OnePlus One vs Samsung Galaxy S5 first look

April 23, 2014

OnePlus has had no qualms with taking on the giants of the smartphone of the world, and has long-promised a better experience than any other high-end smartphone around. Well, the self-proclaimed “2014 Flagship Killer” is finally here, and with very high expectations behind it, it’ll be very interesting to see how the company’s first device fares against one of the best 2014 flagships currently available from Samsung.

Here’s a quick look at the OnePlus One vs Samsung Galaxy S5!

Design

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (2 of 12)

The OnePlus One features a minimalistic look and a premium feel, with almost no embellishments, and features a slightly raised display on the front surrounded by a chrome frame, and a clean, smooth, hard plastic back.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 offers a premium feel as well, with its soft touch plastic back plate with a textured design. Of course, the dimpled design of the back has been met with a fair share of mixed reception, with many considering it a step back from the faux leather plastic back of the Galaxy Note 3.

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (6 of 12)

The front of the OnePlus One is all-black with no logos or physical buttons to draw the attention away from the display. You do get capacitive buttons, but you also have the option to switch over to on-screen keys if you so desire. On the other hand, the Galaxy S5 comes with Samsung’s signature button layout on the front, with a physical home button being flanked by two capacitive keys, with the major difference being the replacement of the menu key with a recent apps key.

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (4 of 12)

In terms of dimensions, the OnePlus One is definitely the larger of the two devices, courtesy of its bigger 5.5-inch  display, compared to the 5.1-inch one of the Galaxy S5. As a result, the handling experience is certainly easier with the Samsung Galaxy S5, which remains quite similar to what we got with the Galaxy S4 before it, and while the OnePlus One is slightly narrower than other devices that fall in the phablet category, one-handed use will still prove to be quite difficult.

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (11 of 12)

As a result, the overall handling nod would be given to the Samsung Galaxy S5, but we are dealing with a very attractive device with theOnePlus One, which will further be enhanced when the swappable back covers are made available sometime after launch.

Display

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (9 of 12)

Both phones feature 1080p displays, at 5.5-inches for the OnePlus One and 5.1-inches for the Galaxy S5, with the difference in size resulting in a pixel density of 401 ppi and 432 ppi respectively.

As for the technologies underlying the screens of the two contenders, we have a beautiful LTPS (Low Temperature Polysilicone) LCD display on the OnePlus One, which also comes with TOL (Touch On Lens) tech that eliminates the distance between the touch sensors and the display panel, and is said to be significantly more shatterproof than other OGS (One Glass Solution) screens. You also get great viewing angles with its 178 degree vision.

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (8 of 12)

The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, features a Super AMOLED display that provides vivid colors that pop, great contrasts and high brightness.

At a first glance, we’re looking pretty much at the best that either of these screen architectures can offer. Super AMOLED continues to create highly saturated, colorful experiences while the JDI IPS screen on the OnPlus One is certainly a great performer in its own right.

Performance and Hardware

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (1 of 12)

Both devices come with the best processing package available, with the quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 330 GPU. The OnePlus, however, does offer an extra gig of RAM versus the 2GB found in the GS5. In either case, performance is smooth and fast, and both devices should easily handle anything you can throw at them.

The Galaxy S5 does feature expandable storage, an option that isn’t available with the OnePlus One, but OnePlus attempts to make up for it by offering a version with 64 GB of built-in storage.

samsung galaxy s5 aa (27 of 36)

Samsung always packs its flagship releases with everything it can, and so, apart from the standard fare, the Galaxy S5 comes with a heart rate monitor at the back, and a fingerprint scanner that is integrated into the physical home button at the front. It has to be mentioned that the Galaxy S5 also comes with an IP67 rating for protection against dust and water, which means that apart from being almost entirely protected from dust, the phone can also be immersed in up to 1 meter of water for as long as 30 minutes, without affecting functionality.

samsung galaxy s5 gold back cover battery 4

The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a smaller 2,800 mAh battery, compared to the 3,100 mAh unit of the OnePlus One, so while the battery of the latter is large enough to comfortably provide a full day of use, the power saving features and modes baked into the Galaxy S5, including an ultra power saving mode that strips the software experience to the a grey scale bare bones, helps you get a lot done with it as well. Even with the expectation of better battery life with the OnePlus One, the Galaxy S5 gets a slight advantage in the area, by virtue of the battery being removable, giving you the option to carry around a spare.

Samsung’s penchant for putting everything in their devices does give the handset a slight edge over the more simplistic feature set of the OnePlus One, but if the two main aspects of removable battery and expandable storage aren’t as important to you, the core experience is pretty comparable between these two phones.

Camera

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (12 of 12)

The 13MP Sony Exmor RS sensor of the OnePlus is combined with a 6 parts lens with a f/2.0 aperture, dual LED flash, and a great software package that should provide a wonderful smartphone camera experience. On the front, you get a 5MP camera with a wide lens that enables an 80 degrees field of view, which should be great if taking selfies is your thing.

oneplus one aa hands on (19 of 33)

The Samsung Galaxy S5 of course, comes with a really good 16 MP ISOCELL camera, that we’ve covered extensively in the full review and in a camera shootout feature focus. You get good images with great detail, and while some software features like Selective Focus can be hit and miss at times, when it does work, it definitely adds a touch of class to your smartphone photography.

The OnePlus One camera will be put through its paces once we get our hands on a review unit, so stay tuned for a comparison between the two smartphone camera experiences.

Software

oneplus one vs galaxy s5 aa (10 of 12)

The OnePlus One runs CyanogenMod 11S, a special release built specifically for the One to take advantage of all its hardware and features, and is based on Android 4.4 Kitkat. You get a clean, minimalistic stock-like experience, but with various customization options available easily from the device’s theme engine and store.

Useful software features such as Voice command lets you wake the device without touching it, or you can launch your favorite apps by drawing pre-set gestures on a sleeping screen. As mentioned before, you can even choose between on screen and capacitive navigation buttons to suit your preference, further supporting the notion that CM can really be catered to your liking.

Samsung Galaxy S5 TouchWiz 1

With the Samsung Galaxy S5, you get the familiar TouchWiz UI, with some elements that have been updated, and, of course, a number of new features as well. Big changes include the new circle motif that is found in the notification toggles and the settings menu, and the addition of MyMagazine, a second screen that works as a news and social media aggregator.

While Touchwiz ultimately packs so much in order to ‘enhance’ your Android experience, CyanogenMod takes a slightly different approach in that allows you the freedom of customizing the already well received shell that is the stock Android experience.

Specs Comparison

 
OnePlus One
Samsung Galaxy S5
Display5.5-inch LTPS IPS with TOL display, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 401 ppi. 5.1-inch Super AMOLED, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 432 ppi
Processor2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801
Adreno 330
2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801
Adreno 330
RAM3 GB2 GB
Storage16/64 GB, no expansion16/32 GB, expandable
Camera13 MP rear LED flash, Sony Exmor RS sensor, 6p lens, f 2.0, 4K, HDR
5MP front, f 2.0, 80 degrees field of view
16 MP ISOCELL sensor, LED flash
2.1 MP front
Battery3,100 mAh2,800 mAh
ConnectivityGPS, GLONASS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFCGPS, GLONASS, microUSB 3.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
NetworksGSM/WCDMA/FDD-LTE/TD-LTE3G, LTE Cat. 3 2X2 MIMO
SoftwareCyanogenMod 11S based on Android 4.4 KitkatAndroid 4.4 Kitkat
Dimensions152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm
162 grams
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm,
145 grams

Gallery

Conclusions at a glance

oneplus one aa hands on (29 of 33)

While the head on comparison between the two results in both having advantages and disadvantages over the other, price is one area where things get pretty nuts. While the Samsung Galaxy S5 is available for $199 with two year contracts from most major carriers, an unlocked version well set you back upwards of $650.

On the other hand, the OnePlus One brings you a great Android experience, starting at the incredible price of $299. Considering everything that the OnePlus One offers, that is a fantastic price, and while whether or not it is truly a flagship killer remains to be seen, its very low price point is probably the company’s biggest trump card in its battle against the king of the Android world.

Which phone do you prefer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Related: Buyers guide – best Galaxy S5 cases & covers

Comments

  • Bone

    That’s a big toy I mean boy!

    • Xavier_NYC

      That’s what she said… But in all seriousness that’s a really tall phone..

  • IulianPeride

    Just one thing…I wouldn’t praise so much the feature which turns your galaxy s5 in a 15 years old phone black&white because they couldn’t put a bigger battery on it.

    • Hadouken

      Don’t be ignorant. The extra 300mah from the One can’t give you close to as much use time as the ultra power saving feature.

      • IulianPeride

        I’m not being ignorant. I’m just tired of everyone praising a function which makes your smartphone not a smartphone anymore. I could easely take back my sony ericson which lasts around 2 weeks and is 3 times smaller than the galaxy s5 if I needed it for that.

        • simpleas

          I know the ultra power saving mode will come in handy for many in certain situations including myself. Here, the S5 does 5 freakin days on 1 charge with ultra power saving mode. http://www.geek.com/android/65-hours-with-the-samsung-galaxy-s5s-ultra-power-save-mode-1591751/ amazing stuff.

          • IulianPeride

            yes, that’s what I said, sony ericson black&white screen, 3 times smaller and its battery lasts 2 weeks. There is nothing impressive in a smartphone not being a smartphone if you remember the battery life of the phones before smartphones but we are so used at 1 day battery life that 5 days looks like WoW while it’s not

      • Scomii

        You cant use the phone normally in ultra power saving mode there’s only a few things you can do in that mode.

    • Shark Bait

      Samsung packs a lot of crap into in phones, software gimics and hardware crap like heart rate monitor. I actually think its one of the more useful features they’ve done, people get caught short some time and I think sit would be good to still be able to call if I needed it.

      Basically it’s dead phone, or a limited phone. The latter’s better value

    • Jesus

      I think it’s genius.

      Turn your phone into an old shitty phone, and get a day’s battery life instead of extra 20 minutes.

  • Alexander99999

    OnePlus One can eat the Galaxy S5 ti the dead. There is nothing more S5 can do than the 16MP camera! OnePlus One have a half price of S5!! Only M8 can own the OnePlus One

    • Lisandro O Oocks

      waterproof and heart-rate, but for the savings we can manage.
      it’d be interesting to see the camera shootout against the S5 and Sony’s own Z2.

  • brig67

    can you compare it with nexus 5 please?

  • jamie

    One>S5. One reason, price! The s5 is slightly better. But the one IS FREAKING HALF THE PRICE. However, dear oneplus, screw you, why did you not make this available in South Africa.

  • asd

    The one is nice but no SD Card :(

  • Rauel Crespo

    I’d rather have a $350 device with 64GB(55GB) of storage and no SD cards, than a $700(off contract) 16GB(5GB) device with a relatively useless(thanks Google/KitKat /s) SD-Card slot….If this phone can be sold for $350 with 64GB of storage, why can’t the S5? Oh that’s right the Samsung tax!!!!

    • Shark Bait

      Yeah that’s what big companies do, not just samsung. Its called profit and unfortunately they have share holder to please. Hopefully though these cheaper manufacturers will pressure the big dogs into lowering their price. The margings on phones are massive ATM

    • Sava

      Samsung (and other big companies) need much more profit per phone to get back money they invested in advertising and promotion of thier phones.

  • Rauel Crespo

    So, where the “OnePlus One vs HTC One(m8): There can ONLY be ONE” comparison?

  • Shark Bait

    Look pretty equal,
    2 phones with maxed out spec’s, and mundane design. So the one plus one wins because of price !

  • simpleas

    I know the s5 isn’t the most attractive phone but that one+ is not that great looking either. I actually prefer the s5 in looks as the one is wayyy too tall and big for what it should be ( i own a note 2). Ultimately, im going with the s5 as it satisfy the geek in me much much more. Ultimate ultimately, im going note 4 lol.

    • Bryan Hsiao

      wtf are you talking about.
      you complain about one that’s too tall and big and then you then said you want a note 4.
      Also you are saying S5 satisfy the geek in you much more when One+1 is the one that is so much more customizable with its mod.

      learn to reason!

  • K2

    One is a smartphone and ones a phablet. Compare the Oneplus One with the note 3.

  • oooooiioio

    ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    ☆ Most cost-effective website, factory direct delivery, all kinds of luxury brands, safe and efficient http://WWW.SOGARED..COM i página web. Mi sitio web es: http://www.sogared..com tienen marcas: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Gucci, LouisVuitton, Armani, Burberry, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Abercrombie & Fitch, CalvinKlein, Dsquared2, Yves Saint Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger sitio: http://www.SOGARED..com
    ◢◣◢◣◢◣◢◣22
    ◥◤◥◤◥◤◥◤
    ◢◣◢◣◢◣◢◣
    ◥◤◥◤◥◤◥◤ We are not the usual Chinese wholesalers
    ◢◣◢◣◢◣◢◣
    ◥◤◥◤◥◤◥◤34534
        →→WWW.SOGARED.COM
    ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

  • Tommy

    With the performance aspect, the above average camera quality, and Cyanogen in its corner, the price you pay for such a powerful package seems way too good to be true. Its flaws are small things, details that fail by matters of degrees rather than huge margins, and for a smartphone that costs less than half of many of its competitors, that’s nothing short of amazing. And if you have decided to become a proud owner of this device, perhaps you’re in the market for a solid and beautiful protection case as well.

    http://9cases.com/2014/06/best-and-cheap-oneplus-one-cases-2014/

  • Phuong Nguyen

    Except the oneplus one has a yellow tint on the bottom of the screen, and the company refuses to accept it as a defect..