OP7 Pro OnePlus Vs Samsung : Revisiting my LAB review.


What would you go for your next device?

  1. OnePlus

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  2. Samsung/Other

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  1. yashonagori
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Apr 5, 2020

    yashonagori , Apr 5, 2020 :

    Switching from the OnePlus to the Samsung: Revisiting my lab review.

    Hey everyone! Hope you guys are doing well. For those of you do not know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Yashovardhan Nagori, a 19-year-old student and content creator from Mumbai, India. I was also lucky enough to be chosen as a lab reviewer for the OnePlus 7 Pro back in mid-2019. I would suggest you first read my lab review and then come back to this one! Unfortunately, my phone got pickpocketed 6 months later, and I was forced to switch over to a new device.

    Since I had been using an OnePlus device for over 3 years at the point, the tech enthusiast inside me wanted to experiment and try a new device for a change of pace. Since I had never used a Samsung device before, and I also happen to be an artist, the S pen caught my attention quickly and I decided to go for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, as it perfectly fit my budget.

    I’m not going to dive deep into the specs and focus more on my practical experience, so I’ll just list down the important ones for those who are interested:

    · CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (Although, I have the Exynos version)

    · Memory: 6GB

    · Storage: 128GB

    · MicroSD storage: Up to 512GB

    · Screen size: 6.4 inches

    · Resolution: 2960 x 1440

    · Connectivity: Bluetooth 5, NFC

    · Battery: 4,000mAh

    · Size: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm

    · Weight: 201 g (7.09 oz)

    · Operating system: Android 10 (currently running)

    · Camera: Primary: 12MP (1/2.55-inch sensor, dual-pixel PDAF, f/1.5-2.4 variable-aperture lens)

    · Secondary: 12 MP (f/2.4 lens, 1/3.6-inch sensor, AF)

    Now that we have specs out of the way, let’s get to the actual experience of switching over. We’ll go over it area wise so that I don’t lose track.

    I. Build Quality and design:

    We all know that the bleeding glass sandwich design was made popular by Samsung themselves back in the day with the Galaxy Note 4 Edge. Over the years, many devices have adapted the same aesthetic and the tech community has a massively distinct opinion on it, while some people absolutely find it gorgeous and some hate it because of its lack of any practical applicability. Personally, I have been part of the former group, but it is a matter of opinion. Since both the 7 Pro and Note 9 share very similar builds, I hardly noticed any change at first glance, except that 7 Pro had much more curved corners and the note was a bit boxy. However, over the course of my usage, I found the following things:

    What I missed the most:

    The physical alert mode slider. This feature is somehow only found in Apple and OnePlus devices and I don’t understand how other manufacturers have missed out on this. It is a must-have for me at this point in my perfect phone.

    The high-quality vibration motors. Trust me, once you get used to the strong and firm vibrations of the 7 Pro, you wouldn’t want to go back to the cheap motors being used on other devices. (I acknowledge how funny that sounds).

    What I really liked:

    The S-Pen, as you would guess. Speaking strictly from the perspective of an artist inside me, I think the S-Pen is a wonderful tool to have. It allows for so much flexibility while dealing with media on the device and trying apps like Pixaloop, Lightroom, Snapseed, Sketchbook and more. It enhances the experiences multiple levels for sure, as it can also act as a Bluetooth shutter button while trying to capture self-portraits or to avoid shake for long exposure shot. However, one could simply buy an additional stylus from any store, but it would never have the convenience of a S-Pen.

    Also, the headphone jack was a good add-on, but safe to say, it’s basically extinct now.

    II. The display:

    Where do I even start, how much do I miss the fluid AMOLED display on the 7 Pro. The higher refresh rate was a game-changer for me. Everything else seemed to almost stutter. It took some time for my eyes to adjust to the display of the Note 9 as it was very different. However, the display was not a complete deal-breaker. Except for the refresh rate, Samsung’s colour reproduction and other capabilities we're almost at par with the OnePlus 7 Pro, as they themselves manufactured the displays for both the devices. In the beginning, I faced an issue where the note struggled to play the HDR content on Netflix and YouTube, where the shadows were extremely dark and made it very stressful for my eyes to keep up. Eventually, this issue was somehow fixed in later software updates. Overall, the higher refresh rate was the only downside on the Note in the display department.

    III. The battery:

    In the battery department OnePlus is a winner by a margin which is rather silly. How can 2 devices which are so similar be so different in an area is beyond me? The OnePlus 7 Pro consistently lasted me more than a day and would chargeback within an hour every time. The Note, however, somehow only about 3/4th of the day and the battery seems to be declining every passing day. The slower fast charging is also a pain in the rear because it requires at least an hour and half to juice back the device. I seriously miss having the convenience of being care-free about the battery and still making it through the day. The only benefit I had on the Note 9 was the wireless charging feature.

    IV. The Performance and Software:

    Specs-wise, both the devices were flagships of their time and like everyone, I believed that they would handle any task thrown at them with ease. Previously, Samsung for heavily criticized for flooding their OS skin TouchWiz with a ton of bloatware and unnecessary features. On the contrary, there were no limits to the praises of the clean and smooth Oxygen OS skin which was available on the OnePlus devices. Going in, I was certainly sceptical even of the new OneUI One interface on the Note 9. However, it certainly did not let me down in any manner until 15 days ago, which I’ll come to later. After using the device for about 20 odd days, I decided to switch over to the Nova Launcher Pro, which removes all bloatware and gives an almost stock android experiences, which all the android enthusiasts enjoy. It also gives a scope high level of customization as well, which is a bonus. However, keep in mind that you must pay to use the Pro version of the launcher.

    After a long wait, when Samsung finally released OneUI 2 on top of Android 10 for the Note 9, I was excited to see how Samsung changed things up to improve their existing software experience. And as expected, Samsung did make a good amount of changes to help improve accessibility and animations. I noticed a boost in performance of certain degrees, but the battery life seemed to take a hit. Over the course, if 5-6 months, the phone almost never lagged or created any sort of issue, until about a half a month ago, when it started crashing while using some applications. It might be a bug in the launcher that I use, as the home screen started taking 2-3 seconds to load up every time an app crashed, but I’m not entirely sure. It’s not frequent but happens once every 3-4 days. It may be fixed in a future firmware update. Otherwise, the phone is quick and snappy

    On the other hand, the 7 Pro virtually never lagged or showed any performance degradation while I had the device. The Oxygen OS most certainly triumphs over any other android skin without any doubt, in my opinion, and as I mentioned in my LAB review, the higher refresh rate made the 7 Pro feels like it’s visibly 50% faster.

    V. The camera:

    Before buying any new device, the feature that I research the most about is undoubtedly the camera. As a photographer and cinematographer, I find myself shooting with my phone on more occasions than not. In fact, I prefer shooting with my phone rather than carrying my bulky DSLR everywhere. The only thing that keeps me from completely abandoning my DSLR is the post flexibility and extent of manual controls for exposing my shots. Now, coming to the devices in question, I noticed the following differences:

    What I missed:

    The OnePlus 7 Pro had the edge over the Note 9 many areas. The first visible difference being the added wide-angle lens. When I had the device, I used it a lot of the times whenever I found myself in tight spaces. This feature was completely lacking on the Note 9 set up, as it does not have a wide-angle lens at all.

    The 3x Telephoto lens on the 7 Pro produced better and more consistent results than the telephoto lens on the Note 9. On the note, I would rather just crop in on the image produced by the primary camera rather than shooting with the telephoto, its, often over sharpened.

    The in-built processing on the OnePlus 7 Pro was also much better than the Note 9, as it often tends to over-sharpen the images a tad bit too much. The HDR capabilities of the 7 Pro also threw the Note out of the water on any given day.

    The video processing of the 7 Pro also narrated the same story, with Samsung struggling with the dynamic range and over-sharpening.

    One niche feature that I missed was the ability to lock focus and exposure which was available on the 7 Pro. It really helped to maintain consistency while shooting. The mic performance was also better on the 7 Pro.

    What I really liked:

    One area that the Note 9 would take lead on is the amount of details it captured. Despite being 48MP, the images coming out of the OnePlus 7 Pro gave very low post flexibility. On the other hand, Samsung gave a lot of flexibility in terms of post, as both images and video could bear a considerable amount of colour correction and LUT addition.

    Also, with the help of GCam, I was able to reduce the over-sharpening effect to some extent. However, I’m yet to find a stable version of GCam for the Note 9, and currently using a version which was found on the Nexus back in the day (Still amazed how Google had been nailing image processing so far back in the game).

    The pro mode on the Note 9 is useful, especially when you capture RAW images. They give a really high level of post flexibility, which every photo enthusiast would certainly enjoy.

    VI. The final verdict:

    If like me, you’re an art enthusiast, I would most definitely recommend trying the Note series by Samsung at least once, as they have addressed many of the above problems in the Note 10 series, and I can assure you, you’d be amazed by its capabilities.

    However, for literally any other person, I would suggest sticking with the OnePlus, as they will serve the most bang for the buck.

    Thank you for coming along on my journey with this, stay tuned because the OnePlus Series 8 LAB review by me and others is on its way. Will be interesting to see how that turns out.

    If you would like to check out my work, feel free to follow me on Instagram @yashonagori.

  2. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Apr 5, 2020

    AbhilashSaikia and yashonagori like this.
  3. yashonagori
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Apr 5, 2020

    yashonagori , via OnePlus Community App , Apr 5, 2020 :
    Thankyou Moshe! You could say that haha! getting my mind warmed up!

    AbhilashSaikia and MosheG1 like this.
  4. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Apr 5, 2020

    MosheG1 , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Apr 5, 2020 :
    I just read your original 7 pro review! it's really good too!
    I see i have my work cut out for me for the review!

    AbhilashSaikia and yashonagori like this.
  5. yashonagori
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Apr 5, 2020

    yashonagori , via OnePlus Community App , Apr 5, 2020 :
    Thanks again mate! I know you'll smash it out of the park

    MosheG1 likes this.
  6. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Apr 5, 2020

    AbhilashSaikia and yashonagori like this.