Samsung and Google are usually spoken of as Apple’s main rivals, but OnePlus is the dark horse of the smartphone space, regularly producing good-quality handsets at bargain prices. Its latest offering, the 5T, has just been announced, and we were lucky enough to spend some hands-on time with it, so in this comparison article we put it head to head with the iPhone 8.
Design & build quality
The iPhone 8 is an attractive but conservative device, following virtually the same design as the previous three generations of Apple phone. (The company’s sense of fun and risk seems to have channeled into the iPhone X instead.)
It’s got a Home button, and a fingerprint scanner, and big bezels above and below the screen. Like the iPhone 7 it has a static (non-moving) Home button, and no headphone jack. The main change for this year is a glass back, which means it can offer wireless charging.
The OnePlus 5T is a bit more interesting to look at. It’s got far more screen – a 6in display, taking up 80.5 percent of the front of the device – and the bezels have been drastically shrunk down from the OnePlus 5 that came before it. It’s thin, and rather slippy in the hand, so we’d recommend the use of a case to make drops less likely, and less damaging if they happen anyway. The fingerprint sensor is on that back (although it also has facial recognition, as we’ll discuss in a moment).
Looks are a personal thing, on the whole, so while we’re loving the OnePlus’s design it would probably be best to post some photos of both handsets so you can make up your own mind.
iPhone 8 photos
OnePlus 5T photos
Tech specs & features
iPhone 8: A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural Engine, Embedded M11 motion coprocessor
OnePlus 5T: Snapdragon 835 octa-core CPU, up to 2.45GHz
These are both impressive chips. Frankly, both the 8 and the 5T are ridiculously quick, and far quicker than they need to be given the demands of current software, but a bit of future-proofing never hurt anyone.
iPhone 8: 2GB RAM
OnePlus 5T: 6GB RAM or 8GB RAM, depending on price
Both phones have a starting storage allocation of 64GB. But the more expensive upgrade models are not the same: the top-end iPhone 8 has 256GB, whereas the costlier OnePlus 5T has 128GB.
iPhone 8: 4.7in LCD screen, 1334×750 (16:9), 326ppi, 1400:1 contrast ratio, 625 cd/m2 max brightness, 3D Touch
OnePlus 5T: 6.01in Optic AMOLED screen, 1080×2160 (18:9), 402ppi
iPhone 8: 12Mp rear-facing camera, f/1.8, Quad-LED True Tone flash, digital zoom up to 5x, optical image stabilisation; 7Mp front-facing camera, f/2.2, Retina Flash feature; 4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps or 60fps
OnePlus 5T: 16Mp + 20Mp dual-lens rear-facing camera; 16Mp front-facing camera; 4K video capture
We haven’t spent enough time with the 5T to pass a verdict on its cameras. But when we previously looked at the OnePlus 5 our reviewer found that, for all the hype around its cameras, results were markedly behind the Galaxy S8 and Pixel, and now behind the Pixel 2. We remain to be convinced that the 5T is the high-end phone to pick if you want the ultimate smartphone camera.
iPhone 8 (claimed): Talk time (wireless): Up to 14 hours. Internet use: Up to 12 hours. Video playback (wireless): Up to 13 hours. Audio playback (wireless): Up to 40 hours. Fast-charge capable: Up to 50% charge in 30 minutes. Wireless charging (works with Qi chargers).
OnePlus 5T (claimed): Talk Time up to 20 hours. Standby Time up to 20 days.
OnePlus goes one up by including facial recognition on top of fingerprint scanning, whereas Apple split its biometric offerings between the iPhone 8 (Touch ID only) and iPhone X (Face ID only). But while OnePlus’s face scanning proves quicker than Face ID – no slouch itself, speed-wise – it’s clearly less secure. Like the Galaxy S8’s face scanning, it can be fooled by a 2D image.
If you’re looking for facial recognition that is both reliable and secure, neither of these phones is the model for you.
iPhone 8: Rated IP67 under IEC standard 60529
OnePlus 5T: No IP level
iPhone 8: Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi‑Fi
OnePlus 5T: Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi‑Fi, 3.5mm headphone jack
iPhone 8: iOS 11
OnePlus 5T: Android Nougat 7.1.1
That’s not the latest version of Android, although customers are hopeful that 8.0 ‘Oreo’ will be rolled out for this device in the next few months.
OnePlus adds its Oxygen OS skin on top of the standard Android interface. This may make things slightly more confusing for those used to handsets by different manufacturers, but our reviewer found the changes to stock Android “thoughtful and unobtrusive”.
Dimensions & weight
iPhone 8: 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm; 148g
OnePlus 5T: 156.1mm x 75mm x 7.3mm; 162g
The OnePlus 5T goes on sale on 21 November. The iPhone 8 launched back in September 2017 and is available to buy now.
Prices and where to buy
The iPhone 8 starts at £699, with 64GB of storage, while the 256GB model costs £849.
It’s cheaper than the iPhone X (which starts at £999!) but still far more expensive than the OnePlus 5T, which will start at £449 in the UK for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage model. This goes up to £499 for the 8GB RAM/128GB version.
You can buy the iPhone 8 direct from Apple, or check out our best iPhone 8 deals roundup.
O2 is the exclusive UK network supplying the OnePlus 5T. You can find out more here.