Android smartphones are judged on a huge number of variables, and depending on who you ask all of them have significance in weighting the purchase of a new phone. This is one of the struggles faced by OnePlus right now. Its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 2, has a lot of great things going for it. To call it the "2016 Flagship Killer" is probably a stretch, even if all the company is referencing is a dollar for dollar value in hardware quality and user experience.
We don't need to wait for 2016 to test this theory, however. With an LG G4 sitting right here on the desk, we can just put the two side by side and see what shakes out.
Truth be told, if you've held a G4 you've already go the basic shape and size of the OnePlus 2. LG's design is a little more curved, but the two phones are of nearly identical thickness and you have the same basic concerns with reaching the top of the screen with a single hand. Sitting side by side, you notice the OnePlus 2 is taller than the G4, but in actually using the two phones it doesn't make a noticeable difference. What does make a big difference is the more durable feel to the OnePlus 2, thanks to the aluminum frame that wraps around the phone. Despite both phones having removable backplates, the G4 with a plastic cover feels a lot more flimsy than the OnePlus 2. Leather backplates are another story, but in some cases that adds to the cost of the device.
The Alert Slider on the OnePlus 2 is by far the most elegant way to address Google's new notification system.
The Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM in the OnePlus 2 should in theory outperform the Snapdragon 808 and 3GB of RAM in the LG G4, but for day to day tasks these two phones perform remarkably similar. OnePlus clocked the 810 lower for this release, and 4GB of RAM is only going to matter when you've been using the phone for a few days and a ton of information is cached between multiple apps. It's nice to have, but not really something you're going to need anytime soon.
The implementation of all the buttons is where things get different. LG's Rear Key design puts all of your buttons in your index finger, but the impressive fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 2 make securing and unlocking your phone much easier. The Alert Slider on the OnePlus 2 is particularly unique, and by far the most elegant way to address Google's new notification system. Both setups are fairly unique in the Android ecosystem, and neither is necessarily better than the other. It's all about person preference here.
Ultimately this compare comes down to pricing and extras, unless you absolutely can't stand either LG's version of Android or OxygenOS. The $600 G4 comes with 32GB of onboard storage with a microSD slot, removable battery, Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, NFC, and an option to add wireless charging for extra cash. The $389 OnePlus 2 comes with 64GB of onboard storage, no expansion or battery replacements, no Quick Charge capabilities, and no NFC or wireless charging.
Financially speaking the OnePlus 2 is a no-brainer if you're buying these phones outright, but if you're able to get the phone subsidized that may not apply here. There's no doubting the G4 offers more in the way of features, but it's up to you to decide if those features are worth the extra $200+.