Comparing Oanda desktop vs MT4
In Forex trading, one of the most popular pieces of trading software is MetaTrader 4. It was developed by a company called MetaQuotes for Forex traders that use different brokers. Whereas Oanda desktop trading program - also known as FXTrade - was created by a foreign exchange company, Oanda, specifically for its users.
The reason why brokers use MetaTrader 4 for Forex is its limitation in available tradable instruments. Since there are around 200 different Forex pairs, it’s a lot easier for brokers to incorporate all of them in their trading platform, while there are far more elements in other asset groups (stocks, commodities, etc.).
When it comes to Oanda’s FXTrade desktop platform, the software supports more tradable assets than MT4. When opening up the program, the left side of the screen shows us four groups of assets: Forex pairs, bonds, indices, and commodities. Even though MetaTrader also supports some metal commodities and CFDs, the difference in the available securities between FXTrade vs MT4 is still very noticeable.
How do these platforms look?
Now, let’s talk about the design of the two pieces of software. As our reader may already know, the MT4 interface looks like a retro Windows 98 with white and gray skin colors. It definitely has an old-school feeling to it.
As for the Oanda desktop trading platform, it is much more flexible when it comes to choosing your own design. In the Tools menu, you can change the color of the interface; the skin options include default (a blank theme), white, black, green, blue, etc. On top of that, the software also allows users to change the font size and language. Overall, the FXTrade design seems more modern than its MT4 counterpart.
As for the various windows and their placement, we also see a significant difference between the two programs. In MT4, the charting window contains four charts for different securities and takes up a large part of the screen. In FXTrade, we only have one chart which is located in the lower-right part of the screen. While it’s also a pretty large window, it’s still not as large as the one in MT4.
These programs also use different programming languages. MT4 is written in a specific MQL4 language. This means that only the MetaTrader user community can use it to develop new scripts and tools for the program.
FXTrade, however, has a much more common programming language - Java. When comparing MT4 to Oanda desktop in terms of their programming language, it is obvious that Java is a more well-known system and more programmers can create new tools for the trading program. It is also easier to use than MQL4.
Trading with MetaTrader 4 and Oanda FXTrade
Now that we have reviewed the cosmetic differences between the two pieces of software, let’s now compare their trading features. We’ll begin with their charting features.
As mentioned earlier, the MT4 default screen features four individual charts that cover a big section of the whole interface. Traders have the ability to choose which type of chart they want to see by pressing the right button on the mouse/trackpad. There are 3 most popular chart types available on MT4 - line, bar, and candlestick.
In Oanda’s FXTrade, the charting window also takes a large portion, yet it’s a bit smaller than the one in MT4. But that is not the only Oanda MT4 difference in charts; Oanda offers 8 additional charts, as well as 3 above-mentioned ones - 11 in total. For example, traders can choose the simple candlestick, or ask/bid candlestick chart, Min/Max chart, etc.
Both trading programs allow traders to open/close positions directly from the live chart. In MT4, each of the four charts has its accompanying window for selling/buying the security, whereas the Oanda FXTrade has a special Advanced Charting window with the same, as well as other additional functionalities - be it adding custom tools or shapes.
Traders also have the ability to choose different timeframes for the charts. In MT4, there are 9 different timeframes - 4 minute-, 2 hour-, 1 day-, 1 week-, and 1 month-timeframes. In FXTrade, there are even more timeframes; 21 in total - 4 second-, 8 minute-, 7 hour-, 1 day-, and 1 week-timeframes. While FXTrade offers second-timeframes, MT4 features ticks - the smallest price change of an asset.
Specific trading features in MetaTrader 4 and Oanda FXTrade
Apart from charting types and available timeframes, there are also other significant differences between MT4 and FXTrade in trading features. One of the most obvious differences is the automatic trading option.
MetaTrader 4 is well-known for its Expert Advisors - autonomous trading bots - that open, close, and modify positions for the traders. Besides, traders can develop their own Expert Advisors using the MQL4 programming language and determine the terms of individual trades. As for the Oanda FXTrade, there’s currently no automatic trading option on the platform.
MetaTrader also offers a MetaQuotes Language Editor feature. With it, traders have the ability to develop their own scripts, indicators, and tools that they’ll use in actual trading. Again, FXTrade doesn’t have such a feature that would allow traders to develop various elements in Java.
Then there comes the Oanda desktop trading program and its specific features. First, and probably the most useful feature is economic analysis. This is basically a news section that gathers various news pieces about international trade and global economics. But instead of just offering those articles - which MT4 also does, - FXTrade also provides their analysis and price predictions.
Another differing aspect when using FXTrade or MT4, is how quickly you can open and/or close positions. In MetaTrader 4, it can take some time to actually process the orders. In FXTrade, however, the positions open/close much more quickly, which can be a significant advantage for traders because prices can change very quickly.