Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: The new Honor 8 is more premium and pricier than any of its predecessors, but how does it compare to the king of affordable flagships, the OnePlus 3?
Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: Design
The new Honor 8 looks and feels like a notable departure from previous Honor handsets, shrugging off a predominantly metal build for 2.5D pillowed glass on the front and back. The company’s employed a distinctive 15-layer process to the phone’s back to give it attractive reflective patterning (particularly apparent in the sapphire blue version) and the whole handset is banded by a lightly sandblasted metal frame with diamond chamfers.
The OnePlus 3 is also a departure from its plastic-backed predecessors, with an all-metal unibody build that in some ways looks like last year’s Honor 7 on steroids. It’s certainly more squared and more conventional that the Honor 8, but the edges and rounding feel nice in the hands and there are smart inclusions like a physical profile switch and a reversible Type-C USB connection (an element shared with the Honor 8).
Despite being a larger overall phone, the OnePlus 3 is only five grams heavier (at 158 grams) and despite packing a camera bump, something the Honor 8’s design manages to do without, it still measures in at 7.4mm, 0.1mm thinner than the 8.
Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: Screens
As both phones boast Full HD resolution, but the Honor 8 rocks a smaller 5.5-inch panel versus the OnePlus 3’s larger 5.5-inch display, you can expect sharper imagery from the Honor.
With regards to technology it’s a case of LCD versus AMOLED, with the OP3 benefitting from deeper blacks and punchier colours, but the Honor 8 trumping the 3 with better overall brightness and more accurate visuals from its LTPS LCD screen.
The Honor 8 boasts a blue light filter, whilst the OnePlus 8 enjoys a night mode screen option, which pushes for warmer colour temperatures during evening use.
Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: OS
With both phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it’s mainly a case of what you what from your skinned overlay. The Honor 8 uses Huawei and Honor latest Android skin, Emotion UI 4.1, which makes some notable changes from stock Android like removing the apps drawer and integrating a new two-pane notifications drawer.
Meanwhile, the OnePlus’ Oxygen OS experience looks more like stock Android, but places a greater emphasis on customisation and has a dynamic home screen called ‘the shelf’ which populates with frequently used apps, weather or calendar information and frequently contacted people from your address book.
If you’re coming from an Android phone, you’ll more likely prefer Oxygen OS for its familiarity, whilst iPhone users might find EMUI an easier transition as it drawers a number of similarities with iOS by design.
Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: Performance
Whilst it’s not an outright win, on paper, the OnePlus 3 looks as though it’s holding all the cards, powered by Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor accompanied by an insane 6GB of RAM. The Honor 8 uses the company’s own Kirin 950-processor backed up by 4GB of RAM, meaning it too is a great performer, but the OnePlus 3, will likely offer greater longevity with regards to performance.
Both phones also include dual-SIM functionality and NFC, but the OnePlus is available in a 64GB configuration, whilst the Honor 8 is tied to a single 32GB skew. However, it does offer the option of expandability via microSD (which the OnePlus does not) up to a whopping 256GB on top.
Both phones also come with non-removable 3000mAh batteries, which should last around a day and half during regular use, but the OnePlus’s Dash Charge technology outclasses the Honor’s Smart Power 4.0 fast-charging abilities by some margin, giving you over 60 per cent charge in half an hour, whereas the 8 manages just 47 per cent charge in the same time frame.
Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: Cameras
Honor’s new flagship mirrors the camera setup of its parent company’s top dog, the Huawei P9. The dual-lens 12-megapixel sensor is a solid all-rounder with some fun shooting modes (such as light painting) and there’s also an 8-megapixel front-facer with some of the richest beauty mode functionality out there too.
The OnePlus opts for a cleaner interface with fewer modes, but base performance from the single 16-megapixel sensor appears superior to Honor’s dual-sensor arrangement. The camera’s abilities are bolstered by optical image stabilisation (OIS) and you also benefit from manual control, video recording up to 4K resolution (the Honor 8 tops out at Full HD at 60fps) and RAW image support.
Read next: OnePlus 3 camera review: Premium snapper for mid-range money?
Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3: Verdict
The price/performance balance should be the deciding factor when choosing a smartphone and the OnePlus 3 makes for a tough recipe to beat. The Honor 8 is arguably the more attractive looking handset, it’s more compact and it boasts microSD expandability, but at £369.99 it’s hard to readily recommend over the OnePlus 3, which might look a little more conventional, but boasts beefier performance, superior fast-charging and a greater camera experience, all for £329.
Watch the full Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3 comparison here:
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