After months of hype (and leaks), OnePlus has finally launched the OnePlus 5, its latest flagship smartphone that is supposed to disrupt the premium segment market, just like its predecessors did. The OnePlus 5 comes with some very impressive numbers and specs. It offers the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, coupled with 6/8 GB RAM and 64/ 128 GB internal sṭorage. The device also comes with a dual primary camera on the back, as well as Dash Charge and a number of connectivity options. But while the company still offers all these high-end specs at a relatively lower price as compared to what others are offering, the OnePlus 5 is not as much of a runaway winner in the deal department.
Previously, buying a OnePlus was kind of a no-brainer, where people knew that they are getting a premium specced device at a surprisingly low price. This made OnePlus a blindfolded “take my money please” choice, but the scenario has changed with the OnePlus 5. In the past, OnePlus devices had very little in the name of competition. But thanks to a spike in its own price (it starts at Rs 32,999 and goes up to Rs 37,999 – a far cry from the Rs 21,999 of the OnePlus One), and a dip in the prices of the competition, the OnePlus 5 finds itself in new territory, confronting some rather formidable opposition, even if some of it seems a little long in the tooth.
Crowned as the Best Phone at the Mobile World Congress this year, the LG G6 is pretty much a device made up of glitter and magic dust in the Android segment of the story. The phone comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor which may be a version older than the OnePlus 5’s processor but is still a very high end and powerful SoC, and while it comes with “only” 4 GB RAM, it seems to run just brilliantly with it. The phone comes with a quad HD 5.7-inch screen which means that you are not only getting a bigger screen than the OnePlus 5 but you also get more pixels.
And while the screen is bigger, the phone actually is not, thanks to its zero-bezel design. It also has a very consistent dual camera setup on the back with optical image stabilization and a very feature rich camera interface that allows you to do more with those cameras. The G6 also has the edge over the OnePlus 5 as it comes with IP68 certification which means it is water and dust resistant, and its 3300 mAh battery does seem to last a good deal longer than the one on the OnePlus 5. While it was launched at Rs. 51,990, the LG G6 has received a massive price cut since. The device is now available for Rs. 39,990, which brings it in the hitting range of the OnePlus 5.
For all those wondering how the Godphone landed on this list, well, Amazon has offered a huge discount on the iPhone 7, and it is available for Rs. 42,499. Yes, it still is more expensive than the high-end OnePlus 5, but the difference is not a staggering one. And while the iPhone 7 may not have the spec numbers, it certainly has the performance that needs no advertisement. The phone is known for its consistency and total absence of slowdowns. There is just a single primary camera resting on the back of the phone, but hey, it is an exceptional one and comes with optical image stabilization. With the iPhone, you also get an entry into the Apple ecosystem and a device which will get software updates on time. The phone also is water and dust resistant and comes with stereo speakers, an aspect which is often ignored by many companies. And well, it has a stunning design, so stunning that even the OnePlus 5 decided to take some inspiration from its elder brother if rumors are to be believed.
Yes, it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor and comes with 4 GB RAM, but we do not think this makes the Z2 Play any less of a competitor in this list. Despite lacking in power, the Snapdragon 626 offers excellent battery management, and the phone has a very distinct design, something which the OnePlus 5 lacks. It is not as heavily specced as some of the other devices in the list, but then it definitely has something which no other device does: Moto Mods. There will come a point when all these devices will be outdated but not the Z2 Play, thanks to the Mod effect. As an aside, there is the Moto Z as well. It comes with an older (yet powerful) Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a very capable camera with OIS and a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, all for Rs 29,999.
The phone is priced at Rs. 27,999, making it the most affordable in this list – you can use the money saved to buy a Mod for it! The Moto Z2 Play also runs on stock Android, and in best Moto tradition, gets Android updates at a rapid pace. And then there is the modularity factor. As long as Moto keeps working on the Mods (and we hear they will be for a couple of years at least), you know that you will have a device that pretty much is a one time investment and will stay up to date not only in terms of software but also some of the hardware as well.
If you want the OnePlus experience on a budget, you have the option to buy the OnePlus 3T. Yes, it is one generation older, and it is not the latest OnePlus, but hey, it is not THAT old either. Which is why OnePlus 5 has definitely got to compete with its own sibling to get in the league. The OnePlus 3T comes with a Snapdragon 821 processor which goes through most tasks and heavy apps as smoothly as a hot knife through butter. Yes, it does not have as great spec numbers as the OnePlus 5 but it really is not that far behind. The camera enthusiasts might take the side of the OnePlus 5 but those who love their selfies would be glad to know that both phones have the same front facing camera, and they have the same display as well. The OnePlus 3T also comes with OIS, something which the OnePlus 5 is missing out on. Plus we think, the 3T feels more solid and well built and obviously FEELS like a OnePlus phone unlike the OnePlus 5. Yeah, the OnePlus 5 is obviously a more powerful phone, but hey, it is more expensive too, and with OnePlus committing to give the 3T the Android O update, you are unlikely to regret investing in it, especially if the rumors of the price cut come true.
The hype around dual camera was actually started by Huawei, which has been championing their cause for a while now. With the launch of Huawei P9 and the Honor 8, Huawei and its sister brand pretty much marked the dual camera territory as their own and even brought dual cameras to the budget segment with the Honor 6X. As this is being written, Honor is all set to launch another dual camera device, and this one looks formidable and even targeted at the OnePlus 5 if the timing of its launch (it is expected in India in early July) is anything to go by. The Honor 8 Pro is expected to be priced in the vicinity of Rs. 32,000 and will come with a dual 12.0-megapixel camera setup on the back, complete with Honor’s feature rich camera interface (something that we missed on the relatively plain OnePlus 5). The phone looks sleek, even if it does not have the glass back of its predecessor, the Honor 8 and is definitely a head turner. It is bundled with 6 GB RAM and Huawei’s in-house Kirin 960 processor, which many claim is more than a match for anything Qualcomm has. It also has two features that the OnePlus 5 lacks – a 5.7-inch Quad HD display and a large 4000 mAh battery. Definitely worth more than a Honor-able mention.
We know the phone has not launched yet in India, but the rumor mills (when they were not busy leaking OnePlus 5 specs) would have us believe that it is set to arrive soon. Which is why it made it to this list. And in terms of specs and price, this could be the toughest competitor for the OnePlus 5. The Xiaomi Mi 6 comes with a compact 5.15 inch full HD display and comes with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 6 GB RAM and 64/ 128 GB storage variants. And yes, it also has a dual 12.0-megapixel camera setup on the back with OIS. The Mi 6 also comes with stereo speakers, giving it a slight edge over the OnePlus 5 in that department. Another bonus is the MIUI 8, Xiaomi’s feature-rich and yet easy to use UI for those who do not really dig the rather plain stock Android (read Oxygen OS) interface. And all this at a price that is likely to make the OnePlus 5 look expensive – rumor has it that it will come to India at a price in the vicinity of Rs. 30,000.