The iPhone 6 is arguably one of the most popular handsets released in the past year, but it seems to have new competition from a relatively new company – OnePlus. The OnePlus One was hugely popular amongst those who could get one (thanks to the companys invite system) and it looks to be taking on the likes of Apple and Samsung with its new handset, the OnePlus Two. The company has referred to it as the “2016 flagship killer” so we thought we’d see how its latest handset stacks up against Apple’s most popular handset, the iPhone 6.
DESIGN AND BUILD
Let’s not beat around the bush here – the iPhone 6 is a gorgeous handset, made from anodised aluminium with curved edges which fits beautifully in our hand. It’s a design that Apple has refined over the years, and judging by the record sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it’s a design that’s favoured by consumers across the globe. The 4.7in display means that the phone isn’t as awkward to hold and use as other smartphones, and it’s available in three colours; silver, gold and space grey.
On the other hand, the OnePlus Two boasts a 5.5in display, which brings the handset into the ‘phablet’ category of phones that has become more and more popular over recent years. With this larger display comes a generally larger phone, and although the screen hasn’t changed since the OnePlus One, the OnePlus Two is slightly larger overall. Though with this being said, its curved design means that the OnePlus Two sits in the hand rather comfortably, even over long periods of time. The curved rear also helps to prevent you from dropping the handset, as it allows your thumb to stretch to the far corner of the screen and thus secure the device in your hand.
The OnePlus Two is a lot bulkier than the iPhone 6, and that’s something that should be taken into consideration. While the iPhone 6 weighs only 129g, the OnePlus Two weighs 175g. Some may argue that this is down to screen size, but even when compared to the 5.5in iPhone 6 Plus, the OnePlus Two is still the heavier device. It’s also thicker than the 6.9mm iPhone 6, measuring in at 9.85mm.
However, though the OnePlus Two is the bulkier device, it also offers something the iPhone can’t – customisation. The OnePlus Two has a range of StyleSwap covers available for the OnePlus Two, which allow you to swap out the standard Sandstone Black back plate for something more to your personal taste. The StyleSwap covers include Bamboo, Rosewood, Black Apricot and Kevlar, and cost around £20 each to buy.
FEATURES AND SPEC
Here’s where the iPhone 6 and OnePlus Two really go to battle, with regards to features and spec. Both the iPhone 6 and OnePlus Two have fingerprint scanning technology built into their home buttons, though it has to be said that the OnePlus Two’s fingerprint scanner is a lot faster than the iPhone’s. Apple uses its TouchID technology and NFC to enable Apple Pay, an easy way to pay using your iPhone in the UK and US. OnePlus couldn’t offer Android Pay (when its eventually launched) because the company decided to remove the NFC chip present in the OnePlus One.
In terms of spec, the iPhone 6 houses Apple’s own 64-bit A8 chipset, coupled with an M8 motion co-processor and 1GB of RAM. The device can generally handle whatever you throw at it in terms of games and other apps, with no visible lag. The OnePlus Two houses a Snapdragon 810 chipset, which caught the eye of the media when it emerged that the Snapdragon 810 has overheating issues.
Thankfully, this is a different version of the 810 that’s been designed to work with Oxygen OS, the custom Android software the OnePlus Two runs. Alongside the Snapdragon 810, the OnePlus Two houses an Adreno 430 GPU and an eye-watering 4GB of RAM, the most of any smartphone currently in the market. That’s true of the 64GB variation anyway, as mentioned earlier, as the 16GB variation only offers 3GB of RAM. We found the OnePlus Two could easily run 3D games and we experienced no real lag, which is amazing when coming from a sub-£300 handset.
Let’s talk displays. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7in IPS display with a resolution of 750×1334, which equates to around 326ppi. It’s crisp, clear and bright, and even though it isn’t full HD, you wouldn’t really notice. It’s also protected by Ion-strengthened glass, which is also used with the Apple Watch Sport. The OnePlus Two has a slightly larger 5.5in display with a full 1080p resolution (1920×1080) with a pixel density of around 401ppi. It’s protected by the latest version of Corning’s Gorilla Glass, Gorilla Glass 4 which should give the display a decent level of durability, though we can’t verify this without smashing both handsets.
OnePlus is keen to point out that the brightness of the OnePlus Two display measures 600 nits, compared to 559 nits of the iPhone 6. Though with this being said, with the devices side by side, we’d argue that the iPhone 6 has the brighter and sharper display of the two devices.
Both devices are similar in terms of connectivity. The iPhone 6 boasts 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and uses Apple’s own reversible Lightning cable to connect and charge the device. It also houses NFC, but this is used exclusively for Apple Pay. The OnePlus Two offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, but as mentioned earlier, no NFC. It does redeem itself with one impressive feature though – USB Type C. Even though Apple was the first to bring a USB Type C device to market (its MacBook), OnePlus is the first company to integrate the hardware into a smartphone. The best part is that its reversible not only on the Type-C end, but also on the Type-A end.
There are a couple of features of the OnePlus Two that the iPhone 6 can’t compete with, though. The first is dual-SIM technology – the OnePlus Two can house two SIM cards at the same time, and although it’s dual-standby rather than dual-active, we were surprised to learn that both SIM slots support 4G connectivity. The OnePlus Two also has an Alert Slider on the left side, which allows you to easily switch between three notification profiles: None, Priority and All.
The iPhone has an absolutely gorgeous camera, and although its stuck with an 8Mp sensor since the days of the iPhone 4S, the internals are greatly improved year-on-year. The iPhone 6 boasts a 1/3in sensor and 1.5µm pixel size, which provide great levels of detail and perform well in low-light conditions. It also features a dual-LED True Tone flash, which should avoid the yellow/white tint seen in photos when many smartphones use the flash.
Let’s compare that to the rear camera of the OnePlus Two. It boasts a 13Mp sensor with optical image stabilisation, dual-LED flash and rather impressively, laser autofocus. The inclusion of laser autofocus means that you really can point-and-shoot with the OnePlus Two, as photos are taken almost instantly. It also boasts 4K video recording at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps compared to the iPhone’s 1080p at 60fps and 720p at 240fps. Though it seems the OnePlus Two beats the iPhone in terms of video, it’s worth noting that the iPhone 6 can produce 240 fps in its slow-mo video mode, while the OnePlus Two can handle only 120fps.
The front facing camera of the iPhone is something in need of some TLC. It’s 1.2Mp, and although it can record at 720p at 30fps, it’s not nearly as amazing as the rear camera. This is especially true when compared to the front-facing camera of the OnePlus Two, which has a 5Mp sensor and can record 1080p video at 30fps.
The battery life of any smartphone is an important feature to consider. The iPhone 6 boasts a fairly small 1810mAh non-removable battery that should see most users through a standard day, though with heavy usage this is likely to be reduced. It’s also worth noting that unlike the OnePlus Two, the iPhone 6 has a myriad of battery cases available that can offer an additional charge (or two!).
The OnePlus Two has a larger 3300mAh battery, which is larger than the 3100mAh battery of the OnePlus One, but like the iPhone, is non-removable. Although it has a larger battery, you have to also consider that it has to power a larger full HD display, and this will take its toll. The OnePlus Two doesn’t feature quick charging technology either, which means that it takes around two to three hours to perform a full charge. The iPhone, on the other hand, can handle a 2.1A power supply (AKA the iPad charger) and go from 0 to 100% in around an hour and a half to two hours.
The iPhone 6 runs Apple’s iOS 8, which we found to be rather intuitive, good looking and smooth. It also syncs seamlessly with your iPad and Mac using Handoff and Continuity, which allows you to take calls/send texts directly from almost any Apple device, not just your iPhone. It’s also worth noting that we’re only weeks away from the release of iOS 9, which is set to bring more features and improve the battery life of current devices, bragging that the software gives the iPhone 6 an extra hour of battery life.
The OnePlus Two on the other hand runs a custom version of Android Lollipop 5.1.1 called Oxygen OS, which includes features exclusive to the device including an in-beta Shelf that displays popular apps and widgets, and is accessible from the left side of the home screen. It also introduces App permission settings, an audio tuner and the ability to customise the UI by changing the accent colour and enabling a dark mode.
With this being said, the operating system is usually down to personal preference, so you’ll have to decide for yourself which is better for your individual needs.
- 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85mm
- OxygenOS 2.0 based on Android 5.1 with Android M features
- 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 1.8GHz Octa-core CPUs
- GPU: Adreno 430
- 3/4GB LP-DDR4
- 16/64 GB, available capacity varies
- Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity and Ambient Light sensors
- Embedded rechargeable 3300 mAh battery
- Dual-SIM connectivity
- 4G/LTE support
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
- Digital Compass
- USB Type-C
- 5.5in IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display (401 PPI)
- Rear camera: 13Mp, 1.3um, 6 lenses, OIS, Laser Focus, Dual-LED flash, f/2.0
- Front camera: 5Mp, Distortion free
- Video: 4K resolution video, Slow Motion: 720p video at 120fps
Based on the spec and our impression of the OnePlus Two, we can see why it’s been branded the 2016 flagship killer, especially with a sub-£300 price tag. It can compete with features and specs of smartphones twice the price, which makes it great value for money. But which is ultimately better? It’s down to personal preference, as both excel in different areas. The iPhone is arguably the better looking of the two devices, with its slimmer and lighter form factor, but the camera and display of the OnePlus Two blow’s the iPhone away.