OnePlus 5 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Which phone is better value for money?

The OnePlus 5 and Huawei P10 Plus at a glance

The OnePlus 5 vs Huawei P10 Plus are two smartphones making waves in the phone industry. Both are produced by Chinese manufacturers and aim to offer the quality of better-known flagships at a (slightly) more affordable price.

The OnePlus 5 is the company’s fourth big phone release and builds on the earlier model, the OnePlus 3T. The price is considerably more than the earlier OnePlus phones, but this is arguably the closest OnePlus has come to matching the performance of more expensive flagships.

The Huawei P10 Plus has, until now, been thought of as one of the best phones on the market. Certainly, its ease of use and the outstanding display has received rave reviews from most techies. With the OnePlus 5’s appearance, however, the Huawei’s glory days could be about to end.

OnePlus 5 – £499
Huawei P10 Plus – £679.99

Camera 

The OnePlus 5 boasts an impressive camera set up. Its front and back-facing cameras capture images at 16 megapixels, and the phone can record 4k HD video. What’s more exciting, is that the back camera is dual-lens: one lens to focus in on the main subject of your photo and another to capture background.

People refer to the images produced by this dual-lens setup as ‘bokeh’. Bokeh meaning an image that blurs the background to show its subject in greater clarity. By playing around with the dual-lens effects, you can create a more professional shot. These bokeh images look especially impressive when outdoors in places with a lot of natural light.

One Plus 5

One Plus 5

However, the Huawei P10 Plus’s camera edges it. For starters, the P10 Plus’s camera has a wider aperture (F2.2), which means the camera lens takes in more light when snapping photos. The difference is noticeable when taking images inside. On the OnePlus 5, an image of someone indoors will make their skin look darker than in real life. The Huawei P10 Plus takes a crisper photo that’s truer to the real thing.

A big reason for the gap in camera performance here is Huawei’s partnership with Leica – the German camera manufacturer. Since the two companies first went into partnership, the standard of photography on Huawei has vastly improved. Either way, neither phone has a camera to match that of the Google Pixel or Sony Xperia XZ Premium, but both take photos of a decent quality.

Huawei P10 Plus

Huawei P10 Plus

Power & ease of use 

Despite not being the most expensive smartphones around, both the OnePlus 5 and Huawei P10 Plus are incredibly powerful.

The OnePlus 5’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor is super fast. Even if you turn on several games at once, the phone will maintain its speed. Of course, you also have plenty of storage, so you’ll have to burn through a lot of memory for this to impact performance.

The Huawei P10 Plus isn’t as powerful. If you try running games and opening a few browser tabs at the same time, you’ll see a slight slowdown. That said, the P10 Plus does have a Micro SD card slot for expandable memory. So where you’re unlikely to max out your memory on the OnePlus 5, on the Huawei P10 Plus there really is no excuse for hitting capacity.

When it comes to ease of use, the OnePlus 5 and Huawei both do better as you get used to them. For example, you’ll navigate the OnePlus 5 faster once you’ve created app shortcuts from your home screen. Also, activate the ‘lift to wake’ feature, which wakes the phone as you pick it up.

Likewise, the more you use the P10 Plus, the more tricks you’ll pick up to help you get the most out of it. It might take a couple of hours to remember that a light tap on the home button takes you a step back, and swiping across it takes you to the multitasking menu. But once your brain picks it up, other phones will start to feel awkward.

Display & battery life 

Both mobiles have a 5.5-inch display. But whereas the OnePlus 5 displays a standard HD display of 1080 x 1920, the Huawei P10 Plus achieves quad HD 1440 x 2560. As a result, your viewing experience when watching videos or games on the P10 Plus is a step up. A viewing experience further enhanced by the thinner bezel on the P10 Plus.

What the OnePlus 5 does have over the Huawei is AMOLED. The AMOLED display lets the phone respond to your touch at lightning speed. Also, it produces a depth of colour without exhausting your battery life.

You might think that these high-performance displays would reduce the phones’ battery life in a big way. But this isn’t the case. The OnePlus 5 easily lasts a full day when used regularly. It also charges incredibly fast – from a dead battery, the phone charges back to 100% in less than an hour.

The Huawei P10 Plus has a similarly long-lasting battery. At the end of a demanding day, battery life will be at around 20%. Neither the OnePlus 5 nor the Huawei P10 Plus have wireless charging.

Design 

OnePlus 5 vs Huawei P10 Plus the phones don’t have a particularly exciting design, but they are light and easy to hold. Also, both smartphones come with a headphone jack, which will please music fans.

Your options are limited when it comes to the colour of your OnePlus 5. I.e. you have none. The 64 GB version comes in slate grey and the 128 GB one is produced in midnight black. The phone is slim at 7.25 mm deep, and its dark shade gives the phone a sophisticated feel.

In the UK, the Huawei P10 Plus is available in blue, black and gold. So, if your personality calls out for a funkier colour than black or grey, Huawei better caters to your needs. Like the OnePlus 5, the phone has an aluminium body with Gorilla Glass 5 used to protect the screen from damage.

Huawei P10 Plus Gold

Huawei P10 Plus in Gold

One Plus 5 vs Huawei P10 Plus: which is the better choice?

OnePlus 5 vs Huawei P10 Plus, in a like for like comparison, the Huawei P10 Plus comes out on top. Albeit only by a smidgeon. It has the better camera, display and a trendier look (even if Huawei have unashamedly copied Apple’s iPhone design).

But then you get to the sticky point of price. The price of the Huawei P10 Plus might have dropped since its release, but most providers are still charging at least £100 more than they are for the OnePlus 5.

Are you getting much more for that £100? Not really. Unless you’re obsessed with camera quality, you won’t notice a huge difference between the two. Besides, if camera quality is important to you, we wouldn’t recommend either of these phones. (You’d be better off going for a Sony or Samsung instead). Likewise, the difference in display is only perceptible when viewing videos.

The price of the OnePlus 5 will come as a disappointment to some. With the 3T, OnePlus has built a reputation for delivering quality in an astonishingly affordable way. The OnePlus 5 isn’t such a bargain. However, undercutting the price of other top smartphones while still delivering a handset that cuts no corners when it comes to performance, display or battery life is no small feat.

Product Specifications

  OnePlus 5Huawei P10 Plus
Pricecirca £499.00circa £679.00
Body
Weight153g165g
Dimensions154.2 x 74.1 x 7.3 mm (6.07 x 2.92 x 0.29 in)153.5 x 74.2 x 7 mm (6.04 x 2.92 x 0.28 in)
Display
Size 5.5 inches 5.5 inches
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)1440 x 2560 pixels (~540 ppi pixel density)
Platform
OSAndroid 7.1.1 (Nougat)Android 7.0 (Nougat)
ChipsetQualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835HiSilicon Kirin 960
CPUOcta-core (4x2.45 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo)Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPUAdreno 540Mali-G71 MP8
Memory
Card slotNomicroSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot
Internal64 GB, 6 GB RAM or 128 GB, 8 GB RAM64 GB, 4 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6 GB RAM
Camera
Image captureDual 16 MP, f/1.7, 24mm, EIS (gyro) + 20 MP, f/2.6, 36mm, phase detection autofocus, 1.6x optical zoom, dual-LED flashDual 20 MP + 12 MP, f/1.8, OIS, Leica optics, 2x lossless zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Video2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@30/120fps2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps
Sound
AudioActive noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Dirac HD sound
24-bit 192kHz audio
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic