Is Google Pixel 2 XL as good as it is said? Is the OnePlus 6 a Pixel 2 XL for 500 euros? Today, we compare two of the best high-end phones with a clean version of Android. Both terminals have completely different ROMs, for the good and for the bad.
We have been testing both devices simultaneously for a couple of weeks, and the differences are clear. We are going to show you what the similarities, divergences and which of the two are worthwhile , taking into account the difference between prices and what one has to offer compared to the other.
Google Pixel 2 XL vs OnePlus 6, two different worlds
A OnePlus is not a Pixel
The first thing, unfortunately, we have to do, is to clarify that a OnePlus is not a Pixel at a lower price . Many users write to us every day saying that they are better terminals, for the simple fact of costing less money. Undoubtedly, we advance that the quality-price ratio of the OnePlus is much better , but we are talking about high-end -OnePlus- against the premium premium range -Pixel-, and now you will understand why.
The OnePlus are affordable high-end mobiles, for all those who want to give up some aspects in exchange for performance and saving money. The Pixels are the example of how Google conceives Android and this is noticeable in many aspects. We begin then, to compare these two incredible machines, since there is much to talk about.
While design is always something subjective, the purest evidence reveals that the OnePlus 6 has a better design and construction than the Google Pixel 2 XL. Finished in glass, with a notch that we will talk about later, and a spectacular display, the OnePlus looks better than the Pixel, with its little flashy industrial design.
OnePlus, as it did in its X model, returns to the crystal. A premium material that makes the terminal look like others that cost almost twice.
It is striking that, despite having 6.28 inches, the OnePlus is smaller than the Pixel, something that is appreciated when we have them in hand. The Pixel, on the other hand, has some generous frames – although there is an explanation for this -, a finish in aluminum and glass, and a hand-held feeling of expensive, but too industrial mobile. In design there is a clear winner, so there is little sense in turning the matter over.
The panel of the Google Pixel 2 XL is OLED, 6 inches, and with QHD + resolution. The OnePlus 6 has an Optic AMOLED panel of 6.28 inches and FHD + resolution. Taking into account that our version of the Pixel 2 XL is the most recent, with the panel somewhat corrected, we give the victory to the Google terminal. The resolution is noticeable, the screen is much sharper, and while its interpretation of color is not the best, it does a better job than OnePlus.
In level of brightness we liked more how the Chinese terminal does, something we wanted to comment. The notch, despite not being a dish of our taste, does not bother. It is automatically hidden in apps like Instagram or Chrome, we can choose that it is not permanently, or individually configure each app. An impeccable work by OnePlus with this eyebrow, whose existence we have managed to ignore these days.
Software and performance
Comes the complicated part. The benchmarks and absurd Speedtest have managed to standardize the belief that the fastest mobile opens applications, is the best. In this case, it is not so. The Pixel 2 XL works better than the OnePlus, something that luckily, it has been possible to verify with an objective method.
To support my arguments, I will use this review of XDA, in which they precisely compare the OnePlus 6 with the Pixel 2 XL.
As you can see in the graph, the opening times of applications are much smaller in the OnePlus 6. The firm has made great optimizations in this aspect, and the greater power – Snapdragon 845 vs 835 and more RAM – help make it so. However, as we told you, a mobile is faster, does not mean it is more fluid and right now you will understand this.
To test fluency objectively, the XDA guys analyzed the real-time frames that show the GPU profiles when the phone is being used. This allows to measure the response of the screen -latency-, the rendering of the content and the real performance of the phone when we use it. The OnePlus 6 model they used had 8 GB of RAM, twice the size of the Pixel 2 XL. The actions were carried out at the same time, so that there was equality of conditions.
In the first place, the displacement response was measured: the scroll. The graph indicates the most it takes the phone to respond, and the later, the worse. As you can see, the times in the Pixel do not reach just the line of 16.6ms at any time, while the OnePlus easily exceeds 20ms at different times. You may think that these differences are not appreciated, but we can assure you that the differences when using the phones are obvious.
Analyzing the performance in specific applications, in this case the Play Store app, you will be able to appreciate more closely the differences between the performance of the Google Pixel 2 XL and the OnePlus 6. Remember that the less the graph rises, the better performance it implies on the phone. In addition to this app, they tried Gmail, how the launcher is launched, the animations…
The verdict of XDA Developers, reference portal on Android, is the following, which we literally translated: I can not help feeling disappointed when, overall, the performance of OnePlus 6 does not reach that of Pixel 2 XL a year ago, and even the Pixel XL offered better results. We do not say it ourselves, XDA claims that the Pixel XL two years ago performs better in fluency than the OnePlus 6 and, as we said at the beginning, no, that Speedtest in which you see a OnePlus opening applications faster is not scientific, these tests yes.
I can not help but feel disappointed that, all in all, the performance of the OnePlus 6 still does not match that of last year’s Pixel 2 XL, and even the regular Pixel XL has offered more impressive results in some of these tests
It has never been necessary to resort to this type of evidence to argue our own opinion, but we understand that it is difficult to understand that a mobile from a year ago works better than another with more hardware. You must understand, that OxygenOS has nothing to do with the Pixel ROM and that it is clear that Google knows how to treat Android better than other manufacturers.
In real use, leaving aside the technical data, the OnePlus flies, and you notice faster than the Pixel, in exchange for giving up the animations, and a latency that is somewhat annoying if you’re not used to it. In exchange for a few more to open the apps, the Pixel stays more consistent and fluid, giving a spectacular smooth experience, which is not seen in any device other than Google.
The Google Pixel 2 XL is the Android whose user experience is closer to the one offered by iOS with your iPhone. The OnePlus is fast, very fast, but they have overlaid the animations, and the experience of use becomes somewhat rude.
The OnePlus is very fast and somewhat coarse, the Google Pixel 2 XL is fast and extremely smooth, you decide the experience you prefer. OyxgenOS is pretty good in that we can choose themes, configure better gestures, change some aspects of personalization… The Pixel ROM also has interesting options , although it is not as complete. Personally, we are left with the Pixel ROM, since the performance is so good, that we are willing to sacrifice the small personalization offered by OnePlus.
Two authentic champions, although here we have another winner . The Google Pixel 2 XL is able to reach 7 hours of screen in two days of use, a figure that matches the OnePlus 6. Although the latter has more screen and less battery, the OnePlus 6 has less resolution and a more efficient processor, so the differences in mAh are solved. With this technical draw in screen times, ** fast loading serves as a penalty.
Dash Charge is a wonder that charges our device in just over an hour, while the Pixel 2 XL requires more than two hours to charge. The power to plug the phone half an hour and have it almost full is something incredible, while the Pixel is the high-end that takes longer to load, so we give the victory to OnePlus 6 in this aspect, with the doubt to see if These times are maintained with the aging of your battery.
One of the points in which OnePlus 6 weakest, is in the audio section. The sound of the OnePlus in terms of the speaker is not good and reminds of quite cheaper phones. The Google Pixel 2 XL, meanwhile, has a dual stereo speaker on the front of the device, which makes it one of the high-end terminals with better audio market. The sound is clear, strong and of quality, something that we demand from the high range, regardless of the price.
For its part, the OnePlus has a headphone jack, something that the Pixel 2 XL envies, while being satisfied with an uncomfortable large dongle, which does not improve the audio at all.
We get to the point where the Pixel shines above all Android phones, and where the OnePlus kneels the knee in several ways. In our opinion, the Pixel 2 XL of Google still has the best camera on the market, while the OnePlus 6 would hardly enter a top 10. In daytime photography, the OnePlus does it well, but Google’s computer photography is notorious, with an automatic HDR + that makes true magic, and that something that makes you detect that the photo is of a Pixel at the moment. Portrait mode is another point where OnePlus should improve. Quite artificial, with a somewhat strange zoom, and with an improvable cut. The Pixel, on the other hand, is almost perfect.
The OnePlus illuminates the image more, but ends up burning it and not being true to reality. This is even more noticeable in the selfie, where the OnePlus 6 ends up burning the entire background, while the Pixel 2 XL, regardless of the backlight we have. It is practically impossible to burn a photo with the Pixel, while with the OnePlus it is practically impossible that the exhibition is correct, judge yourself.
If we continue comparing and we go to the night section, we find that the OnePlus 6 has a remarkable watercolor effect , it is difficult to define the textures of the image, and is not able to realistically interpret an image. The Pixel on the other hand, although it is not the best nocturnal exponent, it hardly has one but that to remove to him. Defined photos, with good dynamic range even in these light conditions, and with a nonexistent noise.
As for the portrait mode with low light, the Pixel is faced with the classic problem of profiling glasses – although after a few attempts it manages to do so – although it offers outstanding results. The OnePlus takes the watercolor mode for a walk, offering usable images that remind us of quite cheaper terminals.
We could say that the OnePlus 6 costs 500 euros and that we can not get results from a mobile of 1,000 euros, but after thoroughly analyzing the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, we are clear that this is not true. If the Mi Mix 2S offers results close to the Pixel, we ask the same to the OnePlus. OnePlus must improve its camera a lot if it wants to compete with the high range, and when we spend more than 500 euros on a terminal, it is normal to demand a certain quality.
That said, we must say that, in this particular case, the price difference between the OnePlus 6 and the Pixel 2 XL is justified if you really care about the camera. One more year, the OnePlus achieves good results if you have some skill. The average user who wants to point and shoot – something in which the OnePlus is quite slow – will see their needs resolved, but at the minimum that you demand, the problems come.
The Pixel 2 XL is that phone that will never make a bad picture, be it day, night, or a portrait mode. In addition, the integration with Google Lens is a spectacular addition to which we can make a lot of profit.
The OnePlus 6 is an excellent terminal. A fast mobile, with a better support than other premium high-end that double in price, and with those OxygenOS extras that users like so much. However, the camera, the lack of fluency – not speed – and the audio, somewhat hinder the user experience.
The Pixel 2 XL is a mobile phone to the extreme, with outstanding multimedia sections, three years of direct support from Google, better integration with Assistant and Lens, outstanding technical support, and a price that, in our opinion, is more than justified. Both are worth every euro they cost, and the price difference is noticed.