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What should Santa get you? OnePlus 5T vs Google Pixel 2 XL

A few days ago OnePlus announced the OnePlus 5T, its second flagship for the year. But how does it compare to other premium smartphones that were launched in 2017? Like the Pixel 2 XL for example? Continue reading below to find out which would make a better Christmas present.

On the outside

Four months later after the OnePlus 5 launched on the market, the OnePlus 5T shed the outdated design of its predecessor and finally stepped into the modern era with a 6-inch edge-to-edge AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio and 2,160 x 1,080 resolution.

The OnePlus 5T boasts an anodized aluminum body with rounded corners and chamfered edges. It measures 156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm, tips the scales at 162g and comes without an IP rating of any kind. Unlike the Pixel 2 XL, the OnePlus 5T includes a 3.5mm headphone jack which lives at the bottom, alongside the USB Type-C port. The fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back of the device.

The Pixel 2 XL is also part of the modern all-screen phone trend, but the bottom and upper bezels are substantial enough to be accommodating front-facing speakers. The phone is mainly made of aluminum with a bit of glass at the top of its back. Within the glass window lives the single lens camera + flash, while the fingerprint scanner is located below.

The Pixel 2 XL takes advantage of a 6-inch display with 2880 x 1440 resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio, but it measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighs 175g, so it’s a bit larger than the OnePlus 5T. It also includes an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

However, when considering to buy a Pixel 2 XL you need to take into account that the phone has been found to suffer from a large number of problems. From display issues to random reboots, touchscreen woes and clicking noises Google can’t seem to catch a break while this phone is concerned.

On the inside

Both smartphones take advantage of a Snapdragon 835 processor, but things are a bit different in the RAM and storage area. The OnePlus 5T is available in either 6GB of RAM + 64GB of storage or 8GB of RAM + 128GB of storage configurations.

The device also houses a 3,300 mAh battery which support’s the company’s fast charging technology, Dash Charge.

The Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, supports 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or 128GB. None of the two models include a microSD card slot. Google’s larger Pixel 2 relies a slightly larger 3,520 mAh cell under the hood, which supports fast charging, as well.

Photography

Customers who want to try out the dual-camera experience will probably go for the OnePlus 5T which unlike the Pixel 2 XL boasts two sensors on the back.

The main one is of 16-megapixel variety, while the second is a 20-megapixel one. Both offer f/1.7 aperture. OnePlus has included features like Portrait Mode that allows users to get the bokeh effect, as well as a Pro Mode with manual controls. When it comes to selfies, the OnePlus 5T boasts a 16-megapixel shooter with f/2.0.

The Google Pixel 2 XL on the other hand still relies on a singular 12.2-megapixel rear camera that bundles f/1.8 aperture, dual pixel phase detection, optical and electrical image stabilization and laser autofocus. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel secondary snapper with f/2.4 for your self-portrait taking purposes.

Software

Google’s Pixel devices are the pinnacle of what Android can be and that’s exactly the case for the Pixel 2 XL which runs (stock) Android Oreo out of the box. And like all of its Nexus/Pixels brothers and sisters, the Pixel 2 XL is bound to receive any news updates first. Pixel 2 users can also take advantage of exclusive features such as Google Lens which lets you use the phone’s camera to identify any objects you pinpoint it towards.

Meanwhile, the OnePlus 5T disappointingly went on sale with Android 7.1.1 Nougat (with OxygenOS on top) out of the box. Android Oreo will eventually be offered, but don’t expect the public build to arrive before early 2018.

OxgenOS is a modified version of Android which includes a few specific features like App Locker and Parallel Apps, which let you lock certain apps. There’s also a Do Not Disturb while Gaming mode and a new Face Unlock feature.

Value

The OnePlus 5T starts at $499.99 for the 6GB of RAM + 64GB of storage version. The Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, is a lot more expensive, as it starts at $849.99 in the Google Store.

While you should definitely carefully weight all the advantages and disadvantages of buying a Pixel 2 XL or OnePlus 5T , your choice of carrier might also influence your decision.

Even if Verizon holds exclusivity over the Pixel 2 XL, the phone comes unlocked and is compatible with all major carriers. In contrast, the OnePlus 5 does not (fully) support Verizon and Sprint networks.