Google Pixel XL vs OnePlus 3T: Which is the best Android phone today?

By Prasid Banerjee | Published on 14 Dec 2016
Google Pixel XL vs OnePlus 3T: Which is the best Android phone today?
HIGHLIGHTS
  • With its new Snapdragon 821 processor, the OnePlus 3T could actually be the best Android phone today, if not for the Google Pixel XL!

The OnePlus 3T is a great smartphone, as is the Google Pixel XL. Given the common SoC, many of you have been asking whether the OnePlus 3T is a better phone than the Google Pixel XL. In a way, the answer is yet. The OnePlus 3T delivers the same performance as a Google Pixel XL, but at half the price, and that alone may make it the perfect smartphone today.

But price aside, is the OnePlus 3T the best Android smartphone you can buy today? A comparison between it, and the Google Pixel XL is the best way to find out.

Display

The Pixel XL is the clear winner here. The OnePlus 3T has a nice display, but the Pixel just shows more vibrant colours, and is sharper. The difference between 401ppi (on the OnePlus 3T) and 534ppi (on the Google Pixel XL) may not be visible at first, but it doesn’t matter either. What makes the Pixel XL better is its bright and vivid display, which also feels better to touch, thanks to a smudge-resistant oleophobic coating.

You’ll find the two display equally bright, though. The OnePlus 3T measured 801 Lux on our luminance test, while the Google Pixel XL came in at 805 Lux.

Performance

From a performance point of view, there’s little separating the two smartphones. Benchmarks suggest equal performance, and truly, that’s how it is. The Pixel launcher is refined, and well optimised, but so is OxygenOS this time. That makes the OnePlus 3T pretty much as fast as the Google Pixel XL. However, purely in terms of numbers, the OnePlus device can produce higher frame rates on graphics performance, thanks to a lower resolution display.

In real world terms, there’s really nothing separating these two smartphones. Unless you’re nitpicking, the Snapdragon 821 is just as powerful on both these devices, and both OxygenOS and Pixel launcher are refined enough to allow the best possible performance you’d need.

Camera

The camera is the sole reason why the Pixel XL is the best Android smartphone today. Its 12.3MP camera takes much sharper, and pleasantly warmer photos, than the OnePlus 3T’s 16MP camera. The time the Pixel XL takes to shoot photos in HDR is the same as that taken by the 3T on its auto mode.

Note: Images below have been resized. The full sized images are available in the galleries below.

Google Pixel XL (Above) vs OnePlus 3T (below)

To be clear, the white balance is off on both the devices, but the Pixel produces warmer tones that many would like. In addition, it does much better with the dynamic range, and can also produce more details. It deals with highlights better, and does very well on unevenly lit conditions.

Camera Sample: Google Pixel XL (above) vs OnePlus 3T (below)

However, the OnePlus 3T still puts up a respectable battle under outdoor or indoor conditions. Where the Pixel XL really shines is in low light imaging. Photos are simply brighter, more detailed, sharper, and better in every way under such conditions.

OnePlus 3T Camera Samples

 

Google Pixel XL Camera Samples

Battery

Strictly speaking, the Google Pixel XL can produce better battery life than the OnePlus 3. On regular usage, the Pixel XL lasted us for about 14 hours, whereas the OnePlus 3T lasts for 12 hours of reasonably heavy usage. This includes everything from social networking, gaming, camera usage, phone calls, text messages and IMs.

That said, we’d call this one a tie as well, given the fast charging times for the OnePlus 3T. Dash charge technology indeed charges the phone from 0-100% in less than an hour. On the Pixel XL, charging from 0-100% took almost an hour-and-a-half.

Bottomline

Between the Google Pixel XL and OnePlus 3T, the Pixel XL is definitely the better overall device. But that’s primarily because of its camera. For its price, the OnePlus 3T still has a great camera, and it’s amongst the most powerful smartphones in the market today.

We would have liked longer battery lives on both these smartphones, but they do meet the best in the industry today. They’ll last you a work day pretty easily, with the Pixel XL lasting you a few hours more.

Prasid Banerjee
Prasid Banerjee

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About Me: Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably. Read More

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Google Pixel XL OnePlus 3T OnePlus 3T vs Google Pixel XL Google Pixel XL comparisons OnePlus 3T comparison
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