OnePlus 5 vs Google Pixel: Which is best?

Can the new OnePlus truly match up while undercutting the price?

If you're looking for an Android with an iPhone-like aesthetic, then you've got a new option: the OnePlus 5, which is the spitting image of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Of course, it's not the only one out there: the Huawei P10 is another iPhone-esque Android that warrants a look, while the Google Pixel is surely the best-known of the bunch. The Pixel is Google's attempt to deliver the ultimate Android experience, albeit with a pretty familiar silhouette from its biggest rival.

In any case, the OnePlus 5 and Google Pixel are two of the most notable Android phones out there today, but can the latest OnePlus really compete with Google's own offering? Here's how these top-tier options compare.

Design: OnePlus, please

As mentioned above, both of these handsets might look familiar at a glance – and the OnePlus 5 is arguably the closer of the bunch to the iPhone aesthetic. It has a fair amount of top and bottom bezel, along with the fingerprint sensor on the bottom, while the back is also similarly styled.

The Pixel makes more tweaks to the iPhone formula, though, moving the fingerprint sensor to the upper back and also putting a glass cutout there for extra style points. But the Pixel feels a little less premium than the iPhone, while the slimmer OnePlus 5 doesn't feel cheap at all. That's surprising, of course, given the price point.

Neither phone has water resistance, meanwhile, so that's no benefit to either. All told, while these phones have some visual similarities, we dig the look and feel of the OnePlus 5 more.

Winner: OnePlus 5

Screen: Pretty even

Unlike a lot of the top Android phones right now, the OnePlus 5 and Google Pixel both opted not to use Quad HD (2560x1440) displays – and instead use lower-resolution 1080p screens.

That's not really a problem when it comes to relatively small devices, and a pixels-per-inch (ppi) count of 400+ still looks brilliant. On the OnePlus 5, you get a nice-sized 5.5in screen at 401ppi, while the standard Pixel comes in a bit smaller at 5in, but a crisper 441ppi due to the size difference.

We can't spot a serious clarity difference between the two, and we doubt you will either. Both are AMOLED displays, too, which means you get excellent contrast and deep blacks. All told, both of these screens are excellent, and aside from the size difference, they're comparable too.

Winner: Draw

Camera: Pixel perfection

Google does take one big win against the OnePlus 5 – and nearly any other handset available today – when it comes to the camera. Quite simply, the Pixel has one of the absolute best shooters on the market today, even after several months of release.

The Pixel truly lives up to the immense hype spouted about its camera, as the 12-megapixel (f/2.0) back camera takes fantastic HDR+ auto shots and has brilliant outdoors exposure. Between the phase detection and laser autofocus, you'll get sharp results even without optical image stabilisation.

Meanwhile, the electronic image stabilisation is the best around. With just one back camera, the Pixel doesn't have the party tricks of dual-camera setups, like blurred-backdrop portrait shots, but it excels as one of the top single shooters today.

On the other hand, the OnePlus 5 actually does have a dual setup, with a 16MP (f/1.7) main sensor and a 20MP (f/2.6) sensor alongside. Together, they grab really fantastic shots, with realistic colours and dazzling contrast, and the speedy HDR shooting mode doesn't disappoint.

Unlike past OnePlus efforts, the OnePlus 5 can match up with almost any other phone camera today – but the Pixel wins out on a couple of key points: we saw a bit more clarity in still images, especially around the edges, and Google's video stabilisation is still king.

They're close, but spending extra cash for the Pixel can give you a small advantage in day-to-day shooting.

Winner: Google Pixel

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