How does the new OnePlus 5 flagship mobile compare with its biggest rival Android phones in 2017, the Galaxy S8, LG G6, Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium and the HTC U11? Our comparison review takes an in-depth look at which flagship mobile might be best for you.
The OnePlus 5 has arrived in style, and is available in the UK now via O2. OnePlus’ latest flagship is its first 2017 launch device and we’re loving it so far, especially the premium specs and that full camera refresh. In fact, at £449 (or £499 for the more premium Midnight Black model), this surprisingly affordable phone has undercut the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and the LG G6. Not to mention the fresh new HTC U11 and Sony’s 4K-ready Xperia XZ Premium.
So should you bag yourself a OnePlus 5, or splash your cash on one of the other flagship phones launched this year by Samsung, Sony, HTC or LG instead? Here’s how these five phones compare, in terms of specs, features and camera tech.
Check out our OnePlus hub for all you need to know about every OnePlus phone, including the new flagship.
OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs LG G6: Specs
|Phone||HTC U11||LG G6||OnePlus 5||Samsung Galaxy S8||Sony Xperia XZ Premium|
|Screen resolution||WQHD (2560×1440)||Quad HD+ (2880×1440)||Full HD (1920×1080)||WQHD (2560×1440)||4K|
|OS||Android 7.1||Android 7.0||Android 7.1||Android 7.1||Android 7.1|
|Rear camera||12-megapixel PixelSense 3||Dual 13-megapixel w/ wide-angle lens||Dual-lens 20/16-megapixels (wide-angle/telephoto)||12-megapixels||19-megapixels|
|Processor||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 821||Snapdragon 835||Exynos 8895||Snapdragon 835|
|Memory||4GB RAM||4GB RAM||6/8GB RAM||4GB||4GB|
|Storage||64GB. Expandable via microSD||32/64GB. Expandable via microSD||64/128GB||64GB. Expandable via microSD||64GB. Expandable via microSD|
|Battery||3000mAh w/Quick Charge 3.0||3300mAh w/Quick Charge 3.0||3300mAh w/Dash Charge||3000mAh w/Adaptive Fast Charge||3230mAh w/Quick Charge 3.0|
OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs LG G6: Design
Although these five phones feature very different design in terms of the materials used, they all have one thing in common. They’re all pretty darn big.
The smallest handset here is 5.5-inches, so anyone after a compact mobile should look elsewhere. That said, the S8 surprisingly isn’t too tricky to use with just a single hand, thanks to that practically bezel-free finish. Quite a result, considering this phone has the biggest display of the group.
Thankfully the LG G6 and OnePlus 5 offer custom one-handed features which can help you out. These can pull down the notifications bar for you when needed, for instance, to save you from stretching to the very top of the screen. Samsung’s handset does the same, despite its more compact feel.
Three of these mobiles (the S8, XZ Premium and U11) sport a glossy design. That glass backing looks sleek but in all three cases also picks up smudges and scuffs all too easily. By comparison, the G6 and the OnePlus 5 offer a solid metal finish. Greasy prints are well masked in comparison.
Sadly the OnePlus 5 is the only phone here that isn’t water resistant (not surprising as it’s the cheapest also). Still, all five should prove hardy enough to resist scratching and scuffs over time.
You of course get fingerprint sensors built into all five mobiles, quite a common feature these days. On the HTC U11 and OnePlus 5, this is housed on the front, beneath the screen. The Galaxy S8 and LG G6 throw it around the back instead, as there’s no room at the front. We find the G6’s sensor is much easier to locate with your fingertip when compared with Samsung’s, offering a natural and quick action to unlock the phone. Sony’s phone is the odd one out, with a nifty edge-mounted scanner.
OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs LG G6: Screen and media
If you’re after a media machine to keep you entertained on those commutes, any of these phones should happily suffice.
LG, Samsung and Sony boast the most advanced display tech here, with HDR support on-board. You can expect impressively realistic visuals when Netflix and Amazon Prime Video stream HDR-ready video in 2017. LG’s handset is particularly impressive thanks to its Dolby Vision support.
Still, while the HTC U11 doesn’t offer HDR playback, this handset still puts out some crisp visuals thanks to the Quad HD resolution displays. These phones all boast a similar pixels-per-inch count, with the exception of the Xperia XZ Premium – which packs an impressive 4K-ready panel – and the Full HD OnePlus 5.
Sony’s Ultra HD panel means it’s even sharper than the others here, which is particularly ideal for enjoying VR content. The OnePlus 5 is sadly last of the bunch, although its Full HD visuals are still fine for enjoying movies on the go.
All five of these handsets also offer vivid colour reproduction, for really stand-out visuals. The Galaxy S8 and OnePlus particularly impress with their AMOLED displays, although the U11 and G6 also produce pleasingly punchy colours. Sony’s smartphone can artificially boost images, to easily keep up.
OnePlus 5 does have one advantage when it comes to display tech, with its unique Reading Mode. This uses an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust colour temperature as well as screen brightness, for a comfortable experience when reading eBooks.
Audiophiles will love the HTC U11. The BoomSound speakers are among the best here, offering a powerful stereo output, but it’s the smart USonic earphones that really impress. These can adjust the sound to cater for your particular ear shape, while also boasting active noise cancellation. However, Sony’s handset is also strong, with its full manual audio controls, support for Hi-Res audio and sound boost feature for improving low-quality tracks.
OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs LG G6: Features and OS
All five of these phones offer Android Nougat, but in very different flavours. That’s thanks to the manufacturer overlays which are sat on top, changing up the look and feel and bringing new features to each individual handset.
For instance, Samsung’s handset adds some pretty nifty functionality to make use of that Edge display. You can quickly access shortcuts to your favourite apps or contacts down the edge of the screen, or have real-time info pop up for a quick and easy glance when the phone is sat on a desk.
HTC’s blower impresses with its Edge Sense shortcut feature. This allows you to give the phone a quick squeeze to jump into your favourite app at any time, even when the U11 is hibernating.
As for gamers, the Xperia XZ Premium can stream your gaming session direct from your PS4, using your WiFi network. Samsung has catered to mobile gamers instead, with its Game Launcher feature. This blocks notifications, bumps up performance and can even record your mad skills to share with the world. OnePlus offers notifications blocking for pre-set apps as well.
When it comes to smart assistants, the Samsung and HTC phones offer something above and beyond the Google Now functionality. Samsung’s Bixby and the HTC Sense Companion can help to monitor your phone, update you with important info, keep you organised and much more besides. Sony’s handset also offers some guidance in the form of tutorials and the rest.
All five phones here can access the usual Android features, including split-screen multi-tasking with two apps at once and the blue light filter mode for comfortable night viewing.
For more on the unique features of these phones, check out our in-depth tips and tricks and best hidden features guides:
As for microSD support, the OnePlus 5 once again shuns this feature, much like previous OnePlus handsets. All of the other phones here can be expanded however, giving you plenty of extra space for your media and apps. And at least the OnePlus 5 offers up to 128GB of on-board storage, one of the highest amounts here.
OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs LG G6: Performance and battery life
If you’re after top-end performance that can’t be beat, turn to the OnePlus 5, Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium or the HTC U11. These three handsets boast Qualcomm’s brilliant Snapdragon 835 processor, which is incredibly beefy as well as power efficient. You’ll be fully future-proofed, with support for up to 1Gbps download speeds and impressive security features to boot. Not to mention strong support for advanced mobile VR experiences.
The OnePlus boasts the most memory out of these three, with up to 8GB of RAM on offer. Smooth.
Of course the Galaxy S8 is far from a slouch with its high-performance Exynos processor of Samsung’s own making. The LG G6 is also a smooth operator, even if it uses the slightly older Snapdragon 821 chipset. With all five phones you can blast through the latest games and enjoy a stutter-free everyday experience. Plus, there’s split-screen multi-tasking for using two apps at once, as previously mentioned.
When it comes to battery life, we’re yet to fully test the OnePlus 5. However, you know that it’ll charge fast enough with OnePlus’ Dash Charge feature once again on board. Meanwhile the other Snapdragon handsets use QuickCharge 3.0, again for fast powering up. Samsung’s own version of fast charge also works a treat, with little difference in terms of rate.
OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs LG G6: Cameras
The OnePlus 5 comes packing a dual-lens camera on the back, manufactured in collaboration with optics experts DxO Labs. You get a 16-megapixel lens with f/1.7 aperture, backed by a 20-megapixel f/2.6 aperture telephoto lens. Combined, they can produce some respectable bokeh effects and sharp detailing.
Of course, all four of its rivals here also boast brilliant camera tech. The LG G6 is the only other dual-lens shooter, which offers a wide-angle view of the world on demand. However, any of these devices can shoot crisp, detail-packed and attractive-looking shots in pretty much any conditions. Even low light photos come out well on each handset here, although the G6 occasionally struggles to focus when conditions are dim.
You get lots of crazy bonus modes with the Xperia and Galaxy phones here. Both the XZ Premium and S8 offer cartoon effects which can be added to your snaps, which will keep younger users amused for ages. In comparison, the other phones here play it quite straight; although the G6 does give you an easy way to create multi-photo montages.
Shoot a lot of home movies? You can capture up to 4K resolution video on any of these handsets, with respectable image stabilisation. All five also boast manual controls, if you’re a bit of a pro.
Check out our HTC U11 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium vs Samsung Galaxy S8 camera comparison to see how these three stack up against each other. You can also see our full camera reviews for all of these phones below:
You can grab the OnePlus 5 exclusively from O2 here in the UK, from £34 per month (or £36 for the Midnight Black version). Pre-order now and you will receive the phone from June 22.