OnePlus 5T vs Honor View 10: Will the real flagship killer please stand up?

Both OnePlus 5T and the Honor View 10 are flagship killers in their own way. But the question remains. Which is a better buy? We find out.

Published Date
16 - Jan - 2018
| Last Updated
16 - Jan - 2018

Everyone wants a fast smartphone that is at once reliable and at the cutting edge of technology. But not everyone can shell out upwards of Rs 60,000 and afford a high-end premium flagship. That’s where these so-called flagship killers step in. At half the price, both the OnePlus 5T and the Honor View 10 perform as well, if not better, than most premium flagship phones. 

The two devices, however, are made for two very different set of users. The OnePlus 5T is for enthusiasts and people who cannot do without a speedy phone. It is pricey for a high-end flagship but justifies the price for what it brings to the table. The Honor View 10, on the other hand, gives all sorts of innovative features that will be a hit with those looking to be on the bleeding edge of technology. 

As a result, both are flagship killers in their own way. If the OnePlus 5T manages to question established players like the LG V30+ or the HTC U11 or even the Google Pixel 2, the Honor View 10 takes on big-wigs like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with its sheer number of features. But the question remains. Which is a better buy? We find out. 

Design and display: Taller screens, brighter displays

If you are looking for a high-end smartphone, you will surely want a sleek, attractive phone with solid build quality. In that case, you would be hard-pressed to make a choice between the two. The OnePlus 5T now has a taller display with the design more or less similar to its predecessor. Only, to make room for the taller display, the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back. The Honor View 10 also sport a taller display but has managed to retain the physical home button with the fingerprint sensor on top. 

Between the two, I prefer the grip of the OnePlus 5T more than the Honor View 10, even though the OnePlus 5T feels more slippery. The way the back curves to meet the display on the front made the phone feel sturdy in my palm. The View 10 also has an ergonomic design but it has a more conventional flat design. Although, the fact remains that the OnePlus 5T still looks a lot like the iPhone 7 Plus, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The View 10, on the other hand, is more original, even though Honor has been using this design philosophy for quite some time now. Both phones have camera bumps on the back, but the View 10’s camera bump looks particularly ugly, more so because of the way the rest of the body is carved in the flat shape with the twin cameras protruding by a millimeter or more. 

Both phones feature a taller 6-inch display of 18:9 aspect ratio. The panels stretch to both ends of the phone clipping the bezels on the top and the bottom and almost eliminating them on the sides.  

The OnePlus 5T has the same AMOLED panel it used in the OnePlus 5, but the pixel count has increased to 2160p thanks to the 18:9 aspect ratio. The Honor View 10 has an LTPS IPS display of the same resolution. Despite keeping up with changing times, both phones will face the problems of apps not supporting the taller display. While Netflix and YouTube will run fine on these displays, games like Injustice 2 will either have visuals cropped from the sides or run with a black bar on the top and bottom. The View 10 sort of mitigates the problem by giving an option to resize apps to fit the new aspect ratio, but doing so will crop the visuals. 

The display of the OnePlus 5T has a slightly warmer tint while the Honor View 10 tends slightly towards the cooler side and has a blue tint.  Although, both phones give options to tune the display manually. The OnePlus 5T goes an extra mile and gives an option to switch between colour gamuts and even an iPhone-like adaptive mode that switches colour calibration based on the content on the display. Brightness levels and contrasts are also higher on the OnePlus 5T than the Honor View 10. You can notice colour banding on the Honor View 10 which is not there on the OnePlus 5T. 

Overall, despite having the same taller panel with an 18:9 aspect ratio, the OnePlus 5T has a better display than the Honor View 10. 

Performance and Software: Raw power vs AI 

Despite the gaping price difference between the two, both phones boast performance almost equal to premium flagship phones. While OnePlus outright declares its offering as flagship killers, the View 10 itself is Honor’s flagship device in India. Both are powered by flagship-grade processors — The Snapdragon 835 on the OnePlus 5T and proprietary HiSilicon Kirin 970 on the Honor View 10. However, the OnePlus 5T boasts of 8GB of RAM while the View 10 has 6GB of RAM. As a result, benchmark results will peg the OnePlus 5T higher than the Honor View 10. However, the View 10 makes up for the slack in raw performance with AI-centric features that prevents the phone from slowing down over time. Both phones rely on F2FS (Flash-friendly File Storage) format that improves sequential read-write speeds improving app opening times. As a result, both phones are quite snappy to operate. The OnePlus 5T has a better touch response though, which makes the phone a little more smoother than the View 10. Neither of the phones have any significant heating issues either. 

Now, while the OnePlus 5T is built for speed, the Honor View 10 is more intelligent. The phone boasts of some nifty features that augments the usability of the phone. For one, the camera on the View 10 can recognise objects and people and tune the photo composition based on that. You can also insert 3D objects in the photo, much like the Pixel 2, but the application isn’t as perfect. Other useful features include smart orientation which turns the phone into landscape when you are watching a video even if the orientation is locked to portrait. There is a feature that keeps the display on for longer when you are reading text on the screen while an in-built translation app from Microsoft can translate both text and images to any language and even works offline. 

The Honor View 10 can also unlock the phone using facial recognition, but the feature will be enabled later via an OTA update. On the other hand, one of the marquee feature of the OnePlus 5T is its face unlock which is blazing fast. It’s even faster than the iPhone X, although it’s not as secure. 

While the Honor View 10 runs on Android 8.0 out-of-the-box, the OnePlus 5T is still stuck with an older version, but the update will arrive soon(ish). The OnePlus 5T runs on OxygenOS, which is based on stock Android with some nifty augmentations, while the Honor View 10 runs on EMUI 8.0 that brings the so-called AI-features on board. Apart from the differentiating features, both phones boast of the new additions that Android Oreo brings to the table, including picture-in-picture, notification management and more. 

Camera: True-to-source vs Punchy colours

Honor is no stranger to dual cameras and the Honor View 10 is perhaps its best application of the technology so far. The phone houses a 16-megapixel colour sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. The dual cameras improves the image quality by capturing details from both sensors and fusing them together. This particular dual-camera application also improves the low-light performance by taking noise samples from the two sensors and averaging them. Incidentally, the OnePlus 5T also uses a similar 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel dual camera combination that similarly shoots in RGB and monochrome respectively. The earlier OnePlus 5 used an iPhone-like dual camera application and had a 1.6x optical zoom. That optical zoom has been sacrificed for a sensor with bigger pixels to improve the low-light performance and for that matter, the OnePlus 5T is a better low-light performer than most other phones in its price bracket. 

But the Honor View 10 is also no slouch. The View 10 relies on machine learning to recognise scenes and objects and tweak the camera settings accordingly to click better photos. However, it is the same AI that makes the camera somewhat inconsistent. At its best, the Honor View 10’s camera can take on the premium flagships but there will be moments when the image quality will look extremely inferior. The OnePlus 5T is more consistent in this regard. 


Top: Shot with Honor View 10      Bottom: Shot with OnePlus 5T


Top: Shot with Honor View 10 (100 percent cropped)   Bottom: Shot with OnePlus 5T  (100 percent cropped)

Under a clear bright sunny sky, the OnePlus 5T takes more true-to-source photos. You will notice the colour reproduction is closer to the original. Zooming in will tell you the details on the OnePlus 5T are more accurate but it doesn’t have the dynamic range and saturation that the Honor View 10’s camera has. The Honor View 10’s photos pop out and overall, they are sharper than that of the OnePlus 5T.


Top: Shot with Honor View 10   Bottom: Shot with OnePlus 5T

Indoor shots during the day also look better on the Honor View 10 than the OnePlus 5T. You can see in the photo above that the walls look darker on the OnePlus 5T than the View 10.  Also, note that the OnePlus 5T makes the walls look whiter than it should, considering it is daytime and the whites should be warmer which is what the Honor View 10 brings out. 


Top: Shot with Honor View 10  Bottom: Shot with OnePlus 5T

Both phones are capable of portrait shots where the background is blurred to bring the object in focus, but the OnePlus 5T’s portrait mode works better than the Honor View 10’s. The bokeh effect on the OnePlus 5T looks more natural. The edges are blurred with consistency and there is clear distinction between the foreground and the background. The Honor View 10’s portrait shots, on the other hand, look artificial and the blurring is sometimes too aggressive. 


Top: Shot with Honor View 10  Bottom: Shot with OnePlus 5T

Both phones are quite adept at reproducing details on a macro shot. But the OnePlus 5T once again suffers from bland colours while the Honor View 10 saturates it and presents a pleasing-to-the-eye results. 


Top: Indoor low-light shot using Honor View 10    Bottom: Indoor low-light shot using OnePlus 5T


Top: Outdoor low-light shot using Honor View 10  Bottom: Outdoor low-light shot using OnePlus 5T

In poorly-lit indoor spaces, both OnePlus 5T and the Honor View 10 tend to perform decently. Essentially, both phones leverage their respective dual cameras to minimise the noise. But there’s a trade-off in the sharpness of the image, as heavy noise reduction makes the image soft with lesser details.  Under extreme low-light though, both phones are unable to take a clear shot. There’s drastic drop in details and shadows have high noise. 


Top: Shot with Honor View 10   Bottom: Shot with OnePlus 5T

As for the front camera, the OnePlus 5T features a 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 1.0um pixels while the Honor View 10 has a 13-megapixel shooter also with f/2.0 aperture. But the Honor View 10 goes the extra mile and allows portrait selfies which blurs the background to keep your face in focus. However, the application is shoddy and it tends to overexpose selfies and soften the details on the face. Selfies on the OnePlus 5T looks more natural even when there is no portrait mode to boast of. The selfie camera on the OnePlus 5T is simply more capable than the Honor View 10. 

Battery: Fast vs More

The Honor View 10 packs in a lot of juice with a 3,750mAh battery and with an IPS LCD display, the power intake is lesser than the OnePlus 5T which has a smaller 3,300mAh battery. However, both phones can easily last over a day with a single charge, under moderate use. During our review, the Honor View 10 was left with around 40 percent charge after a typical work day while the OnePlus 5T was left with 20 percent charge. The OnePlus 5T though supports Dash Charging which can charge the phone to full capacity in less than an hour. The Honor View 10 also has support for Huawei’s proprietary  fast charging tech and the phone apparently uses AI to learn about user behaviour for smarter power management. 


Both the OnePlus 5T and the Honor View 10 are extremely capable devices with loads of features and cutting-edge technology. But the two are aimed at two distinct type of user. The OnePlus 5T is built for speed. Everything about that phone is tuned to make the phone run like a beast, starting from its flagship-level processor, oodles of RAM and a lightweight, near-stock Android interface. The Honor View 10, on the other hand, is for someone that craves innovative, new features. The phone is skin-deep in all the latest AI features and leverages machine learning to fill up the gaps. For instance, lesser RAM is made up with AI-enabled performance monitoring while the camera is loaded with neural processing to make the photos look better. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Honor View 10, priced at Rs 29,999, is significantly cheaper than the 8GB OnePlus 5T which retails for Rs 37,999. That huge price gap can make the Honor View 10 an obvious choice over the latter, but if speed, reliability and timely updates are what you crave, there is nothing better than the OnePlus 5T. Protection Status