The ShooTouT

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - INDULGE -

I’M RE­ALLY ex­cited about this col­umn. There’s some­thing about a no-holds-barred war be­tween de­vices with sud­den death, bru­tal body blows, the smell of gun­pow­der, a bat­tle where only one can sur­vive. What’s not to love? This was a shootout all of you have asked for. It’s been the num­ber one re­quest on my so­cial me­dia ac­counts all of last week. This is the kind of shootout that used to hap­pen once a year be­tween the iPhone and Sam­sung Flag­ship – now it’s be­tween three phones all priced around 25K! This will be by far the tough­est shootout ever since each phone has won rave re­views, has al­most no neg­a­tives, is state-of-the-art and frankly al­most bul­let­proof. Let the games be­gin.

What’s the peck­ing or­der when it comes to flag­ship­killer mo­bile phones?


The OnePlus 3: The house of One Plus have taken a chunk from the su­per-pre­mium mar­ket, found suc­cess with OnePlus One, not so much with OnePlus 2 and hit back hard with the 3. The Le Max2: The much-awaited phone from LeEco that set the mar­ket afire when it was an­nounced in China and made head­lines at its glitzy In­dia launch. It came up with two ver­sions. The 6GB ver­sion is the con­tender here.

The Mi 5: A phone from Xiaomi that wants to play with the big boys. It leads in the un­der-15K mar­ket but this is their first foray into the un­der-25K mar­ket. Most cru­cial for a flag­ship-killer. Le Max2 has a 21MP rear snap­per while the Mi 5 and the Plus 3 come with a 16MP rear cam­era. To make it tougher all three have state-of-theart ‘Sony’ sen­sors. All three come with 4K video record­ing and OIS ca­pa­bil­i­ties but the 4 Axis sta­bil­i­sa­tion of the Mi 5 gives smoother record­ing. And the selfie cam­era on Mi 5 gives a wide-an­gle per­spec­tive.

Ver­dict: For stills, Le Max gives bet­ter re­sults but for video, it is the Mi 5. Pick your op­ti­cal poi­son.


The Achilles Heel for many amaz­ing specced phones. The OnePlus 3 and Mi 5 ship with 3000mAh ca­pac­ity while the Le Max2 has a 3100mAh bat­tery. All three in­clude fast charg­ing and a USB Type-C con­nec­tor.

Ver­dict: The ex­tra 100mAh of bat­tery on the Le Max2 might be un­der­whelm­ing for a 5.7 Quad HD dis­play and 6GB RAM and thus loses out. Mi 5 wins it by a whisker.


Le Max2 seems to be in early Christ­mas mode as it brings a lot to the ta­ble. Loss­less CDLA au­dio tech­nol­ogy, a free CDLA head­phone right now and ex­clu­sive con­tent. OnePlus of­fers cus­tomi­sa­tion via its Oxy­gen OS. The Mi 5 has pre­mium de­sign and great video fea­tures.

Ver­dict: Le Max2 wins it by a long shot.


Price is a de­cid­ing fac­tor in this cat­e­gory. The Mi 5 is priced at 24,999 for the 3GB/32GB ver­sion while the OnePlus 3 is avail­able for 27,999 for the 6GB/64GB ver­sion. The Le Max2 is at 29,999 for the 6GB/64GB ver­sion. Ver­dict: The Mi 5 takes it but it gives a lit­tle less value too.


Well, I can say with­out hes­i­ta­tion that you could buy any of these three phones with­out think­ing twice and end up with one of the best phones ever. Look up each cat­e­gory and check the ver­dict and what’s im­por­tant to you. Even the Le Max2 with lower specs at 22K is fan­tas­tic.

Isn’t it amaz­ing what one can get to­day for about 25K? Think what you’ll be able to get for 15K in a year from now! Think about what Ap­ple and Sam­sung will have to do to com­pete with these three phones and want to make us buy a 60K phone in a few months! I may not be able to pre­dict the fu­ture but I can tell you this for sure: I’ll be do­ing far more shootouts than ever be­fore :)

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