LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T: A flagship that can’t be killed?

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T: We take a look at how the new LG G6 compares to the OnePlus 3T to see if it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for a 2017 flagship, or if OnePlus can still live up to its ‘flagship killer’ reputation.

LG has finally unleashed its latest flagship phone, and the G6 looks like an impressive offering from the company that struggled to get its modular G5 to take off. But 2017 looks set to be a big year for smartphones, and it’s unclear at this point whether LG has done enough to stand out from the pack – a pack which will soon include the Samsung Galaxy S8, and by the end of the year, the iPhone 8.

But before the South Korean company has to worry about that, it’s got competition to see off from a range of mid-range and budget devices, and perhaps the biggest challenger from this second pool of smartphones is the OnePlus 3T.

Chinese firm OnePlus has made its name producing smartphones with high-end hardware and offering them at affordable prices, and the 3T, the so-called ‘flagship killer’ is its latest attempt to convert Samsung and Apple adherents.

With the launch of the G6 – a phone which looks to have a lot more potential to bring consumers aboard the good ship LG than last year’s LG G5 – should OnePlus be concerned about its ability to “kill’ yet another flagship? Well we’ve gone and written a whole thing that tries to answer that question, so here’s our look at whether you should buy the OnePlus 3T or LG G6.

In this article, I’ll be answering the following questions:

  • How do they look and feel different?
  • How do the LG G6 and OnePlus 3T specs compare?
  • What’s new with the phone software?
  • Which phone is better value for money?
  • Is the LG G6 the phone for you?

Alternatively, scroll down to the bottom of this article for a summary.

Related: LG G6 vs iPhone 7

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T Design: What’s the difference?

LG’s gone full metal this time. The G6 comes with a metal unibody design that makes for a sleek, if a bit standard-looking device. No camera bump, a metal rim that adds as sense of rigidity, and a choice of Black, White, or Platinum for the finish means the G6 is a classier offering than its predecessor.

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But the main design feature that sets the LG apart from last year’s handsets, including the 3T, is the newly enlarged screen. It’s a trend many other phones, including the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 are expected to follow this year, and makes for an 80% screen to body ratio in the case of the G6. Undeniably modern, the larger, 5.7-inch display certainly brings LG’s handset into the current age design-wise, helping in the slow decline of the dreaded bezel.

Related: MWC 2017

And while OnePlus’ phone certainly looks clean, it doesn’t quite match the G6’s refined look. That’s not to say it’s ugly, however. Far from it. OnePlus has made use of aluminium alloy for the 3T, which is carved from a single slab of the material. It also comes in a new Gunmetal finish or Soft Gold – though, if you want the new larger 128GB capacity option you’re limited to only Gunmetal.

The phone shares several things in common with the G6, too. Neither OnePlus or LG has opted to follow Apple’s example and ditch the headphone jack. You’ll find the 3.5mm port present on both phones. The devices also both make use of USB-C for charging, and have fingerprint scanners. However, LG has kept up its tradition of placing the sensor on the rear of the phone, while OnePlus has opted to keep its sensor below the home button on the front of the device – a physical feature missing from the G6.

OnePlus 3T

Here’s our Mobile Editor Max Parker’s take on the new LG G6 design:

“The G6 is undoubtedly a lot nicer to look at than the G5. It’s metal and glass for one, rather than a weird fake metal and plastic combo. But, it feels a bit same-y – it looks like any number of other phones from the sides and back. Screen aside, it lacks a really interesting design trait and that could harm it when the Samsung Galaxy S8 comes out.”

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T Specs: Which phone is more powerful?

Phones are fast these days. And that’s really all you need to know. But you’ve come here for an in-depth deconstruction of these marvellous handsets, and we’re here to serve.

First up, there’s not a lot of difference between the 3T and the G6 in terms of processing power and memory. Both phones come with a Snapdragon 821 chip, which is Qualcomm’s latest. However, the company is just about to unveil the new Snapdragon 835 (likely aboard the Galaxy S8), so both LG and OnePlus face having handsets with slightly outdated internals on the market within the next few months.

Related: LG G6 vs LG G5

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Still, as we said: phones are fast these days. Which means, you’ll be getting all the speed you need from the 821. OnePlus seems to have a slight advantage in the RAM stakes, packing its 3T with 6GB as opposed to the G6’s 4GB. But again, it’s probably not going to make all that difference in day to day use. Both setups are being used to power Android Nougat, and both are being used on phones of a similar size – though, the G6’s hardware does have that slightly larger screen to contend with. The massive advantage the OnePlus has is that you’ll likely be paying about £200 less for the same hardware.

Where do these phones differ then? The most noticeable difference is the two displays. As mentioned, LG has decided to whack a 5.7-inch screen on its latest phone, with a rather unorthodox 18:9 aspect ratio. It means the screen has a similarly odd resolution of 1,440 x 2,880, whereas the OnePlus’ 5.5-inch offering has a 1,080 x 1,920 resolution. Images will certainly look sharper on the G6, but there’s more to consider…

The 3T makes use of AMOLED tech, while the G6 display is LCD. That means blacks will be deeper on the former, and the energy efficiency will be markedly better, too. That said, if you’re all about resolution, you’ll likely notice images looking crisper on the G6 – though, when you’re talking about screens as small as this, the Full HD resolution on the 3T will be more than adequate for most people.

OnePlus 3T

Other differences include storage. LG offers less internal storage, with 32GB to the OnePlus’ 64 or 128GB offerings. However, if you invest in a G6, you’re also investing in a Micro SD card slot, so the memory is instantly expandable. No such luck with the 3T.

Other than that, there’s very little separating these phones in the hardware department. Both pack similar sized batteries (3,400mAh in the 3T and 3,300mAh in the G6) with fast charging technology. Where things start to actually diverge is round the back of the phones.

LG has provided users with a dual camera setup this time around. On the G6 you’ll find two 13-megapixel sensors, complete with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and an f/1.8 aperture. That means both lenses can be used as the main camera, the resulting shots should be nice and clear, and users should benefit from great low-light performance. Wide-angle shooting, used widely by owners of last year’s G5, also seems to be a focus of the G6 this time around.

When it comes to the 3T’s shooter, things are a bit different. You’ll find a single 16-megapixel lens, which also makes use of OIS tech and comes with a slightly less impressive f/2.0 aperture (though it probably won’t make much difference to low-light performance).

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We’re yet to take the G6’s camera for a proper spin, so can’t comment on its performance properly at this point. Things are certainly looking good though if the spec sheet is anything to go by. In the case of the OnePlus shooter, we can say the camera managed to produce some impressive photos. The ISO still tends to push up to noisier levels faster than some rivals, due to a smaller aperture and sensor pixel size, resulting in low-light photos with a tad more noise than we’d like and slower shutter speeds. But performance from the rear camera overall is still great for the money.

One thing that may cause some controversy is that LG has neglected to include wireless charging for G6 models bought in the EU. Yes, only those in the US will be able to make use of the wireless charging feature. The US and EU will also have to do without the Quad DAC. LG says it’s trying to target specific markets by adding and dropping these various features in different regions, but it seems like a sure-fire strategy for irritating a whole load of people.

The only other thing to bear in mind is the 3T isn’t waterproof, while LG has insured against your clumsiness by adding full IP68 waterproofing to the G6. So for those extra hundreds you do gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can toss your phone in the sink without it breaking.

Related: What is an IP68 rating?

Here’s a full comparison of the two phones’ specs (table translation: they’re both really fast):

OnePlus 3T LG G6
Screen 5.5-inches 5.7-inches
Display Resolution 1,080 x 1,920 (401ppi) 1,440 x 2,880 (564ppi)
Screen-to-body Ratio 73.1% 80%
Aspect Ratio 16:9 18:9
Dimensions 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 6GB 4GB
Storage 64/128GB 32GB + MicroSD
Rear Camera 16 MP, f/2.0, OIS, LED flash Dual Camera (13MP OIS + 13MP) f/1.8
Front Camera 16MP f/2.0 Wide Angle (5MP 100-degree) f/2.4
Battery 3,400mAh 3,300mAh
Charging Dash Charge, Wireless Quick Charge 3.0, Wireless
Headphone Jack Yes Yes
Waterproof N/A IP68-certified
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE, USB-C Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE, USB-C
Colours Gunmetal, Soft Gold Black, White, Platinum

 

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T OS: What’s new with the phone software?

Android Nougat makes an appearance on both these phones. That’s Google’s latest version of its mobile OS, and it’s more useful than ever. New features include multi-window multi-tasking, a new Doze function, revised notifications, and Vulkan support for super-charged gaming power. It’s a great update to the Android series, retaining all the best things about the OS and adding some genuinely useful new features.

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But, with two different manufacturers come two different attempts to modify Android Nougat. Both LG and OnePlus have played with the software in order to add a few features and change some of the aesthetics. In most cases these Android ‘skins’, as they’re known, are entirely unnecessary. But in the case of LG, the company had to modify the OS in order for it to work with the new display aspect ratio. The 18:9 screen means users will be able to effectively see two exact squares on screen, so the OS has been tinkered with in order to enable multi-tasking within these two squares. Further UI changes are expected, and we’ll have more once we’ve reviewed the phone.

OnePlus also puts its own spin on the Android OS, and has added its OxygenOS skin to the 3T. It’s one of the better and more reserved Android skins, and most of the additions are actually very useful. Overall, the look and feel of Android is largely the same, and most of the OxygenOS customisations augment what’s already available through gestures or additional inputs.

In short, you’re getting Android whichever you go for, but with LG there’s a bit of fancy tweaking to make sure the OS plays nice with the new aspect ratio.

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T Price: Which phone is better value for money?

We don’t have pricing details for the LG G6 just yet, but we’re hoping to get them very soon. The G5 was £529 when it launched and, what with Brexit, we’re expecting the G6 to be more expensive. Perhaps closer to the £600 mark.

OnePlus 3T

Even without the pricing details being confirmed, however, we’re fairly confident in saying the 3T offers the best value for money here. The £399 phone has much of the same hardware as the G6, and even tops it in some areas (such as RAM). It doesn’t have the dual camera, or the waterproofing, or the larger display. But it’s probably going to be around £200 cheaper. Considering its internals mean it can compete with even the forthcoming phones of 2017 in terms of performance, we’re going to give this one to OnePlus.

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T: Which one should you buy?

If you’re considering the LG G6, here’s our advice:

If you already own the OnePlus 3T, we’d advise sticking with it. The G6 offers advantages in the form of waterproofing, a larger and sharper screen, and a dual camera setup. But essentially, the two phones are very similar in terms of hardware. Both are very powerful and offer top-end performance. If you’ve already paid for that, it’s probably not worth paying again.

If you’re using an older Android device, consider the alternatives as well as the LG G6. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is nearly here, and there’s a bunch of other smartphones set to arrive in the coming months. LG may well have produced a fine phone, but if you can wait, it’s probably worth checking out what other companies have in-store – especially if future handsets will come with the newer Snapdragon 835.

If you’re on a budget then perhaps the LG G6 isn’t for you. The biggest benefit of going for the OnePlus 3T is the affordability. Yes, at £399, it’s more expensive than the discontinued OnePlus 3 was, but it’s still likely to be a whole £200 cheaper than the G6. When it comes to affordable phones, the OnePlus 3T is simply one of the most impressive options available, coming as it does with high-end hardware.

Buy Now: LG G6 on EE (5GB) – £29.99 upfront, £27.99/month
Buy Now: LG G6 on ID (4GB) – £49 upfront, £31.99/month
Buy Now: LG G6 on O2 (30GB) – £49 upfront, £39/month

LG G6 vs OnePlus 3T Summary: What’s the difference?

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between the LG G6 and the OnePlus 3T.

Design: The G6’s refined metallic chassis, high screen-to-body ratio, and waterproofing give it the edge here. OnePlus’ handset is far from ugly, with its aluminium alloy body, but LG’s phone, though a bit safe, looks undeniably modern.

Specs: At the heart of both phones is the Snapdragon 821 processor, which means you’re likely to get speedy performance regardless of which you choose. The 3T even has more memory than the G6. It looks like LG may have its rival bested in the camera department, and the pixel-dense display on the G6 is likely to look sharper than the 3T’s screen. But essentially, you’re getting very similar core specs here, and for around £200 less if you go with OnePlus.

Price: The price isn’t confirmed yet, unfortunately. But the OnePlus will undoubtedly beat the G6 in this category with its £399 price tag. It’s the main draw of the 3T.

Value: The LG G6 will likely be competitively priced, but it won’t be able to outdo the 3T. OnePlus has made its name undercutting competitors quite considerably, and it won’t be any different here. If you value a bigger screen, waterproofing, and a dual camera, however, you might well regard LG’s latest flagship as good value.

 

 

Related: MWC 2017 news

What do you think of the LG G6? Let us know in the comments.