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Forget the Galaxy S20: The $699 OnePlus 8 5G is too good to pass up

Published Apr 14th, 2020 12:10PM EDT
OnePlus 8 Pro
Image: OnePlus

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  • The newly launched OnePlus 8 phones have the same high-end specs as the Galaxy S20, complete with 5G support, but they’re a lot more affordable.
  • The OnePlus 8 starts at $699, which is what the cheapest iPhone 11 model costs and is $300 less expensive than the entry-level Galaxy S20.
  • The OnePlus 8 Pro is also significantly cheaper than the Galaxy S20 Ultra, although the latter does have one huge camera advantage.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

When the Galaxy S20 series launched a couple of months ago, Samsung confirmed the phones would be just as expensive as last-minute leaks had suggested. The Galaxy S20 starts at $999, which is $300 more than the cheapest iPhone 11. More than a month later, Samsung started cutting the price of the handset, and last week it launched a great Galaxy S20 promo. Samsung guarantees it’ll give you 50% of your money back if you trade-in the phone in the coming years. But you still have to pay the full price for the handset.

If you still haven’t purchased the Galaxy S20, you shouldn’t until you’ve checked out the OnePlus 8 series, which launched on Tuesday. The brand new flagship phones have specs that match the Galaxy S20, and prices start at $699 for the cheapest OnePlus 8 phone, which also happens to support 5G.

The OnePlus 8 phones are available from Amazon for the first time in OnePlus’s history, and they support 5G both on T-Mobile’s and Verizon’s networks. Verizon is also a notable new launch partner for the Chinese smartphone maker this year. Here’s the full pricing structure for the new phone models:

  • OnePlus 8 8GB/128GB – $699
  • OnePlus 8 12GB/256GB – $799
  • OnePlus 8 Pro 8GB/128GB – $899
  • OnePlus 8 Pro 12GB/256GB – $999

Here’s a reminder of what Samsung charged for the Galaxy S20, before applying any rebates or discounts:

  • Galaxy S20 12GB/128GB – $999
  • Galaxy S20+ 12GB/128GB – $1,199.99
  • Galaxy S20+ 12GB/512GB – $1,349.99
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra 12GB/128GB – $1,349.99
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra 16GB/512GB – $1,599.99

Both the Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 are powered by the same Snapdragon 865 processor, and both run Android 10 out of the box. That means the $699 OnePlus 8 will be just as fast as the $1,599 Galaxy S20 Ultra when it comes to processor speed. OnePlus software optimization might tilt the balance in favor of the OnePlus 8, but the Galaxy S20 has a massive RAM advantage over the OnePlus 8. The S20 comes with faster LPDDR5 RAM and goes up to 16GB. Both the OnePlus 8 and Galaxy S20 start at 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The Snapdragon 865 chip also gives both phones support for 5G, including Verizon’s speedier version of 5G technology.

When it comes to camera performance, OnePlus 8 phones ship with three or four lenses on the back, and the same goes for Galaxy S20 series. The number of sensors and megapixels count will not tell the full story, though, and camera reviews won’t be entirely objective. The Galaxy S20 Ultra does have one massive advantage over the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is the periscope camera that is capable of a ridiculous 100x zoom.

One other thing to compare is the display. All Galaxy S20 phones come with 120Hz screens, but 120Hz is limited to Full HD resolution. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 2K 120Hz screen, and as many as 280 software optimizations meant to improve the battery consumption. The OnePlus 8 has a 90Hz display.

Overall, the OnePlus 8 series offers tremendous value. A 5G phone for $699 that’s as fast as all other 2020 flagships is an incredible offer, especially this year. The novel coronavirus pandemic will hurt the global economy, and some people might have to postpone their phone upgrades or reconsider their purchases. That’s where, again, the cheap OnePlus 8 makes more sense than the Galaxy S20.

What’s more, the OnePlus 8 Pro fixes some of the shortcomings of its predecessor. The new handset is the first OnePlus device to support wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, with speeds up to 30W. And the cheapest OnePlus 8 Pro is $100 less expensive than the cheapest Galaxy S20.

The OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 will start shipping on April 29th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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