Honor 8 Pro vs OnePlus 5: Battle of the flagship killers

By Sameer Mitha | Published on 25 Jul 2017
Honor 8 Pro vs OnePlus 5: Battle of the flagship killers
HIGHLIGHTS

Priced around Rs 30,000 both the smartphones offer impressive specifications and have an attractive designs. We put the Honor 8 Pro and OnePlus 5 through a series of tests to see which is the better smartphone.

The OnePlus 5 and Honor 8 Pro are battling it out for the position of the most value for money smartphone today. We put both the devices through our tests to figure that out. Before we get into the detailed comparison, here is a quick look at the specifications.

Specs

Particulars

Honor 8 Pro

OnePlus 5

Slimness

6.9mm

7.3

Weight

184 grams

153 grams

Dual-SIM

Yes

Yes

Hybrid-SIM

Yes

No

Display Size

5.7-inch

5.5-inch

Display Type

LTPS IPS LCD

Optic AMOLED

Display Resolution

2560x1440

1920x1080

Display Protection

Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Corning Gorilla Glass 5

OS

Android 7.0

Android 7.1.1

UI

Emotion UI 5.1

Oxygen OS

Chipset

HiSilicon Kirin 960

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

GPU

Mali-G71 MP8

Adreno 540

Built-in storage

128GB

64GB/128GB

Expandable Storage

Yes, upto 128GB

No

RAM

6GB

6GB/8GB

Front camera

8MP

16MP

Rear Camera

Dual 12MP

Dual 16MP+20MP

WiFi

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, WiFi Direct, hotspot

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot

Bluetooth

4.2

5.0

USB

Type-C

Type-C

Battery

4000mAh

3300mAh

Both smartphones boast top of the line specifications for their respective price points, but specifications aren't always everything.

Build and Design

Kicking things off with the Honor 8 Pro, it has a metal build and the blue colour review unit that we received is certainly attractive. On the front, the smartphone has a 5.7-inch display with a 2.5D curved glass and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. There are no physical buttons below the display. Above it, we have the earpiece and the front-facing camera. The bezels on the side are quite thin and the Navy Blue colour that we received just makes the phone pop. At the bottom of the device, you have the USB-C port, headphone jack, and the speaker grille. On the left, we have the Dual-SIM tray and the second SIM slot doubles up as a hybrid SIM slot. On the right, we have the volume rocker and the power button.

When it comes to the front of the OnePlus 5, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is the OnePlus 3T. The smartphone has the exact same front with the home cum fingerprint sensor sitting below the display. On either side of the home button you have capacitive buttons, which can be configured to be the back and multitasking button. You can also configure what action will happen if you long press or double tap either of the three (the home button or the capacitive buttons), which has always been a useful feature. The OnePlus 5 feels reasonably ergonomic and easy to manage for a smartphone with 5.5-inch display.

The camera lens bump at the back of the OnePlus 5 could perhaps have been avoided, considering we have seen the seamless design on the Honor 8 Pro.

Overall, both the devices do feel premium in one's hand but if you ask us, the Honor 8 Pro has a better design thanks to the camera that sits flush with the back. Ergonomically, the OnePlus 5 is a better, but that's because it has a slightly smaller display.

Display

The OnePlus 5 has a 5.5-inch 1080p Optic Amoled display, whereas the Honor 8 Pro has a 5.7-inch LTPS IPS LCD display. As far as resolution is concerned the Honor 8 Pro has the upper hand. But that's not the only thing that matters. The Honor 8 Pro clocks in a maximum luminance of 458 lux whereas the OnePlus 5 does 750 lux. Put side-by-side, the OnePlus 5 has a better display for sunlight visibility. As far as viewing angles are concerned, the OnePlus 5 wins with viewing angles as well.

When it comes to the colour reproduction on the display of the Honor 8, by default the display has a cool tone to it, which means that you will see hints of blue all over the place. The display settings of the smartphone offers three presets – default, warm and cool. A good thing is that you also have the ability to manually change colour temperature if you like. Setting the colour temperature to warm, worked perfectly for us.

The OnePlus 5 on the other hand has an AMOLED panel, so you get awesome contrast, along with slightly oversaturated (some call it vivid) colors. Switching the color profile from “Default” to “sRGB” was the first thing that we did after entering the settings menu.

When you watch content on the devices you will have a good experience on either device. The only downside is that the viewing angles on the Honor 8 Pro aren't as good as the OnePlus 5.

Software and UI

When it comes to the software, the OnePlus 5 runs on Android 7.1.1 layered with Oxygen OS. Oxygen OS stays as close to stock Android as possible, but adds a few nifty features, like reading mode (which makes the display black and white). This mode can be activated manually or set to activate when certain apps are launched. The fact that the OS is so close to stock Android is always a plus in our books.

Straight out of the box, the Honor 8 Pro runs on Android 7.0 skinned with EMUI 5.1. Those that have seen Honor's UI in action in the past will feel at home here. The UI doesn’t have childish or cartoony icons anymore, and the number of preloaded themes on the device are enough to give it a more mature look. By default, there is no app drawer and all the apps are listed on the home screen, but if you are someone that likes the app drawer, you can get that by changing the home screen layout in the settings menu. You also have a bunch of permutations and combinations of the back, home and multitasking on screen button arrangement to choose from. You also have access to a bunch of motion controls, like raise the device to answer a call or flip to mute, a bunch of knuckle gestures, a glove mode and more. So, if you want to show off with a bunch of software enhancements, then the Honor 8 Pro packs in quite a few of them. Although in the long run, some of them are gimmicky whereas a few, such as raise to answer the call or flip to mute, soon become second nature.

Overall, we still prefer stock Android but EMUI 5.1 has enough to keep you interested. 

Gaming

A considerable amount of time was playing heavy games like Injustice 2, Asphalt 8 etc. on each phone. The bottom line here is that both the smartphones ran every game we threw at them with ease. 

As far as loading is concerned, there is a difference of about 5 seconds which isn't much. We clicked on the Injustice 2 icon on both the smartphones at the same time and the difference in load time was between 3 to 5 seconds, where the OnePlus 5 loaded the game 3 seconds faster and once 5 seconds faster. Since the game relies heavily on internet connectivity, your internet connection will also determine some of the load times.

Be it heavy games, or run of the mill simple games, both the smartphones didn't disappoint.

Benchmarks

With the number of stories circulating the internet suggesting that smartphone makers are rigging their hardware to perform well on benchmarks, benchmarks are no longer the basis for how hardware performs. Nonetheless, the objective of benchmarks is to show the raw performance of the smartphone. The following is a look at how the two smartphones performed in our benchmarks with some flagships thrown into the mix to add perspective.

Overall performance

Here we used both the devices for everyday activities such as browsing the Internet using the Chrome browser, reading books using the Kindle app, sending messages via WhatsApp and SMS (yes, SMS still do wonders), social networking listening to music, watching videos on YouTube and more. I honestly can’t tell you which phone superseeds the other in such basic activities. There are moments when you put the phones side-by-side to open apps like WhatsApp, Chrome, Facebook, etc. and the OnePlus 5 loads a hair faster, but nothing that hampers the overall experience of the smartphone. If you are looking for a smartphone for such basic apps, you can't go wrong with either.

Camera

This is where things get interesting. Both the smartphones boasts dual-rear camera setups. Let's kick things off with the Honor 8 Pro. Unlike other Huawei products we’ve seen, this one doesn’t house the Leica branding. Both the RGB and monochrome sensors on the Honor 8 Pro are 12 megapixels. The logic behind the two sensors remains the same as previous Huawei devices – more light for better pictures. With some software mumbo jumbo, the Honor 8 Pro combines data from both sensors for good looking images. 

The OnePlus 5 on the other hand follows the philosophy followed by the iPhone 7 Plus where one is a wide angle lense and the other is telephoto lens.

Well-lit situations

When It comes to well-lit situations, both the smartphones perform well. Put the images side-by-side however, and you will see that the Honor 8 Pro performs slightly better. The details are good and the colour reproduction is quite accurate. Below are image samples from well-lit situations

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Low Light photography

In low lit situations however, the OnePlus 5 excels in comparison to the Honor 8 Pro. The Honor 8 Pro captures less light when compared to the OnePlus 5, making images noisy. In low lit situations, the OnePlus 5 retains more details when compared to the Honor 8 Pro. Below are samples of low-lit situations.

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Boche Effect 

When it comes to the bokeh effect on the OnePlus 5, you have to be at a specific distance from the subject to capture the effect. In practice, this means moving back and forth to get into perfect position. The image that's produced does look good, but you can't control how blured you want the background to be. On the Honor 8 Pro, you can control the amount of blur after the photo has been clicked. You can also change the object you want to blur in the image. So if you want to blur the background, you can do that, or if you want to blur the subject, you can do that as well. The effect can look quite artificial if you put the blur settings on maximum, but the presence of so much control in post production is appreciated. Below are samples of bokeh effect.

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

Honor 8 Pro (Left), OnePlus 5 (Right)

The bottom line is this. If you want good quality photos in low lit situations, then the OnePlus 5 has the camera for you. If you want good daylight photos and a lot of control over the bokeh effect, then the Honor 8 Pro is the one for you.

Battery life

In our PCMark battery test, the Honor 8 Pro lasted for 517 minutes whereas the OnePlus 5 lasted for 750 minutes. The Honor 8 Pro has a 4000mAh battery whereas the OnePlus 5 has a 3300mAh battery. Apart from hardware and software optimization for battery, one of the biggest battery guzzling components is the display. The Honor 8 Pro has a 2K display whereas the OnePlus 5 has a 1080p display. Rendering fewer pixels on the display means that the battery will last longer on the onePlus 5. 

You can get through a day of average work using either of the two smartphones, but if you are looking for heavy use that involves more content consumption on the display than phone calls, then the OnePlus 5 is the one for you.

Verdict

The beauty of choosing between either of the two smartphones is that you can’t go wrong by picking up either of them. The Honor 8 Pro brings with it a great design, good camera for well lit situations and overall smooth performance. On the downside, the viewing angles of the display and brightness could have been better, along with low light photography.

The OnePlus 5 on the other hand has a brighter display, good camera for low lit situations and overall smooth performance, along with good battery life. Ultimately, it boils down to which UI you prefer as all other aspects are nearly at par. Yes, the Honor 8 Pro offers expandable storage and 128GB straight out of the box for a cheaper price, so those looking for a lot of storage have their decision quite clear.

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Sameer Mitha

Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.

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