iPhone 8 vs OnePlus 6
OnePlus has released its new premium handset, the OnePlus 6, which comes with plenty of high-end tech for a decidedly mid-range price. We see how it compares to Apple's more affordable (compared to an iPhone X) flagship offering, the iPhone 8.
Price & availability
Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 back in September 2017, and it now comes in four colour options: Silver, Gold, Space Grey, and (Product) Red. There are two storage configurations: 64GB and 256GB.
The 64GB variant costs £699/$699, while moving up to the 256GB model will set you back £849/$849.
OnePlus continues to make a point of keeping its prices firmly in the mid-range, all while offering configurations for which you'd expect to spend considerably more.
There are three colour choices for the OnePlus 6 (Midnight Black, Mirror Black and Silk White), all of which are available in several combinations of RAM and storage.
Here is the list of options:
- 6GB/64GB: £469/US$529/€519
- 8GB/64GB: £519/$579/€569
- 8GB/128GB: £569/$629/€619
Design & build quality
The iPhone 8 is, in most areas, the same construction and design as the iPhone 6, 6s and 7 models that preceded it. One notable exception is the return of a glass back, like the one that last appeared on the iPhone 4/4s.
This addition brings with it a long awaited feature, that of wireless charging, although it should be noted that Apple doesn't include one of these chargers in the box. See our Best wireless chargers for iPhone guide if you want to add one of these to your setup.
Those not lured by the facial recognition on the iPhone X will be happy to find that the iPhone 8 still retains the Touch ID sensor in the Home button, which gives the front panel that classic, but admittedly ageing, visage.
OnePlus dispenses with a home button on the front, and goes the way of many larger Android phones by placing a fingerprint sensor on the rear instead.
This allows an edge-to-edge display, albeit one that adopts the iPhone X's controversial 'notch' design to accommodate a facial recognition camera. OnePlus has included a software setting that lets you blacken the screen either side of the notch, though, so you can return to straight lines if you wish.
Glass has also been adopted for the back of the case, but OnePlus has left out wireless charging this time around, which does seem a little odd.
In the hand the OnePlus 6 is a good deal larger than the iPhone 8, mainly due to the included 6.28in display which dwarfs the 4.7in one found in Apple's device.
If you're someone looking to use their phone predominantly in one hand, then the iPhone 8 definitely has the edge here, but conversely those who want to watch media on the move will find the larger OnePlus 6 better suited to the task.
- iPhone 8: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm; 148g
- OnePlus 6: 156.1mm x 75mm x 7.75mm; 177g
While the iPhone 8 has an IP67 rating for waterproofing, the OnePlus 6 doesn't. The latter is stated to be safe in light rain showers, but if you're worried about using the device in more adverse conditions then the iPhone seems a safer bet.
Oh, and the OnePlus has a headphone jack, while Apple continues its policy of omitting this simple, useful feature from its handsets. Still very annoying if you don't want to spend £159/$159 on a pair of Apple AirPods.
As we've already stated, the OnePlus 6 has a much bigger panel than its Apple rival. It also boasts a Full HD+ AMOLED display, which offers excellent colours, contrast, and generally more vibrant experience than the LCD panel found in the iPhone 8.
That being said, there's nothing wrong with the latter, which this time around features Apple's True-Tone technology to keep things looking good in a range of different environments.
Both are clear, bright and easy to read, but AMOLED does have a richer feel, which is probably why it appears on the iPhone X as well.
One area where the OnePlus phones have often come up slightly short is that of cameras. Let's be clear: they have always been perfectly fine and usable in many situations. But none have made their way to the top of any shoot-out lists.
iPhones of course regularly contest the number-one spot for the best cameras available, and in this head-to-head Apple wins again.
OnePlus has gone down the current road of dual-lens setups, with the OnePlus 6 featuring a 16Mp and 20Mp combination, both with f/1.7 apertures.
The main 16Mp unit also features Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), and there are portrait modes, plus a 2x optical zoom, to take advantage of the dual-camera arrangement.
Video recording quality goes up to an impressive 4K @ 60fps, with Slo-Mo capture being less stellar with a maximum of 480fps at 720p.
Apple has retained the single-camera compliment that has served so well in the past. It's an excellent unit that lives up to its heritage, delivering quality images in a variety of settings.
Video capture is also top-notch, with 4K footage going up to 60fps and slo-mo recording maxing out at 1080p at 240fps.
Against the OnePlus 6 the iPhone 8 does return better results to our eyes, but when Apple updates the model this year we expect to see a dual-camera setup, such as the one on the iPhone 8 Plus - otherwise it will start to lag behind to competition.
Internally, both devices offer an outstanding compliment of premium components. OnePlus installs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, aided by an Adreno 630 GPU, and either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.
This all makes for a fast, fluid experience that is a joy to use. OnePlus wisely employs a very light OxygenOS skin on the Android 8.1 operating system, which avoids anything getting bogged down and keeps the Android experience close to how Google intended.
Apple includes much of the hardware found inside its iPhone X, with an A11 Bionic processor, M11 motion coprocessor, and 2GB RAM. Again, everything is rapid and trouble-free.
These are premium units, and behave as such.
Here's a full breakdown of the technical specifications.
iPhone 8 specs
- A11 Bionic processor chip with 64bit architecture and M11 motion coprocessor
- 2GB RAM
- 64GB or 256GB of storage
- 4.7in Retina HD screen (1334 x 750 at 326ppi), 1400: contrast ratio, 625 cd/m2 max brightness, True Tone, 3D Touch
- 12Mp rear-facing camera, f/1.8, 5x digital zoom, OIS, flash, panorama up to 63Mp, 4K video at up to 60fps, slo-mo video at 1080p and up to 240 fps
- 7Mp front-facing camera, Retina Flash feature, 1080p video
- 1,821mAh rechargeable battery, wired and wireless charging, fast charge, claimed battery life 12 hours
- Second-gen Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, Lightning port (no headphone jack)
- IP67 water- and dust-resistant
- iOS 11.3
- 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm; 148g
OnePlus 6 specs
- Android 8.1 Oreo with OxygenOS
- 6.28in Full HD+ (1080x2280) AMOLED display, 19:9, 402ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
- Adreno 630 graphics
- 6/8GB RAM
- 64/128/256GB storage
- 16Mp and 20Mp rear cameras, f/1.7, support for 4K video at 60fps
- 16Mp front camera, f/2.0
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 4G LTE (Cat 16)
- Dual nano-SIM
- Headphone jack
- Fingerprint sensor (rear)
- 3300mAh non-removable battery with Dash Charge
- 156.1x75x7.75mm; 177g
The iPhone 8 is a true refinement of the design that began back with the iPhone 6. As such it presents the pinnacle of this particular layout, with wireless charging a solid addition to the already tried-and-tested construction. It's fast, powerful, and reliable.
That's not the whole story, though. When you compare the two devices side by side, Apple's offering has now begun to look and feel dated.
Those large bezels on the front and single camera on the back all do their jobs, but are essentially from the school of 2014.
The OnePlus 6 is a far more modern affair. Many of its cues are obviously taken from the iPhone X, which serves it well in most cases. The bigger screen, facial recognition, dual cameras, high-end components and general aesthetics make it feel like a 2018 device, and that's before you get to the price.
If you want a familiar, trustworthy iPhone then the 8 is a safe choice. But, for something more exciting and up to date, the OnePlus is a very seductive handset. Plus, you'll save yourself around £200 in the process. No bad thing in these financially challenging times.