If you don’t need a top-of-the-line premier smartphone that costs upwards of $1,000, a range of somewhat more affordable options with the features most people need is available at a more reasonable price. Current examples include last year’s OnePlus 7T and the iPhone 11. But even mid-level devices pack an economic punch, and neither of these can be classified as budget phones — not with base prices starting at $599 and $699 respectively. Let’s see how they shake out in a feature-by-feature challenge.
|OnePlus 7T||iPhone 11|
|Size||160.9 x 74.4 x 8.1 mm (6.33 x 2.93 x 0.32 inches)||150.9 × 75.7 × 8.3 mm (5.94 × 2.98 × 0.33 inches)|
|Weight||190 grams (6.70 ounces)||194 grams (6.84 ounces)|
|Screen size||6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED||6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD IPS LCD|
|Screen resolution||2400 × 1080 pixels (402 pixels per inch)||1792 × 828 pixels (326 pixels per inch)|
|Operating system||Android 11 (with Oxygen OS)||iOS 14|
|Storage space||128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|MicroSD card slot||No||No|
|Tap-to-pay services||Google Pay||Apple Pay|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus||Apple A13 Bionic|
|Camera||Triple lens 48-megapixel, 12MP telephoto, and 16MP ultra wide-angle rear, 16MP front||Dual 12-megapixel and 12MP ultra wide-angle (with OIS) rear, 12MP TrueDepth front|
|Video||2160p at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps||Up to 4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps|
|Bluetooth version||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, in-display||No|
Warp Charge 30T
|Up to 17 hours of video playback
Fast charge capable (18W charger sold separately)
Qi wireless charging
|App marketplace||Google Play Store||Apple App Store|
|Network support||T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint||T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint|
|Colors||Frosted Silver, Glacier Blue||Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red, White|
|Review score||4 out of 5 stars||4 out of 5 stars|
Performance, battery life, and charging
The OnePlus 7T has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor inside backed by an ample 8GB of RAM. This is the same chip inside gaming phones like the Asus ROG Phone 2. The upgraded processor features a fourth-generation A.I. Engine, which can handle more than 7 trillion operations per second. Performance is swift and smooth for routine tasks as well as hardcore mobile gaming. But it can’t match the benchmark numbers of the iPhone 11 — not even close. Apple’s iPhone 11 boasts the A13 Bionic, a hexa-core, 64-bit processor with a custom quad-core GPU and an octa-core Neural Engine which can perform some 10 trillion tasks per second. Apple’s A13 Bionic offers some serious processing muscle and 4GB of RAM is enough because iOS handles memory management differently than Android. Apps are quick to launch and scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, and games on Apple Arcade is silky smooth.
The OnePlus 7T comes with a 3,800mAh battery, a powerhouse that takes you through your day. It supports the Warp Charge 30T charging technology that can deliver a 70% charge in 30 minutes. The iPhone 11 has a 3,110mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging — and unlike the 7T — wireless charging. Apple says the iPhone 11 battery provides up to 17 hours of video playback and up to 65 hours of audio playback while its 18W fast charger (sold separately) delivers a 50% charge in 30 minutes.
The nod goes to the iPhone for the inclusion of wireless charging and superior performance.
Winner: Apple iPhone 11
Design and durability
The OnePlus 7T weighs in at 190 grams and is 8mm thick. It’s made of glass and a metallic looking rear panel that offers a choice of two color finishes: Frosted silver, or glacial blue. It needs a case because the body is slippery. The disliked top notch is nearly one-third smaller than in the previous OnePlus 7. The 7T still has the familiar side slider but, like the iPhone, has ditched the headphone jack. The flat screen has a distinctive 20:9 aspect ratio of 6.55 inches, making it taller but more comfortable to hold despite its size because it’s not as wide as some larger phones.
The iPhone design may seem a little stale to some people, with its thick bezel surrounding the 6.1-inch screen and the wide notch at the top. The preferred design these days is bevel-free end-to-end glass. Despite that, the iPhone 11 feels solid, is available in six colors, and the glossy glass back doesn’t feel slippery. It’s made of aluminum as opposed to stainless steel, so a case is a good idea. It also has an IP68 water resistance rating for up to 2 meters underwater for up to 30 minutes, as opposed to the 7T, which has no stated water or dust resistance.
Winner: Apple iPhone 11
No contest: The OnePlus 7T has a better display than the iPhone 11. It features a 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a tiny teardrop notch. It offers Full HD+ resolution at 2400 x 1080 pixels with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 402 pixels per inch (ppi). The 7T display’s reading mode drops saturation to make reading on the phone easier. One of the biggest highlights of the OnePlus 7T is its 90Hz refresh rate, which makes a huge difference for gaming or video viewing, but also makes basic navigation and scrolling smoother.
The iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina display, supporting HDR and True Tone technology to optimize screen brightness and saturation based on ambient lighting. The iPhone 11 has a relatively low resolution of 1792 x 828 pixels with a pixel density of 326ppi.
Winner: OnePlus 7T
The OnePlus 7T has three camera lenses arranged in a circular camera bump: a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor, and a separate macro mode. The 7T adjusts its autofocus to allow subjects to be in focus between 2.5cm and 8cm, so you can really close in on your subject. With 2x optical zoom, the 7T shoots 4K video at 60fps and slow-motion 720p resolution video at up to 960fps. New and improved features in this model include a Nightscape night mode for the wide-angle camera and better performance from the 7T’s UltraShot engine. For selfies, the OnePlus 7T gets a 16-megapixel lens with a fixed focus, electronic stabilization, and an f/2.0 aperture. Our reviewer found the OxygenOS camera app a bit confusing because the settings button is hidden under the slide-up menu, instead of at the top of the screen.
At first glance, the iPhone 11 camera setup seems less endowed. Its dual-camera setup comprises a 12MP wide-angle lens with optical image stabilization and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens with a 120-degree field of view and f/2.4 aperture. There’s no telephoto lens, but you can shoot portraits with blurry backgrounds and six portrait lighting effects, such as Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and High-Key Mono. It also supports a Night Mode, Smart HDR, True Tone flash, and Panorama mode, and can record 4K videos at up to 60fps. It features a 2x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom. The 12MP selfie cam has an f/2.2 aperture and enables Slofies (i.e. slow-motion selfies). The front camera supports Portrait mode, 4K video recording, Animoji, and Memoji. The QuickTake feature lets you seamlessly shoot video without switching out of Photo mode.
An iPhone camera feature called semantic rendering captures several underexposed photos before you tap the shutter button, and then an overexposed shot after, where the camera algorithm crunches the photo for the best shot. Smart HDR processes different aspects of the photo like faces using separate frames to highlight and enhance different parts of the image. That’s why the iPhone 11 offers overall better imaging than the OnePlus 7T, despite having only two cameras, and even despite the 7T’s admirable inclusion of a macro mode.
Winner: Apple iPhone 11
Software and updates
The OnePlus 7T runs Google’s latest Android 11 operating system alongside the OxygenOS 11 skin. The OxygenOS 11 experience is similar to stock Android and offers Dark Mode, Digital Wellbeing, Zen Mode, and Reading Mode. The iPhone 11 runs iOS 14, which introduced such new features as home screen widgets, a useful App Library, and App Clips.
The 7T packs 128GB or 256GB storage while the Apple smartphone offers the same storage options, plus a third lower choice of 64GB, which many observers feel is inadequate for today’s smartphone tech. Neither phone supports external storage.
OnePlus is one of the fastest Android device manufacturers when it comes to software updates, but it’s not as quick as Apple, which also tends to support devices for longer.
Winner: Apple iPhone 11
Both the iPhone and the OnePlus 7T more or less focus on a core smartphone experience so there’s not much in the way of extra special features from either phone. The main feature that differentiates the 7T is the 90Hz display refresh rate, which looks great. For the iPhone, the new Apple-designed U1 chip incorporates Ultra Wideband technology, which can be used for spatial awareness and allows the iPhone 11 to precisely locate other U1‑equipped Apple devices. According to Apple, “It’s like adding another sense to iPhone, and it’s going to lead to amazing new capabilities.” Despite being introduced over a year ago, it still has fairly limited use at the moment.
Price and availability
The OnePlus 7T costs $599 and customers can buy it through T-Mobile or an unlocked version directly from OnePlus. It works on all the major networks. The iPhone 11 starts at $699 for the base model with 64GB storage. The 128GB model costs $749 while the 256GB version costs $849. It’s available in all Apple Stores and the company’s website, as well as from all major carriers.
Overall winner: Apple iPhone 11
The 7T meets Apple’s relatively affordable iPhone 11 head-on and it is less expensive. The OnePlus 7T is neat and complete with just the right amount of the right features. It has a gorgeous AMOLED display, 90Hz refresh rate, a triple camera setup, an advanced Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, Android 10, fast charging, and a lower price tag. The iPhone 11 delivers great battery life, a top-notch camera, and all the improvements that come with iOS 14. Both are excellent phones with high level features, but in head-to-head contests, the iPhone consistently bested the 7T, offering superior design, performance, durability, camera functionality, and wireless charging, so the winner is the iPhone 11.