OnePlus 5 vs HTC U11 review

Both HTC and OnePlus have stepped up the game for their 2017 flagship phones, but which is better. The OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 are quite similar yet very different handsets so we compare them on price, design and specs to help you choose. Read: Best phones for 2017.

It's worth noting that there was no OnePlus 4 with the firm skipping the unlucky number. The previous device was the OnePlus 3T, which was a performance upgrade of the OnePlus 3. Also see: OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 5.

OnePlus 5 vs HTC U11 Price

OnePlus might have increased the price of its flagship phone once again, but the OnePlus 5 is still cheaper than the HTC U11.

It starts at £449 whereas its rival is £649. Price isn't everything but a saving of £200 isn't something to be sniffed at.

View the OnePlus 5 from OnePlus here. It's also available exclusively with O2 in the UK on contract. 

View HTC U11 contract options at Carphone Warehouse here

HTC U11 Solar Red

OnePlus 5 vs HTC U11 Design and Build

In terms of size, these phones are almost identical. The OnePlus 5 is slightly thinner but the most noticable difference is that it weighs less than the HTC U11 at 153g compared to 169g.

Both have a similar design with a rounded shape, front-mounted fingerprint scanner below the screen. However, they use different materials. Where OnePlus 5 sticks to metal, the HTC U11 is almost completely glass.

While this typically enables wireless charging, this is not the case for the U11. It's also one of the slipperiest phones we've ever seen and attracts fingerprint marks in a bad way. We do like the two-tone colours, though, particularly the Solar Red model (above).

The HTC U11 has one up on the OnePlus 5 in the way it's IP67 rated so can be fully dunked in water. 

OnePlus 5 design

Making the OnePlus 5 seem more attractive is the Alert Slider which means you can quickly switch between audio profiles and the fact it has a headphone jack. The HTC U11 comes with USB-C headphones and a adapter so you'll have to remember to carry them around.

It's swings and roundabouts here - would you rather have a lighter metal phone with a headphone jack or a heavier glass one with waterproofing?

OnePlus 5 vs HTC U11 Specs and Hardware

One way the OnePlus 5 is cheaper than the HTC U11 is that is has a more basic screen.

They are both the same size at 5.5in but the 5 has a Full HD resolution while the U11 offers Quad HD so offers a crisper image. That said, the Optic AMOLED technology in the OnePlus 5 has advantages, especially for white which looks quite red on the HTC in comparison.

OnePlus and HTC have both opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 under the hood so there's no difference there.

HTC U11 screen

However, while each phone comes with 64GB of storage as standard, the OnePlus 5 has 6GB of RAM compared to 4GB.

That's impressive at a cheaper price and while the 6/128GB model of the U11 isn't available in the UK, you can upgrade to an 8/128GB model of the OnePlus 5 for just £50 extra which is amazingly good value. Even if the HTC has a microSD card slot.

Check out the benchmark results below but be aware that OnePlus has been accused of cheating benchmarks with the OnePlus 5 - read about it on XDA.

It's both a design and hardware feature but the HTC U11 has an unusual selling point in the form of Edge Sense. The phone has pressure sensors hidden in the sides so you can squeeze it to do different things.

You can choose what a short or a long press does including launching apps, taking a screenshot, toggle the flashlight and more. Most useful is opening the camera and then using Edge Sense to take photos, especially selfies. 

While Edge Sense can be useful, it's not the most comfortable feature to use.

HTC U11 Edge Sense

There's largely no difference in terms of connectivity but the OnePlus 5 has Bluetooth 5.0 and a larger battery at 3300- compared to 3000mAh. Both have fast charging via USB-C and realistically you'll be charging over night as neither is capable of lasting two days.

Despite not having a headphone jack, the HTC U11 is a great choice for audio. The USB-C headphones included are decent and the 3.5mm jack adapter has a built-in amplifier. There's also support for Hi-Res audio playback and the Hi-Fi Edition BoomSound speakers are better than the OnePlus 5.

When is comes to photography, it's hard to beat the HTC U11. It might not have a fancy dual-camera setup like the OnePlus 5 but if you're looking for a great single camera then it's the clear winner here.

The 12Mp UltraPixel 3 camera on the U11 is impressive in all conditions and can take surprisingly great photos in low-light. Optical image stabilisation is a key feature over the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus 5 cameras

That said, OnePlus deserves credit for the cameras on the OnePlus 5 as the main 16Mp camera can take decent shots also in low-light and has the additional advantage of the 20Mp sensor with a telephoto lens.

At the front both phones have a 16Mp camera with an f/2 aperture so you're going to get great selfies either way. 

Read more about the cameras and see direct comparisons of photos and videos in our best phone camera group test.

OnePlus 5: Specs

  • Android Nougat 7.1.1
  • 5.5in 1920x1080 1080p Full HD AMOLED display, 401ppi
  • 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • Adreno 540 graphics
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 64/128GB storage
  • 16Mp rear camera, f/1.7, support for 4K video at 30fps
  • 16Mp front camera, f/2.0
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 4G
  • Dual nano-SIM
  • NFC
  • 3,300mAh non-removable battery
  • 154.2x74.1x7.25mm
  • 153g
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1
  • 5.5in 1920x1080 1080p Full HD AMOLED display, 401ppi
  • 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • Adreno 540 graphics
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 64/128GB storage
  • 16Mp rear camera, f/1.7, support for 4K video at 30fps
  • 16Mp front camera, f/2.0
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 4G
  • Dual nano-SIM
  • NFC
  • 3,300mAh non-removable battery
  • 154.2x74.1x7.25mm
  • 153g

OUR VERDICT

It's a close call but the OnePlus 5 just nips it for us by keeping up very well in a lot of areas - or even outpacing - while being £200 cheaper. That's not to say you'd be wrong for choosing the HTC U11 for features such as waterproofing, camera and audio features (despite no headphone jack).

Best prices today

Retailer Price Delivery

Price comparison from , and manufacturers