The OnePlus 8T is the latest affordable flagship phone from OnePlus. It packs a ton of high-end hardware and software, despite its relatively affordable price tag of just $749. Of course, there are a lot of great affordable flagships out there these days, including the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition). The newly launched S20 variant has much in common with the Galaxy S20 but makes a few concessions to reach the low price of $699. The real question comes down to this: which phone should you buy?
We’ve already reviewed the S20 FE and OnePlus 8T, but let’s take a closer look at how the two phones compare. Here is our early look at the OnePlus 8T vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
See also: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review | OnePlus 8T review
OnePlus 8T vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Specs
OnePlus 8TSamsung Galaxy S20 FEDisplay6.55-inch AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 resolution
120Hz refresh rate
20:9 aspect ratio6.5-inch flat Super AMOLED
Infinity-O cutout, centered
FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080) resolution
120Hz refresh rate
Gorilla Glass 3 coverProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865
4x Cortex-A555G models:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Samsung Exynos 990GPUAdreno 6505G models:
Arm Mali-G77 MP11
RAM8GB / 12GB
LPDDR5Storage128GB / 256GB
No microSD slot128GB
microSD support up to 1TBCamerasRear
Main: 48MP, f/1.7 aperture, 0.8µm pixels, optical + electronic image stabilization
Secondary: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, ultra-wide (123-degree FoV)
Macro: 5MP, 3cm focal length
4K at 60fps/30fps
16MP sensor, f/2.4 aperture, 1.0 μm pixels, fixed focus, electronic image stabilization
12MP wide-angle Dual-Pixel, OIS ƒ1.8, 1/1.76in, 1.8μm
12MP ultra-wide ƒ2.2, 1/3.06in, 1.12μm
8MP telephoto 3x optical zoom, OIS 30x digital “Space Zoom” ƒ2.4, 1/4.4in, 1.0μm
32MP (binned to 8MP) ƒ2.2, 1/2.8in, 0.8μm
65W charging4,500mAh battery
15W wired charging (in-box adapter)
25W wired charging (add’l adapter needed)
15W wireless charging
Wireless PowerShareIP ratingNone for unlocked model
IP68 rating for T-Mobile versionIP68SoftwareAndroid 11Android 10Dimensions and weight160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
188g74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm
ColorsAquamarine Green, Lunar SilverCloud Navy, Cloud Red, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud White, Cloud Orange
The OnePlus 8T features a design that’s not terribly different from its predecessor, though there are some obvious differences, like a new camera setup found in the upper left corner. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE looks very similar to the original Galaxy S20, though it swaps out the glass rear for a plastic material with a glass-like finish, held together by an aluminum frame.
While both manufacturers have very distinct design languages, they have several things in common too. Both handsets have AMOLED displays, with the S20 FE sporting a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 2,400 x 1,080 resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. The OnePlus 8T has a slightly larger 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED display, with the same resolution and refresh rate. Punch holes are the name of the game here, though the S20 FE centers the punch hole, while the OnePlus 8T pushes it off to the upper left corner. As you’d expect, neither phone has a headphone jack.
Both phones offer very iterative designs, though there are a few notable improvements.
There are just two color choices for the OnePlus 8T: Lunar Silver and Aquamarine Green. Samsung takes a different approach, offering quite a few colorways. You can choose from Cloud Navy, Cloud Red, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud White, or Cloud Orange.
If water and dust resistance are important to you, you’ll be pleased to know the Galaxy S20 FE has an IP68 rating. There’s no such rating for the regular unlocked OnePlus 8T. However, T-Mobile users will be able to pick up the so-called OnePlus 8T Plus, which offers the same overall features but does have an IP68 rating.
You’ll find plenty of power regardless of which phone you choose. Both devices feature the same Qualcomm 865 chipset with 5G support. For those outside the US, there’s also an optional 4G-only version of the Galaxy S20 FE with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 990 chip. If 5G does matter to you, the Galaxy S20 FE is the more robust choice, offering sub-6 and mmwave support. The 8T only supports sub-6, meaning it won’t work with certain carriers like Verizon.
Turning to the rest of the specs, you’ll find several differences. For starters, the OnePlus 8T has two configurations: 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Galaxy S20 FE comes with 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB onboard storage. While there isn’t a model with more RAM or storage, you also can add up to 1TB of additional storage via microSD.
See also: Best camera phones
Both phones have a 4,500mAh battery inside and support for quick charging. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has 15W wired charging out of the box but supports 25W with an optional adapter. The OnePlus 8T ups the ante with its included Warp Charge 65 charger, capable of charging the 8T to 100% in just 39 minutes. The 8T even can quick charge other devices with speeds up to 45W.
Only the Galaxy S20 FE supports wireless charging, with speeds up to 15W. There’s even support for reverse wireless charging of other devices.
The OnePlus 8T has a Sony IMX586 48MP main rear camera, along with a 16MP 123-degree ultra-wide camera. There’s a third 5MP macro sensor as well, along with a 2MP monochrome camera. Finally, there’s a 16MP camera in the front.
OnePlus says the 8T includes some special AI-driven camera features. One of them will automatically detect if the phone is in a low light setting, so it can switch to the camera’s Nightscape mode immediately. In our review of the phone, we noted that we were disappointed in the overall image quality of the photos taken with the cameras.
In contrast, the Galaxy S20 FE has three camera sensors in the back: a 12MP standard camera, a 12MP wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera. You also get a 32MP front-facing camera. In our review of the phone, we stated that the Galaxy S20 FE cameras produce solid but unspectacular images. It can also record video clips, but they are limited to 4K resolution at 60fps.
The OnePlus 8T comes with OxygenOS 11, based on the new Android 11 OS, out of the box. While Oxygen OS has historically kept to a very stock-like design, the newest software makes a few changes that move it a bit further away from stock Android. Some of the changes include adding a new OnePlus Sans font, a new Always On Display, and improvements to Dark Mode and Zen Mode.
The Galaxy S20 FE ships with Android 10, with the One UI skin. There’s no word on when it might get the Android 11 update. Samsung has pledged to support the Galaxy S20 FE with three Android OS updates. The OnePlus 8T will get at least two Android OS updates, plus an extra year just for software security updates.
Further reading: Oxygen OS vs One UI
OnePlus 8T with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage — $£549/42,999 RsOnePlus 8T with 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage — £649/$749/45,999 RsSamsung Galaxy S20 FE — $699/£699/€759Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (4G only) — £599/€659
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will set you back $699 in the US. Verizon Wireless is selling its own variant, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW which costs $749, and can connect to the carrier’s “ultra-wideband” 5G network. You can get the 5G model in the UK for £699 and the 4G version for £599. In Europe, the 4G model will cost €659 and the 5G version will cost €759.
As for the OnePlus 8T? The US only offers the 12GB/256GB version, priced at $749. Other regions will carry the 8GB/128GB version, where it is priced £549 (~$709) in the UK.
OnePlus 8T Better than the OnePlus 8, but still not as good as the OnePlus 8 Pro
The latest flagship from OnePlus features some relatively subtle upgrades over the OnePlus 8. However, it does feature a huge new feature: Warp Charge 65, which will allow the 8T to charge faster than any other OnePlus phone.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE All the best features of the Galaxy S20 series at a lower price
If you don’t mind cutting a few corners, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for “Fan Edition”) might be the phone you are looking for. It offers most of the flagship specs and features of the Galaxy S20 family but trims things down to keep the price low.
OnePlus 8T vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Which should you buy?
On paper, the Galaxy S20 FE beats the OnePlus 8T in several areas, including price. It also supports wireless charging, and Samsung promises at least three Android OS updates for the phone. Pictures taken with the Galaxy S20 FE seem to edge out the ones made with the OnePlus 8T. The IP68 rating is nice to have. Finally, that microSD slot offers users more storage expansion.
The OnePlus 8T, however, does offer more onboard storage for its US version, along with a lot more RAM. It ships with Android 11 out of the box. It’s Warp Charge 65W charger means you will be up and running with the phone in much less time compared to the Galaxy S20 FE. Its glass back is a bit more premium than the plastic on Samsung’s phone. However, it’s odd that the IP68 rating is only available on the version sold at T-Mobile.
It’s a close call between the OnePlus 8T and the Galaxy S20 FE, and it ultimately comes down to personal preferences.
Want to check out some other options? These are the best Android phones you can buy today
That’s our early look at the OnePlus 8T vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Which one are you considering?