The wait is finally over. The Google Pixel 5 is here! With a more attractive price point than ever before, there’s a lot to like about Google’s latest flagship. However, the Pixel 5 isn’t without competition. The new price puts it right up against more cost-effective brands, including the ever-popular OnePlus.
Value for money has been a cornerstone of the OnePlus ethos for years, while Google is relatively new to the super mid-tier game. But Mountain View is a quick study, building on the success of the affordable Pixel 3a with its new lineup. So, is it worth waiting a few more weeks to see what the Shenzhen brand has in store with the eagerly-awaited OnePlus 8T, or is Google’s phone a safe buy today? Let’s take an early look at the OnePlus 8T vs Google Pixel 5.
Related: The best Google Pixel 5 alternatives
Google Pixel 5: Buy now?
Google is offering its first 5G-ready flagship smartphone with the Pixel 5, but unlike more expensive flagships it is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G SoC to power the handset — the same chipset found in OnePlus’ budget phone, the OnePlus Nord. The integrated modem and the lower performance point are a boon for battery life and price, but that comes at the cost of peak performance compared to similarly-priced devices. That’s not to say that Google’s flagship is slow; there’s 8GB RAM for smooth multi-tasking. The phone will handle all your day-to-day needs and even most games just fine.
Deep dive: Snapdragon 765G vs Snapdragon 865: How will the Pixel 5 stack up?
What the Pixel 5 lacks in brute power, it makes up for in features. Google includes wireless charging, an IP68 rating, and a great 90Hz display. Let’s not forget three years of Android updates either. That’s pretty much everything that you’d want from a flagship handset, and many brands charge much more for these features. Google has struck a nice balance between performance, features, and price.
The US Pixel 5 model also supports mmWave. This promises even faster 5G data speeds on compatible networks than sub-6GHz 5G. Although this brings the price up a tad to $699, it’s a little more expensive than non-US versions of the handset. Still, that’s quite cheap for a mmWave phone.
Google is offering its best in class phone cameras for the most affordable price ever.
Of course, you’re also getting one of the industry’s best smartphone cameras. The formula feels very familiar, with a 12MP main sensor, an 8MP selfie camera, and Google’s software smarts to spruce up the results. The Pixel 5 throws in a new 16MP wide-angle sensor for a little more shooting flexibility, but it’s a considerably more retrained package than the quad-camera setups permeating the market. Still, quality is better than quantity, and the Pixel 5 almost certainly won’t disappoint here.
There’s also software to consider too. Fans of “stock” Android may prefer to pick up the Pixel 5 today. After all, you’re getting the latest Android 11 out of the box and three years of updates. Android 11 includes the new conversation notification, notification history, chat bubbles, a screen recorder, and media control features. Google’s OS is as feature-rich as any other these days.
OnePlus 8T: Should you wait?
We might be waiting on the finer details about the OnePlus 8T’s features, but what we can say for certain is that it will be the preferred pick for the performance enthusiast if the leaked specs are correct. The premium-tier Snapdragon 865 trounces the Pixel 5’s Snapdragon 765G in gaming, heavy lifting, and AI scenarios. Day-to-day, there’s unlikely to be much noticeable difference between the phones. Yet, there’s no doubt that the OnePlus 8T will win out where extra performance is concerned.
The 8T tweaks the existing OnePlus 8 formula.
There’s an overkill 12GB RAM model rumored, and OnePlus is also set to offer a 256GB storage option for media lovers, doubling the 128GB maximum storage option from Google. The OnePlus 8T looks set to win hands down here. The phone is also 5G-ready, but likely on with sub-6GHz support, if you’re on a compatible network.
The OnePlus 8T is also confirmed to support 65W wired charging and is rumored to house a bigger 4,500mAh battery. That’s twice as fast as previous 30W Warp Charge implementations. The phone should also have its own FHD+ 120Hz display, but is reportedly missing the wireless charging and IP rating of the OnePlus 8 Pro and Pixel 5. There’s a quad-camera setup on the way, with a 48MP main sensor, 16MP wide-angle, 5MP macro, and a 2MP monochrome lens. This is a very flexible package that offers more options than Google. However, we’ve had some reservations about the overall quality of OnePlus’ camera setups in the past, particularly when it comes to more gimmicky low-resolution cameras.
Read more: OnePlus 8T: All the rumors and everything we know so far
When it comes to software, OnePlus’ much-lauded Oxygen OS has taken a controversial turn recently. OnePlus’ Oxygen OS 11 software is a bit more heavy-handed on the UI tweaks than previous generations. The OS offers some handy new features though. Those include a new always-on display, tweaks to Zen Mode, and dark mode scheduling. Google’s take on Android is far from bare-bones either, but Android enthusiasts may start leaning towards Google’s implementation.
OnePlus 8T vs Google Pixel 5: Should you wait?
We don’t know exactly how much the OnePlus 8T will cost just yet, but rumors point to a competitive price. One that looks set to see the phone go head to head with the Google Pixel 5.
Rumors point to a €599 ($695) entry point for the OnePlus 8T. That’s a smidgen cheaper than the €629 launch price for Google’s Pixel 5, but pretty much the same as the Pixel 5’s $699 US price with mmWave in tow. An Amazon Germany listing (now taken down) mentioned a price set at €693.18 (~$815) for the more beefy 12GB RAM, 256GB variant of the 8T, which is a bit more expensive. While final and regional pricing may vary by a small amount, these two handsets definitely fall into the same affordable 5G phone category.
Pick OnePlus for raw performance, Pixel for refined software
On paper, the OnePlus 8T should be best placed to cater to performance enthusiasts and will have a speedier 120Hz display too. It’s also expected to offer a more flexible camera setup, more internal storage, and should shave a few dollars off the price tag. However, it’s the Pixel 5 that offers a slightly wider range of features including wireless charging, 5G mmWave in the US, a more refined imaging experience, and perhaps the better software experience too. It’s a very close call between the two, as expected.
The OnePlus 8T looks set to be another very competent handset from OnePlus, but the formula feels very familiar to the OnePlus 8. If you weren’t contemplating a OnePlus handset already, there’s no major reason for fans of Google’s ecosystem to delay any further. Especially after such a long wait for the Google Pixel 5!
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