Google Photos vs OnePlus Gallery: What’s the Difference

Google Photos is the only gallery app that comes pre-loaded on smartphones running stock Android. And on OnePlus handsets, you get a dedicated gallery app made by OnePlus. Thanks to small mercies, the Google Photos is also preinstalled.

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The primary purpose of any gallery app is to show as well as manage photos and videos. The presentation of photos as well as videos and other organizational features makes each gallery app different. On OnePlus handsets, you get the OnePlus Gallery and Google Photos apps. Do you wonder why there are two gallery apps? Most importantly, what’s the difference between them?

That’s what we are going to tell you. In this post, we’ll compare Google Photos and OnePlus Gallery and see how they differ.


Google Photos is available on all major platforms and you can use it on any Android phone. It’s also available for iPhone and has a dedicated website. Unfortunately, its Windows version limits you with photo uploads only and you can’t view any photos in the app either.

On the other hand, OnePlus Gallery is available on Play Store, but is compatible with OnePlus phones only.

Backup and Sync

One of the highlights of Google Photos is its ability to take a backup of your photos and videos and let you view them on a device with internet connectivity. It acts as a cloud storage facility for pictures and videos with the features of a gallery app. The synced media is accessible on various devices where Google Photos is available via app or browser. Though Google Drive also lets you backup images, it’s very different from Google Photos.

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If you upload the media in its original size, then you’ll get a ‘Storage Full’ error soon. Google Photos provides 15GB of storage that is counted against your full Google storage. However, an alternative exists where you get unlimited storage. For that, you will have to upload pictures using the high quality mode instead of original quality.

OnePlus Gallery, on the other hand, is a day-to-day gallery app. It doesn’t offer any cloud-based backup option for your media files.

User Interface

The user interface of both the apps is quite similar. You get a tab at the bottom that houses a couple of options. On the first screen, you will find photos captured from the camera. To access other albums or device folders, tap on Albums in Google Photos and Collections in OnePlus Gallery app.

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Recycle Bin

At times, we accidentally delete a photo or a video from our gallery and then frantically search for ways to recover it. But that won’t happen anymore since both the apps offer a helpful feature that saves you from a similar tragedy.

When you delete a picture or video in either of them, neither of the apps wipes it off permanently right away. On the OnePlus Gallery, the deleted files move to the Recently deleted folder available at the bottom under Collections. In the case of Google Photos, such files land into Trash folder which is available in the side drawer.

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In OnePlus Gallery, the deleted photos stay for thirty days in the Recently Deleted folder. On the other hand, Google Photos holds such files for around 60 days. That’s up to you to restore them anytime within the specified period. And if you don’t, those files are deleted permanently.

Fun Fact:

Hide Files

Our gallery is a mixed bag of photos that you can show to everyone, and some of them can be *ahem* private. And we often intend to hide such private images from the prying eyes of a nosy sibling or friends. Coincidentally, you can use the Archive feature on Google Photos. When you archive a file, Google Photos only hides it from the front and album view.

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Earlier, OnePlus Gallery had a dedicated option to hide files, but it’s no longer available. Now if you want to conceal images in OnePlus Gallery, you have to use the Lockbox feature present in File Manager. Yes, it’s a bit tedious.

Share Files

Google Photos offers impressive sharing features. Without using any external app, you can share photos and videos with others from within the app. A group-like environment is created where other members can also collaborate and add files. You can even like and comment on shared pictures.

Further, you can also add a partner account and share your library with them. You can also customize what you want to share. Once you have added the account, the media files that meet the set criteria will be shared automatically with your partner.

I regret to say that you will have to live without these collaborative features if you plan to use the OnePlus Gallery app.

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Both the apps let you quickly access specific files using the favorites feature. A new folder carrying all the pictures and videos that you have favorited is created with the name Favorites in both the cases.

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Google Photos is blessed with a powerful search. Can’t find the beach pictures from that amazing vacation? Type beach in Google Photos search, and it will show all the relevant results.

Pictures are searchable by the places or things in them without tagging. All hail to artificial intelligence which identifies what it can guess from your photos and also uses face recognition to an extent. However, the only requirement is that the pictures should be backed up to Google Photos as the search won’t work for device folders.

The OnePlus Gallery app doesn’t come with the search feature.

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Photos Assistant

While both the apps provide basic photo editing features, Google Photos is a step ahead. Under the Assistant tab, you can create a movie, collage, or an animation.

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You can also take advantage of the powers of Google Assistant to find your photos. Just say the command ‘Show me my photos of’ followed by the person name, thing, or place in the picture.

OnePlus Gallery provides ample image editing tools and effects. But nothing to fancy like Assistant support or creating collages, movies or slideshows.


Without any doubt, gestures make our life easy by simplifying the tasks. Be that in real life or on our mobile phones. On both the apps, you have the multiple photo select gesture where you need to select one picture and then drag to select others. Similarly, you can change the thumbnail size by pinch in or out gesture.

Which One to Use?

OnePlus Gallery is an excellent photo viewer app with features that an average user is looking for in a gallery app. It has its disadvantages as it lacks features such as sorting, filter, and customization.

On the contrary, Google Photos is a gallery app with better organization, management, and backup features. You can also search and share photos easily. While you can view local folders on Google Photos, I prefer to use a native gallery app for that.

Thankfully, there are ample gallery app alternatives available in case you are looking beyond the OnePlus gallery app.

Next up: Are your friends or siblings itching to take a look inside the photo gallery on your phone? Check these two apps that will help you prevent that if they get their grubby hands on your phone.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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