OnePlus 5 vs Huawei Honor 9: Which one is better

The Honor 9 from Huawei is slightly older than the OnePlus 5 which was only just unveiled to public eyes. The latter flagship faced a ton of criticism while the Honor 9 garnered appreciation. Will the OnePlus 5 come out supreme or will the Huawei Honor 9 steal the limelight? Let’s break down both devices and look at how they fare in different departments.


From a design standpoint, the Honor 9, with its metal and glass finish does look a lot more appealing than the OnePlus 5. The OnePlus flagship was met with a bit of disappointment when the design ended up looking similar to “other” smartphones out there. Putting aside the similarity to the iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus 5, in fact, bears more resemblance to the R11 Plus from Oppo.

Huawei Honor 9

Now we could say that the Chinese OEM had all of this planned beforehand and that Apple had beaten them to it first. Or we could just accept the fact that OnePlus has shied away from actually putting any work in the design department. We’re not entirely upset with the look and feel of the OnePlus 5, though. The front and sides of the device have received some work and are different from the OnePlus 3T.


OnePlus was known to carry the nickname of flagship killer back in the day. And it was for good reason too, as it had top of the line specifications for much lesser prices. For the OnePlus 5, the price is a different matter which we’ll get back to later, but the RAM on board follows the trend with the device getting an option to 8GB. The OnePlus 5 also comes in a 6GB RAM variant for those of you who are content with that. Compared to that, the Honor 9 comes in 4/6GB RAM options which also does the job, to be frank.


Continuing on the flagship killer tangent, the processor on board is the latest from Qualcomm. The octa-core Snapdragon 835 SoC clocked at 2.45GHz does a perfect job of delivering flawless performance. This is somewhat comparable to the Kirin 960 chipset which is also clocked at around the same speed. So once again, no major difference in performance in this department either.


Storage options start at 64GB for both the devices and go up to 128GB. But, the OnePlus has the upper hand here as the storage is based on UFS 2.1 as compared to UFS 2.0 on the Honor 9. There won’t be any major differences in speeds but it still remains as a differentiating factor.


This has been a subject of a lot of talk lately. The camera on the OnePlus 5 seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from the iPhone. And as mentioned earlier, the Oppo R11 also seems to have a likeness. But that’s just on the surface. OnePlus has used Sony sensors for all three cameras. The dual camera comprises of the 16MP+20MP sensors where the 20MP lens is used to zoom in, which thereby letting you retain more detail too. There is a 16MP front camera too on the device.

The Honor 9 also has a dual camera setup but with a 12MP+20MP combo and the front camera goes down to 8MP. As we’ve all come to learn over the years, megapixel count isn’t all there is to a camera. With that said, both smartphones are capable of taking very good pictures.


Battery life on both devices lasts about the same, as the OnePlus 5 has a 3300mAh battery and the Honor 9 comes with a 3200mAh battery. Based on OEM specific optimizations we may be able to see slight changes in per day battery life. Other than that, there shouldn’t be any real world difference.


All the talk about the OnePlus being inauthentic and copying Apple was all built over the hype that Apple products are superior. To be entirely honest, all of this is quite unnecessary. Apple does not, in any way, decide what the generic smartphone will look like or how it should look like for that matter. Given the fact that OnePlus is a lot smaller in size when compared to Samsung and Apple, the amount of hard work put in goes unnoticed when critics attack the OEM for plagiarism.

In all honesty, OnePlus seems to have done the best they could with what they have. And the OnePlus 5 does what it needs to do: start killing flagships. Lately, a report indicated that the company was modifying the way benchmarks work, in other words, they were cheating. I’m going to go on a limb here and say, why not? Benchmarks never define real world performance anyway and because of the small size of the company, we can let this one slide.

If you didn’t already know, OnePlus prides themselves over making performance oriented devices with looks taking a back seat. And a true OnePlus fan would tell you the same too. The OnePlus 5 is meant to outperform other devices in the market and that solely gives them their edge. Pricing has taken a toll over the years as the company has grown a lot bigger now. So that too is understandable to some extent.

As for the Honor 9, you could say that it stands pretty close to the OnePlus 5 in some aspects but at the same time, this too is a unique product. Let’s call it an amicable tie between the two devices for now.