Xiaomi Mi 5 vs OnePlus 2: affordable flagships go head to head

“How does the new Xiaomi Mi 5 stack up against the OnePlus 2”

Keeping its promise Xiaomi launched its latest flagship, the Mi 5, in the country just a month after releasing the Redmi Note 3 (review) here. Beautifully crafted, and packed with powerful hardware, the phone will inevitably compete against the likes of smartphones that fall in the same price bracket, like the OnePlus 2 for instance. The OnePlus 2 (review) was launched at a similar price last year, but after price cuts, does it have an edge over the Mi 5, or does it fall short? Let’s see how the two smartphones perform on paper when we pit them against each other.

Design and Display

Mi 5 (1)    OnePlus 2 (2)

The first thing you’ll notice is the contrast in the design of the two devices. While Xiaomi opted for a curved glass back for the Mi 5, OnePlus stuck with a more streamlined approach in the OnePlus 2, with a Sandstone finish back and metal sides. While the designs of both are a treat to the eye, we’d give the Mi 5 brownie points owing to its slimmer, more elegant profile. The Mi 5 is also the easier to hold, thanks to its more compact form factor. Unfortunately, Xiaomi hasn’t launched the more durable ceramic version of its Mi 5 in the country as of now.

Taking cues from its predecessor, the OnePlus 2 packs in a 5.5-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. And although the Mi 5 sports the same display technology and resolution, the smaller 5.15-inch screen means it has a sharper pixel density of 428ppi as compared to 401ppi on the OnePlus 2. 

Special Features

StyleSwap Covers

Xiaomi’s Mi 5 comes with an IR blaster which you can use to control multiple devices like your television, air conditioners, and set top boxes. It also packs in support for full feature NFC and VoLTE. These are nice additions which the OnePlus 2 misses out on. But OnePlus wins on the customisation front, with a range of StyleSwap covers for the OnePlus 2. Both smartphones pack in fingerprint scanners in the physical home buttons, a feature their predecessors lacked. The Mi 5 also comes with UFS 2.0 storage, which should be much faster than the one found in the OnePlus 2.

Performance and Storage

Snapdragon Processor

Both smartphones are powered by the best hardware that was available in the market at the time of their launch. However, we need to keep in mind that the OnePlus 2 was launched about six months before Xiaomi’s Mi 5, and that is eons in the world of technology. The Mi 5 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 820 processor, but only the 3GB RAM / 32GB storage variant has been introduced in India. This variant also sports a slightly lower clocked CPU than the other variants at 1.18GHz. On the other hand, the OnePlus 2 comes powered by last year’s Snapdragon 810 processor. The 16GB memory variant is coupled with 3GB of RAM while the 64GB variant gets 4GB of RAM. Unfortunately, neither of the smartphones come with support for expandable storage, but OnePlus has the edge here with a higher storage option. 

Camera and Battery

Mi 5 Camera

Here’s when things start to get even more exciting. Xiaomi has equipped the Mi 5 with a 16MP Sony IMX298 sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 4-axis OIS, phase detection autofocus and the ability to shoot video in 4K resolution. 4K video recording is also a feature supported by the 13MP camera of the OnePlus 2, which also boasts features like laser autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and a 6-element lens. For the front camera, the Mi 5 uses a 4 UltraPixel shooter, compared to the 5MP snapper on the OnePlus 2.

Fuelling all the hardware in the two devices is a non-removable Li-Po battery. The Xiaomi Mi 5 sports a 3,000mAh battery compared to the larger 3,300mAh battery of the OnePlus 2. Both companies have opted for USB Type-C ports for charging, but the Mi 5 coasts ahead with support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 tech, while the OnePlus 2 doesn’t support fast charging at all.

Software and Connectivity

MIUI 7     

The Mi 5 runs MIUI 7 built atop Android Marshmallow. Xiaomi’s platform offers tons of features and enhances the functionality. On the other hand, the OnePlus 2 runs on Oxygen OS 2.0 on top of Android Lollipop and a Marshmallow update is already on the cards.

On the connectivity front, both phones feature 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, and GPS, but the Mi 5 adds support for NFC, VoLTE and infrared.

Pricing and Availability

The OnePlus 2 is already available invite-free on Amazon India, and with the recent price cut, the 16GB variant of the phone is now selling at Rs 20,999, while the 64GB variant will cost you Rs 22,999. The Xiaomi Mi 5 will be available on April 6th on the company’s website via flash sales initially,and the 32GB storage variant with 3GB RAM is priced at Rs 24,999.


While the OnePlus 2 is still a very worthy option, goes without saying that between the two, it’s the Xiaomi Mi 5 you should be considering, given its latest, top-of-the-line Snapdragon 820 processor. Other features like fast charging, infrared blaster etc are also nice to have. Here’s a table comparing the specs.


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