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OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P comparison: techwarriors

Fancy a flagship Android phone? Of course you do - but you might not fancy the price tag that goes with it. With the 32 GB Nexus 6P sporting an SRP of $499, high end hardware comes with an equally high price tag. Or at least, it does if you don’t consider a OnePlus 3, which offers premium hardware for $399. Can the OnePlus 3 really go toe-to-toe with the Nexus 6P? Find out in our OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P comparison.

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OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: sounds like algebra, but it's much more interesting than that. / © AndroidPIT
Amazon price for Google Nexus 6P
Lowest price: Google Nexus 6P

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: design and build quality

You normally don’t buy a OnePlus for its looks, but then when 99 percent of what you see is the screen then what’s around it doesn’t really matter unless it’s in a lurid pink leopard print. The OnePlus is a bit unremarkable looking, but it’s not offensively ugly and it’s well screwed together.

To our eyes the metal Nexus - the first Nexus to bin plastic in favor of something sturdier - is better looking, with that distinctive lozenge for the camera and the big old Nexus logo below the fingerprint reader. It’s aged pretty well, and we’re not hearing of catastrophic build quality problems either.

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Which one is better looking? / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: display

OnePlus has stuck with an AMOLED display, with 5.5 inches delivering Full-HD resolution. It’s not a bad display by any means. AMOLED is what the Nexus 6P is packing behind its fourth-generation Gorilla Glass. It’s QHD and the panel is very slightly larger at 5.7 inches. If color accuracy matters to you then perhaps neither display is more accurate than the other, but if you prefer to throw a party for your pupils then we can't say one or the other is more vivd. But the Nexus 6P is a little better for movies as it’s bigger than the display of the OnePlus 3.

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Two big, shiny AMOLED displays. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: processor and storage

The OnePlus 3 has a Snapdragon 820 with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Six gigabytes is almost certainly overkill right now, but it looks impressive.

The Nexus 6P looks poorer on paper: its Snapdragon is an 810, not an 820, and we’ve noticed indications of thermal throttling during benchmarks. There’s 3 GB of RAM and a choice of 32, 64 or 128 GB of internal storage, and you can’t expand it. In real life we’d expect the OnePlus to outperform the Nexus in benchmarks, and in apps such as games, every time.

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Both devices are Snapdragon-powered, but the OnePlus has the more recent processor. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: camera

The OnePlus 3 has a 16 MP rear camera and an 8 MP front camera, but we weren't overly impressed with it. OnePlus’s cameras haven’t been perfect in the past and we suspect that the best possible sensors would break the budget. The OnePlus 3 has a camera that’s good rather than great.

The 12.3 MP camera in the Nexus is the best camera ever fitted to a Nexus, and while that sounds like faint praise - previous Nexus cameras haven’t exactly wowed anybody - it’s a very impressive camera in its own right. The lack of optical image stablization is an odd omission, however, but the sensor’s larger pixels mean it isn’t as bad in low light as other un-stabilized cameras and the laser auto-focus gets things going very quickly.

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Two very fine cameras. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: software

The OnePlus One shipped with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and the CyanogenMod user interface. The Cyanogen friendship didn’t last, however, and OnePlus devices now ship with Oxygen OS. It’s very, very close to stock Android, although it can take a little longer to get Android updates. The version of Android underneath is Marshmallow 6.0.1, with an upgrade to N coming later in the year.

As you’d expect from a Nexus, it’s stock Android all the way. That means Android Marshmallow, and N the moment it officially ships. There isn't much between the Nexus 6P and OnePlus 3. To the untrained eye, the software experience is almost identical.

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Whichever phone you choose, you can be sure of getting N later this year. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: battery

The 3,000 mAh battery in the OnePlus 3 is slightly smaller than the 3,450 mAh battery in the Nexus. However, both devices benefit from Marshmallow’s battery optimizations. AMOLED displays are also more energy efficient than LCDs. The minor difference in display size could contribute to a slightly larger battery drain on the Nexus 6P, but, having a larger battery, we'd be amazed if the Nexus doesn’t trounce the OnePlus for battery performance in every situation. Also, how often do you see the word 'trounce' in a phone comparison? We’re going for 'drub' in the next one.

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Let's juice these babies up. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: final verdict

Bearing in mind we’re yet to make the two phones face our grueling endurance tests together, on paper at least it looks like we’ve got an easy winner: the OnePlus is cheaper than the Nexus. It might not have quite as good a camera, but it’s a lot cheaper than the Nexus. It might have slightly less battery life, but still - it’s a lot cheaper than the Nexus. And did we mention that it’s a lot cheaper than the Nexus? With US price of $399, you could buy around two OnePlus 3s for the price of a Nexus 6P. Even if you shop around, you’re looking at at least $100 more for the Google phone.

What do you think? Would you rather have the Nexus, or would you be perfectly happy with a OnePlus and a whole bunch of money left over? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Oh wow, so you used last year's 6P price? It's now at 470 for the 64GB one with a $50 gift card for your extra sh**.

    I'd rather buy a 6P and have a respectable camera experience and timely updates than having a good rather than great camera and 6GB that you don't really have access to.

  • When will the detailed comparison between Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5 coming out. Both have got formidable specs and best phone cameras. You can also bring photo samples comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5.

  • I would rather have the Nexus . The Nexus is the best ever Android the specs mean very little when comparing real world performance and as for the extra $100.00 you should have asked would I prefer the Nexus to the Apple I6s plus and put $400.00 back in my pocket.
    now that's a more compelling choice

  • I liked my OPO, but find that I have been spoiled by dual, front-facing speakers of the M-8, Nexus 6, and my current 6P. For the way I use my phone, that speaker configuration is a decisive factor. That said, the OP3 looks like a great value.

    • How do you like your Nexus 6p? I'm going to Europe at the end of July so I'm looking at getting a new phone before then. I have a Oneplus One right now and the most important spec for my next phone is the camera. I would get a galaxy s7 edge but it's just too expensive. I can buy a 64gb nexus 6p for under $500 now.

  • Here in the states they are about the same price, the OP3 is only a bit cheaper. I currently own the Nexus 6P, but find the battery life to be lacking, and I'm strongly considering swapping it for one of these. Does the OP3 have a better battery life with the more efficient 820 and 1080p display, despite having a roughly 10% smaller battery?

    • Edward H 4 months ago Link to comment

      Try joining the N beta as it is stable and has doze 2.0 which has really helped with battery life on the 6p. Can't join beta with a OnePlus!

  • It would be cool if the next Nexus would be built by OnePlus

  • Rideau 4 months ago Link to comment

    Nexus 6P, even if the screen is too tall for me.

  • Assuming I get a Nexus 6P for the same price as the OnePlus 3; If we leave aside the price difference, then can we have a clear winner?

    In your review you put a lot of emphasis on the price (for obvious reasons). However, IMHO, the Nexus 6p does trump the OPT in terms of display, battery life and software updates. Camera should be comparable. Performance on the OPT would be better (theoretically) considering the 6 gigs of RAM and the better processor, but the N6P has an Octa Core , vs the Quad core on the OPT. Also, my personal bias towards the Nexus series is difficult to get over.

  • Does look a bit big for me, but I love the 6GB RAM.... The Nexus 5 was the perfect size, the 5X is a bit too big, and this is even bigger...

  • I think there is benefits on both sides

  • 18
    anshul 4 months ago Link to comment

    Nexus is best in its class. No doubt.

    • I would have to agree simply because I love having the latest software!

    • How are you so sure. Have you ever used one plus. I have used both and found one plus significantly rich in features than nexus.

      • I owned a One Plus One and switch to the Nexus 6p a few months ago. I found my biggest gripe with owning a One plus device was the lack of support due to the company's location and size. Comparatively I have had much better support from google with all the nexus phones and tablets I have owned

      • This is one of my biggest concerns too. I see a lot of new manufacturers creating "mega-spec" phones - LeEco, Xolo, Xiomi, but the after sales support on these is rather non-existent. Also, the Nexus series has a reputation to "just keep working".
        Also, horror stories about the One Plus 2 giving way after 3-4 months of use makes me wary of going for the OP3 so early on.

      • 18
        anshul 4 months ago Link to comment

        Software updates & after sales supports really matters. My brother was using One plus & unfortunately he dropped it, to get new screen was herculean task. There are very few service centers but all third party & those which are authorized centers they told us to leave the phone for 1 month or more. It was horrible experience.
        No doubt One plus has great features but after sales supports really matters.

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