OnePlus and Huawei are arguably the two most recognisable smartphone brands to come out of China and make a success in Western markets over the last few years.
With all three devices now fully unveiled, which is right for you? Here is the OnePlus 6 up against Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Design
- OnePlus 6: 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75mm, 177g, glass back, water resistant
- Huawei P20: 149.1 x 70.8 x 7.65mm, 165g, glass back, water resistant
- Huawei P20 Pro: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm, 180g, glass back, IP67 water resistant
- Notch display design on all three
It's safe to say Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro both took a huge detour from the path forged by the P10 series in 2017. Metal backs are out, and shiny, gorgeous, iridescent glass is in. Which ever colour you go for, you'll be getting one of the best looking phones of 2018.
The OnePlus 6 follows this trend, replacing the aluminium body of the OnePlus 5T with a glass rear in the OnePlus 6, made using five layers of nano coating to add a sense of depth. The new model measures 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75mm and weighs 177g, which makes it a similar footprint to the P20 Pro that measures 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm and weighs 180g.
One important element of the P20 Pro's design is that it's waterproof up to IP67, while the P20 is water resistant to a lesser extent. OnePlus has added water resistance too but it hasn't provided an IP rating, instead saying it can handle an accidental drop in a puddle or some rain, meaning the P20 Pro is likely to be the most water resistant of these three devices.
Like the P20 series phones however, the OnePlus 6 also has a notch at the top of its display, housing the front facing camera and earpiece. On the design front, OnePlus is therefore moving in the same direction as Huawei to create a fresh look for 2018. Both dump all-metal finishes for glossy glass backs, both embrace notches on the front and both offer waterproofing of some kind throughout.
In the hand, the OnePlus phone does feel a little more solid than the Huawei devices, but there's no denying the Huawei's are more eye-catching, at least if you go for the Twilight or pink colourings.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Display
- Huawei P20: 5.8-inch, Full HD+, IPS LCD
- Huawei P20 Pro: 6.1-inch, Full HD+, AMOLED
- OnePlus 6: 6.28-inch, Full HD+, AMOLED
Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro come with two different screen sizes, with the larger AMOLED screen measuring 6.1-inches, and the smaller IPS LCD display measuring 5.8-inches. Both feature the same Full HD+ 1080 x 2240 resolution and 18.7:9 ratio.
OnePlus has avoided jumping to Quad HD for the last couple of years and continues to do so, with the OnePlus 6 offering Full HD+ at 2280 x 1080. This means you won't notice much difference in sharpness, if any at all, between the OnePlus 6 and the P20 Pro.
The OnePlus 6 has a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a 19:9 aspect ratio screen, making it a little taller than the P20 and P20 Pro. As mentioned previously, all three devices have a notch at the top of their displays.
We really like OnePlus' Display settings options which let you choose from a number of different preset calibrations, including DCI-P3 and sRGB. It's bigger than either of the Huawei phones and is really vivid, so is - on balance - the most impressive of the three. However, there's really not much in it. The P20 Pro's display is great and - although small - we've been very happy with the P20's LCD panel too.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Hardware
- Huawei P20: Kirin 970 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage + microSD, 3400mAh
- Huawei P20 Pro: Kirin 970 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage + microSD, 4000mAh
- OnePlus 6: Snapdragon 845, 6/8GB RAM, 64/128/256GB storage, no microSD, 3300mAh
The OnePlus 6 features the Snapdragon 845 platform inside, along with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB of storage space. There are variants with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage too however, with the top-specced model only available in the Midnight Black finish. None of the OnePlus 6 models offer microSD support.
Huawei is one of the few manufacturers that doesn't make use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors. Instead, it has its own in-house chipset effort going on. With the P20 and P20 Pro, that means the Kirin 970 processor paired with either 4GB or 6GB RAM depending on whether you go with the regular or Pro version. Both come with 128GB internal storage, as well as a microSD slot for expansion.
OnePlus' Dash Charging technology is regarded as being one of the best fast-charging methods around. In our testing, it's certainly proved to be the fastest, especially while the device is in use and it can be found again on the OnePlus 6.
As for battery size, the OnePlus 6 has a 3300mAh cell, which isn't quite as capacious as the P20 Pro's 4000mAh or the P20's 3400mAh. That means, performance might not quite be on par with Huawei's offering, especially in terms of the P20 Pro, but this will also depend on how OnePlus' other hardware/power management affects things.
Neither the P20 Pro or P20 supports wireless charging, but despite the glass back, the OnePlus 6 doesn't either.
Thanks to lighter software, the OnePlus phone does feel snappier and faster than Huawei's devices, but again, there's not much in it. All three phones performed really well in our testing.
For battery life, while the OnePlus is great, the P20 Pro was really impressive in our testing, almost getting through two days of use before needing a top up.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Camera
- Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera, 5x hybrid zoom, AI object recognition
- Huawei P20: Dual camera, AI object recognition
- OnePlus 6: Dual camera, 20 + 16 MP, 16MP front camera
Huawei's latest cameras, co-engineered with Leica, are among the best on the market, thanks to some AI-powered smarts. The Pro model differs from the regular in that it has a triple camera system capable of producing amazing super night mode shots as well as up to 5X hybrid zoom, for sharp images even when you're quite far from the subject.
- Huawei P20 Pro triple camera explored: Everything you need to know about Huawei's camera renaissance
The OnePlus 6 features a dual rear camera made up of a 20-megapixel main sensor and a secondary 16-megapixel sensor. The camera is arguably the area in the past that OnePlus handsets have come up short against their big-name flagship competition.
This year, the company has made the main sensor 19 per cent larger whilst also adding OIS and super slow motion video capabilities, but whether it will be enough to compete remains to be seen for now. Give how impressed we've been with the Huawei cameras this year, it's going to be tough for OnePlus to match those.
In our testing, the OnePlus 6 camera proved to be a big improvement on the OnePlus 5T. Photos, even in low light, were good. But, nothing right now compares to the night-time prowess of the P20 Pro or P20. Night mode on those two phones is ridiculous, letting you take 4-6 second exposures completely handheld and then using AI to stabilise the photo so that it's not blurry.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Software
- Huawei: EMUI 8/Android Oreo
- OnePlus: Oxygen OS/Android Oreo
Pretty much any Android phone launching from the second quarter of 2018 is going to ship running a version of Android 8 Oreo. That is true of the P20 and P20 Pro, and the OnePlus 6 as well.
Still, the variation of software features and design are still there. Huawei uses a heavy skin called EMUI 8 on top of Android which is quite different to the relatively light, clean experience usually offered by Oxygen OS, OnePlus' software.
Both are highly customisable, but OnePlus tends to stick to a software that looks and feels a lot more like stock Android.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Price
This is the one area where OnePlus has regularly stolen a march on its competition. Its first phone was labelled the flagship killer because it had many of the specifications of expensive flagship phones, but cost around £200. These days, OnePlus phones are more expensive, but so are big-name flagships.
Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro aren't quite at the top end of the scale, but they're fairly expensive at £599 and £799 respectively.
The OnePlus 6 meanwhile starts at £469, which is £20 more than what the OnePlus 5T cost when it was first available but still considerably cheaper than both Huawei's models.
OnePlus 6 vs Huawei P20/P20 Pro: Conclusions
There are quite a lot of similarities between the Huawei devices and OnePlus' latest. OnePlus' use of the best Qualcomm processor, a notched display, fast-charging, Android Oreo and a glass back certainly makes it comparable to the P20 series (more Pro than regular).
In recent years, both the screen quality, design and build have been first class on the OnePlus phones, which means even here we should see some parity between the OnePlus 6 and gorgeous Huawei P20 and P20 Pro.
In terms of features, the real difference comes from the camera. Huawei's Leica cameras are fantastic this year, and OnePlus doesn't quite live up to them.
Still, with the OnePlus 6 costing significantly less than the P20 and P20 Pro, OnePlus still punches well above its weight to offer a true flagship phone at a non eye-watering price.