Phone Comparisons: LG Nexus 5X vs OnePlus 3

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the popular LG Nexus 5X goes up against the new OnePlus 3, with both of these devices having a ‘cult-like’ following. When it comes to looks, the all-metal OnePlus 3 has to take the win over the plastic Nexus 5X. We have to remember that the LG Nexus 5X is the lower priced and lower spec’d of the two Nexus models – corners had to be cut somewhere to hit that $350 price tag and a plastic body is a good place to start. LG was the perfect choice to build the Nexus 5X – they had already built two previous models – the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 – that were well-received and the type of device that previous Nexus owners (up until the huge Nexus 6 by Motorola) expected. The Nexus crowd looks for good specs at a reasonable price – wait, that also seems to be OnePlus’ motto as well. Let’s look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.

The Nexus 5X and OnePlus 3 do have a few things in common – they are very close in physical size, although the slightly larger OnePlus 3, weighs in at 22 grams more. These two devices both use the Full HD display resolution but are different in size and technology. They both use a Snapdragon processor, but entirely different models and neither one of these devices offer memory expansion. Both devices us a non-removable battery and both offer a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and authorizing Android Pay mobile purchases. They both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC and a v2.0 Type-C reversible connector.

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.

Specifications

LG Nexus 5X

Nexus users are not looking for the high-end flagship that costs $900 – they are what you would call a ‘middle class’ group of owners that want a true bargain that the average user can purchase without taking out a second mortgage. With a 5.2-inch display and priced at only $349 – $399, it makes the Nexus 5X a true mid-range device and takes Nexus back to its roots. However, a lower price means that specifications must be cut somewhere along the line and LG started on the outside by using a polycarbonate body. While it is rugged, it does not have the premium feel or look of the all-metal OnePlus 3.

The Nexus 5X sports the popular sized 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a respectable 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The Nexus 5X uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexacore processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz and an Adreno 418 GPU for graphics. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of DDR3 RAM (limitations of the processor) with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory and no expansion available.

A lot of thought went into the Nexus 5X camera – although it still does not have OIS, it uses a 12.3MP Sony IMX377 sensor for the primary camera with a large 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. For its front-facing camera (FFC) it uses a 5MP for selfies and video chats. The Nexus 5X has a 2700mAh non-removable battery to power the device with rapid charge capabilities, provided you use the proper cord.

The LG Nexus 5X comes with one very important feature – it runs pure vanilla Android and you can be guaranteed to get the fastest updates.  Because the Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and is running Android 6.0.1, the newest Android OS Marshmallow, you can also enjoy authorizing Android Pay purchases with your fingerprint sensor.  The Nexus 5X also uses the newer reversible microUSB Type-C connector and a single, front-facing speaker.  The available colors are Carbon, Quartz and Ice and the Nexus 5X will cost $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB variant.

OnePlus 3

OnePlus is a company known quality and affordability – however, some corners must be cut to reach that price level – and it is some of the decisions OnePlus makes that upset some people. We are very happy to say the new OnePlus 3 is their closest model yet with all of the right parts and pieces. The two omissions on the OnePlus 3 are the lack of a Quad HD display and lack of ability to expand its internal memory. This new all-metal design is very similar to the rest of the OnePlus lineup – nice, clean, and solid, but nothing too exciting, unless 6GB of DDR4 RAM excites you.

The OnePlus 3 comes with 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. There is still no QHD display, but OnePlus did make a great decision to switch to an AMOLED display – offering much better color contrasts than LCD displays. The OnePlus 3 uses the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another clocked at 2.15GHz, while an excellent Adreno 530 GPU provides the graphics. OnePlus really upgraded the memory department by packing in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal storage – but still no means to expand.

The OnePlus 3 sports a new 16MP primary 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 increased in size from 5MP to 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture for better selfies and video chatting. OnePlus lowered the battery size from 3300mAh to 3000mAh in the OnePlus 3, but the OnePlus 3 does include rapid charging OnePlus calls ‘Dash Charge’ that provides a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

Some 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 – however, it will not receive updates nearly as fast as the Nexus 5X. While it’s nice to see that OnePlus changed to an AMOLED display, is OnePlus ever going to add a QHD resolution? It is exciting to see 6GB of DDR4 RAM in the OnePlus 3 – but one has to wonder how well it will be managed in the device or will we even know that it is there?  OnePlus finally included BOTH a fingerprint sensor and NFC on the same device, allowing for authorizing mobile or Android Pay purchases with a swipe of your finger. The OnePlus 3 measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and weighs in at 158 grams. It will cost you about $400 USD for the 6GB/64GB model. It currently comes in Graphite, with Soft Gold arriving at a later date.

...And The Winner Is...

Summary

I thought this would be a harder decision, but I am crowning the OnePlus 3 as the winner of this comparison. It has the superior display (both in size and technology), much better processor and GPU, more DDR4 RAM, and double the memory (32GB versus 64GB), and it uses the faster UFS 2.0 style memory, and has as good or better camera. The OnePlus 3 has a larger battery and faster Dash Charge and it does this all for the same price as a 32GB Nexus 5X.

Nexus fans will be upset with my decision, but facts are facts - the only real advantage to purchasing the Nexus 5X is for the faster software updates. The One Plus 3 has a better build with its all-metal body, and every specification is better in the OnePlus 3 and it deserves the win.

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About the Author
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Cory McNutt

Senior Staff Writer
Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]