Galaxy S20 Ultra vs OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren: Is there a king of 5G in early 2020?

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is now arriving into the hands of buyers while the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren recently received an update to enhance its cellular performance. After testing both with T-Mobile, is there a reason to pick one over the other?
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G(see our full review) is arriving into the hands of those who placed pre-orders while the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren has been burning up the internet since December. There is at least a $500 difference in price between the two and there are strengths and weaknesses in each to consider.

5G is emphasized on both devices, but there are differences here to fully understand before you purchase one or the other. T-Mobile currently has its low-band 5G (Sub6) available nationwide with its high-band (mmWave) 5G only available in a few cities at this time. Once the Sprint purchase is complete, T-Mobile will add mid-band 5G to the mix for its customers as well. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren phone supports low and mid band 5G while the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G supports all three 5G networks so your best bet for a phone that is future-proof is the Galaxy.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G review: 2020's most capable smartphone is good for business

Tale of the tape

Specifications don't provide the complete picture regarding the capabilities of a smartphone, but they are useful for comparison purposes and to provide you with an indication on what each device offers.

FeatureGalaxy S20 Ultra 5GOnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren
Display size 6.9 inches 6.67 inches
Processor Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 855 Plus
Dimensions 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
Weight 220g 210g
Internal storage 128GB 256GB
Battery capacity 5000mAh 4085mAh
Rear cameras Four: 48MP tele, 108MP wide, 12MP ultra, 3D depth Four: 8MP tele, 48MP wide, 16MP ultra
Front cameras One 40MP One 16MP
Other 120 Hz display, 10x optical hybrid zoom, IP68 90 Hz display, Warp Charge

Why pick the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G?

For the extra $500 price of the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G you are getting a microSD storage card, fast wireless charging, IP68 dust/water resistance, wireless powershare capability so you can charge up other phones or accessories on the go, larger capacity battery, better quality cameras, and support for high-band (mmWave) 5G technology. When compared side-by-side, it is clear the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is indeed the better phone, but $500 is a lot for these additional features and functions.

Also: OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren review: $900 flagship excels in nearly every area, including 5G with T-Mobile

Why pick the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren?

The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren is a gorgeous device with McLaren styling and an awesome included shell case. It has the ability to take very close macro shots and its cameras do a decent job too. Warp Charge will top your phone off quickly, but the battery also doesn't last as long on this phone as the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. I found the RF performance of both the OnePlus and Samsung phones to be just about the same, which means both are better than competing Google, LG, and Apple phones on T-Mobile.

I was perfectly happy with the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and paid full price for it, but as attractive as the phone is I am seriously considering a move to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The areas where the S20 Ultra 5G beats the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren are compelling to me, especially the future-proof 5G support and better cameras. These are the two areas Samsung is focused on in 2020 and if I can quell my desires I will wait for the next Galaxy Note phone that will satisfy my desire for the S Pen too.

Speck Presidio case options for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G: Hiding the camera bump

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