When it comes to choosing an Android phone, it may seem like the go-to option is the Samsung Galaxy S9 (or S9 Plus). But there are plenty of others that don't cost as much, including the Google Pixel 2 from 2017 and the OnePlus 6, which was released in May.
The Pixel 2 is Google's marquee phone, and starts at $649, £629 and AU$1,079 for the 64GB variant. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 6's price is notably cheaper at $529, £469 and AU$702, and is made by a darkhorse of a company whose inexpensive and powerful phones have garnered a loyal fan base.
Both are top-caliber phones, but each have different benefits and disadvantages. If you're torn between the two, we're here to make it easy for you. We pit them head-to-head against each other to see which one is the better phone based on their design, cameras, software features and performance.
Design: Pixel 2's water resistance or OnePlus 6's headphone jack?
Neither phone stands out when it comes to design. Aside from their one-off color variants (the Pixel 2 in blue and the OnePlus 6 in white and rose gold), both look bland. But the Pixel 2 is waterproof. Similar to the move Apple and Samsung made with their flagships, waterproofing the Pixel 2 not only makes it truly competitive to the top-tier phones, but it's just more durable for users too.
I wish the OnePlus 6 had followed suit. (OnePlus does claim that the OnePlus 6 is more water resistant than past iterations, but because it's not IP-certified for water protection you can forget about dunking it safely underwater.) But in every other design aspect, the phone has the upperhand. It has a bigger 6.28-inch screen, ultra-thin bezels and a headphone jack. The latter is particularly beneficial to me since it means I can still use my beloved headphones without carrying around a dongle.
Winner: OnePlus 6. Its bigger screen and headphone jack make up for the fact that it isn't waterproof.
Camera: It's called 'Pixel' for a reason
The Pixel 2 has one of the best cameras out there, and that still holds true months after its launch. Even with just a single rear-camera compared to the OnePlus 6's dual-camera, I found images to be a hair sharper on the Pixel 2. Its HDR+ enhanced feature rendered scenes with tricky lighting and different exposures better, and it handled low-light environments excellently, capturing darkened details that the OnePlus 6 didn't retain.
Lastly, while both phones have optical image stabilization, only the the Pixel 2 uses it for video (while the OnePlus 6 uses electronic image stabilization, or EIS, for video). On top of that, the Pixel 2 integrates gyro-based EIS with its OIS. In the end, the footage recorded on the Pixel 2 was way smoother and steadier.