Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 2 vs OnePlus 5T

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Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel 2 takes on the new OnePlus 5T. In a past comparison between the Pixel 2 and the OnePlus 5, we gave the edge to the OnePlus 5. How will the new version do going up against the Pixel 2? OnePlus made some much-needed changes in the original OP5 – many think what OnePlus should have released the first time around. The Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5T do have many technical specs in common; however, the OP5T looks better from the outside with its smaller bezels and new 18:9 display ratio. The Pixel 2 may be the only one of these two devices you would consider with its pure Android 8.0 Oreo software. However, the OnePlus 5T has a price advantage of being $150 less than the Pixel 2 and its overlay is almost like using pure Android with a few improvements. Which one of these devices has what it takes to win this comparison? These questions and more are what we hope to answer with this comparison. Before we look at each individual device, let's take a look at what they have in common.

The Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5T do have a few things in common – they both use an AMOLED display, Full HD resolution, and both use Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Both manufacturers grabbed the Snapdragon 835 processor and an Adreno 540 GPU in both devices along with a base of 64GB of memory, but each offers a 128GB model and both memories are non-expandable. Both have excellent camera areas and both have a non-removable battery with quick charge capabilities. You will find a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on both devices, BT 5.0, a USB Type-C port, NFC, and Android Pay. The Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5T are unlocked devices that should work on all major US carriers.

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Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two devices stack up against one another on paper. After that, we will look at each handset in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on its specs and overall execution of design and functions.

Specifications

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Google Pixel 2

With Google's Pixel 2 line of smartphones, they have developed a very competitive lineup that will go up against just about every flagship. Rather than selling their Nexus devices to a few enthusiastic techies, the new Pixel lineup is a mainstream device worthy of anybody's consideration. The naysayers will say that the Pixel 2 lacks memory expansion – but Google offers free cloud service – the Pixel 2 is somewhat dated looking with its large bezels and 16:9 aspect ratio. However, the Pixel 2 does use the best processor/GPU available and an AMOLED display, albeit, only a Full HD resolution. Google Lens is a nice feature that can identify information about certain subjects and Active Edge allows the user to squeeze the sides of the device to awaken Google Assistant or quiet an incoming call. Pricing is also a consideration – the standard 64GB model will cost you $650. You can buy them unlocked to work on any major U.S. carrier, but Verizon is once again the exclusive dealer of the Pixel 2 phones, which will allow you to purchase a Pixel 2 device on their payment plan.

The Google Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1,960 by 1,080 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch (PPI). Google kept the older 16:9 aspect ratio on the smaller Pixel 2. The Always-On display feature used for notifications makes it easier on both the battery life and the user by not having to turn-on the main display.

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Google used the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in its Pixel 2 models. It is an octa-core processor with a quad-core clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.35GHz. An Adreno 540 GPU is used for graphics – the same combo used on the OnePlus 5T. The Pixel 2 has no expandable memory and comes with a basic 64GB, although you can also order a 128GB model. You will find 4GB of RAM on both variations.

The camera on the Nexus models were okay, but nothing to write home about – however, that all changed with the birth of the Pixel line. Google has once again, claimed the top-spot in the industry – with nothing more than a single lens. Both Pixels use a single camera with a 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, and contain EIS and OIS support, laser autofocus and PDAF, and a dual-tone flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) used for selfies and video chatting is an 8-megapixel unit with fixed focus and a smaller f/2.4 aperture. The combination of the efficient processor and Android 8.0, and an FHD display, allow the use of a small, non-removable, 2,700mAh battery that will easily make it through an entire day. When you do need to charge the device, fast charging support will make that process relatively swift.

The Pixel 2 looks are a little dated, but when it comes to specifications and the camera it should compete nicely with other flagships. The Pixel 2 lows are the smaller display, only an FHD display resolution, and the lack of expandable memory. Its highs are the highest-rated camera on the market, its Camera Lens, and Active Edge – although Google needs to add more features to its 'Edge' capabilities. Google added IP67 water resistance this year, and though it has no Hi-Res Audio, it does feature stereo speakers on the front. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but it comes with a dongle that allows you to use wired headphones via the Type-C port.  The Pixel 2 is running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and will certainly receive the fastest Android updates. The Pixel 2 measures 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It is available in three colors – Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue. The Pixel 2 will cost about $650 with 64GB of storage and is available for purchase from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a wireless carrier exclusive through Verizon. If you buy it from Verizon, the company will allow you to finance it over 24 months.

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OnePlus 5T

OnePlus is following its past pattern of coming out with a device earlier in the year, making so many, and then they release an improved model later in the year and add a 'T' on the end of the number. Many would say that the new model is what they should have released in the first place, but this pattern seems to be working for them. The OnePlus 5T still uses only Full HD resolution and has the same pixel density, even with a larger display. Its main excitement will be in its great new look and display. It still uses the anodized aluminum body, but with the 18:9 aspect ratio, and by moving the fingerprint sensor to the back, OnePlus was able to use very small bezels, giving it a more modern look. It still provides great value with the 6GB/64GB model coming in at $500 and the 8GB/128GB model peaking at $560.

Many were hoping that OnePlus might go to a QHD display on the OnePlus 5T, but it looks like they want to stick with the FHD resolution, even on the larger 6.01-inch AMOLED display. OP increased the size and changed the aspect ratio to 18:9, but it still maintains about 401 PPI. The OP5T passed on a secondary display for notifications, but they did incorporate their new Sunlight Display that makes the OP5T much easier to view in the bright sun. The new design makes the OP5T look modern from the front and still iPhone like from the back.

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Although an upgrade, the OnePlus 5T still had to use the same processor as the OnePlus 5 and the Pixel 2 – the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with one quad-core cluster clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.45GHz. Qualcomm teams this up with the Adreno 540 GPU to handle movies or graphic intense gaming. The OP5T comes in same two configurations as did the OP5 – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable memory and another with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. Powering the OnePlus 5T is a 3,300mAh battery that can charge very quickly with OnePlus' Dash Charge.

The OnePlus 5T stayed with the OP5's dual camera arrangement, but made a few changes. It uses the same 16-megapixel primary camera and a 20-megapixel secondary camera, but rather than keeping the telephoto option on the secondary lens like the OP5, OnePlus dropped that option to use it for a bokeh effect. Both cameras use a large f/1.7 aperture for low-light shooting, PDAF, EIS, and a dual-LED flash. OnePlus did away with the optical zoom and gave it an inferior digital zoom. They could have made the secondary camera a one wide-angle or a monochrome variety. OnePlus tweaked the software on the camera app, but this time for the better, giving it a Pro Mode and cleaning up the menus a bit. A large 16-megapixel FFC has an f/2.0 aperture, EIS, and auto-HDR.

OnePlus must finally be ready to sell mass quantities as it increases its cellular connectivity with support for 34 different frequency bands – meaning it should work on your carrier. It comes with the newest Bluetooth 5.0 and a healthy dose of RAM – but it would be nice to have expandable memory. The new rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is faster than ever according to OnePlus. The device offers support for NFC, Android Pay, includes a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, and sports a 3.5mm headphone jack. The OnePlus 5T really should have Android 8.0 on the device at this late date, but it comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box with an OxygenOS overlay – that gives you a near pure vanilla experience. A path to an Android 8.0 Oreo is promised in the near future. The device measures 156.1 x 75 x 7.3mm and weighs in at 162 grams, and comes in Midnight Black, starting at $500.

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…And The Winner Is…

The Final Word

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It was an easy decision to pick the OnePlus 5T as the winner of this comparison. The lower pricing of the OnePlus 5T helped, but with its new display – both larger and 18:9 ratio – more modern looks, extra RAM, 3.5mm headphone jack, and dual cameras, it just made the decision that much easier. Many users claim that 6GB or 8GB of RAM is overkill, but it helps the almost pure vanilla OnePlus 5T fly through its operations and the extra RAM is great for multitasking. The camera may not top the Pixel 2 in the ratings, but it takes great pictures and the dual cameras do offer some flexibility when setting up your shots.

Both have an AMOLED display and the Pixel 2 offers the Always-On feature for convenient notifications, a top-rated camera, Google Lens, and Active Edge, but the latter is only good for summoning Google Assistant or silencing an incoming call. True, it comes with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo and if you buy it from Verizon, you can make monthly payments, but it just looks dated and seems a bit overpriced.

Buy the Pixel 2 Buy The OnePlus 5T