Do we have a good one for you today – I know I say that every day, but today we have the OnePlus 3 taking on the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe. These two devices could not be more evenly matched, and I defy anybody who says, “Why are you comparing these two devices?” These two devices were made from the same mold, both all-metal, both using the same display style, the same processor, the same amount of RAM and they both use the newer and faster UFS 2.0 memory, which we first saw in the Samsung S6 series. Both devices had massive improvements from their last model – they are solid, true flagships, and offer great value for your money.
The OnePlus 3 and ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe have quite a bit in common, besides the fact, they are both an all-metal design. Because the displays are so close in size – 5.5 vs. 5.7 – the physical dimensions of the devices are also very close, although the ZenFone 3 Deluxe weighs in an extra 12 grams. The displays both use the AMOLED technology, and both use a Full HD (FHD) resolution. These two smartphones use the same Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and Adreno 530 GPU to handle the graphics. They both use 6GB of DDR4 RAM and both have a 64GB variant of the faster UFS 2.0 internal storage, although only the ZenFone 3 Deluxe has room to expand. Both have great camera areas, and both use an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC.) They come with a 3000mAh non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and authorizing mobile payments. Both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the newer reversible Type-C USB connection for charging and data transfer.
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.
OnePlus is an interesting company that has made some interesting decisions about what to include in their smartphones, but the OnePlus 3 is the most complete flagship smartphone they have ever produced. They still insist on using the FHD display rather than jumping to a QHD resolution, and they still are shying away from memory expansion – however, the rest of the specifications are top-notch in this all-new metal OnePlus 3. It finally has the credentials to take on the Samsungs, LGs, HTCs…and the ZenFone 3 Deluxes of the world.
We are happy to report that the OnePlus 3 followed in the steps of the OnePlus X and did away with the IPS LCD display. The OP3 sports a new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and roughly 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Although it is not a QHD resolution, by using the new AMOLED display, it offers much better color contrasts than the older LCD on the OnePlus 2. OnePlus grabbed the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz and it works in tandem with an Adreno 530 GPU to provide the graphics. OnePlus packed in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal storage, although no expansion is available.
OnePlus definitely made many improvements over the OnePlus 2 when it comes to the camera area. OnePlus put in a new 16MP shooter, with fast PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and both OIS and EIS (Electronic Stabilization.) The FFC camera increased from 5MP to 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture for better selfies and video chatting. OnePlus decreased the battery from 3300mAh to 3000mAh in the OnePlus 3 but included their own rapid charging they call Dash Charge for up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
OnePlus finally decided to include BOTH a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip on the same device. This decision will allow the OP3 to authorize mobile or Android Pay purchases with a swipe of your finger – thanks to it running mostly stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with OnePlus’ OS called OxygenOS on top. It measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, weighs in at 158 grams, and will cost you about $400 USD for the 6GB/64GB model. It comes in Graphite, although OnePlus promises the arrival of a Soft Gold color.
ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe
The Chinese companies are putting out some amazing devices for the price and the new ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe is a great example of a Taiwanese device that matches up nicely to its competition, the OnePlus 3. The ZenFone 3 Deluxe has a beautiful all-metal body that they were able to hide the antenna in the frame of the device. It packs 6GB of DDR4 RAM and utilizes the new and faster USF 2.0 internal memory. ZenFone improved their new lineup in every way over last year’s ZenFone 2 models, although we would like to see ASUS jump to a QHD display. However, on the Deluxe model, ASUS chose a Super AMOLED display that will prove to offer better color contrasts and outdoor viewing. Let’s see how it holds up to the OP3 in this comparison.
The ZenFone 3 Deluxe sports a ‘Note’ sized 5.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that works out to a respectable 386 PPI. ASUS also included the newer ‘always-on’ feature design to help save battery life. Only for their Deluxe model, ASUS chose the top processor available, the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. This is paired with the Adreno 530 GPU to handle the most demanding graphics. This model we are looking at is the 6GB DDR4 RAM with 64GB of memory – ASUS claims there will be a 6GB DDR4 model with 256GB of memory. Both versions have room to expand 128GB via a microSD card, and both models are using the new and faster UFS 2.0 memory.
The ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe uses a Sony 23MP sensor and ASUS uses their PixelMaster “technology that combines software, hardware, and optical design to deliver incredible image quality.” It has a sapphire crystal lens cover, an aperture of f/2.0, dual LED flash and 4-axis OIS and 3-axis of EIS for incredibly stable shots. The FFC is an impressive 8MP sensor with an 85-degree wide-angle lens for selfies or video chatting. A 3000mAh non-removable battery powers the ZenFone 3, and it utilizes Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology.
The ZenFone 3 Deluxe comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile payments thanks to its combination of NFC and Marshmallow. This the first time we have compared two devices each with 6GB of RAM – we are not sure how both devices will utilize all of that RAM, but it will be fun finding out. It is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and will use ASUS’ own ZenUI 3.0 running over the top. It measures 156.4 x 77.4 x 7.5mm and weighs in at 170 grams. The colors available are Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver, and Sand Gold, and it will cost about $500 for the 4GB/64GB model. There is no pricing or availability yet on the 6GB/256GB variant.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
This is one of the toughest comparisons we have ever done, but I am selecting the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe as the winner of this comparison. It does cost about $100 extra, but it offers a slightly larger Super AMOLED display with the 'always on' feature, the ability to expand memory, a more advanced camera area, an IR Blaster, and the antenna hidden in the edges of the device. These few extra items turned the tide in my decision.
The OnePlus 3 is an excellent device - the best one that OnePlus has ever made, but that does not mean it is the best of these two devices. The ZenFone 3 Deluxe just seems a little more refined to me and I am calling it the winner.