OnePlus and Apple aren’t two firms you’d normally compare. But in this context we’re going to anyway. Why? Simple: both firms released moderately updated handsets in 2016 in the form of the iPhone 7 Plus, which, for all intents and purposes, is an incremental update on last year’s iPhones, and, the OnePlus 3T, which is a slight re-working of this year’s popular OnePlus 3.
The catch, however, is that OnePlus’ 3T handset is A LOT cheaper with prices starting at $439 for the 64GB model. The OnePlus 3T will go on sale on November 28 and, like its predecessor, it will be available without an invite direct from the company. What you get inside the new 3T handset is a new CPU – the Snapdragon 821, to be precise – and a larger battery that will deliver a 13% improvement on its predecessor’s performance.
The OnePlus 3T will also be available in two new colour options: gun metal and soft gold. But which handset is worth your time and money in late-2016?
Essentially, OnePlus has done to its OnePlus 3 handset what usually takes Apple 12 whole months. The new OnePlus 3T features a more powerful processor, improved battery life and buttery smooth software. To be sure, this handset is a strong contender for phone of the year, despite its similarities to its predecessor, which will be discontinued once the handset launches on November 28.
If you look at specs and hardware and design, there is very little to separate the iPhone 7 and OnePlus 3T. Both are beautiful handsets. Both are power houses with regards to performance, and both are very popular. However, the OnePlus 3T has one HUGE USP up its sleeve and that is its price – it is cheaper than pretty much everything else in its device category.
This is how OnePlus has grown so fast; it serves up Nexus-style handsets (I’m talking about the pricing and specs, here) to a world that no longer has Nexus handsets. OnePlus has filled the gap beautifully and it will continue to do so until the likes of Xiaomi make it over to UK and US markets – apparently this is on the cards for 2017.
But which of these handsets is best?
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Specs
Here’s the specs for the iPhone 7 Plus:
- Display: 5.5in Retina HD display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi, 3D Touch enabled
- Dimensions: 158.2mm x 77.9 mm x 7.3 mm
- Weight: 188 grams
- Storage: 32, 128, or 256GB
- Memory: 3 GB RAM
- Processors: A10
- Front camera: 7 MP
- Rear camera: 12 MP Dual Lens
- Battery: 2900 mAh
And here’s the specs for the OnePlus 3T:
- Display: 5.5in display with a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi
- Dimensions: 152.7mm x 74.7 mm x 7.35mm
- Weight: 158 grams
- Storage: 64 or 128GB
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Processors: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
- Front camera: 16 MP
- Rear camera: 16 MP
- Battery: 3400 mAh
As far as processors go, in reported tests the A10 found in the iPhone 7 Plus seems to outperform the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 found in the 3T. However, processor performance comes down to a lot of things: which apps you are using, how well those apps are coded to take advantage of the processor’s architecture, etc. Until we can do a full side by side, we’re calling the processors a draw for now.
One thing that isn’t a draw is the RAM. The 3T KILLS it with 6GB of DDR4 RAM. The iPhone 7 Plus only has 3GB of lowly DDR3. As for storage, either phone features and external SD card slot, so what you buy is what you get. The iPhone 7 Plus has three options starting at 32GB and going to 128 and 256GB and the 3T has two options: 64GB and 128GB.
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Design & Build
Both phones are made with a unibody aluminum enclosure and both look pretty damn beautiful in their own right. I think the winner here, however, is the iPhone, since it comes in five color options and the 3T only comes in two.
When it comes to thinness, the iPhone 7 Plus wins as well–although just barely. Its 7.3mm thin where the 3T is 7.35mm thin. Sure, that’s ALMOST the same size, but still…
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Display and Battery
Each phone actually has very similar display. Both phones offer a 5.5in display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. There is, however, a big difference in additional display technology. The killer display tech on the iPhone 7 Plus is its 3D Touch pressure-sensitive display, something the 3T lacks entirely.
As for battery, the 3T wins, with its 3400 mAh pack. That’s compared to the iPhone 7 Plus’s 2900 mAh battery. But how long a phone’s battery lasts has as much to do with the size of the pack as it does with how well the software works to conserve power.
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Cameras
Here is where Apple really triumphs. The iPhone 7 Plus offers a 12MP rear camera with dual lenses. It’s that dual lens system that gives the iPhone 7 Plus it’s incredible zoom and allows for jaw dropping shots. The 3T has a higher megapixel image sensor–at 16MP–in the rear lens, but it’s still just a single lens. However, the 3T bests the iPhone 7 Plus in the front camera department, offering the same 16MP lens whereas the iPhone 7 Plus only has a 7MP lens.
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Verdict
Both smartphones are great, but if you’re looking for one with the best camera, go with the iPhone 7 Plus and its dual lens system. However, if you’re looking for the smartphone with the better raw processing power, the 3T handily beats the the 7 Plus with its massive 6GB of DDR4 RAM. Then again, if you’re an Android or iOS fanboy, how much do the raw specs matter? You’re going to pick the phone with the OS you love. The good thing is both these phones are worthy carries of their respective OS.