Should you buy the OnePlus 7 Pro or the Pixel 3 XL?

Every major flagship comes through TechnoBuffalo so we can see what’s so great about them. Two of the most recent devices that have gotten our attention are the OnePlus 7 Pro and Pixel 3 XL. So which one is better?

New kid on the block

OnePlus 7 Pro

$669 at OnePlus

Pros

  • Truly bezel-less display
  • Powerful specs
  • Pop-up camera
  • Gorgeous design

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Pop-up camera may have issues
  • In-display fingerprint scanner can be slow

OnePlus took a major step forward in the premium flagship market with the OnePlus 7 Pro, a smartphone that has powerful specs, beautiful display, and an impressive triple-camera system.

Camera stalwart

Pixel 3 XL

$899 at Google

Pros

  • Market-leading camera
  • Streamlined software
  • Wireless charging
  • Wide-angle selfie camera

Cons

  • Ugly notch
  • More expensive
  • Older processor

The Pixel 3 XL was a breakthrough for the Pixel line, introducing a stunning industrial design, upgraded display and, of course, its powerful camera. It’s a high-end phone among high-end phones, even though the processor is older.

The OnePlus 7 Pro and the Pixel 3 XL are considered two of the best Android flagships you can buy right now. They are both impressive devices with premium build and all the latest features. However, upon closer inspection, the tide turns in the OnePlus 7 Pro’s favor, making it the logical best option to buy.

Breaking it down

Although the OnePlus 7 Pro and Pixel 3 XL are modern Android flagships, it is wrong to assume they are similar devices. They are quite different, in fact, differing on many of the marquee features they offer. The OnePlus 7 Pro delivers a more complete package while the Pixel 3 XL relies on its camera to do the heavy lifting.

Device OnePlus 7 Pro Pixel 3 XL
Display 6.6-inch Fluid AMOLED
3120 by 1440, 516ppi
6.3-inch P-OLED
2960 by 1440, 523ppi
Processor Snapdragon 855 Snapdragon 845
Memory 6-12GB 4GB
Battery 4,000mAh 4,430mAh
Storage 128-256GB 64-128GB
Main Camera 48MP, f/1.6, OIS 12.2MP, f/1.8, OIS
Second Camera 8MP, f/2.4 None
Third Camera 16MP, f/2.2 None
Selfie Camera 16MP, f/2.0 8MP, f/1.8
Second Selfie Camera None 8MP ultra-wide, f/2.0
Software Android 9.0 Pie
OxygenOS
Android 9.0 Pie
Weight 206g 184g
Dimensions 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm

The flagship killer is finally here

OnePlus has been promising to deliver a flagship killer since it burst onto the scene five years ago. It finally delivered that device with the OnePlus 7 Pro, creating a smartphone that not only delivers on the value, but also competes with the Googles and Samsungs of the world,

The OnePlus 7 Pro comes with a 6.67-inch Fluid OLED display that runs from edge to edge without any breaks, seams, or notches. How is this possible, you may ask? Through the new pop-up selfie camera that hides when you’re not using it. The display is something to behold here, making using the phone a true delight. Throw in the Snapdragon 855 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, and a new triple camera system and you can’t help but come away impressed with the new device from OnePlus.

Don’t count out the Pixel 3 XL out just yet, though. It’s a bit older, but it still has a lot going for it, even if it loses the battle of specs instantly.

Where the Pixel 3 XL starts punching back is when it comes to the camera.

The Pixel 3 XL is powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM. That in itself puts it below the OnePlus 7 Pro. The processor is a year old and the memory cap is disappointingly low, even for a flagship. Meanwhile, the display is an OLED panel, measuring at 6.3-inches and is perfectly fine. Where it does start punching back is with the camera. Though the OnePlus 7 Pro neatly hides its front facing camera, the Pixel 3 XL’s selfie camera is not nearly as subtle (thanks to the ugly notch) but it is better because it offers not one, but two cameras.

It consists of an 8-megapixel (MP) main shooter and an 8MP ultra-wide shooter that comes in handy when you’re taking a group selfie. Plus, Google’s software works magic, delivering amazing shots with high dynamic range and near perfect color correction. Not much changes with the main 12.2MP camera with f/1.8. There’s a reason Google is known for its cameras: the awesome camera software that take the single shooter over the top. Things like Night Sight deliver the best-in-class low light performance.

We’re not trying to rag on the Pixel 3 XL, but aside from the camera and a few other features like wireless charging, which the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t have, it quickly falls behind. The OnePlus 7 Pro hands downs delivers the better value.

OnePlus made sure the OnePlus 7 Pro offered the best of the best. The edge-to-edge display is not only stunning to look at, but it also comes with a 90Hz refresh rate that delivers a silky smooth experience. Its Snapdragon 855 processor and up to 12GB of RAM trounce the Pixel 3 XL’s woefully outdated specs. Besides that, the Pixel 3 XL already has performance issues, with many complaints of degraded performance given the limited memory.

OnePlus made sure the OnePlus 7 Pro offered the best of the best.

And while the main camera may not match everything the Pixel 3 XL’s camera offers, its other two sensors — telephoto and ultra-wide — offer a versatility that is very convenient and most people will appreciate.

The Pixel 3 XL isn’t a complete slouch. The streamlined software that will continually get updates for years to come and wireless charging are very nice to have. Its standard fingerprint scanner is also faster and more reliable than the OnePlus 7 Pro’s in-display fingerprint scanner.

However, the Pixel 3 XL starts at $899, significantly more than the OnePlus 7 Pro’s $669 starting price. And even if you max out the OnePlus 7 Pro with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage at $749, it still costs less than the Pixel 3 XL.

Which one should you buy?

People who want the best of the best should buy the OnePlus 7 Pro. From design to specs, it delivers a full experience while still saving consumers a couple hundred bucks.

The Pixel 3 XL is for those who value camera above all else. Its main camera and dual-camera selfie camera are the best out of any smartphone, period.

Our pick

OnePlus 7 Pro

The flagship killer

$669 at OnePlus

OnePlus has a true winner on its hands with the OnePlus 7 Pro. It finally chose to challenge the big Android makers with a premium flagship of its own that has an amazing display, terrific design and outstanding camera.

Best camera

Pixel 3 XL

Take the best shots

$899 at Google

Google continues to deliver the best camera on any smartphone with the Pixel 3 XL. That just rounds out an impressive phone that has the latest software and features, like wireless charging.

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