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Pixel 3 vs. OnePlus 6T: Which Android should you buy?

If you’re out there for a premium telephone proper now, know that there is extra than simply the most recent iPhone versus Samsung’s Galaxy S9 to think about. This yr, two different contenders, the Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T, additionally ship a top-tier Android expertise with the latest-and-greatest in processing speeds, cameras and software program options.

Starting at $899 (£869, AU$1,349) the Pixel 3 (and its bigger counterpart the Pixel 3 XL) earned a CNET Editors’ Choice and has an distinctive digicam that takes probably the most constant pictures in any lighting situation. Its name blocking function, which runs on AI straight from Google, additionally offers it an edge over different nice telephones this yr.


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But on the identical time, the OnePlus 6T is probably the most inexpensive, top-notch Android telephone you can get. It begins at solely $549 (£499, converts to AU$775), is supplied with a stable digicam and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. Best but for American consumers, the OnePlus 6T now sells by means of T-Mobile (although you can even decide it up immediately from OnePlus’ web site), and it really works on Verizon’s community too.

These two terrific choices go face to face in design, digicam, software program and efficiency. See which one comes out on high.

Editors’ Note, Nov. 22: We’ve up to date this text, initially printed Nov. four, with further impressions, comparisons to the Pixel 3’s Night Sight function.

OnePlus 6T’s in-screen fingerprint reader vs. Pixel 3’s water resistance

OnePlus 6T wins bragging rights as the primary within the US to have a fingerprint-on-display scanner (or FOD). That means you can scan your fingerprint on the entrance of the show to unlock your display screen and the telephone has actually skinny bezels throughout. During my time with it, the FOD labored quick sufficient nearly all of the time, however it did not work as shortly because the devoted fingerprint scanner did on the earlier OnePlus 6.

Because of the area the FOD takes contained in the telephone, OnePlus lopped off the 6T’s headphone jack (although the Pixel 3 does not have one both, and so do many other phones). If you do not already personal wi-fi headphones to hearken to music and calls, OnePlus included a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter dongle within the field. You can even purchase the model’s USB Type-C earbuds for an additional $20 (£16, converts to AU$30). The Pixel 3, however, comes bundled with its personal Pixel Buds without cost.


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The Pixel 3 appears to be like just like final yr’ Pixel 2, however refined design tweaks like thinner bezels and a shiny lining across the telephone add extra polish this time round. I am additionally a giant fan of the Pixel’s new shade variant “Not Pink.” (Click right here to see the “Not Pink” Pixel under a macro lens.)

The OnePlus 6T’s in-screen fingerprint reader.

James Martin/CNET

If you’re eyeing the larger Pixel 3 XL although, you’ll discover that it has one of many thickest on-screen notches we have seen. Even though you can hide it, it isn’t very flattering in comparison with the OnePlus 6T’s teardrop-shaped notch (which you can even masks with black bars). Just be glad that Google fastened the bug that made two notches appear on the show.

But whether or not you get the Pixel 3 XL with the notch, know that each measurement fashions have wi-fi charging, they usually can juice up on any Qi-compatible charging mat. (Fast-charging, however, only works on Google’s own Pixel Stand charger.) The Pixel can be rated IPX8, that means it will probably survive in about 3 toes underwater (1m) for 30 minutes.

Winner: While being the primary to have an in-screen fingerprint scanner is commendable for the OnePlus 6T, so far as bonus options go, I discover the Pixel 3’s wi-fi charging and waterproof capabilities extra helpful.

OnePlus 6T’s digicam is admirable, however the Pixel 3 wins out

At lots of of lower than its competitor, the OnePlus 6T took spectacular footage that had been both on par or higher at instances than the Pixel 3’s digicam (on auto mode). For instance, there have been instances when the OnePlus 6T had a wider dynamic vary than the Pixel 3 when the Pixel was in its HDR+ mode. The 6T brightened and punched up colours a bit extra. But once I switched to the Pixel’s HDR+ enhanced mode, it noticeably outperformed the OnePlus 6T.

Another occasion was low-light pictures. Both can take wonderful pictures in dim lighting — brightening up objects and capturing as a lot info and focus as potential. In the 6T’s Nightscape capturing mode, it retained the identical, if not barely extra, particulars than the Pixel 3. However, the Pixel 3’s Night Sight feature, which turned accessible as an over-the-air replace after launch, works extraordinarily properly. It brightens up even the darkest of scenes and retains objects in focus.

A selfie taken on each cameras.

Lynn La/CNET

A photograph taken indoors with the OnePlus 6T and the Pixel 3 XL.

Lynn La/CNET


Taking a photograph in close to darkness with the Pixel 3 in default mode (left) and with Night Sight on (proper).  

Patrick Holland/CNET

As for taking pictures of individuals, the bokeh impact on the OnePlus 6T and Pixel 3 regarded nice, however they did have a couple of sharp patches amongst the softly blurred background. If I had to decide on although, I favored how the Pixel retained extra foreground element. Plus, Google’s telephone renders the impact utilizing just one digicam, versus the OnePlus 6T’s dual-camera setup.

Finally, I most popular the selfies I took on the Pixel. The OnePlus did not seize as a lot element in my face and hair, and it made my pores and skin look a lot paler. The Pixel additionally has a second front-facing digicam for wide-angle pictures.

Winner: It’s arduous to not be impressed by the OnePlus’ digicam prowess given its low price ticket, however the Pixel 3 is superior.

Software: Android Pie topped with some extras

The Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T run Google’s newest Android Pie out of the field. They each incorporate a lot of Pie’s updates together with gesture navigation, adaptive battery (during which the telephone learns what apps you do not use usually and limits system assets to them) and extra choices to tweak your telephone’s settings when it is in Do Not Disturb mode.

Other than that although, OnePlus does not add a lot else to the OS. This is not unhealthy essentially; one in all my favourite issues about OnePlus telephones is its minimalistic tackle Android and lack of bloatware. Unlike different telephones that typically slather superfluous quantities of software program, OnePlus retains issues refreshingly easy.

On that observe although, whereas the Pixel 3 provides extra to the OS than the OnePlus, these options find yourself being fairly helpful. Call Screen, for instance, solutions calls in your behalf, and you can learn a transcript of the dialog in actual time to resolve whether or not or to not block a name or reply it. The Pixel’s Digital Wellbeing function additionally exhibits you how you’re spending your time on the telephone and lets you restrict app utilization accordingly. The telephone will obtain immediate software program updates as soon as they’re accessible and Pixel homeowners get limitless cloud storage for pictures as properly.


The Pixel 3’s Call Screen and Digital Wellbeing function.

Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET

Winner: Though I admire OnePlus’ restrained method to Android, the Pixel provides sensible options to the person expertise with out overdoing it.

OnePlus 6T has the higher hand with pace and battery

Equipped with Snapdragon 845 chipsets, the Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T are zippy and responsive. Between them, I do not actually discover any variations in pace with day-to-day duties like launching apps or firing the digicam shutter. But if we had been to separate hairs, the OnePlus 6T does have the slight edge over the Pixel 3 on benchmark checks. Check out each scores beneath:

3DMark Slingshot Unlimited


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.four.zero single-core


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.four.zero multi-core


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

As for battery life, each telephones scored wonderful marks and lasted over 16 hours on our check for steady video playback on Airplane Mode. More particularly, the Pixel 3 XL, which has a much bigger 3,430mAh battery than its smaller Pixel 3 counterpart’s 2,915mAh battery, clocked in 16 hours and 49 minutes. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 6T lasted longer, with a mean nearer to 17 hours.

Winner: The OnePlus 6T has the sting on this one.

And the winner is…


The OnePlus 6T (left) and the Pixel 3 XL (proper).

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 3 is objectively the higher telephone, apart from processing efficiency and battery life. It has a waterproof design, a superlative digicam that takes spectacular low-light pictures and helpful software program goodies from Google that promise to maintain you up to date on Android options and safety patches.

But it is also arduous to disregard the truth that the Pixel 3 begins at $350 and £240 greater than the OnePlus 6T. If you go for the latter, you nonetheless have a quick and dependable telephone, and likewise extra cash in your pocket to purchase loads of different issues — like a pair of wi-fi headphones, for instance.

Whichever one you go along with, you’re nonetheless strolling away with a wonderful telephone, and if you can afford the Pixel 3, know you have among the best Androids round. But if wish to avoid wasting cash, the OnePlus 6T is your higher worth purchase.

OnePlus 6T and Pixel 3/3 XL specs

OnePlus 6T Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL
Display measurement, decision 6.41-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 5.5-inch OLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels 6.3-inch OLED; 2,960×1,440 pixels
Pixel density 402ppi 443ppi 522ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.20×2.94×0.32 in 5.7×2.7×0.3 in 6.2x3x.03 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 157.5×74.8×8.2 mm 145.6×68.2×7.9 mm 158×76.7×7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.53 oz; 185g 5.2oz; 148g 6.5 oz; 184g
Mobile software program Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie
Camera 16-megapixel commonplace, 20-megapixel telephoto 12.2-megapixel 12.2-megapixel
Front-facing digicam 16-megapixel Eight-megapixel commonplace, Eight-megapixel wide-angle Eight-megapixel commonplace, Eight-megapixel wide-angle
Video seize 4K 4K 4K
Processor 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 2.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 2.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Storage 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
Expandable storage None None None
Battery 3,700 mAh 2,915 mAh 3,430 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Underneath show Back cowl Back cowl
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None No No
Special options In-display fingerprint sensor, dual-SIM, Dash Charging, notifications toggle Water resistant (IPX8), wi-fi charging, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones included Water resistant (IPX8), wi-fi charging, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones included
Price off-contract (USD) $549 (6GB RAM/128GB), $579 (8GB RAM/128GB), $629 (8GB RAM/256GB) $799 (64GB); $899 (128GB) $899 (64GB), $999 (128GB)
Price (GBP) £499 (6GB RAM/128GB), £529 (8GB RAM/128GB), £579 (8GB RAM/256GB) £739 (64GB); £839 (128GB) £869 (64GB), £969 (128GB)
Price (AUD) Converted: AU$774 (6GB RAM/128GB), AU$817 (8GB RAM/128GB), AU$887 (8GB RAM/256GB) AU$1,199 (64GB); AU$1,349 (128GB) AU$1,349 (64GB), AU$1,499 (128GB)

Google Pixel 3 review: Google pairs a tremendous digicam with critical AI smarts

OnePlus 6T review: A hero telephone with out the sky-high worth

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