Do we have a good one for you today – the ‘little company that could,’ OnePlus and their new OnePlus 2 goes up against the new LG Nexus 5X. Both devices here are a good value for your hard-earned dollars when it comes to specifications. The OnePlus 2 clearly has the edge in looks, material and build quality, although it is not to say that the Nexus 5X is not a solidly built device, it is, just out of plastic. Visually looking at the two devices side-by-side, the OnePlus 2 just looks more ‘premium,’ but the Nexus 5X looks more ‘interesting.’ Let us take a quick look at just what these two smartphones have in common before we explore the differences in more detail.
The OnePlus 2 and Nexus 5X share a very similar footprint, although the OnePlus 2 weighs in 39 grams heavier than the Nexus 5X. The displays are very close – 5.5-inches for the OnePlus 2 and 5.2-inches on the Nexus 5X – and both are LCD types with a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Both devices use a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, just different models. There is a 16GB storage option for either device and neither device has a means to expand the internal memory as both lacks a microSD memory slot. Both main camera sensors are very close with the OnePlus2 at 13MP, the Nexus 5 X at 12.3MP, and both have a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC). The also both boost just one speaker on the bottom of the device. Both have most of the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (v4.1 in the OnePlus 2 and v4.2 in the Nexus 5X), GPS, microUSB Type-C ports for charging and data transfer and both have a non-removable battery
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
The OnePlus 2 is a nice follow up to OnePlus’ first smartphone from last year, the OnePlus One. The OnePlus 2’s build quality is as good as ever with its solid metal frame and trim. It is nice looking device – however, no matter how you spin it, it is a difficult task to build a flagship device at such a low price and not cut some corners. The OnePlus 2 retains its FHD display rather than jumping to a QHD as other flagships have done, they kept the same size camera and they removed the NFC function. They also removed the dual bottom speakers and replaced it with a single unit. OnePlus did add 1GB of RAM and increased the battery from 3100mAh to 3300mAh, as well as adding a fingerprint sensor, however, with no NFC chip, the fingerprint sensor can unlock the phone, but nothing else…no Android Pay, no mobile purchases at all.
The OnePlus 2 sports a 5.5-inch LTPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI versus the same LCD FHD 5.2-inch display on the Nexus 5X with 424 PPI. OnePlus decided on using the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, and to keep it from overheating, under-clocked it to 1.8GHz. This goes up against the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor in the Nexus 5X. The OnePlus 2 has two options when it comes to RAM/Memory – 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB – although OnePlus claims that only the 4GB/64GB will be available for a while. The Nexus 5X packs 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. There is no room for expansion in the OnePlus 2 or the Nexus 5X.
The camera in the OnePlus 2 retains the same 13MP sensor as the OnePlus One, but improved an already great experience by adding laser autofocus, a dual-LED flash and OIS. This goes up against a 12.3MP sensor in the Nexus 5X that takes good, but not outstanding photos. For the FFC, OnePlus 2 included a large 5MP camera for selfies or video chatting and goes up against the same 5MP FFC on the Nexus 5X. The OnePlus 2 increased its non-removable battery size from 3000mAh to 3300mAh. This competes with a smaller, non-removable 2700mAh battery in the Nexus 5X. Neither device offers a quick charge option, although the Type-C connector tends to charge fairly fast.
The OnePlus 2 does come with a great sound ‘system’ built-in to the device when listening through headphones. It is also using a newer USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer that uses the newer, reversible plug. It runs OnePlus’ own OS called OxygenOS 2.0 over stock Android Lollipop 5.1. Its LTE works on AT&T and T-Mobile and the OnePlus 2 will cost you about $329 for the 16GB model and $389 for the 64GB model.
LG Nexus 5X
LG is a well-known and liked in the Nexus circles – LG built the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the next year they produced the Nexus 5. Motorola took a shot in 2014 with a huge 6-inch Nexus 6 – hailed by some as a true flagship, most thought it was too large and expensive. Google went back to LG and asked them to make the mid-range Nexus 5X and LG was happy to oblige. With a 5.2-inch display, it makes the Nexus 5X a great size and priced at only $379. That low price does result in a few ‘cut corners,’ and as such, LG had to use a polycarbonate build that is rugged, but not very premium feeling or looking.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. This goes up against the 5.5-inch LCD FHD display on the OnePlus 2 with 401 PPI. The Nexus 5X uses the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82GHz. The OnePlus 2 decided to go the Snapdragon 810 route, and underclocked it to combat its overheating issues. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available. The OnePlus 2 comes in two configurations – 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB and no means to expand.
The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor – 12.3MP main camera with laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, with no OIS. It has a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats. This goes up against a 13MP sensor on the OnePlus 2 main camera and a 5MP FFC. The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700mAh non-removable battery while the OnePlus 2 has a larger 3300mAh non-removable battery. Both devices should make it through a full day – both can charge quickly with their Type-C microUSB port.
The LG Nexus 5X is NFC compatible and will be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the newest Android OS. With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize mobile payments using Android Pay. The Nexus 5X also uses the newer microUSB Type-C reversible connector and a single, bottom mounted speaker. The colors available are Carbon, Quartz and Ice. It costs $379 for the 16GB model and $429 for the 32GB variant.
…And The Winner Is…
This has got to be one of the closest contests I have seen – on one hand you have the OnePlus 2’s incredible build quality and looks, but with limited LTE usage on AT&T or T-Mobile and no NFC capability. On the other hand, you have a Nexus device running pure Android and available for all major US carriers. It is quite a conundrum, but I am going with the more versatile LG Nexus 5X as the winner of this comparison.
Yes, I know that the OnePlus 2 has 3 or 4GB of RAM to the Nexus 5X’s 2GB – but in reality, for running pure Android, 2GB should be plenty. I know that the OnePlus 2 uses the Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor over the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor in the Nexus 5X, but OnePlus had to underclock it to help with heating issues, whereas an optimized 808 running pure Android should run just fine. The OnePlus 2 has a great camera area, but LG knows how to make a decent camera as well.
I just cannot find a compelling reason to purchase the OnePlus 2 over the Nexus 5X. If you really love the OnePlus 2’s looks and must have 3 or 4GB of RAM and do not plan on using mobile payments, then the OnePlus 2 may be for you. However, if you want the fastest upgrades to Android, plan on making mobile payments, and want to have freedom of choice for your carrier, then the Nexus 5X is the one you want to buy.
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