Phone Comparisons: Xiaomi Mi 5 vs OnePlus 3

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Xiaomi Mi 5 takes on the OnePlus 3. Two Chinese startup companies, although Xiaomi is certainly more established, take on each other with their flagship models. Chinese companies are known for high quality and low prices, so which device gives you the most for your money? Is there anything about these particular devices that stick out as a good reason to pick it the winner of this comparison? The Xiaomi Mi 5 is a metal framed glass back design – very reminiscent of the Galaxy S7. The OnePlus 3 is an all-metal design that reminds you of the iPhone. Let’s take a look to see just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device.

The Mi 5 and the OP3 do have a few things in common – they both use the FHD resolution for their displays. Both devices use the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and the Adreno 530 GPU. They both have a 64GB variant, and both have no means to expand memory. Both use a 16MP sensor for the primary camera, although their front-facing cameras (FFC) are different. The Mi 5 and OP3 both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile purchases. Both have a non-removable 3000mAh battery with fast charge capabilities. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a Type-C reversible port for charging the device or transferring data.

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

Xiaomi Mi 5

Xiaomi has been making quality smartphones since 2010, and the new Xiaomi Mi 5 is no exception to their rule of making a quality product for a reasonable price. Xiaomi still does not sell their smartphones directly to Europe or the US – you must buy them online – but make no mistake, they will be selling global at some time in the near future. The Mi 5 was a long time coming as we thought it would be released in 2015 – however, Xiaomi took their good old time and released it this year. It is a metal and glass construction and looks like a Galaxy S7 to a degree, especially with the home button and the curved glass backing, which was actually first introduced by Xiaomi – it was simply brought to prominence of the Samsung phones.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 sports a 5.15-inch FHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 428 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Xiaomi went with 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 – the same one used in the OP3. An Adreno 530 GPU will handle any graphics you can throw at it. The Mi 5 packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB/64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand.

The Xiaomi Mi 5’s primary camera uses a 16MP sensor, with fast PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), a dual-tone LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and 4-axis OIS. The FFC camera is a typical 4MP with a f/2.0 aperture for selfies and video chatting. The Mi 5 uses a non-removable 3000mAh, but they include Quick Charge 3.0 that will give you up to an 83-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is a beauty to look at, although it is so light, it almost feels cheap. It sports an IR Blaster, and the camera works great, but in the US about all we could get off of AT&T and T-Mobile was an occasional 4G signal. It measures 144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3mm, weighs in at 129 grams, and will cost you about $350 for the 3GB/32GB model and $415 for the 3GB/64GB model.

OnePlus 3

The OnePlus 3 is OnePlus’ best effort yet to take on the Samsungs, LGs, and HTCs of the world. OnePlus has always built a quality product, but they always lacked something. The two places that OP3 disappoint are the lack of a Quad HD display and no expandable internal memory. OnePlus went with a new all-metal design that is very similar to the rest of the OnePlus lineup – a minimalistic look that is all business – there is no ‘wow’ factor associated with the OP3. It is a well-built and robust design that feels the part of a flagship smartphone.

The OnePlus 3 sports a new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI. While not a QHD resolution, the new AMOLED display should offer much better color contrasts than the old LCD on the OnePlus 2. OnePlus used the best processor they could with the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz. This SoC is teamed up with an Adreno 530 GPU to provide tremendous 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 beefed-up 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.) The FFC camera increased from 5MP to 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture for better selfies and video chatting. For some reason, OnePlus decreased the battery from 3300mAh to 3000mAh in the OnePlus 3, but they include their rapid charging they call Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

The OnePlus 3 has 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. 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, but OnePlus promises a Soft Gold color arriving later.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

This decision is a tough one, but I have to pick the OnePlus 3 as the winner of this comparison. The all-metal construction and extra weight add a feeling of quality. The OP3 has a larger AMOLED display for a better viewing experience. They both use the same Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU, but the OP3 has double the RAM and 64GB standard – neither offer expansion. Both have excellent primary cameras, but the OP3 doubles the megapixels for the FFC.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is a very good smartphone, but for the same price, you get much more in the OnePlus 3. The IR Blaster is about the only feature that the Mi 5 has over the OP3. It offers no LTE service in the US, while the OP3 has a North American model that will work great on AT&T and T-Mobile. I just see no reason to pick the Xiaomi Mi 5 over the OnePlus 3.

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