OnePlus 5 vs Moto Z2 Play (Smartphone Showdown)

These two phones are some of the best available under $500

The OnePlus 5 made a debut into the world this week and got lots of people excited. Priced a little bit higher than the previous OnePlus 3T at $479 and up, the OnePlus 5 lands in the same price category as the new Moto Z2 Play which is valued at $499.

In this article, we compare the capabilities of the OnePlus 5 to those of the Moto Z2 Play in an attempt to see which one should be more worthy of your attention.

Design and Display

The OnePlus 5 offers an aluminum unibody and an overall design reminiscent of the iPhone 7 Plus, although it has more rounded corners and edges. It’s also a bit slimmer than its predecessor, featuring a frame of 7.25mm instead of the 7.3mm of the OnePlus 3T.

As for the Moto Z2 Play, the handset is made of metal, but it’s a lot skinnier at only 5.99mm. In contrast, its predecessor –  the popular Moto Z Play – was 7mm thick. The Moto Z2 Play’s design is more striking, although in league with previous models released by Motorola this year.

The phone includes the redesigned home button which the Moto G5 Plus initially brought along which does not only house the fingerprint scanner but also supports gestures for back and opening up the multitasking window.

As for the OnePlus 5, the phone also features a physical home button on front (coated in ceramic) which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The company notes the technology can unlock the phone in just 0.2 seconds.

The two phones take advantage of a single loudspeaker, but in the case of the Moto Z2 Play users can pump the volume up with the JBL SoundBoost 2 speaker Mod.

When it comes to the display, both phones have the same 5.5-inch footprint with fullHD resolution (1920 x 1080) with 401ppi.

The Moto Z2 Play is water-resistant and although Motorola doesn’t produce IP-ratings, we’re told the phone comes equipped with a resistant coating from inside out, in a vacuum, in order to deliver component-level resistance to water. In contrast, the OnePlus 5 is not water-resistant.

Performance

The OnePlus 5 takes advantage of the latest chip technology from Qualcomm, meaning it’s powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor clocked at 2.45GHz just like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or HTC U11.

The phone comes with 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X configurations with either 64GB or 128GB (UFS 2.1) storage onboard. Sadly, the OnePlus 5 does not include a microSD card slot onboard.

As for the Moto Z2 Play, the phone takes advantage of a less impressive Snapdragon 626 chipset which includes eight 2.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The product will be offered with 3GB/4GB LPDDR3 variants in combination with 32GB/64GB built-in storage. The good news is that Motorola is offering a microSD card slot to help users expand memory up to 256GB.

Cameras

The OnePlus 5 biggest upgrade this year is the dual-camera assembly which includes a primary 16-megapixel sensor with f/1.7 and a secondary 20-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x zoom and f/2.6 aperture.

It allows users to snap portraits that have a shallow depth of field and blurred backgrounds (the “bokeh” effect). It can also take great low-light pictures due to the f/1.7 aperture which lets in more light and focuses 40% faster than last year’s model.

Nevertheless, there are some notable absentees like optical image stabilization which becomes useful in low-light situations by keeping frame steady and reducing shaking in videos.

Despite not jumping on the dual-camera bandwagon, the Moto Z2 Play has a pretty decent main 12-megapixel camera with dual LED, f/17 aperture and phase detection and laser autofocus. It also boasts a 5-megapixel selfie shooter with f/2.0.

The OnePlus 5 carries a 16-megapixel with f/2.0 self-portrait shooter on the front side.

Battery

Both models have reduced battery capacity compared to their predecessors, but now accomodate skinnier frames.

However, the OnePlus assures users that due to the efficient processor onboard (and other optimizations) the new phone can offer up to 20% more battery life than its predecessor.

What’s more, an updated version of Dash Charge is available which can get up to 60% juice in your device in only 30 min.

The Moto Z2 Play expected usage dropped from 50 to 30 hours this year. Luckily the phone comes with Quick Charge onboard, which at least on paper will allow users to get 50% juice flowing in their phone in 30 minutes.

Don’t forget Moto Z2 Play users have the option of adding the Turbo Power Pack Mod, which brings an additional 3,490 mAh battery.

Software

Both phones rely on Android 7.1, but the OnePlus 5 has the company’s own Oxygen OS laid on top.

The Moto’s typically clean software is usually considered a positive aspect by those who prefer the stock Android experience. That’s not to say that the Moto Z2 Play doesn’t come with its own unique set of features. One which has a lot of potential is a neat voice-trick which opens apps when you simply say “show me”.

Naturally, Oxygen OS comes equipped with its own set of new features including a new reading mode, off-screen gestures and a do-not-disturb gaming mode.

Value

$479 vs $499

As you can see the difference in pricing between the two is not so big. The OnePlus 5 has the advantage of a Snapdragon 835, dual-camera and more RAM onboard. However, the Moto Z2 Play is water-resistant, features a microSD card slot for memory expansion and boasts a better design. Yet both phones are pretty sleek and should offer pretty great battery life cycles.

The Moto Z2 Play can be paired with old and new Moto Mods including the recently launched Turbo Power Pack, Moto GamePad, JBL SoundBoost 2 for better sound and StyleShells with Wireless Charging. All these Mods will cost you additionally.

The OnePlus 5 is set to officially launch June 27, while the Moto Z2 Play is coming this summer.