Take a sleek, black 5.5-inch phone with dual cameras on its back, and you'd think you were looking at an iPhone 7 Plus. But that description also fits the newly unveiled OnePlus 5, which more than one reviewer has compared to Apple's plus-size smartphone.
It's not a comparison OnePlus executives care for, but maybe they should: stack the OnePlus 5 up against the iPhone 7 Plus, and it competes rather well against Apple's phone in several key categories.
Here's how the OnePlus 5 and iPhone 7 Plus match up.
Both the OnePlus 5 and iPhone 7 Plus feature 5.5-inch screens, but they house them in different ways.
At 6.07 x 2.91 x 0.28 inches, the OnePlus 5 is more compact than the 6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29-inch iPhone 7 Plus. OnePlus is making a point of how thin its new phone is, and that it's even thinner than the iPhone 7 Plus — which isn't exactly a monster of a phone — proves that OnePlus has really scored with a compact design. At 5.4 ounces, the OnePlus 5 is lighter than the 6.63-ounce iPhone 7 Plus.
If you want to knock OnePlus for copying another phone's look, at least it picked a pretty sweet-looking phone to emulate. The OnePlus 5 and the iPhone 7 Plus have similar aluminum backs, bezel sizes and camera placement. I prefer the round Home button on the iPhone 7 Plus to the squatter version on the front of the OnePlus 5, but I also appreciate OnePlus' Alert Slider, which is a big improvement over the iPhone's mute switch.
Apple added water-resistance to the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus last fall, allowing those phones to survive a dip or dunk in water. It's a feature we wish that OnePlus would have introduced to its new phone, but, alas, water and the OnePlus 5 definitely don't mix.
However, only the OnePlus 5 features a headphone jack. With the iPhone 7 Plus, you need to use Lightning adapter headphones or go wireless with Bluetooth headphones.
Winner: This one's a draw. The OnePlus 5 is lighter and more compact than the iPhone 7, but Apple's phone is water-resistant.
|OnePlus 5||iPhone 7 Plus|
|Colors||Midnight black, slate gray||Black, jet black, rose gold, gold, silver|
|Processor||Snapdragon 835||A10 Fusion|
|RAM/Storage||6GB/64GB or 8GB/128GB||3GB of RAM (estimated)/32GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage|
|Display||5.5-inch AMOLED (1920 x 1080)||5.5-inch LCD (1920 x 1080)|
|Rear Cameras||16-MP + 20-MP with 2x optical zoom||2 12-MP cameras with 2x optical zoom|
Behold, the power of AMOLED screens. Those types of displays show off richer colors and deeper blacks, and that's reflected by the OnePlus 5's ability to cover 220 percent of the sRGB spectrum. The iPhone 7 Plus LCD panel notched 123.7 percent. There's a reason why Apple will finally make the move to OLED with the iPhone 8 this fall.
Apple can at least take comfort in the fact that its phone's screens are brighter than what OnePlus has to offer. We measured the iPhone 7 Plus at 578 nits with a light meter, compared with a less impressive 394 nits for the OnePlus 5. That said, we had no trouble seeing the OnePlus 5's screen in bright sunlight. Both the OnePlus 5 and the iPhone 7 Plus offer the same 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Winner: The OnePlus 5, since Apple continues to bring LCD to an OLED party.
You'll want to take advantage of that headphone jack on the OnePlus 5, because its single bottom-mounted speaker won't satisfy audiophiles. The dual speakers on the iPhone 7 Plus offers richer tones.
Winner: The iPhone out-rocks the OnePlus 5 for audio.
OnePlus put a lot of effort into the cameras on the OnePlus 5, and the effort shows. My colleague Sam Rutherford found that in many cases the OnePlus 5's camera produced images on a par with the Galaxy S8, which happens to be the Tom's Guide pick for the best camera phone. And that 16-megapixel front camera really produces some solid selfies.
It's the OnePlus 5's dual rear cameras, though, that are the marquee edition. And based on Sam's testing, the optical-zoom feature doesn't produce images that really stand out from the digital zoom available on cameras like the S8.
That's not an issue we ran into with the iPhone 7 Plus's optical zoom, which really produced some striking images in our previous camera face-offs. We'll need to pit the OnePlus 5 against the iPhone 7 Plus to issue a definitive verdict, but the early indications suggest the iPhone 7 Plus remains the king of optical zoom among smartphones.
Winner: The iPhone 7 Plus remains on top, pending a more thorough face-off between the two camera phones.
The A10 Fusion chip inside the iPhone 7 Plus bested all comers when Apple released its phones last fall. Then the Snapdragon 835 came along to give the leading Android phones a performance edge — especially if you load up the phone with RAM the way OnePlus does.
Our OnePlus 5 unit, packed with 8GB of RAM, scored 6,542 on the Geekbench 4 performance benchmark, which was a big jump over the iPhone 7 Plus' 5,392 tally. As is typically the case, the iPhone 7 Plus' single-core score was notably higher — 3,533, compared with 1,930 for the OnePlus 5 — suggesting Apple's phone is better at unitasking.
The OnePlus 5 enjoyed a slight edge in graphics benchmarks, tallying a score of 39,576 in 3DMark's Ice Storm Unlimited test. The iPhone 7 Plus wasn't too far behind, with a score of 37,810.
Winner: The OnePlus 5 takes this category, aided by the model's 8GB of RAM.
The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple's longest-lasting smartphone ever, equipped with a 2,900 mAh battery that helped it last for 10 hours and 35 minutes on the Tom's Guide Battery Test. (We set the phones to surf the web continuously over LTE until they run out of juice.) More than 10 hours of battery life is nothing to sneeze at — unless you're the OnePlus 5, and your 3,300 mAh battery allows you to last for a little more than 13 hours on that same test.
Besting the iPhone 7 Plus for battery life would be enough to clinch this category for the OnePlus 5. But OnePlus also enables its phone to recharge quickly, with a Dash Charge feature that delivers a day's worth of power in about 30 minutes.
Winner: The OnePlus 5 is clearly the phone to get if you value long battery life.
OnePlus has a bit of a mixed record when it comes to getting software updates to its phones, which run a proprietary Oxygen OS that's really just a modified version of Android. Last year's OnePlus 3 and 3T were both upgraded to Android Nougat several months after that version of Android launched, and the OnePlus 5 is running a version of Oxygen OS based on the very latest version of Nougat. That's good. The OnePlus 2, which debuted in 2015, is still running Marshmallow, though, and won't ever be upgraded to Nougat. That's not good.
Apple's iPhones don't have this problem, as iOS updates are made available to even aging devices. Consider that the iPhone 5s is going to be able to run this fall's iOS 11 update, and that phone came out nearly four years ago. Buy an iPhone, and you can be extremely confident that your phone will be able to get the latest OS updates as quickly as Apple can crank them out.
Winner: You'll get more frequent updates with the iPhone.
Price and Value
Apple makes high-end phones and charges high-end prices to match. The iPhone 7 starts at $649, and if you want the dual-rear cameras that the iPhone 7 Plus offers, you'll need to pay $769 — and that's for a phone with half the onboard storage of the much less expensive OnePlus 5.
The OnePlus 5 stars at a much more aggressive $479 for the 64GB version with 6GB of RAM and $539 for the 128GB version with a whopping 8GB of RAM.
Winner: The OnePlus 5 is the much better deal.
The OnePlus 5 wins, taking four rounds outright while tying in another. The most notable wins come in battery life and overall value. iPhone fans can take comfort in that Apple's phone still offers a top camera experience, and that software updates will flow freely and regularly long after you've bought your device.
|OnePlus 5||iPhone 7 Plus|
|Price and Value||X|
With that in mind, the OnePlus 5 may not offer enough to persuade long-time iPhone users to switch over to Android. But the fact that this phone competes very well with Apple's top-end iPhone suggests that Apple has more to worry about than Samsung and the Galaxy S8.
Credit: Tom's Guide