Honor View 10 vs. OnePlus 5T: Which midranger reigns supreme?

The Honor 7X wasn’t the only great phone to come out of Honor’s factories recently — the Honor View 10 is aiming to blow the midrange market apart, with a Kirin 970 processor, a hefty dual-sensor camera, and a massive bezel-less screen. But here be dragons; the OnePlus 5T is still fresh on the scene, and it’s eager to prove its dominance. How do these two amazing midrangers stack up against each other? We took a look to find out.

Specs

Honor View 10
honor view 10 vs oneplus 5t huawei
OnePlus 5Toneplus 5t vs honor view 10
Size 157 x 75 x 7mm (6.18 x 2.95 x 0.28 inches) 156.1 x 75 x 7.3mm (6.15 x 2.95 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 172 grams (6.07 ounces) 162 grams (5.71 ounces)
Screen 5.99-inch IPS LCD display 6.01-inch AMOLED display
Resolution 2160 x 1080 pixels (403 pixels-per-inch) 2160 x 1080 pixels (401 pixels-per-inch)
OS EMUI 8.0 (over Android 8.0 Oreo) Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Storage 128GB 64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slot Yes, up to 256GB No
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 970 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM 6GB 6GB, 8GB
Connectivity GSM / HSPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Camera Dual sensor 16MP & 20MP rear, 13MP front Dual sensor 16MP &20MP rear, 16MP front
Video 2160p @ 30 fps 2160p @ 30 fps, 1080p @ 30/60 fps, 720p @ 30/120 fps
Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 4.2 Yes, Bluetooth 5.0
Audio Headphone jack Headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Water resistant No No
Battery 3,750mAh 3,300mAh
Charging port USB-C USB-C
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Colors Navy Blue, Midnight Black Midnight Black
Availability HiHonor OnePlus
Price $500 $500
DT review 4 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

The new Kirin 970 processor runs the Honor View 10 — the same processor we saw in the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It’s an impressive piece of kit, capable of beating the Snapdragon 835 in the Galaxy S8, though it falls short of beating the same chip in the OnePlus 5T benchmarks. It’s a good reminder that benchmarks aren’t always indicative of real-world performance, but it’s still enough to tell us the Honor View 10 and the OnePlus 5T are neck-and-neck in processing power.

The Honor View 10 does have a few more tricks up its sleeve with the addition of the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) in the Kirin 970 which allows for on-device artificial intelligence, rather than the cloud-based processing that requires data to be sent away from the device to be processed. It’s a neat little addition that works hard behind the scenes to increase efficiency and allow for greater performance.

We see the two devices are fairly similar in terms of storage, with 128GB of storage being the top line of each device. The OnePlus 5T does also offer a 64GB model, which is something we don’t see on the global version of the View 10 (though the Chinese version will include a 64GB option), but the Honor device does include the option of a MicroSD card — something the OnePlus 5T lacks.

The OnePlus 5T does take some points back again with a larger amount of available RAM — but as we’ve always said, the impact of RAM on smartphone performance is arguable, and the 6GB on the Honor View 10 is unlikely to disappoint.

The Honor View 10 also doesn’t include the latest Bluetooth 5.0, instead settling for Bluetooth 4.2. The 5T has taken full advantage of the increased strength and range that 5.0 offers, but it’s not as big a sin as it could be, since both devices include a headphone jack. The View 10 also includes an infrared port, so you can use this device as a TV remote if the need strikes you. It’s a feature that’s been missing from recent phones, so it’s nice that Honor has included it here.

This is a tough category to call. The processors are neck and neck, the storage is similarly equal, and the amounts of RAM are close enough as to be essentially the same. For our money though, we wager the addition of the NPU on the Kirin 970, the option to add a MicroSD card, and the cool little infrared port trumps the additional RAM and improved Bluetooth on the OnePlus 5T.

Winner: Honor View 10

Design and display

oneplus 5t review fingerprint
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

2017 has been the year many manufacturers threw away their bezels, and embraced a glorious bezel-free future. Both of these devices have gone for a bezel-less, edge-to-edge design, with displays that are roughly 6 inches in size. The OnePlus 5T has a slight edge with a 6.01-inch screen compared to the 5.99-inch screen on the Honor View 10, but the difference is negligible. Both are also rocking 18:9 aspect ratios with resolutions of 2160 x 1080 pixels. They’re gorgeous, crisp, and beg your eyes to take just one more look. The OnePlus 5T, however, gains an edge with the deep blacks and vibrant colors only an AMOLED screen can provide. That’s no slur on the View 10; it’s gorgeous, but an IPS LCD is always going to struggle to match an OLED panel.

We’re seeing similar overall designs here too, thanks to the exceedingly large screens on both. Both have slim bezels around the sides, and a small forehead and chin at the top and bottom of the screen. There’s a small difference in the fingerprint scanner placement — the OnePlus 5T has its on the rear of the device, while the Honor View 10 squeezes its underneath the screen. It’s a small difference, but it could be enough to sway you if you prefer one over the other.

Both devices have metal casings, so there’s no wireless charging here. The metal on the OnePlus 5T is rather slippery, so we recommend a case to add some grip. We haven’t had enough time to really evaluate the metal on the Honor View 10 yet, but it feels good in the hand. Neither device has any water resistance, which is a shame, but we can forgive them, given the flagship specs and low prices.

It’s another tough one to decide, but the day is won by the AMOLED display on the OnePlus 5T.

Winner: OnePlus 5T

Camera

Huawei Honor View 10 review camera app
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The reduction of bezels isn’t the only trend these phones are chasing. Both the View 10 and the OnePlus 5T are bang up to date with the inclusion of twin-sensor cameras. Curiously, the two camera systems are rather similar; the OnePlus 5T pairs a 16-megapixel and a 20-megapixel lens, with a standard f/1.7 lens replacing the telephoto lens from the OnePlus 5. The replacement of the telephoto obviously means a loss of optical zoom, but OnePlus says the new lens should improve low-light shots. The Honor View 10 also packs a 16-megapixel and a 20-megapixel lens together, with one lens producing entirely monochrome shots, helping to enhance low-light performance.

But which is better? It’s a tough call to make. The OnePlus 5T’s camera is good, but it’s not spectacular by any means. We haven’t had a chance to play with the Honor View 10’s camera properly yet, but based on the excellent Honor 7X’s camera, and sister-company Huawei placing extremely highly on DxOMark with the Mate 10 Pro, we’re willing to bet the View 10 has a brilliant camera. Still, we’re hesitant to award the prize based purely on speculation.

Both cameras record up to 2160p at 30 frames per second (fps), but if you’re a fan of further camera trickery, then you’ll probably enjoy the OnePlus 5T’s ability to shoot slow-motion videos at 120 fps at 720p. The OnePlus 5T also bags a stronger front-facing camera, with a 16-megapixel selfie shooter compared to the 13-megapixel camera on the Honor View 10. Still, it’s a small difference, and it doesn’t make up for what we’re willing to bet will be a strong main camera on the View 10.

For now we’re judging this a tie, pending results on the View 10’s camera. We’ll change this if the results are strongly one way or the other.

Winner: Tie

Battery life and charging

oneplus 5 tips and tricks dash charge
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both phones need a pretty hefty battery to help fuel those huge 6-inch screens, and thankfully, they’re not a bad size. The OnePlus 5T has a 3,330mAh battery that saw us through roughly a day and a half; OnePlus has said 60 percent battery power should be enough for the day, and that seems fairly accurate. The Honor View 10 weighs in with a bigger battery, packing a 3,750mAh monster inside its slim profile. If that doesn’t last the day you should really wonder why.

But even if your usage is heavier than usual for whatever reason (check out our guide on saving battery), then the fast-charging methods packed into each of these devices should see you right. OnePlus’s proprietary Dash Charge is consistently impressive, capable of charging from empty to 60 percent in 30 minutes, and from there to full in less than 90 minutes. However, the Huawei SuperCharge in the View 10 is just as impressive, capable of taking the battery to 58 percent from empty in 30 minutes — and that’s on a significantly larger battery.

It’s hard to judge this one without some time to see how the Honor View 10 deals with everyday life, but since they’re matched on fast-charging, the Honor View 10 sneaks the win for the extra capacity.

Winner: Honor View 10

Software

Huawei Honor View 10 review front screen
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Android is an extremely varied ecosystem, and there aren’t many phones that better exhibit that than these two. The OnePlus 5T runs a near-stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat experience, cunningly disguised as OxygenOS. It’s extremely similar to stock Android, with a few additions like an ambient display, double-tap to wake, and support for various gestures — if you fancy giving the iPhone X experience a try. Still, it’s a shame the latest Android 8.0 Oreo isn’t installed. But OnePlus has promised Oreo will be coming in the first quarter of 2018.

The Honor View 10 runs Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI) software — EMUI 8.0, to be exact. It’s the latest version of EMUI, a heavily re-skinned version of Android 8.0 Oreo. Lovers of stock Android won’t like it, but everyone else should cope just fine. There are some issues with EMUI 8.0, as we noted in our Huawei Mate 10 Pro review, but all-in-all, it’s a strong OS, with plenty of extra fun additions like gestures, and the latest additions to Android, like the notification dots on apps that show when you’ve received messages.

We enjoy stock Android as much as the next person — but you can’t argue with a more updated version of Android, even if it is hidden behind EMUI. The Honor View 10 wins here.

Winner: Honor View 10

Price and availability

oneplus 5t review volume rocker
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The OnePlus 5T is currently available from the OnePlus website, with prices starting from $500 for 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. Upgrading to 128GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM will set you back a further $60, raising the costs to $560. The phone comes unlocked, so you can put it on whichever network you prefer; word to the wise though, the phone has limited support on Verizon and Sprint, so this is one to skip if you’re locked into either of those networks.

The Honor View 10 is available for pre-order for $500 in the U.S., with shipments arriving on March 22. It’s been available in China, the U.K., and other European countries for some time. The pricing for these phones are equal, putting them at a tie.

Winner: Tie

Overall winner: Honor View 10

It’s been a close, tough fight, with quite a few categories ending in a tie. It’s a compliment to both devices that they’re able to put up such a good fight against each other, and both are fantastic midrange devices with flagship-level specs that you should be proud to own. But for us, the Honor View 10 is coming out as the slightly stronger device. It might not have the AMOLED display or the staggering amounts of RAM the OnePlus 5T has going for it, but it is running the latest version of Android, has the slight edge on the specs sheet, and we’re willing to bet it’ll have the stronger camera in tests. But that’s not to say the 5T is a bad choice; either phone would be the perfect complement to the new year, and will be a worthy companion until your next upgrade.

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