Cory's Thursday Comp

Phone Comparisons: OnePlus One vs ASUS ZenFone 2 vs Moto G vs HTC One A9 vs OnePlus X

October 29, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Introduction

Do we have good one for you today – with release of the new OnePlus X, we wanted to take a look at other lower-end devices to see just how it stacks up against the competition.  We went back to the original OnePlus One because we felt it was more in line with OnePlus X and it can still be purchased.  The Asus ZenFone 2 we tested is the lower end model – they do have a 4GB/64GB model as well.  The Motorola Moto G 2015 is certainly a comparable mid-range and the new HTC One A9 is a good fit since it just came out and is certainly a mid-range smartphone.

The new OnePlus X is definitely a throwback to 2014 with a 5-inch FHD OLED display and a 32-bit Snapdragon quad-core processor.  They did add a 13MP main camera sensor and an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC).  There will be two variants of the phone – one for the US and Canada and another for the EU and Asian market.  It will be available in two colors, Ceramic and Onyx.  It measures 140 x 69 x 6.9mm and weighs in at 138 grams for the Onyx or 160 grams for the Ceramic and pricing is looking at about $250.

All of these devices will appear very similar as we begin to look at them as a group.  We will examine a few major areas – Displays, Processors/Memory, Camera Area, Batteries and Miscellaneous.  Was there a need or a reason for OnePlus to produce the OnePlus X at this point in time – is there even a market for this device in the US or Canada?  As we go through comparing these devices, possibly we will be able to answer some of these questions.

Specifications

Displays

The displays on these five devices are all over the place, yet very similar in this price range.  The new OnePlus X has a 5-inch OLED display with a Full HD (FHD) resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI).  The original OnePlus One uses a 5.5-inch display, the same FHD resolution, the same 401 PPI, but it uses the IPS LCD technology.  The Asus ZenFone 2 has a 5.5-inch IPS LCD HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 267 PPI.  The Moto G sports a 5-inch IPS LCD HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 294 PPI.  The new HTC One A9 packs a 5-inch AMOLED FHD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI.

Not surprising in this price range we are looking at HD and FHD displays and three 5-inch displays and  two 5.5-inch displays.  Three displays use the usual IPS LCD technology, the newest One A9 using the AMOLED technology and the new OnePlus X uses an OLED display.

Processor/Memory

When it comes to processors and memory, there is quite a hodge-podge with four of the devices using a quad-core processor and one using an octa-core.  Qualcomm makes four of the processors and Intel makes one of the processors.

The new OnePlus X uses an old, but solid 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz.  It packs 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, but it can be expanded via a microSD card.  The original OnePlus One also uses the Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz.  It packs 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, but in this case, there is no microSD card slot.  The Asus ZenFone 2 uses an Intel Atom Z3560 quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory and an option to expand that memory.  The Moto G uses the Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz and comes with just 1GB of RAM and a choice of either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, although you can still expand via a microSD card.  The new HTC One A9 uses a 64-bit Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz.  There are two variations in RAM and Storage – 2GB/16GB and 3GB/32GB – and each can be expanded via a microSD card.

Camera Area

The cameras all have the same size main sensor -13MP and each have a decent sized front-facing camera (FFC).  The size of a sensor is only part of how well the smartphone can take a picture – the size of the pixels, electronics and software play a huge roll in the quality of the photos.

The new OnePlus X uses a 13MP ISOCELL sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, autofocus and dual-LED flash.  The FFC is a large 8MP with an f/2.4 aperture and should take good selfies and be fine for video chats.  The OnePlus One also has a 13MP sensor, autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash.  It uses a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats.  The ZenFone 2 has the 13MP sensor, autofocus and dual-tone LED Flash.  It also sports a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats.  The Moto G also has a 13MP, autofocus and a dual-tone LED Flash.  It too uses a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chatting.  The new HTC One A9 has a 13MP main camera with autofocus, dual-tone LED flash and the only device in the comparison that includes OIS.  It uses a 4MP UltraPixel sensor for its FFC.

Battery/Miscellaneous

When it comes to the battery area, we want to point out that all five of the batteries in this comparison are non-removable.  The new OnePlus X has a 2525mAh battery, the older OnePlus One carries a 3100mAh battery, the ZenFone 2 has a 3000mAh battery, the Moto G has a smaller 2470mAh battery and the new HTC One A9 has the smallest 2150mAh size battery.

It is always hard to determine just how long a battery will last in any device as there are so many variables.  Are you gaming, watching videos or movies, doing a lot of downloads, talking on long calls, texting, emailing or web browsing, etc.  However, most modern smartphones have quick charge capabilities and some sort of power saving mode.

All of these devices have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth (v4.1 on the OnePlus One and the Moto G – v4.0 on the ZenFone 2, the HTC One A9 and the OnePlus X).  NFC is on the OnePlus One, ZenFone 2.0, One A9 and the OnePlus X.  The OnePlus X, ZenFone 2 and the One A9 have an FM Radio.  They all have a microUSB v2.0 port.  The HTC One A9 is the only device with a fingerprint sensor.  The Moto G has a nano-coating and IPX7 certified dust and water resistance.

All of the devices are running Android 5.1 except the ZenFone is still on 5.0 and the One A9 is on the newest Android 6.0 Marshmallow.