Whenever OnePlus rolls out a new smartphone, you'll hear a chorus of complaints that the phone maker is merely aping Apple's mobile devices. That's going to happen with the newly announced OnePlus 6 ($529), which, like many smartphones these days, features an iPhone X-style notch on its display to expand the available screen real estate.
But OnePlus didn't make a name for itself by copying other phones. The company built up a passionate fanbase by simply putting features found on premium phones on devices that cost hundreds of dollars less. The OnePlus 6 is in line with that philosophy.
The OnePlus 6 also features a bigger display than the $999 iPhone X, it packs a lot more RAM and it packs a beefier battery. In advance of our OnePlus 6 review, we've compared the features of the OnePlus 6 to what we've seen from the iPhone X, to find out how the two phones compare.
|OnePlus 6||iPhone X |
|OS||Android 8.1 Oreo with OxygenOS||iOS 11.3|
|Screen Size (Resolution)||6.28-inch AMOLED (2280 x 1080)||5.8-inch Super Retina OLED (2436 x 1125)|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Apple A11 Bionic|
|RAM||6GB/8GB||3GB (based on teardowns)|
|Rear Camera||Dual: 16 MP (f/1.7) with OIS, 20 MP (f/1.7)||Dual: 12 MP (f/1.8), 12 MP (f/2.4) telephoto|
|Front Camera||16 MP (f/2.0)||7 MP TrueDepth|
|Battery Size||3,300 mAh||2,716 mAh (based on teardowns)|
|Size||6.1 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches||5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches|
Anyone making the "OnePlus copies Apple" argument has probably spent the past week pointing at the OnePlus 6's 6.28-inch display with a triumphant grin. The new OnePlus phone sports a notch dipping down into its otherwise expanded display.
OnePlus 6 OnePlus might counter that the 6's notch is smaller than the one on the iPhone X (though the iPhone X's notch houses sensors to power features like Face ID unlocking), and you can disguise the notch with a software setting if you really don't like it. The anti-notch crowd will insist that doesn't mean the feature is no longer there, but rather just better hidden.
OnePlus 6Where the OnePlus 6 takes a different path from the iPhone X is on the back of the phone. Apple went with an all-glass design on its flagship phone, in part to enable wireless charging. The OnePlus 6 also uses a glass enclosure, ditching the matte aluminum of the OnePlus 5T. However, OnePlus also treated the back of its new phone with a manufacturing process that gives it a ceramic feel.
iPhone XApple offers the iPhone X in Space Gray or Silver. You can order the OnePlus 6 in either Midnight Black or Mirror Black; a Silk White version goes on sale in June.
iPhone XBecause the OnePlus 6 has a larger display — the iPhone X's screen is 5.8 inches — it's noticeably larger than the iPhone X. The OnePlus measures 6.1 x 3 x 0.3 inches, making it taller and wider than the 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3-inch iPhone. The phones weigh about the same — 6.2 ounces for the OnePlus 6 and 6.1 ounces for the iPhone X.
Speaking of screens, both phones offer an OLED panel, though resolution on the iPhone X is sharper (2436 x 1125, compared with 2280 x 1080 for the OnePlus 6). Apple's display has been brighter than previous OnePlus phones, but we’ll have to see how the OnePlus 6 fares in our testing.
The cameras on OnePlus' previous phones have been solid enough that you don't feel like you're sacrificing image quality for a lower-priced phone, but they've never really beaten the top camera phones at their own game. Some of the changes OnePlus introduced to the camera setup in the OnePlus 6 seem aimed at putting up an even stronger challenge to a top-flight camera phone like the iPhone X.
OnePlus 6While the dual rear cameras on the OnePlus 6 have the same number of megapixels and the same aperture as the OnePlus 5T's — once again, the phone features 16-MP and 20-MP f/1.7 cameras — OnePlus made a few tweaks. The OnePlus 6 has a larger image sensor than the 5T, and its sensor pixels are larger, too.
OnePlus 6OnePlus also added optical image stabilization to its new phone. All of this is with an eye toward producing brighter photos with less blurriness, particularly in low light. Interestingly, the iPhone X's camera tends to struggle in low-light settings.
iPhone XBut that doesn't mean the dual rear cameras on the iPhone X don't excel in other areas. Apple's phone features a pair of 12-MP cameras — a wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture and an f/2.4 telephoto lens. The differing focal lengths help support a 2X optical-zoom feature you won't find on the OnePlus 6.
iPhone XUp front, the 16-MP selfie cam on the OnePlus 6 is capable of adding bokeh effects to photo backgrounds in a new software-powered Portrait Mode. The 7-MP TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X supports the same feature, though we'll have to do some head-to-head testing to see which phone produces more stylish portraits.
The OnePlus 6 follows the trend of smartphone cameras supporting super-slow-motion video, though it doesn't go quite as far as the ability to shoot video at 960 frames per second like the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2 do. Instead, the OnePlus 6 can slow down video to 480 fps at 720p resolution. That's double the 240 fps maximum the iPhone X supports, though Apple's phone records its slow motion at a higher, 1080p resolution.
Like other leading Android phones released in 2018, the OnePlus 6 is turning to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset, which promises around a 30-percent improvement over last year's chip while also increasing power efficiency. We've noticed an improvement in the Snapdragon 845-powered phones we've tested thus far, with LG's G7 ThinQ turning in the best result on the Geekbench 4 performance test, with a score of 8,566.
OnePlus 6In a real-world test in which we exported a 2-minute 4K video file, the Galaxy S9+, featuring 6GB of RAM, pulled off the task in 2 minutes and 32 seconds — the fastest time among Snapdragon 845 phones. That amount of RAM is noteworthy, since the OnePlus 6 ships with 6GB in its base model.
Still, it may not be enough to give the iPhone X a run for its money, since Apple's phone features the pace-setting A11 Bionic chip. That allowed the iPhone X to post a score of 10,357 in Geekbench 4 while transcoding that 4K video in 42 seconds. No Android device, not even one running a Snapdragon 845 processor, has come anywhere close to that.
If history is any guide, expect the OnePlus 6 to be among the fastest Android phones. When the OnePlus 5T debuted last November, it outperformed fellow Snapdragon 835-equipped phones like Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8. (Extra RAM in that OnePlus device probably helped.)
Like the OnePlus 5T before it, the OnePlus 6 relies on a 3,300 mAh battery to stay powered up. We're hoping that, even with a slightly bigger screen to power, the OnePlus 6 can produce the same kind of battery life we saw from the 5T. That phone lasted 11 hours and 22 minutes on our battery test, which consists of continuous web browsing over T-Mobile's LTE network until the phone runs out of juice.
If the OnePlus 6 matches the battery life of its predecessor, it should outlast the iPhone X. Apple's phone held out for 10:49 when we ran it through our battery test.
The OnePlus 6 could enjoy another edge over the iPhone X, thanks to OnePlus' Dash Charge technology, which allows the phone to quickly add juice with an included charger. That same technology allowed the 5T to bring a fully drained battery back to 59 percent after a half-hour of charging.
The iPhone X got a respectable 50-percent charge after 30 minutes, thanks to its fast-charging feature. But Apple sells its fast-charging adapter separately, whereas OnePlus' comes in the box with the phone.
While OnePlus makes Android phones, its devices actually run on the company's own OxygenOS, which, on the OnePlus 6, is a skin of Android Oreo. That allows OnePlus to add a number of its own features to the phone, highlighted by a Face Unlock feature. Unlike Face ID on the iPhone X, however, you can't verify mobile payments with Face Unlock.
OnePlus 6Other noteworthy software features added to the OnePlus 6 include gesture-based navigation, another feature reminiscent of the iPhone X. You'll also find a mode to prioritize modem bandwidth for multiplayer games such as PUBG Mobile over other background apps, and a Gaming Battery Saver setting for games built with Unity's gaming engine.
Meanwhile, the iPhone X has iOS 11 and the instant access to software updates that all Apple phones enjoy. Besides powering Face ID, the iPhone X's front camera supports Animoji, the animated 3D emoji that use cartoon animals to mimic your facial expressions. It's a gimmick, sure, but it's a pretty popular one.
When it comes to price, there's no argument as to who's got the more attractively priced phone. Even with a $30 price hike over the OnePlus 5T, the $529 OnePlus 6 is still $470 cheaper than the iPhone X. Even if you were to buy the most expensive OnePlus 6 available — the 256GB model that includes 8GB of RAM — you're still spending $370 less than you would for the 64GB iPhone X.
OnePlus 6Apple can claim one advantage over OnePlus in terms of availability: Its phones work on both GSM and CDMA networks, so you can use them with any of the four major U.S. carriers or the prepaid brands that piggyback on those networks. In the U.S., OnePlus' phones work only with GSM-based carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile.
Apple also produces phones in much greater volume than OnePlus. Historically, OnePlus has estimated how many phones it can sell in the U.S. and makes exactly that quantity. If that supply were to evaporate, OnePlus would simply declare that the phone is out of stock and turn its attention to the next model.
That happened with both the OnePlus 5 and 5T, each of which was available for roughly five months. A smaller supply of phones is unlikely to be much of an issue when the OnePlus 6 goes on sale May 22, but it will be a consideration a few months from now.
A definitive face-off between the iPhone X and the OnePlus 6 will have to wait until we can complete our testing of OnePlus' latest model. Just a comparison of the specs and features, though, can illustrate how the OnePlus 6 stacks up against Apple's best phone.
We'd expect the iPhone X to continue to enjoy a sizable edge in performance over the OnePlus 6, even with the latter's Snapdragon 845 processor. But if the OnePlus 6's battery life is as good as its predecessors', it could last longer than Apple's phone. We're most interested in finding out how the photos from the improved cameras on the OnePlus 6 measure up to the images the iPhone X produces.
It figures to be a closer matchup than the price gap between the two phones might suggest. We plan on finding out just how close very soon.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide