There are a lot of great phones to choose from this year with strong flagship devices from the big names. Two of them come from Sony and OnePlus but which one should you buy? Here we compare the OnePlus 5 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium in terms of price, design and specs. Read: Best phones for 2017.
OnePlus 5 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium Price
Phones by OnePlus are known to be more affordable than big name rivals and this is still the case with the latest model even though the firm has bumped the price up again. The OnePlus 5 starts at £449 which is still a great price.
It will seem even better, perhaps, when we look at the Sony Xperia XZ Premium price which is £649. That might be in-line with other phones like the HTC U11 and LG G6 but it doesn’t help much here.
A difference of £200 is a lot in any sector of tech but especially phones so OnePlus is off to a good start here.
OnePlus 5 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium Design and Build
These two phones couldn’t be much more different when it comes to design, which these days is pretty unusual. One is small, slender and light while the other is big, loud and heavy.
That’s not to say the XZ Premium is automatically the loser here, it has various things we like about it including the fingerprint scanner built into the home button on the side of phone. It’s also, as usual, fully waterproof with an IP68 rating which is the highest you’ll find on a smartphone.
What we’re not so keen on is that it’s nearly 200g and a huge phone overall so is one of the most unwieldy around at the moment. We’re also not totally convinced by the bright and shiny colour options, as although it can look stunning, only when it’s completely clean which is almost never.
OnePlus has done a great job of refining previous designs into the sleek 5, which feels a lot smaller than the XZ Premium despite having the same size screen. We feel it’s a design with a wider appeal.
The OnePlus 5 is 153g and we like the curves of a metal casing. The fingerprint scanner is mounted on the front like a lot of phones and this works perfectly well.
There’s also the advantage of the Alert Slider on the side which means you can quickly switch between audio profiles. It’s not, however, waterproof even with a lower IP rating.
It’s swings and roundabouts here – would you rather have a lighter metal phone or a bigger, heavier and shiny one with waterproofing?
OnePlus 5 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium Specs and Hardware
No waterproofing on the OnePlus 5 is one reason it’s cheaper than the XZ Premium but it’s also apparent in the display department. There’s nothing wrong with it exactly but it has a basic Full HD resolution. We do like the Optic AMOLED technology though which provides excellent colours and contrast.
Sony makes a big deal about the XZ Premium’s screen. It might be 5.5in like the OnePlus 5 but is a quite rediculous 4K and also supports HDR. The 807ppi pixel density is unrivaled but a bit over the top for most. The screen does look great but the colours can be a bit too intense and you can only view selected HDR content on Amazon Prime and Netflix at the moment.
OnePlus and Sony have both opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 under the hood so there’s no difference there.
While each phone comes with 64GB of storage as standard, the OnePlus 5 has 6GB of RAM compared to 4GB as standard. That’s the only model of the XZ Premium but you can upgrade to a whopping 8/128GB model for only £50 more. That’s really impressive from OnePlus.
The Sony does have a microSD slot to boost the storage which helps as the OnePlus 5 doesn’t.
You can check out the benchmark results below but be aware that OnePlus has been accused of cheating – read about it on XDA. Don’t worry about the number too much as they are not only close but both phones are top performers in real life.
There’s largely no difference in terms of connectivity as both have features like 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 5.0. The XZ Premium does have a barometer if it bothers you, though.
Although both phones have a headphone jack – something that’s becoming worryingly rare – the Sony Xperia edges it on audio with stereo speakers and support for Hi-Res audio playback.
It’s a surprise that the XZ Premium has a smaller battery despite being a bigger and heavier phone. The OnePlus 5’s is 3300- compared to 3230mAh. Both phones charge via USB-C and feature fast charging but Sony doesn’t supply the necessary charger in the box.
Photography is at the top of many lists when it comes to buying a phone and both manufacturers tout great performance in this area.
While the OnePlus 5 has two rear cameras which we’ll talk about in a minute, Sony sticks to just one. The resolution has dropped from its predecessor to 19Mp but the pixels are larger. There’s a lot to like about the camera on the XZ Premium as it takes great shots in good and low-light, plus other things like macro.
It also features a stunning 960fps slow motion video mode which is exclusive to the phone and you can have fun with this, although it can be tricky to use when capturing a brief moment in time as you can only record at this framerate for one second.
That said, OnePlus has done a good job of the cameras on the OnePlus 5 as the main 16Mp camera can great decent shots even in low-light. Impressive for the price and also has the advantage of a 20Mp sensor with a telephoto lens.
Read more about the cameras and see direct comparisons of photos and videos in our best phone camera group test.