Do we have a good one for you today – the tried and true LG G5 goes up against the new OnePlus 3. Here, we have an all-metal phone going up against another all-metal device – LG painted their metal phone to hide the antenna lines and OnePlus, which is a nice idea, but it makes the LG G5 look almost like plastic. The OnePlus 3 is the closest OnePlus has come to designing a complete flagship device. Yes, it is still missing the Quad HD display and expandable memory, but the OnePlus 3 looks just fine. The LG G5 is a complete overhaul from the LG G4 – going to real metal and a modular style of design. Let's look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
Both the LG G5 and OnePlus 3 have quite a few things in common with each other – starting with the physical size and even the displays are only 2/10 of an inch difference in size – the LG G5 is 5.3-inches, and the OnePlus 3 is a larger 5.5-inch. They both use different display technology and different resolutions. They are both using the same Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU. Both primary cameras are 16MP, but the LG G5 adds on another 8MP for wide-angle shots. Both use an 8MP sensor for their front-facing-camera (FFC). The LG G5 and the OnePlus 3 have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a Type-C reversible connector (v3.0 on the LG G5 and v2.0 on the OnePlus 3) for charging and data transfer. LG offers Quick Charge 3.0 and OnePlus offers Dash Charge. They both have a fingerprint sensor for authorizing Android Pay purchases, thanks to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
Please take a careful 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 device in greater depth 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.
Like it or not, LG deserve kudos for taking a chance on their new LG G5 design – it is certainly innovative and different. LG went from plastic to a metal body and they were still able to keep features like memory expansion and a removable battery. Let's take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the new OnePlus 3.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display and included 'always-on' – a feature designed to save battery life. The QHD packs a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 554 PPI. LG went with the best processor currently on the market – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz, and an Adreno 530 GPU provides outstanding graphics. The G5 packs 4GB of fast DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card.
LG did some tinkering with their camera area – it comes with the single 16MP sensor, as found on the LG G4, but LG added an extra 8MP wide-angle sensor for a duo camera, but they work independently. For primary picture taking, the 16MP shooter is used, but for those shots where the user needs to capture a wider shot in the photo, the 8MP wide-angle is used. LG retained the excellent 8MP FFC from the G4 for high-quality selfies and video chatting. LG retained the ability to remove the battery but decreased the battery size to 2800mAh. The LG G5 does have quick charge capabilities.
LG had to make design changes on the LG G5 – G4 owners will immediately notice the differences. By using a removable chin, LG could not place the fingerprint sensor on the bottom, front, so the rear controls are now gone and replaced by the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor does push in to replicate the on/off functionality while the volume controls return to the side of the LG G5. The LG G5 does retain its built-in IR Blaster and FM radio. The LG G5 measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 159 grams and comes in Silver, Titan, Gold, and Pink. The LG G5 is available on all the leading US carriers, and it will cost you about $625.
OnePlus is a company known for building a quality product at an exceptional price. However, they do not have the top-of-the-line of everything in one smartphone – they kind of aim to muster as many points as possible, leave a few obvious things out of the design, and then charge a great price. People are willing to overlook their shortcomings because OnePlus devices are such a good bargain – however, some corners must be cut to reach a certain price level. We are very happy to say the new OnePlus 3 is their closest model yet to directly hitting the bullseye – its only real misses are the lack of a Quad HD display and lack of ability to expand its internal memory. Many potential customers would love to see a QHD display and expandable memory with a modest increase in price. This new all-metal design is very similar to the rest of the OnePlus lineup – very little WOW factor, but competent in nature.
The OnePlus 3 sports a new and improved display – gone is the IPS LCD and in comes a new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI. OnePlus made a great decision to switch to an AMOLED display – it should offer much better color contrasts than the old LCD on the OnePlus 2. The brains are the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz, with an Adreno 530 GPU providing the graphics. OnePlus then packed in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal storage, but allowed no means to expand.
OnePlus took the camera area seriously on the OnePlus 3 and made massive improvements over the OnePlus 2. There is a new 16MP shooter, with fast PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), LED Flash, a larger f/2.0 aperture, and both OIS and EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization). The FFC camera jumped from 5MP to 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture for better selfies and video chatting. OnePlus did make one of their "why did you do that" decisions and lowered the battery size from 3300mAh to 3000mAh in the OnePlus 3, but OnePlus did include rapid charging they call 'Dash Charge' for over a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
Observations on the OnePlus 3 – It runs mostly stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with OnePlus' OS called OxygenOS on top. It is great to see that OnePlus included BOTH the fingerprint sensor and NFC on the same device, allowing for authorizing mobile or Android Pay purchases with a swipe of your finger. It measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, weighs in at 158 grams, and will cost you about $399 USD for the 6GB/64GB model. It will come in Graphite, with Soft Gold arriving later. It started selling in the US and Europe on June 14th and India and China on June 15th.
…And The Winner is…
This ended up being a very easy decision to make – the OnePlus 3 is the winner of this comparison. I do realize that the LG G5 does have the QHD display and the ability to expand its memory, as well as use modules to expand its capabilities…but at a $225 higher price tag. One has to ask themselves if those extras are worth the difference in price. Non-replaceable batteries are more the norm rather than the exception, and the 1080p AMOLED display on the 5.5-inch OnePlus 3 display should look just fine for 90-percent of your viewing – the only exception might be for Virtual Reality (VR). It just seems like for $400 you are getting a great display, the best processor, 6GB of DDR4 RAM, 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory, and a rapid charge battery – in other words, a great deal.
If you must have a QHD display, expandable memory, removable battery and the modules intrigue you, then by all means fork over your $225 more and get the LG G5 – you will not be disappointed. However, for all that OnePlus has packed into this new OnePlus 3 model – it is hard to beat.