OnePlus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL: Bargain bin

GSMArena team, 27 December 2016.

Retail package

With the Pixel XL you're getting an 18W fast charger that's not only Type-C but also one of the few chargers that adhere strictly to the USB power delivery spec. There's a C-to-C and a C-to-A cable in the bundle as well as a C-to-A adapter for plugging in peripherals. The Pixel XL complies to the USB 3.0 standard.

Dash charger with the OnePlus 3T - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL PD charger and assorted cables with the Pixel XL - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL
Dash charger with the OnePlus 3T PD charger and assorted cables with the Pixel XL

The OnePlus 3T, on the other hand, ships with a custom charger and cable combo that together enable DASH fast charging (5V, up to 4A). You need both for the fast charging though as the system relies on a custom pinout of the otherwise USB 2.0-specced Type-C port.

Neither phone ships with a headset.

Half the price, just as good: Yes and no. You are getting a fast charger with the OnePlus 3T, but it's a proprietary solution so you have to stick to their approved accessories. There's also the matter of the slower USB 2.0 connection.

Design

The OnePlus 3T reuses the original 3's design, to the point that some readers questioned whether we actually shot the 3T for its review (we did!) or just straight up reused the old images. That's hardly a bad thing- the 3T looks and feels as upmarket as any big-name flagship.

OnePlus 3T in the hand - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL OnePlus 3T in the hand - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL Google Pixel XL in the hand - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL Google Pixel XL in the hand - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL
OnePlus 3T in the hand Google Pixel XL in the hand

An all-aluminum handset that measures just 7.4 thick, the 3T loses points in the looks department only for its protruding camera. But it is the Pixel XL it's up against and its back is hardly a looker - you'll learn to live with it, and you may understand why Google went bold, but does anyone seriously actually like that?

OnePlus 3T's camera sticks out a bit - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL OnePlus 3T's camera sticks out a bit - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL The Pixel XL's is flush with the back, which can hardly save it - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL The Pixel XL's is flush with the back, which can hardly save it - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL
OnePlus 3T's camera sticks out a bit The Pixel XL's is flush with the back, which can hardly save it

The OnePlus 3T's fingerprint sensor is on the front, below the display. It works great even though it's not an actual button and it doesn't have any sort of haptic feedback. The Pixel XL fingerprint sensor is on the back, under a cutout in the back glass.

Fingerprint reader in the capacitive home button - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL Fingerprint reader on the back - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL
Fingerprint reader in the capacitive home button Fingerprint reader on the back

One thing the OnePlus 3T has and the Pixel XL doesn't is a 3-position mechanical switch to toggle between normal ringing mode, do not disturb and silent. The OnePlus 3T can take a couple of nanoSIM cards while the Pixel XL is single SIM only. Neither phone is water resistant, though the Pixel XL does have an IP53 rating meaning it is splash-resistant. Not the 3T, though.

3T's 3-position 'mute' switch - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL The OnePlus 3T is a dual SIM device - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL just the one slot on the Pixel XL - Oneplus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL
3T's 3-position 'mute' switch The OnePlus 3T is a dual SIM device just the one slot on the Pixel XL

Half the price, just as good: Yes, if not better. The high-quality build and premium feel of the OnePlus 3T are up to flagship standard, while the Pixel XL's half-glass back isn't doing it any favors.

Screen

5.5-inch AMOLED panels on both phones, but the Pixel XL has a bunch more pixels - its resolution is QHD, while the OnePlus was more conservative and went with FullHD. The Pixel is thus a lot better suited to VR uses than the 3T, and that alone could be a deal-breaker for some of you.

AMOLEDs aren't record breakers for brightness but both displays here post above average numbers in this department, with a marginal advantage for the 3T. It also edges ahead in the sunlight legibility test.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
OnePlus 3T 0 447
Google Pixel XL 0 432

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Not much to split the two in color accuracy either. The Pixel XL is somewhat more on point in default mode (avg. DeltaE 5.4 vs 6.4 for the 3T), but enabling sRGB mode on both phones shrinks the difference to 2.6 vs. 2.8.

Half the price, just as good: We had a hard time calling this one, but No. The OnePlus 3T's display is great and matches the Pixel XL's in all areas but resolution. It's a prime example of the saying, you get what you pay for.

Battery

The OnePlus 3T and the Pixel XL pack nearly identical batteries - 3,400mAh for the 3T and the 3,450 for the XL. There is of course the tiny difference of the display resolution - the high resolution screen of Pixel XL should be more taxing on the battery.

Well our tests showed that's the case only in video playback where the 3T outlasts the Pixel XL by more than 2 hours. In Wi-Fi web browsing the OnePlus phablet calls it quits a little earlier than the Pixel, and in voice calls the Phone by Google can last a couple more hours than the 3T. Neither web browsing time is truly impressive though, while both phones are very efficient when it comes to talk time.

OnePlus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL

With minimal differences in most areas, it's no wonder that their overall endurance ratings are comparable. Still, the 3T's better longevity in the video playback department gives it a 5-hour edge altogether.

OnePlus 3T vs. Google Pixel XL

Half the price, just as good: Yes, indeed. Actually, if you watch a lot of videos, you'll find the OnePlus 3T to last you longer.