Which is best? The iPhone 7 Plus or the OnePlus 3T?
You'd be forgiven for thinking we'd lost our minds in pitting the OnePlus 3T against Apple's iPhone. There's no disputing the fact that the iPhone is one of the top dogs in the smartphone space, while by comparison, OnePlus is a relative newcomer with a very different approach to the market. How can these two possibly stack up?
Apple has been around for donkey's years, it practically invented the smartphone (or at least popularised it), and has an insane brand presence with a dedicated mass of followers covering virtually every demographic in every region of the planet. Undiscovered tribes in the Amazon rainforest probably know what an iPhone is.
As much as OnePlus has done a stellar job in the last three years or so, going from literally nothing to a kind of new HTC, it's still the new kid on the block, though it is a bit of a darling of the Android space for people who like something a bit alternative and cool. What's more, OnePlus prides itself on offering decently specced devices at not unreasonable prices. Apple's handsets might be marvels, but they ain't exactly cheap, you pay a premium for the cutting-edge tech and probably a fair old whack just for the brand - just because it's Apple.
All that aside, we're going to compare the two latest flagships from these companies anyway. Why? Simple really; 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: gunmetal and soft gold. But which handset is worth your time and money in late-2016?
OnePlus 3T sales have now gone live in the UK and Europe, including sales on the firm's own webpage, retailers such as Amazon, and via an exclusive UK network deal with O2. Both 64GB and 128GB storage models are available in only one colour option - gunmetal. Soft gold will arrive later but will be 64GB only. UK prices are £400 and £440 for the 64GB and 128GB models respectively, while in Europe prices are €440 and €480; at a difference of only £40 or €40 in each case it seems to us a no-brainer to go for the extra storage.
OnePlus has also published an official unboxing video, but always being one to up the ante and "never settle", the unboxing takes place inside the cockpit of a very fast, and very airborne fighter jet. Like some G-Force with your new smartphone?
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 1920x1080 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
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 1920x1080 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. The iPhone comes in five color options and the 3T only comes in two.
Both handsets look pretty much identical to their predecessors, though Apple's design is now three-generations old. The iPhone also costs A LOT more than its predecessor models, while the OnePlus 3T is only $40 more than the OnePlus 3.
To be honest, there's not much to separate the handsets in this department. Both possess premium builds and both look very smart. The iPhone is looking rather tired, I admit, though. I mean, three years with one design language is a push – even for Apple.
If you're on the fence about what handset to go for – and you're not heavily invested in either Apple or Android – it is really hard not to be tempted by the OnePlus 3T; it has fantastic specs and hardware and costs almost half the price of the iPhone 7 Plus.
For value, it is almost impossible to beat the OnePlus 3T. Nothing – like no other phone – in today's comes even remotely close to what this phone offers up in terms of specs vs. price.
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Display and Battery
Each phone actually has very similar display. Both phones offer a 5.5in display with 1920x1080 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: Latest handset deals
iPhone 7 Plus:
OnePlus 3T vs iPhone 7 Plus: Verdict
One area where things get pretty black and white, however, is the price of these devices. If you go with Apple you will be paying TOP DOLLAR for it SIM-free or a high monthly bill with a high upfront cost on contract. This is just a reality with Apple products – they're expensive.
If you're a die-hard Apple fan, this choice is obviously a no-brainer. However, if you're on the fence and just looking for the best value phone I would 100% recommend the OnePlus 3T over the iPhone 7 Plus. Not because it's better, but because it is brilliant and it costs hundreds of dollars less to acquire. The closest analogy I can think of is that it's a bit like buying a brand new, premium car versus purchasing a similar car, second hand for a lot less.
The overall, noticeable difference between the two is small but in one instance – the new car and the iPhone 7 Plus – you will pay a massive premium for access, whereas the other option will save you tons of money for spending on something else.
The BEST deals on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
There's something for every budget at Carphone Warehouse, with great deals on every model.
iPhone 8 64GB: £48 Per Month (£89.99 Upfront) on Vodafone
26GB of data
This great deal from Vodafone is only available through Carphone Warehouse - proof that they really do have better offers than the network providers. You're getting a MASSIVE 10GB of extra data included, which can be used in 110 countries.
iPhone 8 256GB: £49 Per Month (£149.99 Upfront) on O2
5GB of data
Carphone Warehouse's recommend iPhone 8 Plus deal will save you £178 off the price you'd pay if you took out the contract with O2 directly. And if that's hard to believe, rest assured that you'll still get O2 TuGo, O2 Priority, O2 Travel and O2 WiFi thrown in, too.
Yes, you read that correctly. For the price of the handset alone, you can get the iPhone 8 Plus 256GB with a month's worth of data, texts and calls. Even if you choose to take out a SIM-only deal with a bigger data allowance after the first month, there's nothing to lose from this 1-month contract.
Don't just throw away your old handset when you upgrade. Carphone Warehouse will give you up to £150 off your new contract when you trade in your old phone - and that includes the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Save up to £100 when you buy a SIM-only deal with the iPhone 8
Want to get your hands on the brand new iPhone but prefer to pay for the handset upfront? Carphone Warehouse has you covered. They're offering up to £100 your new iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus when you take out a SIM-only contract with it.
The arrival of the iPhone 8 means that you can now pick up one of its predecessors for less than ever. Carphone Warehouse is offering its online customers this amazing deal on the iPhone 7 but be quick - it probably won't be around for long.
You can now get an iPhone 6 for just £22.99 per month, with absolutely no upfront cost. The only catch is that the only colour option is grey, but that's a small price to pay for this amazing iPhone deal.