Xiaomi Mi 5s vs. OnePlus 3: Budget Flagship War

Xiaomi unveiled Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus a couple of days ago, making their flagship device even better by adding new Snapdragon 821 SoC and an all-metal body, making  the phone even better. On the other side, we have OnePlus 3, this year’s “flagship killer” device coming from OnePlus. Let’s see how the two models compare.

Design, Dimensions

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Xiaomi Mi 5s

The Xiaomi Mi 5s kept the same screen size, making the phone almost the same size as the Mi 5. The company managed to build another compact device, with dimensions being 145.6 x 70.3 x 8.3 mm. Talking about design, the all-metal body makes the phone attractive, although we must note that Mi 5 looks a bit better with its ceramic coating. The large home button dominates the front side, and a 5.15-inches screen along with thin bezels make the phone look like a portal to another world. Generally speaking, the Mi 5s is one very attractive phone.

OnePlus 3 is noticeably larger (152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm) but thinner than the Mi 5s. The phone sports a 5.5-inch screen so the size difference is justified. And for a 5.5-inch device, OnePlus 3 is very compact. It is thinner than the Mi 5s, and sports a similar front side design, with extremely thin bezels and a large home button. On the backside, you’ll find an already proven design sporting two antenna lines along with a camera placed in the middle of the backside. Metal body in combination with a thin profile and extremely thin bezels make OnePlus 3 one very attractive device, especially when seeing it live.

Hardware, Display

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OnePlus 3

Xiaomi Mi 5s comes with the newest (and most powerful) chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821 (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo along with Adreno 530). Xiaomi decided to lower the clock a bit – default clocks for the Snapdragon 821 are 2.4GHz for performance cluster and 2.0GHz for power efficiency cluster – but nevertheless, the processor used in the Mi 5s is one proper performance beast.  The phone comes in two flavors – 3GB of RAM coupled with 64 GB of internal memory, and 4 gigs of RAM along with 128 gigabytes of internal memory. Internal memory can’t be expanded, the same case as with the Mi 5. If you’re looking for a smartphone capable of chewing through all that you possibly can throw at it, the Mi 5s is a great choice, especially the 4GB/128GB version.

OnePlus 3 comes with Snapdragon 820 chipset (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo); since the CPU clock is the same as on Mi 5s, you can expect almost the same level of power, although the Snapdragon 821 should be more power efficient. The phone is equipped with 6 gigs of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory (which can’t be expanded, but it has very fast read and write speeds since it is UFS 2.0). OnePlus 3 should work flawlessly since all RAM related problems are fixed by now with software updates. One thing making OnePlus 3 a lesser choice is the fact that it offers only 64 GB of internal storage, while Mi 5s has a 128 GB storage option. Since both phones don’t have expandable storage, this can be a serious reason for picking up the Mi 5s.

The Mi 5s comes equipped with a 5.15-inches 1080p IPS LCD display. Not too big, not too small, the display will provide you with a naturally looking colors and wide viewing angles, and it’s a perfect solution for gaming. Watching videos can be better on OnePlus 3 since it has a larger, 5.5-inch 1080p Optic AMOLED display offering rich colors and deeper blacks, but since the screen is so large, using the phone with one hand can prove to be troublesome.

Camera

The Mi 5s comes with a 12 MP camera (using Sony’s 1/2.3-inch IMX378 CMOS sensor offering large 1.55um pixel sites, with better low-light performance, and f/2.0 aperture size) supporting phase detection autofocus and auto HDR. The main camera is capable of recording 2160p (4K)@30fps video recordings. The selfie camera has 4 MP (f/2.0) and is capable of recording 1080p video.

OnePlus 3 is equipped with 16 MP (f/2.0) camera supporting OIS and HDR. The camera is capable of capturing 2160P (4K)@30fps video recordings. Front facing camera has 8 MP (f/2.0) and can record 1080p video.

Battery, Software

The Mi 5s has a bit larger battery than its older brother, with the capacity of 3200 mAh. OnePlus 3 has a 3000 mAh battery, a bit low considering the 5.5-inch screen.

Both phones come with a fingerprint sensor (the Mi 5s has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, capable of working under the glass since the front side of the phone is completely covered in glass), and both ship with Android Marshmallow. OnePlus 3 comes with an Oxygen OS UI, while the Mi 5s uses Xiaomi’s MIUI.

Conclusion

Xiaomi announced that 64GB version of the Mi 5s will cost about $300, while the high-end version will be sold for about $345. OnePlus 3 can be bought for $399. Looking at the price, the only thing OnePlus three offers is a larger screen, but if you want a large screen you can go with the Mi 5s Plus (5.7-inch screen, 6GB/128GB version going for around $390). On the other hand, the Mi 5s is a great choice; nice screen, plenty of processing power, attractive design, more than a solid camera and lots of storage for under $350. In the end, the Mi 5s looks like a much better buy.