Do we have a good one for you today – the OnePlus 3 takes on the new LG V20. OnePlus and LG are targeting different audiences with their products, but they both turn out to be well-equipped flagship devices. This is a comparison where there is such a diversity in price it makes it harder to justify one over the other. Both devices are of an all-metal design with the LG V20 looking a little more dapper while the OnePlus 3 is more of a utilitarian looking device. Both devices feel solid and well constructed in hand. 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 the LG V20 do have a few things in common. With displays very similar in size, the physical measurements are also very close to the LG V20 running slightly taller and wider and weighing in at 16 grams more. Their displays are different sizes, different technologies, and different resolutions. One place they are the same is the processor – the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 and Adreno 530 for graphics. They both use DDR4 RAM, but the OP3 uses 6GB while the V20 uses 4GB. They both have a 64GB memory variant but only the LG V20 offers a means to expand that storage. Both devices use a 16MP sensor for their primary camera with the LG V20 adding an 8MP sensor as well. They both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone as well as authorizing mobile payments. The both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a Type-C reversible port 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 one of the small, but growing Chinese phone makers. They believe in building a quality smartphone at an affordable price. Despite a few miscues from OnePlus in the past, the OnePlus 3 is the best all-around device they have made to date. OnePlus decided to go with a new all-metal design that looks very similar to past 'business-like' models with no 'wow' factor involved. Let's see just how well it stacks up to the LG V20.
OnePlus still refuses to use a QHD display, but the OP3 sports a new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) If there is no QHD display, at least the new AMOLED display offers much better color contrasts than the old LCD panel. OnePlus reached out to Qualcomm for the best processor at the time – the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz, and it is running 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 for extra stability. The front-facing camera (FFC) camera increased from 5MP to 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture for better selfies and video chatting. The OnePlus 3 continues to use a non-removable battery, but the 3000mAh size includes their rapid charge they call Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
The OnePlus 3 includes BOTH a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip allowing the device to make mobile, or Android Pay purchases possible with a swipe of your finger. 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 and weigh in at 158 grams. It will cost you about $400 USD for the 6GB/64GB model. There is a choice of Graphite and Soft Gold.
We knew that LG was going to keep a metal body on the new LG V20, but we didn't see them switching from the heavier stainless steel to the lighter aircraft grade aluminum. This change gives it a much smoother and more refined look than the chiseled edges of the LG V10. Rather than having a silicone coated back, the only place you will notice the silicone is now at the top and bottom of the LG V20 to act as 'bumpers' for added safety if dropped. The V20 still uses a 5.7-inch primary display and smaller secondary display over the top – only much brighter this time around. The LG V20's audience is those individuals that are interested in experimenting with photos or that want a device with a great sound through earphones.
The LG V20 sports two displays – a main IPS Quantum QHD display that measures 5.7-inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 513 PPI as well as a secondary display that is a 1040 x 160-pixel display that is also 513 PPI. The secondary display functions as an always-on display so you can still see your notifications when the main display is locked. This setup helps save the battery by allowing the primary display to stay off. This year LG seriously brightened the secondary display making it easier to read the notifications. The LG V20 uses the same processor found in the OP3 – a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores running at 1.6GHz and dual cores running at 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage with room to expand.
The LG V20 has the primary 16MP sensor from the LG G5 but then LG added another 8MP wide-angle lens that operates independently from the main camera. It comes in useful for those scenic shots or family portraits when you would like a wider shot. LG included laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) added a large f/1.8 aperture (only f/2.4 for the 8MP sensor), OIS and a dual-tone LED flash. For the FFC, LG decided to go back to a single 5MP FFC with a f/1.9 aperture for selfies or video chatting. The LG V20 packs a 3200mAh removable battery that should last you throughout the day. Quick Charge 3.0 makes for a fast charge, or you can just replace it with a new battery.
The LG V20 achieves it superior sound from four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Convertors), which is a first in a smartphone. To go along with the improved sound quality, LG then provided an excellent EQ with left/right balance controls that are B&O Play certified. The one thing they forgot to do is to add dual front-facing speakers. The LG V20 is built so ruggedly that it has achieved the MIL-STD-810G certification. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams and cost should be around $800. The LG V20 is available in the colors Titan, Silver, and Pink. Last, but certainly not least, the LG V20 will be running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This was another tough decision. While the LG V20 is by far the most spec'd out of the two smartphones – QHD display, secondary display, expandable memory, dual cameras, 32-bit B&O Play certified sound, IR Blaster, larger and removable battery, and runs Android 7.0 Nougat – the OP3 offers such value.
The OP3 has an FHD display, but still a respectable 401 PPI, which is more than an iPhone. It has the same processor, same GPU, an excellent camera area, and more RAM than the LG V20.
With the OnePlus 3 costing only $400 and the LG V20 costing $800, one must give pause to deciding if the LG V20 is worth double the price of the OP3. Based on the specs and the price, I have to pick the OnePlus 3 as the winner of this comparison.