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The two new phone launches that are set to topple existing flagship

The OnePlus 5 and Honor 8 Pro are aiming for a new market that didn’t really exist. T

brunch Updated: Jul 01, 2017 22:37 IST
Rajiv Makhni
The Honor 8 Pro took the world by surprise with its unexpected launch
The Honor 8 Pro took the world by surprise with its unexpected launch

I’m going to go out on a limb and say it, even if it makes me sound like a giddy, star-struck geek. I absolutely love technology! Not because of a new innovation that blows everyone’s socks off, but because of the intense rivalries, product fight outs, sudden blow ups between companies and a fight to the finish between newly-released devices. This is a story of a shoot-out between two new phones that appeared within a week of each other.

Buzz champion

Expectations were sky high, rumours and leaks a daily affair. The launch event was a multimillion-dollar extravaganza attended by thousands of fans. That’s the OnePlus 5.

Expectations were sky high and fans went crazy at the launch of OnePlus 5

Silent killer

The second one literally had no buildup, most didn’t even know it existed. A blogger meet here, a small leak there and then suddenly there it was. Brilliantly specced out, it took the world by surprise and the competition by shock. The phone was the Honor 8 Pro.

Flagship killer

Both phones aim for a new market that didn’t really exist. The flagship killer – phone with specs, hardware, features and innovations that absolutely equal and sometimes surpass the flagship leaders, but do it at a price that is way lower. It’s an exciting market which was dominated by OnePlus, that literally created this whole genre. But now it has competition. A new kid on the block, a serious contender. Honor!

Design

They look very similar. Both are excellent-looking phones, a narrower bezel than usual, nice ergonomics, good to hold in hand, all good but nothing outstandingly great. You’ll get huge compliments if you own either one of the two. Verdict – Draw.

Screen

The OnePlus 5 has a full HD screen

The Honor 8 Pro has a 2K screen that is a true killer in brightness, colour saturation and daylight usage. The OnePlus goes with a full HD screen that in itself is absolutely fantastic but can’t compare to the Honor. Verdict – Honor wins this one.

Camera

The OnePlus 5 camera does great things in low-light arrangements

Both have dual optics. Honor owns this market with its fourth generation of phones with dual cameras. OnePlus comes in with a bang with higher megapixels of 16 and 20 and a better aperture at F1.7. On paper the OnePlus 5 is way superior. Then come real world results. And while the OnePlus 5 still pulls slightly ahead, its not as big a gap as I expected. While the OnePlus does great things with night shots and low light photography, the Honor gives excellent results and better control. Verdict – OnePlus leads by just a whisker.

The Honor 8 Pro camera gives excellent results and better control

Hardware

The OnePlus 5 has what many very expensive flagships don’t. A nuclear powerhouse of a processor, the Snapdragon 835. The Honor has the Kirin 860, which in itself is incredible and very powerful but can’t hold a candle to the 835. Both have 6GB RAM (OnePlus has a 8GB version but at a different price category) but the H8 Pro has built in storage of 128GB vs 64GB for the OP5. Also, the Honor has expandable storage upto another 256GB, the OnePlus has no expandable storage – a fatal error! Honor also leads in battery at 4000mAh vs 3300 mAh and yet is the slimmer phone of the two. Honor also comes packed with an innovative box that converts into a Virtual Reality headset. Verdict – It’s a draw as the 835 advantage of the OP5 is nullified with Honor having a whole lot more.

Though Honor 8 Pro has a stronger battery, yet it is a slimmer phone

Price

The Honor 8 Pro is priced at ₹29,999 (6GB, 128GB) while the OnePlus 5 comes in at ₹32,999 (6GB, 64GB). OnePlus 5 has one more version at ₹37,999 (8GB, 128GB). Verdict – Do I have to spell it out?

Final verdict

Two phones are set to create turbulence in an already churning market and may teach customers that buying phones at prices like 60K is simply foolish. Have I mentioned that I love the world of tech? For reasons like these two!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, June 25, 2017

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