OnePlus 3, the latest from the start-up phonemaker, is now available with online seller Amazon India via an open sale, just a day after the phone was announced globally.
Whatever your complaints have been about OnePlus’ products, the dreaded queue-system will not be one any more. This marks a different distribution approach from the company compared to any of its previous releases, and promises the availability of the latest hardware to its Indian fans with zero delay.
ONEPLUS 3 vs Mi5 vs LeEco Le Max 2
There are good reasons why the company has decided to junk the invite system. Unlike previous years, this time, there are a clutch of China-based, super-efficient manufacturers competing in the same space and demand should be manageable. Besides, the company has also grown enough to be able to manufacture at scale.
OnePlus 3 faces competition from Xiaomi’s Mi5, priced Rs 24,999 for the 3 GB version, and the Le Max2 from LeEco.
There are no obvious winner from among the three phones, except to say that the Mi5 appears to be the least value-for-money. Xiaomi has launched only the 3GB RAM version in India, which is priced at Rs 24,999.
In comparison, LeEco has made available the 4 GB version of Le Max2 at Rs 22,999.
Of the three, the Le Max 2 is the only one to come with a quad-HD display, which has 4 million pixels (dots) on it compared to 2 mln pixels on the screens of the other two models.
This results in an extra-crisp picture, and is ideally suited for virtual reality applications.The LeEco model also has a slightly bigger screen, at 5.7 inch, compared to the other two (5.5 inch).
In other words, if you intend to use your phone inside VR headsets, there is no question about which model you should go for as display resolution is of primary importance.
However, if VR headsets are not your thing, then OnePlus 3 becomes a compelling choice for various reasons.
First, it’s cheaper — with almost the same specifications — compared to the Le Max 2.
The LeEco model is priced at Rs 29,999 for the 6+64 GB version, while the OnePlus 3 is Rs 2,000 cheaper for the 6+64 GB, or standard, version. (The LeEco Le Max 2, however, is also available at Rs 22,999 for the 4 GB version.)
Secondly, the OnePlus 3 is the only one among the three to come with an AMOLED panel. AMOLED displays generate their light and colors individually from each pixels, unlike LCD panels which use backlight LEDs to create light. As a result, the contrast on AMOLED panels tend to be higher and they offer true blacks, instead of just dark grey.
The downside of AMOLED displays is that some of them tend to project unrealistic colors.
Another difference between these models is that the OnePlus 3 has a 16 MP camera with large 1.12 micrometer pixels based on Sony IMX298 sensor. Interestingly, this is also used by Xiaomi Mi5.
On the other hand, the Le Max 2 comes with the Sony IMX230 sensor which is slightly older. It provides 21 MP of resolution, but may not be comparable with the other two phones in terms of the quality of imagery, especially in low-light and indoor conditions.
However, the Le Max2 tries to compensate with an even more low light friendly front camera at the front.
While the 16 MP cameras on the other two phones have a pixel size of 1.12 micrometer (on the sensor), the 8 MP front camera on the LeEco model goes further with a 1.4 micrometer (per pixel) sensor. The bigger the sensor, the more light it is able to process, with the result that the picture tends not to be grainy even when lighting conditions are poor.
To make an exact comparison of the cameras, however, we should await user feedback and reviews, which will take another couple of weeks.
Finally, we come to the battery, and rather disappointingly, there is practically nothing to choose here. All three come with battery capacities of around 3 Ampere hour.
Though this may seem very low, one must keep in mind the fact that the internal components in these phones consume much less power (as much as 40% lower) compared to last year’s flagship because of technological advancements.
All three, for example, come with 14 nanometer processors compared to 20 nm on last year’s models and contain only four cores, and not eight. Similarly, the RAM technology has been upgraded to DDR4, which is also more efficient compared to last year.
Besides, in case of Xiaomi Mi5 and OnePlus 3, the display has been restricted to 5.5-inch full-HD, which also reduces power consumption. On the other hand, the Le Max 2, which comes with a 5.7-inch Quad-HD display, tries to compensate with a battery that is slightly bigger (3.1 Ah vs 3.0 Ah).
One Plus 3 is arguably the most compelling choice for those on the lookout for a decent and affordable flagship phone today. Though the Xiaomi Mi5 is a good competitor, the limitation of 3GB of RAM could be a spoiler when compared with OnePlus 3 from a future-proofing angle.
In other words, the OnePlus 3 offers double the storage (64 GB vs 32 GB), double the RAM (6 GB vs 3 GB) and an AMOLED display when compared to the Mi5 for just an extra Rs 3,000, which we believe is an irresistible deal. The only risk is that there could be unforeseen problems with the OnePlus 3 which may come out only in user reviews.
So, if you want to be careful, you can wait for the first reviews to come in. However, chances are that the product is soon going to go out of stock despite its higher price tag.
Finally, the Max2 offers a great proposition for those who plan to use VR applications, or don’t want to save some money. The 4 GB Le Max2 is cheaper by Rs 5,000 compared to the OnePlus 3.
Overall, we’d say that — subject to no unforeseen problems being reported — the OnePlus 3 is probably the best affordable flagship for most people in India right now.