The smartphones OnePlus 3 and the Xiaomi Mi 5 are powerhouse phones, and they both look attractive too. The mobile phone market keeps on getting better and better each day these days. But, right now it doesn't get any better than either of the two phones.
The OnePlus 3 comes with a 5.5-inch fullHD AMOLED display with a 1920×1080 pixels resolution. The OnePlus 3 may have retained the screen resolution of its predecessors, but it's a different display panel altogether. The screen of the One Plus 3 is significantly richer and brighter.
The Mi 5 has a 5.15-inch Full HD display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution, which roughly translates to 428 ppi pixel density. The Mi 5 display gives the Galaxies or even the iphones a run for their money, at half the cost. It displays well saturated colours, and adaptive brightness works as it should. Viewing angles are also excellent.
The One Plus 3 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based Oxygen OS version 3.1.2. Oxygen OS sticks dangerously close to stock Android and offers an almost bloat-free experience out-of-the-box. The only extra apps it chips in is a file manager, gallery and a music player.
The MIUI 7 may be super smooth and entail in more customization options, but not offering consumers key Android 6 interface elements is a buzz kill. MIUI 7 offers all the bells and whistles that you'd want from a fully-functional operating system.
Performance and battery life
The OnePlus 3 is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with Adreno 530 GPU and whopping 6 gigs of RAM. You get 64GB of internal memory straight off the bat, but expandable storage is not supported.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 that is available in India is powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 GPU and 3GB RAM. It comes with 32GB of internal memory, which is non-expandable.
Both the phones support dualSIM and 4G LTE, alongside NFC connectivity option.
The OnePlus 3 is backed by a 3,000mAh battery, which is smaller than the one inside the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. The OnePlus 3 has decent battery life (above-average), if not the best. Moderate to extreme usage saw us charging the phone twice on a working day. There are phones with bigger and better battery life in and around this price point and the Xiaomi Mi 5 is one of them, even though it has the same capacity. But, OnePlus has a surprise packed inside the OnePlus 3. This is the company's first phone that supports its in-house fast charging technology – or fast charge in general — called Dash Charging. The accompanying Dash Charger is capable of charging the phone to up to 60 per cent in just 30 minutes. And it does. 45 minutes or so is all it takes to fully charge the phone.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0, but Dash charging employed by OnePlus and its heat-management process gives it the added edge.
The OnePlus 3 comes with a 16-megapixel camera — Sony IMX 298 sensor — on the rear with PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and Optical Image Stabilisation. The rear snapper is capable of recording time-lapse, 4K video and RAW file format. The Mi 5 also sports a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, 4-axis optical image stabilisation, phase detection autofocus and dualLED flash.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 may seem like it is having the upper hand, on paper, but actual use scenarios tell a different story. The rear camera of the OnePlus 3 clicks better photos – with good dynamic range and little or no metering issues – especially in good light and indoor lighting.
The 8-magapixel front camera of the OnePlus 3 also clicks selfies with more detail as compared to the Mi 5's 4-megapixel front-facing camera.
The OnePlus 3 holds an edge at video recording though. Videos shot with it are optically better stabilised – and still – as opposed to one shot with the OnePlus 3. At the same time, the Mi 5 rear camera is a little faster to focus and has slightly better shutter speed. But if we were to decided solely on the basis of the image quality, the OnePlus 3 certainly offers better results.