LeEco Le Max2 (right) is priced at Rs29,000 and the OnePlus 3, Rs27,999.
The term “flagship killer smartphones” has been misused far too often by phone makers. But the specifications, performance and user-experience benchmarks have finally been set for this genre of smartphones by the OnePlus 3 and LeEco Le Max2.
In a complete design overhaul, the OnePlus 3 gets an anodized aluminium finish that gives
it a premium look. OnePlus has retained the basics of a good smartphone design from the OnePlus One, such as the flat side spines and slightly curved back. The OnePlus 3 tips the scales at 160g, and is just 7.3mm thick. The only worry with the new design is the protruding camera module, which could get scratched if you are not careful while putting the phone down on a flat surface, such as a table.
The LeEco Le Max2 could have been a mammoth phone because of its big screen size, but it isn’t. It follows the tried and tested phablet design formula, but with improvements which include shaving off some thickness on the left and right sides of the screen. It is decidedly heavier at 185g, but quite slim, measuring just 8mm in thickness. Just like the OnePlus 3, the antenna lines, running on the back panel, are visible. The camera also protrudes a bit. The biggest change is the shift to the USB Type-C port, both for charging the Le Max2 as well as for headphones.
In terms of design, the OnePlus 3 just sneaks ahead with its more polished looks.
OnePlus has stuck to the 5.5-inch screen with Full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution, and has an Optic AMOLED display. The colours look rich, the brightness levels are good, and the sharpness of the written word makes it really comfortable to read Web pages and mails. Even in bright sunlight, the viewing experience isn’t hampered either by the lack of screen illumination or reflections. The only shortcoming that we noticed, and this is a software optimization issue that can be resolved, is that the screen’s brightness changes in response to ambient light can sometimes be a bit abrupt.
In comparison, the LeEco Le Max2 has a bigger 5.7-inch screen, with Quad HD (2,560×1,440) resolution. This is an IPS LCD display, and the strong points include good viewing angles, accurate colours and good sharpness. The phone is more future-ready, if you plan to use it to view high-resolution photos and videos.
But while the Le Max2’s higher-resolution screen will be ideal for some users, not everyone needs those many pixels for typical Web browsing and productivity tasks on a phone. And that is where the OnePlus 3 is once again in the reckoning.
Both phones are powered by the very latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and are paired with 6 GB RAM, which gives you greater room for multitasking. The result is that the OnePlus 3 and Le Max2 are powerhouses, unlike anything in the Android ecosystem so far.
The OnePlus 3 has a clean interface in the Android 6.0.1-based Oxygen OS, which uses only 1.39 GB RAM. In contrast, the Le Max2 has a very different interface that spreads apps across different home screens. It uses 1.41 GB RAM in the idle mode. Both phones have the blazing-fast UFS 2.0 flash storage modules that use the powerful hardware better.
The OnePlus 3 packs in a 3,000 mAh battery, which lasts a day under heavy use, and a day and a half with moderate use. In comparison, the Le Max2 has a bigger 3,100 mAh battery—but returns similar use times because it is also powering a higher-resolution screen.
No gimmicks here, both phones are powerful enough to be relevant for quite a few years to come.
While the OnePlus One had a fairly capable camera, the OnePlus 2 turned out to be a tad too inconsistent. However, the OnePlus 3 sets things right. The 16-megapixel camera is one of the better Android smartphone cameras in the underRs.30,000 price bracket. It captures a generous amount of detailing, as well as distinguished colours. The biggest surprise comes in the form of crisp photos clicked in low light. The reasons for this excellent all-round performance include improved post-processing algorithms and optical image stabilization.
In contrast, the Le Max2 packs in a 21-megapixel camera, which matches the OnePlus 3 to some extent in terms of sheer detailing and rich colours. Overall, it handles the contrast well. Sometimes, however, the low-light photos are not sharp.
The Le Max2 has a capable camera, but the OnePlus 3’s camera is just better in every aspect.
Price and availability
The OnePlus 3 (A3003) is priced at Rs.27,999. The LeEco Le Max2 (6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage) is priced at Rs.29,000. OnePlus has done away with the invites-only model, which means you don’t have to wait to buy the OnePlus 3. LeEco will have its first flash sale on Flipkart for the Le Max2 on 28 June.
Both the OnePlus 3 and the Le Max2 are genuine flagship killers, with superb performance and pretty flawless user experience thus far. Our preference would be the OnePlus 3 though; it has a better design and camera and a cleaner interface—and it will be available without the hassles of a flash sale.