Is the OnePlus 5 a genuine alternative to Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11?
True to the OnePlus tradition, the Chinese company has again upped the game this year with the OnePlus 5. It is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor, offers 8GB RAM, runs the latest Android OS and offers a dual camera setup, among other things. It will be available in the US at a starting price of $479 (around Rs30,900).
We take a look at some of its key highlights to see where it stands in comparison to the recent Android flagship phones such as the HTC U11 ( Rs51,999) and Samsung Galaxy S8 ( Rs56,999).
Matter of appearance
OnePlus 5 has a metal back design like its predecessor and comes in midnight black and slate gray colours. It is 154mm tall, 7.25mm thick and weighs just 153g. Samsung Galaxy S8 is smaller in size and measures only 148mm in length, but is slightly thicker at 8mm. It weighs 155g, has a glass back and is available in midnight black, maple gold, and coral blue colours. The HTC U11 is the heaviest of the three. It weighs 169g, is 153.9mm long and 7.9mm thick. It has a glass finish on the back and comes in more colours such as silver, sapphire blue, black, ice white and solar red.
From the front, the OnePlus 5 looks similar to the HTC U11 as both of them have an oval shaped home button. The Galaxy S8 looks very different from the front due to the bezel-less Infinity display which stretches till the side panel sideways. One major advantage of the HTC and Samsung smartphones is that they are dust- and water-resistant, while the OnePlus 5 is not.
Screen resolution matters
The OnePlus 5 has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display but retains the same resolution of 1,920x1,080 as before. On paper its inferior to the 2,560x1,440p resolution on Galaxy S8’s bigger 5.8-inch AMOLED screen and HTC U11’s 5.5-inch LCD display.
What lies beneath?
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 inside the OnePlus 5 is paired with 8GB RAM in the 128GB storage variant and 6GB RAM in variants with 64GB storage. There is no memory card slot in the OnePlus 5. The HTC U11 runs on the same Snapdragon chipset with 6GB RAM. The Galaxy S8 units available in India run on Samsung’s Exynos 8895 octa-core chipset with 4GB RAM. The Galaxy S8 has 64GB of internal storage, but accepts microSD cards of up to 256GB. The HTC U11 offers 128GB internal storage and can accommodate microSD cards of up to 256GB.
Clean Android vs custom UI
When it comes to software, the OnePlus 5 has a clear edge over the two flagships as it offers a more minimalistic looking OxygenOS. It also runs the latest 7.1.1 version of Android Nougat. The Galaxy S8 runs Android 7.0 with a more refined version of TouchWiz, which looks slightly less cluttered than those running on other Galaxy smartphones. The HTC U11 is also based on Android 7.1.1 with the same old but good-looking Sense UI over it.
OnePlus 5 belongs to the dual camera club. It comes with a 16-megapixel primary camera with an aperture of f/1.7 but no optical image stabilization. It has been paired with a 20-megapixel camera for depth, and can deliver up to 2x optical zoom and an additional 8x of digital zoom. The Galaxy S8 and HTC U11 offer single 12-megapixel camera with aperture of f/1.7 but support optical image stabilisation.