two years, but that isn't the case this year. With the S20 series, the manufacturer is offering upgraded cameras that take better photos in just about every light condition. You also get much more versatility, with the S20 featuring a 64MP zoom lens that can do 3x optical and 30x hybrid zoom. That's a big deal — particularly in a phone of its size — and combined with the 12MP wide-angle lens, the S20 is a great all-around shooter.

With 3x optical zoom and 8K video recording, Samsung is clearly the lead on the camera front.

What's also interesting is that Samsung is offering 8K video recording with the Galaxy S20. The feature combined with stabilized video makes the S20 the go-to choice for those looking to shoot video with an Android phone. The 7T has decent cameras in its own right, but it just isn't on the same level as Samsung.

Where the 7T wins out is software. OxygenOS is my favorite Android interface, and like a fine wine, it continues to get better with time. The constant updates combined with meaningful feature additions make OxygenOS a fantastic skin, and if clean software is a priority for you, the 7T is the default option.

Need a great camera and wireless charging? Get the Galaxy S20

Galaxy S20 Cloud Blue Back

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

The Galaxy S20 has all the extras that you're looking for in a phone, and features like water resistance and wireless charging make a huge difference. Ultimately, it comes down to the cameras. The Galaxy S20 is in a totally different league here, and that allows Samsung to pull into the overall lead.

All the new features combined with the upgraded cameras make the Galaxy S20 a much more enticing option.

The OnePlus 7T is one of the best phones you can buy today. There's no denying that — what OnePlus managed to achieve on the software front is incredible. But the phone is missing a few features, and the cameras aren't quite on the same level as what you get on the Galaxy S20.

If you intend to take a lot of photos and shoot video, the Galaxy S20 is the obvious choice. Yes, it's $500 more than the 7T, but it also has enough features to justify that price. There really isn't a bad choice here; if you want all the latest features and a fantastic camera, get the Galaxy S20. If you want to save some cash but still want great hardware and clean software, the OnePlus 7T is the device for you.

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.