The OnePlus One is still one of the better Android phones on the market, even today – mainly due to its power for the price. (The off-contract 64 GB model is $349.)
So how does it compare to the off-contract $699 Samsung Galaxy S6?
Weight: At 162 grams, the OnePlus One weighs slightly more than the S6 (138g) and the S6 Edge (132g).
Charging: Both the One and the S6 support a form of quick charging. However, the S6 also supports wireless charging.
CPU: This is a mix-up. The S6 features an 8-core CPU clocked at 2.1 GHz, but the One features a 4-core CPU at 2.5 GHz. The speeds will be close to the same.
Processor: Both phones wisely go with Snapdragon chips. The difference between the two is that the S6 gets the latest Snapdragon 810 with an Andreno 500 GPU, while the One gets the previous model chipset: the Snapdragon 801, with the Andreno 330 GPU.
While the difference between 500 and 330 on the GPU is notable, both the HTC One M8 and the LG G3 use the exact same chipset as the One.
RAM: Both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the OnePlus One sit at a comfortable 3 GB of RAM.
Screen: The OnePlus One features the larger screen at 5.5 inches to the Galaxy S6’s 5.1 inches.
However, the S6 features better resolution: 557 ppi on a SuperAMOLED screen with QuadHD. The OnePlus One’s LCD screen’s resolution is 401 ppi at 1080p HD. If you’re desperate for the prettiest screen, then the S6 is the phone – but basically both phones feature pretty HD screens.
Protection-wise, both the One and the S6 use Corning Gorilla Glass. The One uses Gorilla Glass 3 while the S6 uses Gorilla Glass 4.
Camera: Specification-wise, S6 wins this category with a 20MP external camera and a 5MP selfie camera. The One features a 13MP external and 5MP selfie camera. Photo-wise, the One’s camera is mediocre, while initial reviews of the S6’s photos are generally positive.
Battery: A 3100 mAh battery powers the OnePlus One, which gives the One around a day-and-a-half of normal phone use (e.g. 4G data, Wifi, a few calls, and forty-five minutes of HD movies).
The Galaxy S6’s battery is a bit nerve-racking: at 2550/2600 mAh for the S6/S6 Edge, it will be interesting to see initial battery tests.
Operating System: The S6 runs Android 5.0 out of the box with a light version of Samsung’s TouchWiz. Samsung has cut some of the bloat on the S6, which is a welcome change. The S6 OS could be described as easy and reliable.
The One runs a modified version of Android 4.4.4 KitKat called CyanogenMod. Cyanogen on Android 5.0 is reportedly coming sometime before the S6 launches. The One offers a more tech-friendly OS with more customization options. OnePlus developers are also offering an Android 5.0-based OxygenOS, if you’re willing to manually install.
Samsung Galaxy S6, Multiple Colors, 32GB: $699
OnePlus One, 64GB, Black: $349
These are the stand-out specs. There are a lot of features both the S6 and the One share as modern smartphones (e.g. Bluetooth). I tried to cover the main specs and the main differences.
In summary, it’s clear that the OnePlus One is still a powerful phone almost a year after its release. It’s also clear that the S6 features slightly more power, a better camera, a beautiful screen and design, but perhaps less battery life.
Samsung is a large, trusted company, while OnePlus is a recent start-up. You can really sense this nuance develop within the spirit of each phone. But for today, you might be left looking at the almighty price tag. It might be worth it to grab the S6 on a contract deal, but for the price, the OnePlus One is the better deal, at least until the OnePlus 2 is released.