Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel 2 XL takes on the new OnePlus 5T. The Pixel 2 XL is Google’s pinnacle of design and specs, as well as being the most expensive Pixel device to date. The OnePlus 5T is OP’s a revision of their OnePlus 5, and it offers a great value – with specs that sometimes equal the Pixel 2 XL and yet costs about $350 cheaper. The Pixel 2 XL comes running Android 8.0 while the OnePlus 5T still has Android 7.1.1, which will be upgraded to Android 8.0 in the upcoming months. Which one of these phones has what it takes to win this comparison? These questions and more are what we hope to answer here. Before we look at each individual device, let’s take a look at what they have in common.
The Pixel 2 XL and the OnePlus 5T do have several things in common. Starting with the displays – both are 6-inches, use OLED technology, both made the move to the 18:9 ratio displays, and Gorilla Glass 5 protects both. Both use the same Snapdragon 835 processor and the Adreno 540 GPU for outstanding graphics. These two devices come with a base of 64GB of internal memory, both have a 128GB model, and both do not have any form of memory expansion. Both have excellent camera areas – the Pixel 2 XL uses a single camera and the OnePlus 5T uses dual cameras. A large, non-removable battery, powers both of these devices, and they both offer a fast charge option. Physically, they are almost identical in size with the Pixel 2 XL weighing in at 13 grams heavier. They both sport Bluetooth v5.0, WiFi, a USB Type-C port, and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great Android flagships stack up against each other on paper. After that, we will look at each handset in more detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on overall specs and the execution of design and functions.
Google Pixel 2 XL
The Google Pixel 2 XL is for real – a true flagship that can stand up with the best of them. It has a large QHD OLED display, uses high-end technology, and it is running the advanced Android 8.0 Oreo. It is no secret that Google is competing with Apple for smartphone supremacy and has up their quality and the price in the process. DxOMark has rated the new Pixel 2 camera the best mobile shooter on the market – all with only one camera. It is unfortunate that Google dropped their 3.5mm headphone jack, but they did add Google Lens, Active Edge(s), as well as improving Google Assistant.
Google chose a 6-inch P-OLED display with a QHD resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels and a density of about 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Google upgraded to the 18:9 ratio that offers a better entertainment experience, as well as providing the user two perfect squares for dual-window multitasking. Google included an Always-On display to make it easier on the battery and, more importantly the user, to check notifications without having to open their device.
The Pixel 2 XL uses the most powerful processor available at the time – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core with one quad-core clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.35GHz. It is paired it up to the Adreno 540 GPU for outstanding graphics – this is the same combo used in the OnePlus 5T. The Pixel 2 XL comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base of 64GB of non-expandable internal memory. Google gives Pixel owners free Google Cloud space, but if you want more internal memory, for an additional $100, you can purchase the 128GB model.
Ever since the Pixel devices were introduced last year, their cameras are rated number one in tests – the refinements to the Pixel 2 lineup have, once again, bumped them to the number one spot. The primary camera is 12-megapixel with an aperture of f/1.8, PDAF and laser autofocusing, EIS and OIS for stabilization, and a dual-tone LED flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) is 8MP and nothing fancy with an aperture of f/2.4, and fixed focus. The Pixel 2 XL has a large battery at 3,520mAh that will certainly get you through an entire day and offers fast charging.
The Google Pixel 2 XL’s biggest disappointments are no memory expansion and no 3.5mm headphone jack. There is no Hi-Res audio on board, but it does provide two front-mounted stereo speakers. The Active Edge allows you to summon Google Assistant and quiet an incoming call – but it seems as though it could do so much more – possibly through a software upgrade. Google Assistant continues to improve and the new Pixel 2’s now offer IP67 dust and water resistance, and a promise of three years’ worth of updates. The Pixel 2 XL measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 175 grams. It is available in two colors – Just Black and Black & White. The Pixel 2 XL will cost about $849 with 64GB of RAM and $949 with 128GB of RAM and is available from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a carrier exclusive of Verizon where you can purchase it with monthly payments.
There is a strong fraction of OnePlus users, but OnePlus’ practice of coming out with a lessor model early in the year and then adding features they should have released in the first place and adding a ‘T’ on the end seems unfair to their customers. The OnePlus 5T still uses a Full HD resolution, but has the same pixel density of the OP5, even with a larger display. It has a great new look with its near bezel-less display and its 18:9 aspect ratio. It still uses the anodized aluminum body that offers a good grip and no fingerprints. They moved the fingerprint sensor to the back, allowing OnePlus 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.
Over the years, we thought 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 still does not use 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, although it still looks iPhone-like from the back.
The OnePlus 5T still had to use the same processor as the OnePlus 5 – the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with one quad-core cluster clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.45GHz. This is paired with the Adreno 540 GPU to handle movies or graphic intense gaming. The OP5T comes in same two configurations as 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’ proprietary Dash Charge.
The OnePlus 5T uses a dual camera arrangement that uses a 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, giving it an inferior digital zoom. They should have made the secondary camera a 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.
One of OnePlus’ biggest drawbacks was its inability to use all of the US carriers, but with connectivity support for 34 different frequency bands – it should now work on your carrier. The OP5T uses the latest Bluetooth v5.0 and lots of RAM, but still no 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. OnePlus really should have included Android 8.0 on the device at this late date, but it comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box with a light OxygenOS overlay – that gives you a near pure vanilla experience. OP is promising a path to an Android 8.0 Oreo 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.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This was a relatively easy decision this time around – if nothing else because of the huge price difference. However, it is more than just the cheaper price that caused me to pick the OnePlus 5T as the winner of this comparison. Other than using the Full HD resolution, it is beautifully designed, incorporates the Sunlight Display, includes the 3.5mm headphone jack with Dirac HD Sound, dual cameras and a large 16-megapixel FFC, and more RAM. The camera may not top the Pixel 2 XL in the ratings, but a dual camera – that takes great photos in its own right – gives the user some more flexibility when setting up your shots. The extra RAM insures that the phone runs fast and smooth, with that extra memory for multitasking.
The Pixel 2 XL does have the higher resolution and always-on display that makes delivering notifications easier and less strain on the battery. Google Lens is a good feature, as is the Active Edge – but both need more work to be truly useful. It also sports stereo speakers (but no Hi-Res audio), and an IP67 dust and water resistance rating. The biggest asset that you can hope to receive from the Pixel 2 XL is that it comes with Android 8.0 Oreo and will receive the fastest updates for three years. If that is what interest you the most and you do not mind spending an extra $350, then the Pixel 2 XL will not disappoint.