Do we have a good one for you today – the OnePlus 3 takes on the huge Xiaomi Mi Max. Both devices wear a full-metal jacket, and both devices have a solid build quality. Here are two popular Chinese manufacturers looking to offer the best quality at the lowest price. Let's look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.
The OnePlus 3 and Xiaomi Mi Max have very little in common – the Mi Max is much larger in physical size and weight – after all, it has a 6.44-inch display that is almost one inch greater than the OP3. They don't even use the same display technology, although they do have the same 1080p resolution and both use Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. They both use a Snapdragon processor but different models, but they each offer a 64GB memory variant. The primary cameras on each are 16MP, but the front-facing cameras differ. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, USB port – Type-C in the OP3 and a microUSB v2.0 in the Mi Max – for charging and data transfer. Both have non-removable batteries and both incorporate a fingerprint sensor.
Please take a thoughtful 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 known to build a quality product at a fair price, but there was always something missing – display resolution, processor, RAM, memory, NFC, or fingerprint sensor. The OnePlus 3 wipes away these deficiencies – or most of them – making the OnePlus 3 the best all-around device they have made to date. Although OnePlus went with a new all-metal design, it looks very similar to the rest of the OnePlus lineup – a rather minimalist and business-like…no 'wow' factor here. Let's see just how well it stacks up to the Xiaomi Mi Max.
The OnePlus 3 sports a new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) We are still hoping for a QHD display, but the new AMOLED display offers much better color contrasts than the old LCD panel. OnePlus chose the best processor on the market – the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz. Qualcomm teamed this processor up with an Adreno 530 GPU to provide excellent graphics. OnePlus then packed in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal storage, although there are no means to expand.
OnePlus upgraded the camera area on the OP3 by using a new 16MP sensor, with fast PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), an LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and both OIS and EIS (Electronic Stabilization) for extra stability. The FFC camera increased from 5MP to 8MP with an f/2.0 aperture for better selfies and video chatting. OnePlus decreased the battery to 3000mAh in the OnePlus 3 but included their rapid charge they call Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
OnePlus got it right this time by including BOTH a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip on the same device. This combination will make mobile, or Android Pay purchases possible with a swipe of your finger – thanks to Marshmallow. It runs mostly stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with OnePlus' OS called OxygenOS on top. The OP3 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. There is a choice of Graphite and Soft Gold.
Xiaomi Mi Max
Xiaomi sells two versions of the Mi Max – we are looking at the 4GB/128GB model to make it a more fair comparison with the OnePlus 3. Its massive 6.44-inch display makes it more like a tablet than a phone. It has a price tag of less than $400, which makes it quite a bargain as well. The Xiaomi Mi Max is an all-metal design and has a solid build quality for a device this size and price. It measures 173.1 x 88.3 x 7.5mm and weighs in at a hefty 203 grams, although the large 4850mAh battery provides some of that weight. Let's see if this large, mid-priced phablet has what it takes to stand up to the OnePlus 3.
The Xiaomi Mi Max sports a massive 6.44-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 342 PPI. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor with a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz. A capable Adreno 510 GPU handles graphics, and it packs 4GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card.
Xiaomi used a 16MP sensor for the primary camera and added phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone LED flash, and an aperture of f/2.0. A 5MP FFC with a f/2.0 aperture handles the selfies and video chat duties. It packs a large non-removable 4850mAh battery for power that will last you all day long.
The Xiaomi Mi Max has its fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, which is a comfortable spot for your finger if you are holding the device, but its size may lend itself better to a front mounted sensor, so you don't have to pick up the device to unlock it. The Mi Max includes an FM Radio and IR Blaster. It looks like there are dual speakers on either side of the microUSB port, but only one contains a speaker. This device was not made for the US but is still usable on 3G. There is no NFC, so mobile purchases are out of the question. Both models ship in black, white, and gold colors. The Mi Max is now running MIUI 8, which runs atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The price for the 4GB/128GB will vary, but is close to $365 – $400.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
There is no doubt that the OnePlus 3 is the winner in this comparison. It is a much more manageable size, has a better display, more RAM, plays nicer with Google services and US carriers, has a better camera, a much better processor, and GPU, NFC for mobile purchases, the newer Type-C connector, and it gives all of this for about the same price.
If you want a massive display for media and a battery that will certainly last you a full day and then some, then the Xiaomi Mi Max may be what you are looking to own. But if you want top performance and a pocket-sized smartphone, the OnePlus 3 is the best pick of the two devices.