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Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: a Chinese conundrum

The OnePlus 3 and the Honor 8 are definitely the two best Android smartphones available on the market for under $400. Both are from Chinese manufacturers, and are competitors on the same level as the high-end Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge. Last year, the OnePlus 2 was even a step ahead of the Honor 7. This year, though, things are looking a bit different. Check out our comparison of the Honor 8 and the OnePlus 3.

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: design

Looking at the two models, it’s impossible to overlook the stylistic differences, thought they have one stark similarity: elegance. The OnePlus 3 reiterates design ideas from previous generations of OnePlus devices and borrows a few aesthetic notes from some of its current competitors, like the HTC 10.

Just like the OnePlus 2, its frame is made of metal. The combination of curved and square lines, the light nuances in color and the way in which the anodized aluminum distributes light gives the OnePlus a more refined look. Of course, the OnePlus 3 is also significantly bigger, with its 5.5” screen, but its feeling in your hand remains comfortable nonetheless.

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The OnePlus 3 is slightly bigger than the Honor 8. © AndroidPIT

The new smartphone from Honor seems to attract more light. The reason is simple. The Honor 8 is made from metal and glass, which results in an extraordinarily reflective back. Another notable difference with the OnePlus 3 (apart from its smaller size) is that it doesn’t have a home button on the front.

Personally, I prefer the experience that the Honor 8 gives you, as its format is more compact and its curved corners make it easier to hold. Sadly, the smartphone tends to retain fingerprints on the back.

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: display

Let’s take a glimpse now at one of the principal differences between the two phones. The Honor 8 has an LTPS TFT-LCD Full HD screen measuring 5.2” (1920 x 1080 pixels). Color reproduction is excellent and very realistic. The clarity and sharpness of the images are also very nice. An interesting detail, though, is that the Honor 8’s screen uses an “eye comfort” mode, giving the screen a yellowish tint. It’s not the first time that I’ve said this, but I really appreciate this feature before going to bed and right when waking up.

The OnePlus 3 has a nearly perfect colorimetry.

The OnePlus 2 offers a Full HD screen measuring 5.5” (1080 x 1920 pixels). For the first time in its history as a company, OnePlus utilizes an AMOLED screen. Though it may have been a bit of a disappointment at its rollout, a big update helped a lot and now it boasts a near perfect colorimetry. The screen is therefore very good, but that isn’t really a surprise considering Samsung created the Super AMOLED. The OnePlus takes the cake in this round.

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The Honor 8 offers an "eye comfort" mode that reduces the screen's blue light. © AndroidPIT

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: user interface

Here two different user interfaces come head to head. The OnePlus 3 offers a system very close to that of Stock Android, namely Oxygen OS. There’s very little bloatware to speak of. Honor has an overlay from the brand EMUI 4.1 that looks remarkably similar to the iOS, rather to Android. There’s no app organizer on this model, but you can install a downloaded version. The two are based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

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Thanks to its AMOLED screen, the OnePlus 3 has night mode to help save batter life. © AndroidPIT

There is, nonetheless, another major similarity here: it is extremely difficult to get Android updates. If you want to use the new Android 7.0 Nougat as soon as possible, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: performance

Here the OnePlus seems to have an advantage over the Honor model. Far be it for me to say that the Honor 8 is ridiculous in its performance, quite the contrary, in fact. The flagship Honor model uses an octocore processor from Kirin, the 950, and 4 GB RAM, which makes sure its performance is very cutting-edge, especially considering the excellent optimization of the operating system.

oneplus 3 benchmark antutu
The OnePlus 3 is on its way to being in first place. © AndroidPIT

The OnePlus 3 has evolved, however, into a superior class. Under the hood, you can find the top-end processor Snapdragon 820, an Adreno 530 graphic chip, 6 GB RAM LPDDR4 and 64 GB internal memory. The results are all excellent, and as a consequence the OnePlus 3 is setting itself up to be just a rung below the Galaxy S7. As my colleague Omar Hamwi has already mentioned in the OnePlus 3 review, the device is one of the most powerful smartphones tested here at AndroidPIT.

Honor 8 vs. OnePlus 3: camera

A smartphone is also a camera, today, and many do this job better than others. Nevertheless, the OnePlus 3 and the Honor 8 are more or less on par with one another in this category. The OnePlus 3 has a 16 MP camera with an f/2.0 opening, as well as an optic stabilizer and facial recognition. The Honor 8, on the other hand, has a double camera with 12 MP, an f/2.2 opening (one of the lenses, the IMX386 is made by Sony and only photographs in black and white to get the best light).

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Both smartphones have a digital finger print scanner. The one on the Honor 8 situated on the back of the device proved to be a lot quicker. © AndroidPIT

Both phones take great photos. From time to time, the camera on the Honor 8 focuses on the wrong spot and the other objects in the fore/background stay fuzzy, but the colors and details are sufficient enough, even in low light. The OnePlus 3 doesn’t do much better in this regard. As far as selfies are concerned, the Honor 8 has the upper hand, offering different ways to personalize your images.

Lowest price: Honor 8
$318.90
eBay

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: battery

Considering I’ve used both models now regularly, I can confidently say I prefer the Honor 8. This isn’t shocking, as both phones use a 3,000 mAh battery; the only difference is the OnePlus 3’s screen size. Generally speaking, the battery was never OnePlus’s strong suit. In principal, it’s not all that bad, because it lasts all day, but the Honor 8 gives you more freedom in this capacity. In any case, the two smartphones both have a USB Type-C charging port and rapid charging.

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The Honor 8 proved to have better battery life than the OnePlus 3. © AndroidPIT
Lowest price: OnePlus 3
$441.99
eBay

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: technical specifications

  OnePlus 3 Honor 8
Model: OnePlus 3 Honor 8
Manufacturer: OnePlus Honor
Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm 145.5 x 71 x 7.45 mm
Weight: 158 g 153 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in 5.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED Dual-LED
Android version: 6.0.1 - Marshmallow 6.0 - Marshmallow
User interface: Oxygen OS Emotion UI
RAM: 6 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB 32 GB
Removable storage: Not available microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 HiSilicon Kirin 950
Number of cores: 4 8
Max. clock speed: 2.2 GHz 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: verdict

Obviously it’s a little difficult to say which Chinese smartphone wins this battle. Both phones have their own personality and qualities. Both are outstanding Android models that don’t let their manufacturers down. The OnePlus 3 is definitely more powerful than its counterpart, the Honor 8, without being more costly. But the Honor flagship does a little more to defend itself this year, and edges out the OnePlus 3 with its camera and battery life.

At the end of the day, it boils down to personal preference and screen size. If you like phablets, the OnePlus 3 is probably more your style. If you don’t, then go for the Honor 8.

Which phone do you prefer? Would you consider purchasing either of these phones?

10 comments

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  • i think one plus has done pretty nice job in built quality with one plus 3

  • It comes down mostly to quality control. And OnePlus has a nasty history of poor quality.

    The honor skin is pretty heavy though.

  • This is a must > ir blaster ,removable battery, sd card expansion, basically all the specs from the best galaxy ever made yes that's right the S5! If samsung does this , but do they ever listen to their customer base of course not !, so they will fail.Also everyone that I talked too that had the edge screen their screen was marked and scratched really bad no thank you if that's gonna be a standard screen you can count me out!.

  • storm 2 months ago Link to comment

    It comes down mostly to quality control. And OnePlus has a nasty history of poor quality.

    The honor skin is pretty heavy though.

  • If one of these guys made the internal FM radios available, I'd be all over it.

  • I'm lucky enough to have had the opportunity to use both these phones. They both are top notch great phones, but I personally had to purchase the one plus 3, the one plus 3 with the snapdragon CPU/gpu, was quite a bit better at running my games on max settings than the honor 8 cpu/GPU was. They were both excellent phones, the only deciding factor for me was the better performance of the snapdragon 820. The article is dead on about the battery, my one plus 3 dies in about half the time the honor 8 did. The dash charging feature helps somewhat in the not so great battery times assuming u can find a plug in for 20 minutes every so often, as far as I know there aren't any battery packs that support dash charging out yet.

  • You forgot to mention DASH Charging. That thing is at least a year ahead of its competition. 60% charge in half an hour, bluntly ridiculous.

  • Wakfu 2 months ago Link to comment

    I sacrifice user interface and performances rather than good battery and camera. Honor

    • Wakfu 2 months ago Link to comment

      And when you know you can install a launcher and that the kirin 950 is very good.

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