OnePlus 8 vs iPhone SE. What do you gain (and lose) for the extra $300?

Before I begin with this comparison, I would like to preface it by stating that I am fully aware that these two phones are playing in completely different leagues.

The iPhone SE, starting at just $399 (S$649), can be classified as a “budget” smartphone. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 8 starts at almost double the price at $699 (Singaporean pricing and availability unconfirmed), can be considered an entry-level flagship in line with the likes of the iPhone 11.

Still, it would be interesting to pit the OnePlus 8 against the iPhone SE, to see what you gain (and lose) from the additional $300.

OnePlus 8 vs iPhone SE

SpecOnePlus 8iPhone SE
Size160.2 x 72.9 x 8 mm138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
Weight180 g148 g
IP ratingNA*IP67
Display6.55″
1080 x 2400, 20:9 (~402 ppi)
90Hz
4.7″
750 x 1334, 16:9 (~326 ppi)
60Hz
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865Apple A13 Bionic
Storage/RAM128GB/8GB, 256GB/12GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB/3GB
Rear cameras48 MP, f/1.8, 25mm (wide), OIS
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
12 MP, f/1.8 (wide), OIS
Selfie camera16 MP, f/2.0, 1/3″, 1.0┬Ám7 MP, f/2.2
SpeakersStereoStereo
Headphone jackNoNo
NFCYesYes (Apple Pay only)
Battery4300mAh1821mAh
Charging30W18W
(5W charger in box)
Wireless chargingNoYes
BiometricsUnder-display fingerprint sensor, face unlockTouchID
WiFi 6YesYes
Price$699/$799$399/$449/$549
S$649/S$719/S$889
*some carrier models of the OnePlus 8 come with an IP68 rating in the US

While the OnePlus 8 beats the iPhone SE in many fields, particularly in the display, number of cameras, and speed and capacity of the battery, the iPhone SE still holds its own.

Where the iPhone holds up

Most notably, it packs the A13 Bionic chip which stacks up well against the Snapdragon 865 as one of the fastest chips available, and it’s got an official IP67 rating for dust and water resistance which the OnePlus 8 (unlocked) does not have. The iPhone SE also has wireless charging, which the OnePlus 8 does not have.

Furthermore, even though the iPhone has only one camera lens, it is likely that its image quality is comparable to the OnePlus 8, and it’s even able to do portrait mode with that single lens. It unfortunately does not have the night mode of the more expensive iPhones.

It’s also worth noting that with the $399 spent on the iPhone SE you’re likely getting about 4-5 years of software support, though OnePlus is no slouch in terms of Android updates either.

It’s interesting to think that OnePlus, once known for its budget “flagship killers”, is now putting out flagship phones. Meanwhile, Apple, that started the thousand-dollar trend, just put out a budget phone. What a strange time to be alive.

So what do you think? Is the $300 extra (likely almost S$600 when accounting for taxes) for the OnePlus 8 worth it? Let us know in the comments below.


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