OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: Which should you buy?

Six months after its launch, the Pixel 2 XL continues to be one of the best phones available today. Its camera holds up to the best that Huawei and Samsung have to offer, and the software experience is unmatched.

OnePlus, meanwhile, has made a habit out of undercutting traditional flagships by several hundred dollars, and the same is true of the OnePlus 6. The phone features a glass back, a new 19:9 display with a cutout at the top for the front camera module, and a new imaging sensor for the rear camera.

The 64GB variant of the Pixel 2 XL retails for $849, or $320 more than the base model of the OnePlus 6 with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which is available for $529. It's time to find out if the Pixel 2 XL warrants the premium.

OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: Specifications

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CategoryOnePlus 6Google Pixel 2 XL
Operating systemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
OxygenOS 5.1.2
Android 8.1 Oreo
Display6.28-inch AMOLED, 2280x1080 (19:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
6-inch pOLED, 2880x1440 (18:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
ChipsetOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
4x2.80GHz Kryo 385 + 4x1.70 Kryo 385
Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core
4x2.35 Kryo 280 + 4x1.90GHz Kryo 280
GPUAdreno 630Adreno 540
Storage64GB/128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1)64/128GB
Rear camera 116MP, 1.22μm, f/1.7
Dual LED flash
4K@60fps, 720p@480fps
12.2MP, 1.4μm, f/1.8
OIS, dual LED flash
Rear camera 220MP, 1.0μm, f/1.7None
Front camera16MP, 1.0μm, f/2.08MP, 1.4μm, f/2.4
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
Water resistanceSplash resistant (no IP rating)IP67 dust and water resistance
SecurityFingerprint sensor
Face unlock
Fingerprint sensor
AudioAptX HD, Dirac HD Sound, Dirac Power SoundAptX HD, USB-C audio
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11ac , 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
USB-C (2.0), NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Wi-Fi 802.11ac , 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
USB-C (3.1), NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
NetworkLTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12
4xCA, 256QAM, DL Cat 16, UL Cat 13
LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12
4xCA, 256QAM, DL Cat 12, UL Cat 13
157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
VariantsMirror Black, Midnight Black, Silk WhiteJust Black, Black & White

What's the same

OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL

The OnePlus 6 has a slight edge when it comes to the specs thanks to the generous amount of RAM, but you won't notice any differences between either device in day-to-day usage. OnePlus devices, in general, are well-optimized, and the OnePlus 6 is no exception. The phone is just as fluid as the Pixel 2 XL, and you're not going to see any slowdowns whatsoever.

OnePlus has also done a remarkable job with OxygenOS in recent times, striking the ideal balance between customizability and a clean user interface. OxygenOS also picked up iPhone X-style gestures at the start of the year, and they're included out of the box on the OnePlus 6.

What's different

OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL

There's a stark difference between the two phones when it comes to the design side of things. OnePlus has switched to a glass back with the OnePlus 6, and Google offers a ceramic coating over a metal back with the Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 XL is the gripper of the two on account of that ceramic coating, and far less prone to fingerprints. The OnePlus 6 with its Gorilla Glass 5-encased back is a smudge magnet.

Things are different up front as well. The OnePlus 6 has a notch at the top of the display — designed to maximize screen real estate — and the Pixel 2 XL does not. The result is that the OnePlus 6 offers a larger display in a smaller body, but the net gain is offset by the fact that there's an unseemly cutout on the screen.

The Pixel 2 XL may not have a cutout, but its screen issues are well documented, so you're effectively making a compromise with either device. At least on the OnePlus 6, you can mask the cutout via the settings.

While the OnePlus 6 is resistant to the splash of water, it isn't certified for dust or water ingress. On the other hand, the Pixel 2 XL is IP67 rated, which means it's safe to use in a pool. The Pixel 2 XL also has stereo speakers at the front, and while the OnePlus 6 leverages Dirac's Power Sound to boost the volume from its single speaker, it isn't quite as loud or detailed as that of the Pixel 2 XL.

However, the OnePlus 6 does have a 3.5mm jack, giving it a distinct leg-up over the Pixel 2 XL in the audio department.

Which should you buy?

OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL

Like previous launches, OnePlus has managed to offer a device that delivers 90% of the same user experience as devices that cost several hundred dollars more. The OnePlus 6 builds on that by offering a more premium chassis, upgraded internals, and a 256GB storage option.

I'll delve into the battery and camera comparisons early next week, but from a value standpoint alone, there's a lot to like on the OnePlus 6. The phone will go up for sale starting May 22 in North America, and from May 21 in India.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Between these two, the question is, "which can I use". Being on Verizon, the only choice is Pixel. I would love to try out a One + phone, but no soup for me! NEXT!
  • I absolutely agree, it's already 2018 and this phone still does not support Verizon.
  • wrong. it does now support band 13 (the one required for verizon), so you can go ahead and buy the 6.
  • Better look again because Android Central themselves stated it doesn't work with Verizon. Check in this article
  • Do you travel much? If so, I would imagine using a GSM carrier in the US would already be pretty handy.
  • Well as I need dual SIM's the choice for me is simple.
    I also prefer the Oneplus UI.
    But until we know how good (or bad) the camera is on the 6 it's hard to tell.
    It will need to be a lot better than my 5T for me to consider it.
  • Can you not dual SIM the Pixel? Say use Fi, and then another carrier of choice via the physical SIM.
  • yes you can dual SIM the pixel 2; that's what I'm doing with Fi and an overseas carrier
  • No FI in UK.
  • FiSwitch?
  • No, think FI is just for the US.
  • Love how you guys make such a big deal out of these cases lol. Well, if you don't care about the newest software/features, prompt updates and best-in-class camera then OPO is a good option.
  • I care about all of the above so the Pixel 2 XL is my number one choice, but the OnePlus 6 is tempting though. I'd made up my mind a while ago that my next Android flagship would be a Pixel 2 XL and the OnePlus 6 hasn't done anything to change that plus the Pixel 2 XL is a better phone than the OnePlus 6 plus I only trust Google and OnePlus has proven they can't be trusted and are a shady company. Although one thing that's definitely in favour of the OnePlus 6 is the newer Snapdragon 845 anx 6GB RAM which should make the OnePlus 6 a little faster than the Pixel 2 XL but the 835 is still a blazing fast SOC and Google with their superb optimisation helps the Pixel 2 XL keep up with the OnePlus 6
  • I currently have the pixel 2 XL had it since launch overall it's a fantastic phone and the only real issue I have with the phone is burn in other than that it's almost perfect but despite that I would still choose the pixel over the one plus phone because I don't care for notches (which unfortunately the pixel 3 will probably have) and I love the front facing speakers on the pixel 2 XL and fast updates, and it charges really fast so it's a clear choice for me. And you can get a heck of a deal on a pixel 2 XL now.
  • Thanks I look forward to when I get the Pixel 2 XL, and you're actually a Pixel 2 XL user as you're qualified to pass judgement on the phone unlike the haters that don't even own a Pixel. I've wanted the Pixel 2 XL since I first saw it and while the other phones are nice enough, I want to be different and I'm only interested in the Pixel 2 XL. Hopefully I'll get a great deal for it. I've already decided on the colour (the Panda one) and the storage, 128GB as that'll be enough for me. I'm looking forward to those fast updates and being first in line for Android P.
  • LMAO! This guy said "i only trust Google" SMH geez that was rich 😂
  • And if you don't care about the $300 then the Pixel is the better phone.
    There will always be the odd person with a particular requirement (dual SIM's certain networks)
    But that's the point of the question.
  • This is about the Oneplus 6 or "OP6". composting a phony as old as the Oneplus One or "OPO" to the Pixel seems silly...
  • I'm a Pixel 2 XL user here, but OnePlus is pretty good with updates. And they are officially part of the Android P developer preview, so if it is bleeding edge Android it's a pretty great alternative.
  • In 2018, the OPO is far from good. It was good at its time, but a lot has changed since the kitkat days.
  • With the deals you can find on a P2XL these days, its harder to say no to better software more frequently updated with security, better camera and IP67 than a new 1+6 IMHO. I just bought a mint condition unlocked 128GB black and white P2XL with the oem box and all accessories on ebay for $660.
  • That's the only way I buy phones these days. I don't need it when it's newly released and I don't buy from a carrier. After I sell my old phone, I've paid $300-ish for a flagship. I do the same thing for laptops. My next choice might be one of the new Huawei's but that's a ways off.
  • This is my strategy going forward. I'll wait till the deals come out. That said, I got $300 for trading in my Really Blue Pixel for the new XL, which gave me an out of pocket if $549+tax+insurance. So not bad at all for me.
  • Saying the Pixel 2 XL has better software is pretty subjective.
  • I disagree, OP has a shity software support in the long run. Hell they didn't even launch the 5T with Android O just because they didn't want to.
  • Strange statement.
    Oneplus has been better than most with their software updates.
    Not at Pixel, Essential levels but think their 2 year old device's will see P.
    And the UI is really very good. I actually prefer it to the Pixel.
    What didn't you like about it on your Oneplus?
  • Software and software update speed aren't the same thing.
  • OnePlus 6 all the way.
    Looks better, more features, headphone jack and Bluetooth, more storage at a lower price, more RAM on all models. Win, win, win.
  • I disagree, Pixel 2 XL looks better, it actually has an IP rating for water resistance a much better camera plus better software and support plus the Pixel 2 XL is way more secure than the OnePlus 6 will ever and Google doesn't make you jump through hoops for an update and spare me the more RAM bullshit as it won't matter for a while yet so it's a win for the Pixel 2 XL overall with its more durable design but if you don't mind being spied on by OnePlus along with the Chinese government then the good but inferior OnePlus 6 is the phone for you.
  • Looks are subjective but imo the Pixel is "different"
    I would like an IP rating on my phone but as no manufacturer guarantees any level of waterproofing or will include it in their warranty I'm not too bothered as my Phone still has to be insured.
    I think your making a calculatedly guess regarding the camera but I'm interested to know if you're not as this is what interests me the most about the 6.
    Also bear in mind the Pixel 2's updates schedule doesn't wait for you to buy the phone.
  • What hoops do you think people have to jump through exactly? The update process seems very similar to me...
  • Remember that update with the OnePlus 5 and 5T which allowed the phone to play Netflix and Amazon prime in HDR? Well you had to send back your OnePlus 5 or 5T just to get the update which was ridiculous. Plus the data breaches OnePlus have had and now they're saying you gotta "learn to love the notch" they've lost what made them special now and are just another Chinese OEM now.
  • HD on Netflix is licensed. I don't want it and I don't want to pay for it. It's a 6" screen! VR might need HD but movies on a 6" screen?
    It can't be added ota so it's difficult to retro fit. No other manufacturer has bothered to retro fit it as far as I know. Oneplus shouldn't have bothered but you can't blame them for it.
    Security breaches? The only one I can recall was some old code wasn't deleted from the developer UI and saved some clipboard data.
    Not great even if you believe their excuse.
    Not quite as bad as tracking movements without notifying people...
    Notch is hidden so I can ignore it.
  • How about neither. The Pixel 3 will be out soon.
  • I agree with this. Wait for the 6T and Pixel 3...
  • And pay an exorbitant amount for it. But if you like to waste money then go ahead.
  • Well... Do you want old, obsolete tech? If so by all means grab one of these great deals. If you want modern technology wait for the Pixel 3.
  • The tech in the Pixel 2 XL isn't "old and obsolete" it's still being supported and no phone camera can beat the Pixel 2 XL camera still, in 2018.
  • Old and obsolete.......hilarious.
  • I fail to see how the pixel 2 is a better phone. It has higher resolution, an IP rating and possibly a better camera but it also cost nearly double what the op6 cost at launch. 🤷‍♂️
  • The camera and security updates are the big draw with the pixel. IP rating is basically meaningless... Come at me.
  • IP rating is an independent measure of a phones water resistants.
    Would I trust it?
    Not until the manufacturers do and include it in their warranties.
  • It's a trick question. The correct answer is "LG V30+". No screen issues (in my experience), 128GB, IP67, 6-inch18:9 daydream compatible OLED screen in a body smaller than Pixel/1+, dual lens camera with the 2nd lens a wide-angle, tap-to-wake, arguably the best audio DAC, aptX HD Bluetooth codec (as with Pixel/1+), and a headphone jack.
  • I had the original v30 and it was a beast. Have tried all the flagships in that past two years minus the note 8 and I can say I loved it. Front camera killed it for me.
  • get a Samsung. both look ugly and cheap
  • Take your Samsung and your admittedly gorgeous design along with their bloated crap and stick it where the sun don't shine, I wouldn't choose a OnePlus 6 or Samsung over a Pixel 2 XL period. It's the best software experience and the most secure Android phone over you fragile and gimmicky S9+, if I had no other choice but the S9- and OnePlus 6 then I'd pick the OnePlus 6 all day long, better software and value but the Pixel 2 XL smokes both of them where it matters. The Pixel 2 XL is the only Android flagship phone I want as it has everything I'll ever need.
  • We get it. You're a pixel fanboy and you wouldn't change that for any phone. Trust me, there's better options out there
  • Only to you there are better options, there's nothing better than pure Android direct from Google along with 3 years of guaranteed updates and having the best camera.
  • "Get a samsung"...
    And what? still not haven android 8.1?
  • If your a camera bug the pixal is still the champ. Pure android & the updates, no contest. The oneplus6, the price 529.00 then it appears to be the cheapest with the 845 processer. Oxygen OS, dash charging. The notch I don't care for it but it's cool if you can hide it. Neither has micro s/d so 128gb model XL would cost you 950.00, the op6 is much cheaper and get the job done & then some. If your looking to save $$, one plus is the definite choice. You can't beat saving 3to4 hundred dollars! For the money your saving I could give up a few premium features!
  • pixel 2, ofc, not even the XL, the standard 2 is enough, but the 2xl is for big hand-----please like me
  • OnePlus all the Way. I always look for bang 4 the buck, and there is no question. Plus, I don't think I can go to stock Android after Oxygen OS. So clean, smooth and Fast! Sure the Pixel has a great camera, but it's still Google. Arguably the worst tech company in the world at privacy and customer care.
  • Good joke about Google being "the worst tech company in terms of privacy and customer care" you're choosing the worst in OnePlus, with a worse camera, no IP rating and worse screen and spare me the claptrap about the Pixel 2 XL screen which Google has fixed for the most part plus with the Pixel 2 XL You're getting the best version of Android pure, clean and uncluttered but I do like Oxygen OS though but the advantages of the Pixel 2 XL far outweigh it's short comings which is fast updates the most secure Android phone and pure Android and Google with peace of mind. You'll never hear of data breaches on the Google store. The OnePlus 6 is just a poor iPhone X clone with its only advantage of having the current Snapdragon 845 and it's price where as the Pixel 2 XL is better phone in everything else. I've lost respect for OnePlus. The Pixel 2 XL is better. Period.
  • I've got no axe to grind, I like both phones.
    My take on this is Oneplus makes very good phones with an excellent UI.
    In my experience Oneplus has better quality control. I know Google doesn't make the phones but I've had a Nexus 5X Bootloop and I've had two Pixels returned due to speaker issues.
    I actually prefer the look of the 6 to the Pixel but hate glass backs.
    IP rating would be nice but as Google won't guarantee any waterproofing it's not essential.
    The camera on the pixel is 2nd to none. If the Oneplus can get close the £300 saving will make the Pixel look expensive.
    Updates and security are important but I've had 0 issues with ether manufacturer.
  • Exactly, total agree. If I've ever had update or security issues on my OnePlus, then the conversation may be different.
    I KNOW Google is selling my information, I know they are back logging data to use for ADs. Not to mention all the BS process they like to run in the background. They are worse than Apple now.
    1Plus has double the RAM, Snap 845, the amazing screen, best battery life in the game and a quality control 2nd to none at hundreds less. Or a slightly better camera. I'm not a professional photographer, so I could care less.
  • Nice joke, for the last time Google doesn't sell our data, and the Pixel 2 XL is fine with 4GB RAM and while 8GB RAM is nice, it's overkill right now and nothing more than a vanity spec and you'll have more security issues on your OnePlus 6 where as I won't have an issue with security on. Pixel 2 XL, which is still better than the OnePlus 6 whether you like it or not.
  • I have the Samsung S7 Edge and had an S4 a couple of phones back. This will be my last Samsung because, here it is, May 2018 and Oreo came out around October 2017 and I'm still waiting. Plus my phone is slower than Christmas. I really think Samsung is going the way of Apple and slowing down phones through security patches to get you to buy a newer phone. Saying all of that, the P2XL will be my next phone. I'm pretty pumped with reading all of the stuff about it so far.
  • Ditto. I'm done with Damsung....and I'm not fixing that typo.
  • I'm rocking an S7 Edge as well. Battery life was great at first (regularly 8 hours sot), then the nougat update ruined it and they never gave any fix for that. That's my main beef with Samsung. Now their prices are as stupid as the Pixels, so I'm not interested in the S9 Plus either.
  • Had a OnePlus 3T and 5. Liked both phones, but OP’s shady practices with customer data pretty much killed my interest in them. After using a 2 XL for about 4 months, but I’m sold on Pixel phones.
  • The one that can use my $300 pair of headphones without an adapter.
  • The ugly one with the notch and reflecty screen
  • The one with the ugly design and half assed display
  • The Pixel 2 XL has a great design unlike the ugly notch on the OnePlus 6. And the display is fine. Give it a rest.
  • I'll buy the one that can supports most popular carriers.
  • Seriously, this is not even a fair comparison -- one phone costs over $300 than the other phone yet has inferior specs (let's not forget about the LG OLED fiasco). The only reason I would even consider getting a Pixel phone is if I'm planning to jump to Project Fi.
  • Oh give it a rest about the screen issues on the Pixel 2 XL, they're way overblown, and are mostly fixed too. Yes the OnePlus 6 has the advantage of having the newer Snapdragon 845 but the 835 isn't "inferior" and Google can be trusted with our data unlike shady OnePlus oh and don't make me laugh, the Pixel 2 XL screen is superior despite the blue tint with it being QHD.
  • Look on Ebay and see how many are on there with burn in and say it is over blown.
  • Those are probably the first batch, Google's has sorted out that with fresh panels so. I say it is overblown
    as not everyone's had the same experience with screen burn in with the Pixel 2 XL. Doesn't change the fact that the Pixel 2 XL is still a better phone than the OnePlus 6.
  • This guy is just a Google fan boy, or maybe 1 of Google's new AI sent to defend Google at all cost. Because he's aggressively commented on all critiques of Google.
  • Only had a Pixel 2 for a day. Screen seemed fine to me. Viewing angles contrast brightness all seemed as good as the previous Pixel.
    Some people who actually own the phone say it's poor some say it's great.
    Quality control issue maybe?
  • But why would a phone that costs about $800 have that many issues out the box and have to pray they got a good batch of displays? I understand that no phone is perfect but this one just had a lot of issues that I personally would not purchase it. Well not at retail, that's for sure.
  • Just based on these specs alone oneplus 6 looks like the better buy. If camera quality and speedy updates is your priority then go with the pixel. The screen on the pixel is most likely better to.
  • Oneplus ftw. Being about 7 months newer with improved hardware is the reason, as well as having a better screen, a 3.5mm headphone jack and better storage options. The prices seal the deal. Pixel prices are ridiculous, especially since they use an inferior displays on the XL. As far as the notch goes, I'd black out the ears and be fine with it.
  • Hi, I am looking for a smart phone with micro HDMI and micro sd card extension for added storage.
  • I'd go with OnePlus 6, with Project Treble, the big advantage that the Pixels had is disappearing. I'm no professional photographer, the slight advantage of the Pixel camera is not worth a $300 difference.
  • Agreed, well said. Double the RAM for the future is hard to pass up too.
  • The OP6 has the hardware advantage in processor, RAM, GPU and audio. This article is trying to downplay the differences for whatever reason. It surely would not be doing that if THE Pixel 2 XL had these advantages.
  • Nope they're not trying to downplay anything, as the headphone jack is subjective, but the newer processor and more RAM and the cheaper price are the ONLY advantages of the OnePlus 6 over the Pixel 2 XL as the Pixel 2 XL is overall a better phone for the extra money, that's not to say that the OnePlus 6 is a bad phone, it's not but I don't trust OnePlus anf only trust Google and the advantages of the Pixel 2 XL are greater than those of the OnePlus 6, let's see 3 years of guaranteed updates, better customer service, Google is upfront about what they do with your data so spare me the claptrap about Google's privacy policy because OnePlus are a shady company who's had more data breaches than anyone else and spies on its users
  • This guy is just a Google fan boy, or maybe 1 of Google's new AI sent to defend Google at all cost. Because he's aggressively commented on all critiques of Google.
    Google sells information to the NSA! Have you never heard of Snowden? Just looks at your Google ads after you start googling an item. Hell look at your ads after you start talking around your Pixel.
  • Google doesn't "sell your data" to the NSA but it's been proven that OnePlus can't be trusted with our data. Oh and the Pixel 2 XL is better than the OnePlus 6. End of.
  • It's also got the ugly advantage and super ugly low rez reflecty screen with retarded notch
  • Ya you know nothing about screens. No human needs double the pixels in a 6 inch screen. 1440p or higher is pretty much just a useless bragging point. At the sacrifice of battery life.
    The notch is the future, get over it. I don't prefer it, but I understand it. Plus OnePlus has implemented it better than anyone. You can hide it with software, they black it out while videos are playing and it's smaller than most.
  • Wow the oneplus is one ugly phone
  • The 529.00 price tag with the 845 processer is the best deal around. If your looking to save $$, this is the ticket. Dash charging is excellent and Oxygen OS ain't too shabby. The notch as long as you can hide which will be the choice of most consumer's, to me is not a factor. To have a glass phone with no wireless doesn't make any sense. But the price makes up for any short comings!
  • "The Pixel 2 XL is better than the OnePlus 6 but doesn't offer the same value. Which one is better?" I think you have a typo in the tagline for this article. I think that first "better" was meant to be a different word. It doesn't make sense the way it reads right now, and I don't think the author meant to say that one is better than the other right in the first sentence.
  • Well AC say the Pixel is the best Android phone in 2018.
    Kind of follows the Oneplus 6 isn't as good.
    Think it should read " which one is better value".
  • I thought Apple and sony fans are dumb, but pixel fans are just the same. No phone is better. It's all about your preferences.
    For me both phones are not suitable, since I need a phone not taller than 145mm and not wider than 72mm.
    But if we imagine that they are smaller and match my size requirements, I would go for OP6. More RAM, SD845, headphone jack, dual sim, faster charging, less bezels, more featurefull ROM.
  • This article is a bunch of bologna..... It does not tell all the specs of the Google Pixel 2 XL. I call foul! You write an article about 2 different phones but intentionally leave out info on 1 phone just to make the other seem supreme. Google Pixel is amazing!!
  • That's because the Pixel 2 XL is an amazing phone.
  • It's an easy choice, don't fall for one plus's cheaper price, they drop support too quickly, I know I have a one and a two. Pixel's has 3 year support out the box
  • pixel no doubt..
  • « the net gain is offset by the fact that there's an unseemly cutout on the screen » Not really, the notch is as small as the statut bar so it doesn’t take away useful real estate for contents. And the bottom bezel is smaller too...