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Living with the OnePlus 2 and iPhone 6: Which phone did we love the most?

Michael Sawh

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OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6? We've lived with both and we've weighed up the merits of what's it's like to use the two great smartphones on a daily basis.

If you've read our OnePlus 2 review, you'll know we were glowing about the successor to the OnePlus One. It still gives you those high end features for considerably less than it costs to buy a flagship phone like the Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4 or the HTC One M9.

So we know it competes with some of the best Android phones on the market, but how does it fare against the iPhone 6? Now we know the iPhone 6S is just weeks away from launch, but there's no doubt a few of you not sold on the 3D Touch and some of the more iterative upgrades that will come with iOS 9, which will be available on the iPhone 6.

If you're planning to choose between the iPhone 6 and the OnePlus 2, we've been browsing, gaming, taking calls and pretty much anything else you do on your smartphone to help you decide.

OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: Pricing and availability

Now this is likely to be a big factor for most picking between these two smartphones and there's clearly quite a price difference. With the OnePlus 2 (if you can get your hands on one that is), there's 16GB and 64GB models just like the iPhone 6 and no micro SD card support. The smaller capacity is priced at £239, and is goes up to £289 when you opt for the 64GB. If you compare that to the 16GB iPhone 6, which is £459, that's a big difference for the entry model. Opt for the 64GB iPhone 6 and you're looking at paying £539.

There's also an issue of availability here as well. If you don't buy directly from Apple, then there's plenty of networks and online retailers that will offer it on both SIM-free and monthly contracts. The same sadly can't be said about the OnePlus 2. You'll need to have an invite to get your hands on one through the OnePlus website. There's a handful of low profile online retailers and you could always go eBay, but we'd suggest going the more reliable route. Right now, that means you might have to wait to get your hands on it.

Related: iPhone 6S vs Samsung Galaxy S6: How Apple is taking on Samsung

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OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: Design

The OnePlus One was well known for offering a great phone at an even greater price, but it wasn't was pretty. Things have got better with the second iteration, but there's still some things we don't love about it.

Now the plastic is gone replaced with a magnesium alloy frame and polished steel buttons. OnePlus has bucked the trend of putting brandishing its logo on the front, which the likes of Samsung, Sony and HTC have a tendency to do and it's also taking a very Motorola approach to customising your handset. It ships with a Sandstone Black back and we're not the biggest fans of it. It feels more like sandpaper than something that's nice to grip. You do have the option to mix and match the back including toughened kevlar and the more eye-catching bamboo. So you're not stuck with it.

Other notable features include Dual SIM card slots and a new Alert Slide physical button. The latter makes it easier to toggle through different profiles, which should come in handy when you need to jump into a meeting and don't want to be disturbed. we didn't anticipate the extra button to be all that useful but it surprisingly does.

Related: Best Mobile Deals: Top Smartphone offers this month

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The OnePlus 2 weighs in at 175g and measures in at 9.9mm thick, so if you want the lighter and slimmer phone, then the iPhone 6 still wins this particular battle. That's unsurprising though when there's a pretty big gulf in terms of size. If you put the 5.5-inch phone up against the iPhone 6 Plus (172g and 7.1mm thick), then you're getting something similar in terms of weight. The 6 Plus still wins on slenderness though.

Like the iPhone 6, the OnePlus 2 comes with a fingerprint sensor baked into home button. It's functionality is a bit more limited than the one on the iPhone, but it does at least unlock your phone nice and fast. It also come with the new USB Type-C connector, which Apple itself has adopted for its latest MacBook but we've found that it is a bit of a slow charger. A shame, especially when QuickCharge is so common these days.

So which one would we pick based purely on design? We'd still be inclined to say the iPhone 6. The 4.7-inch phone is still more manageable and is easier to use in one hand. It might not be Apple's most iconic design, but it firmly stand out from the crowd.

OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: Screen

OnePlus has opted against going 2K like Samsung and LG, instead sticking with the same 5.5-inch Full HD 1080p LCD screen with a 401 ppi pixel density.

The new 15000:1 contrast ratio does lead to deeper blacks making it more suitable for watching films, while a new Dark Mode UI means it'll also get "incredibly dim" and is another way the screen won't be a significant drain on the battery. The bad news is that colours look a little muted and very washed out. Think Nexus 4 bad. It simply lacks the same vibrancy you get from a Samsung phone or the iPhone 6 for that matter.

While the iPhone 6 screen is not class-leading, it's still one of the best smartphone screens around. Apple's 4.7-inch LCD screen packs a 740 x 1334 resolution with a 326 ppi pixel density.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 in-depth comparison

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When you go by numbers, the OnePlus 2 comes out on top. But it's not as simple as that. You're dealing with different sized screens here as well, which will have an impact on how impressive these screens are. What we do know from using the iPhone 6, is that the Retina display is still sufficiently sharp with well balanced colours and strong contrast ratio that you won't feel like you're using an inferior phone.

It's clear that both phones here will offer great places for browsing, watching video and gaming. If we had to pick though, we'd go for the iPhone 6.

OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: Power

Before the OnePlus 2 was even announced, we had a good idea of what to expect in terms of performance. It runs on a Snapdragon 810, up from the 801 packed into last year's phone, but not quite the same one that has suffered from overheating issues and underwhelmed us on the HTC One M9 and the Sony Xperia Z3+. It's an improved version of the chip, to which OnePlus has added a dollop of thermal gel and graphite. All of which allows this 64-bit chip to finally stretch its legs as one of the fastest chips on the market.

Does it out-perform the iPhone 6's dual-core A8 chip? It's hard to equate the two, because they take very different approaches, but it can be summed up like this: the iPhone 6's A8 chip has faster single-core performance, while the Snapdragon 810 has faster multi-core performance. That's exactly what we found using them for a variety of things. Whether it's gaming, streaming or multitasking, both phones deliver a more than satisfying performance.

Practically speaking, mobile computing is still far more reliant on single-core performance than desktop computing is, so it can be argued that Apple's approach is the more efficient. But really, both phones are plenty fast.

OnePlus 2 Geekbench 3 single-core score: 1186

iPhone 6 Geekbench 3 single-core score: 1583

OnePlus 2 Geekbench 3 multi-core score: 4299

iPhone 6 Geekbench multi-core score: 2757

What is most definitely in the OnePlus 2's favour is its 4GB of RAM. And not just any RAM either – we're talking super-fast LPDDR4 RAM, the likes of which made its way into the Samsung Galaxy S6 and similar to the ZTE Axon. That's if you go for the 64GB model though with the 16GB version opting for 3GB RAM although that's still pretty impressive to find packed into a smartphone. It shows as well. You can throw most things at the OnePlus 2 and you won't see any signs of sluggishness. By contrast, the iPhone 6's 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM looks more than a little puny but shows little signs of a struggle as well.

Power users will love the OnePlus 2 but we didn't have any problems using the iPhone 6 for most of the same things.

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OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: Camera

Initial rumours had suggested that the OnePlus 2 would ramp up the megapixels, however that did not happen. We still get a 13-megapixel main camera, which is not quite double the pixel count of the iPhone 6, but should help lead to sharper image resolution than its predecessor.

Of course, the iPhone camera has always been about a lot more than mere numbers. Sure enough, the iPhone 6 has one of the best smartphone cameras around, with tricks like phase-detection autofocus and Apple's peerless algorithms and UI, making for a great point-and-shoot experience.

The OnePlus 2 has a few tricks of its own, though. There's optical image stabilisation for starters joining the likes of the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6 Plus in improving low-light shooting. Pixels are 35% larger than they were on the One Plus One, which should also help improve nighttime photos. Taking a leaf out LG's book, the OnePlus 2 also packs laser focus to hone in on your targets in a much speedier fashion as well.

For pure cutting-edge tech, the OnePlus Two comes out on top, but we value the reliability of Apple's camera setup, along with image quality and generally being much easier to use. The iPhone camera app is easier to pick up and use without fiddling with settings. The iPhone 6 is quicker to shoot and focusing is more responsive than it is in on the OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: OS

We won't go into the old Android vs iOS argument too much here, but, as we often point out, such comparisons are often moot in the face of so much lamentable manufacturer tinkering.

It's rarely a straight-up fight between these two great mobile platforms, because the likes of Samsung, LG, and HTC do insist on spoiling Android with custom UIs.

OnePlus isn't any different, but for one important fact – it's custom UI is great. It’s called OxygenOS and it resembles Android 5.0 Lollipop at an initial glance, but feature greater customisation potential when you dig down.

Related: iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6: Should you upgrade?

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You'll be able to pimp out your OnePlus 2 far more than an iPhone 6, which runs on the solid, if rather nailed-down, iOS 8.4 or iOS 9. Naturally the OnePlus will be less stable as a result, but that's all part of the selection process.

There's definitely some elements we really like with OnePlus 2's Android approach and there's some hidden gems. Whichever one you go, we think you'll be pleased by what you find.

OnePlus 2 vs iPhone 6: Battery Life

Apple doesn't tend to reveal details about the capacity of the battery packed into its iPhones, but we do know that the iPhone 6 packs a 1,810mAh battery. In comparison, the OnePlus 2 offers a 3,300mAh battery, which is up just 200mAh on its predecessor.

Historically, iPhones have struggled to go the distance. While the larger iPhone 6 Plus is more capable of making it through the day, the smaller iPhone still requires a little more attention, like reducing the screen brightness or closing apps to make it through the day.

The difference in battery sizes here of course has to do a lot with the size of the screens that need to be powered as well. The 5.5-inch LCD screen on the OnePlus 2 is inevitably going to need a bigger battery

As we found on a daily basis the OnePlus manages about the same battery life as the Samsung Galaxy S6. It won't get you through two days, but with some tinkering, you'll comfortably get through one. It does appear to drain quite badly in standby mode and it can take almost three hours to charge it back to 100%.

While the iPhone 6 has significantly smaller battery in comparison, it will give you about a day's play as well. It's fares much better in standby mode than the OnePlus 2 and doesn't take as long too charge either. Apple will of course be introducing a new power-saving mode with iOS 9 so hopefully, things can actually get much better on the iPhone 6 for staying power.

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Verdict

So which one do you go for? Having spent a considerable amount of time both, we'd definitely say these are two of the best phones we've used this year. Lest we forget, the iPhone 6 was launched last year and still holds its own against the competition.

If we had to pick one, we'd go for the iPhone 6. That's largely down to the design, the more impressive screen and a camera that's better for getting consistent results.

The OnePlus 2 has its strengths as well. It's zippy to use and it's one of the nicest big phones that can justifiably compete with the Samsung's and the LG's of this world.

Is it better prospect than the iPhone 6? Well, that will come down to what you value in a smartphone.

Those on a budget who find Apple's iOS stifling, should definitely cast an eye on what OnePlus is doing, because it's another standout Android smartphone.

Thanks to Mobile Fun for providing us with the OnePlus 2 review unit

Prem Desai

July 14, 2015, 7:07 pm

I don't think they going to upset each other in any way - they are both aimed at different sectors of the market - the iphone at the premium end, and the oneplus at people who want a high-spec 'premium' phone at a budget price.

Also, the iphone has always led the way in terms of design, specs and function (not always for the better). Oneplus is simply playing a tickbox exercise trying to match the iphone wherever possible and at a lower price.

Same applies to the S6.

I'd be happy to see oneplus prove me wrong.

Paul Taylor

July 17, 2015, 12:48 pm

Not as 'handsome' as the iPhone 6? Well I'm glad about that - I hate the way the iPhone looks.

Paul

September 15, 2015, 7:27 pm

another lustful apple Victory

Democritus3

September 15, 2015, 7:35 pm

Another pointless TR article which I wasted my time reading. Yawn

Sarpedon

September 16, 2015, 7:32 am

This is the first TR comparison that irritated me enough to post.
No one seriously considering an Apple phone will see the OnePlus phone as a contender. A OnePlus user is more likely to be thinking what they can do with the £200 pound saving. Editorial to be read by authors of other review sites rather than users.

Hamish Campbell

September 16, 2015, 7:54 am

Is that 15 times you posted that comment in the last 3 months. Have you got a hot key for it?

LeeTronix

September 16, 2015, 9:19 am

Smells like a cliche

LeeTronix

September 16, 2015, 9:22 am

If the apple phone was to look like the OnePlus2 then everyone would say the it looks great. Sad really that anything apple does has to look great. I mean just look at the road markings on the back of it. It looks like the designer dropped it on white lines before they had dried..Totally ugly.

Paul

September 16, 2015, 3:59 pm

no but i should

Paul

September 16, 2015, 4:00 pm

you love it!

LeeTronix

September 16, 2015, 4:04 pm

It certainly is your signature scent! :P

Rajshekhar Roy

September 19, 2015, 4:53 am

Hi I am from India..I have already purchased an One plus two...but due to a defective piece It in process of replacement...truly say..i was not happy with OPT ...only because of my budget constrain...i choose it.But now am thinking to move to IPHONE 5s as its available in same price tag(16gb version)..will appreciate any feedback on this

Iqbal khan

November 2, 2015, 6:36 pm

i moved to opt form iphone 5s ... my phone came without faults and i m loving it.. i have reading glasses but i dont need them for the opt.. and its very convenient while i m driving ... i found the fingerprint access also way faster on the opt.. this is my first android phone.. i have always been on iphones before this one...
today i got like 3 hour 45 mins of talk time 4 hours of screen time lots of camera and whatapp usage..and mails and surfing...and its been 13 hours i still have 20 percent battery left... my iphone battery wd have run out long ago by now

Estafador

January 27, 2016, 10:40 pm

....your not happy with OP2 so you go for an outdated phone? That doesn't make sense. You won't be happier with a lower tier phone especially since you can't upgrade without super lag. Good luck on that.

Estafador

January 27, 2016, 10:42 pm

eh, nerds usually buy android/windows phones because they don't mind doing research on what they need. You buy an iPhone because of hype and you don't want to think about the pros and cons. You let apple do that for you.

deckikwok

April 28, 2016, 3:13 pm

You can't say its for hype alone. I have the note5, OP2. 6 plus. xiao mi note. and other phones for both personal and development purposes. Used them pretty much for at least a month. iPhone zero-config, snappy UI and mostly 'everything just works great' is a great appeal to many - even to a geek like me. You can do all the research you like but nothing beats using the phone for a period of time to appreciate the quirks of every phone. Also, research on paper and some experimentation in showroom is one thing; the Note 5 with its S-pen looked great on paper and I thought I would have a blast. Turned out, meh. The UX suffered from calls made to music quality. It made the 6 Plus look great and made me realize the OP2 was a great value. What people term as hype, I think it is instead down to trust and confidence.

Estafador

April 29, 2016, 12:31 am

that's what phone enthusiast youtubers are for. To test the phone for you so you don't have to go out and buy just to test drive. And also your overestimating the thought process of many iPhone buyers. There is no official survey on this (of course it wouldn't be one that would make Apple users look stupid) but you can look at the many comment sections on various forums and there's always a large demographic of rehashed reasons why iPhone beats virtually EVERY other phone. And there's no real comparison other than "just because". Go ahead, go to youtube right now and check for yourself, I'll wait. Favorite line, no viruses better camera. And no attention to detail on WHY not even basic description of comparison between the user's iPhone and it's competitor.

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