The recently announced OnePlus 5 is facing some serious competition on the market. There are a bunch of great flagships available at the moment including the HTC U11. In this post, we’ll compare the two devices to get a better idea of just how different — or similar — they are.
We’ll talk about the design, specifications, software, as well as price in order to figure out which one offers more value for money. The info down below will also help you decide whether you should get the OnePlus 5 or the HTC U11. Let’s get started!
The OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 look very different from one another. As usual, OnePlus has opted for a simple and minimalistic design. Just like its predecessor, the OnePlus 5 sports a metal body in two color options (Midnight Black and Slate Gray) but has more rounded corners and edges. This should make the smartphone more comfortable to hold and use, at least according to OnePlus.
The back of the device is very clean and features the logo in the middle and the dual-camera setup along with a flash module in the top left corner. On the front, you’ll find the home button with a built-in fingerprint scanner below the screen, while the volume rocker and the textured alert slider are located on the left side. This means that the power button, as well as the SIM card slot, can be found on the right side.
The OnePlus 5 is a good looking device, although it is worth pointing out that its design isn’t quite new. Its back looks very similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, while the entire device is almost identical to the recently announced Oppo R11. You can see all three smartphones side by side in the image below.
The OnePlus 5 is only 7.25 mm thick, which actually makes it the slimmest device OnePlus has ever made. And just in case you’ve been wondering, its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T, comes in at 7.4 mm. The difference isn’t really that big, but it’s still worth pointing out.
The HTC U11, on the other hand, is made from a combination of glass and metal. It looks totally different than its predecessor — the HTC 10 — and is quite easy on the eyes. It has a “liquid glass” surface on the back that’s very eye-catching but is also a fingerprint magnet. So if you want to keep the device looking like it did when you took it out of the box for the first time, you’ll have to wipe it down quite often. Or you could you use the included clear plastic case instead.
Just like the OnePlus 5, HTC has also opted for a front-mounted fingerprint scanner that doubles as a home button. Other design elements worth mentioning are the power button located on the right side under the volume rocker and the SIM card slot that’s found on the top. When it comes to colors, the HTC U11 can be yours in Amazing Silver, Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Ice White, and Solar Red, although not all of them are available in every market.
Because the OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 are so different, it’s impossible to say which one looks better. Design is a very subjective topic to talk about, so you’re going to have to decide for yourself which one of them comes out on top.
When it comes to specs, the OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 share quite a few similarities. Starting with the OnePlus 5, the device has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with Full HD resolution and the latest Gorilla Glass 5. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset and available in two variant: one with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage and the other with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of space.
Just like the LG G6 and Huawei P10, for example, the OnePlus 5 is equipped with two cameras on the back. According to the company, it’s actually the highest resolution dual-camera system on any smartphone on the market. It features a 16 MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, and a 20 MP telephoto lens with an f/2.6 aperture. There’s also a selfie snapper on board that has a 16 MP sensor and f/2.0 aperture. Just be aware of how the OnePlus 5’s 2x lossless zoom works.
The OnePlus features a fingerprint scanner that unlocks it in 0.2 seconds and a headphone jack, but unlike many competitors, it’s not water resistant. It’s a dual-SIM device that, unfortunately, lacks a microSD slot.
In the design section above, I mentioned that the OnePlus 5 is the thinnest smartphone the company has ever made. Unfortunately, this does have a drawback, as the flagship sports a smaller battery than its predecessor at 3,300 mAh, compared to the 3T’s 3,400 mAh. OnePlus claims that the OnePlus 5 will actually last 20 percent longer, thanks to hardware and software optimizations. It also supports the company’s fast Dash Charge technology that promises a day’s power in half an hour and should fully charge the battery in around 90 minutes.
The HTC U11 also sports a 5.5-inch screen with Gorilla Glass 5 but has a higher, QHD resolution. This is great for VR, but the screen is more power-hungry when compared to the Full HD panel of its rival. At 3,000 mAh, the smartphone’s battery is smaller than the one found in the OnePlus 5, but it might still be big enough to get you through the day.
HTC’s flagship is also powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset but has “only” 4 GB of RAM. The company has released a version with 6 GB of RAM as well, but you can get it in just a few countries around the world (with the US not being one of them).
Although the HTC U11 doesn’t have a dual-camera setup, it does have the best camera on the market… Well, at least according to DxOMark. The reviewing outfit gave the smartphone the highest DxO rating ever (90 points), outranking the Pixel and Galaxy S8 by one and two points respectively. The camera has a 12 MP “UltraPixel 3” sensor, with an f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. It performs extremely well in low-light conditions, where a lot of flagships struggle.
The smartphone is equipped with a 16 MP selfie cam and has 64 GB of storage, while the variant with 6 GB of RAM has 128 GB of space. Unlike the OnePlus 5, the HTC U11 has a microSD card slot (up to 256 GB) and is resistant to water and dust. Thanks to the IP67 rating, you can submerge it in up to one meter of water for a period of 30 minutes. Just like the iPhone 7 and a couple of other smartphones, it doesn’t have the headphone jack, which means you’ll have to plug in your headphones with the help of the adapter that comes in the box.
To sum up, both smartphones have a 5.5-inch display with the HTC U11 offering a higher resolution – QHD. The device is also IP67 rated, has a microSD card slot, and probably one of the best cameras you can get on a smartphone at this point. On the other hand, the OnePlus 5 has more RAM, a bigger battery, a headphone jack, and a dual-camera setup that can capture those fancy bokeh (or portrait) shots.
|OnePlus 5||HTC U11|
1920 x 1080 resolution
|5.5-inch Super LCD 5
2560 x 1440 resolution
|Processor||2.45 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||2.45 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|GPU||Adreno 540||Adreno 540|
|RAM||6/8 GB||4/6 GB (depending on market)|
|Storage||64/128 GB||64/128 GB (depending on market)|
|MicroSD||No||Yes, up to 256 GB|
|Camera||Main: 16 MP Sony IMX 398 sensor, 1.12 μm, ƒ/1.7 aperture, EIS, dual LED flash
Telephoto: 20 MP Sony IMX 350 sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.6 aperture
16 MP front-facing camera
|Main: 12 MP (HTC UltraPixel 3 with 1.4μm pixel) with ƒ/1.7 aperture
OIS, dual LED flash, Pro mode with manual control, slow motion video (1080p@120 fps), 4K video recording with 3D Audio, Acoustic Focus
16 MP front-facing camera
|Battery||3,300 mAh||3,000 mAh|
|Software||Android 7.1.1 Nougat
|Android 7.1.1 Nougat
|Water resistance||No||IP67 certified
Water resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
|Dimensions||154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
|153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm
Although both the OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 run Android 7.1.1 Nougat, they each have a custom user interface on top and offer a few unique features. OnePlus’ OxygenOS is a very clean skin and doesn’t change the look and feel of Android much. It does, however, offer tons of customization options to play around with. For example, with a simple tap in the settings menu, you can switch from using the capacitive buttons below the display to the on-screen software buttons.
To launch the camera, simply draw an O on the screen, while drawing a V will turn on the flashlight. OnePlus has added three additional gestures to its flagship (S, W, and M), which you can program to launch an app of your choice or perform a specific function.
Then there’s the Reading Mode, which filters out blue light and adjusts the sharpness and brightness of the screen to provide a better reading experience, Expanded Screenshots, and Auto Night Mode, to name a few. And let’s not forget about the Shelf feature that gives you access to recent contacts, apps, and more just by swiping right on the home screen.
The HTC U11 features the Sense user interface that is also quite clean and brings a few unique features to the table. BlinkFeed is one of them — it keeps you up to speed with the latest news based on your preference right on your home screen. In addition to news, it also displays posts from various social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s turned on by default, but you can get rid of it if you don’t want to use it.
One of the biggest features of the HTC U11 is definitely the Edge Sense technology. Thanks to sensors found in the sides of the device, you can just squeeze it to perform various tasks. These more or less include anything you want like launching a specific app, opening up the camera, turning on the flashlight, and more.
The flagship also has HTC’s Sense Companion on board, which made its debut on the U Ultra back in January. It provides you with suggestions based on your location and the time of day including restaurants you can go to for lunch, traffic info, and more. Basically, it does everything we have seen before from similar services from Google. Its biggest drawback is probably that it doesn’t support voice interaction, although this might change in the future. Just like the OnePlus 5, the HTC U11 comes with Google Assistant. Additionally, Amazon’s Alexa is expected to make its way to the smartphone as well via a software update in July.
To sum up, the OnePlus 5 offers more customization options, while the U11 features the Edge Sense technology along with the Sense Companion and Alexa digital assistant that’s coming available.
A comparison between the two devices wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t touch on the subject of pricing. The OnePlus 5 with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage retails for $479/€499, while the model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage will set you back $539/€559. This makes it the most expensive smartphone OnePlus has made so far. Nevertheless, it’s still quite affordable based on its specs, especially if you compare it with the likes of the Google Pixel XL, iPhone 7 Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The HTC U11 costs more than the OnePlus 5, although it is cheaper than the three devices mentioned above. The unlocked version of the smartphone can be yours for $649 in the US. In Europe, prices vary from country to country but are — as usual — more expensive than those in the US. In Germany, for example, the HTC U11 retails for €749.
When it comes to pricing, the OnePlus 5 is obviously a better option. Although the HTC U11 also isn’t a bad deal, especially when considering all the things you get for your money.
So, which device is better, the OnePlus 5 or the HTC U11?
The OnePlus 5 offers more RAM, has a bigger battery with the fast Dash Charge technology, is made of metal, and features a dual-camera setup. It’s also a lot cheaper, which is one of the factors that has the most influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions.
On the other hand, the HTC U11 features the camera with the highest DxOMark rating ever, the innovative Edge Sense technology, is IP67 rated, has a beautiful glass back, and supports expandable storage.
The decision of which is better is one that you’ll have to make on your own, based on the info presented in this post. Would you rather get the OnePlus 5 or HTC U11? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
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