LG Q6 vs OnePlus 5 vs Honor 9: Which is best for me?

We compare LG’s affordable take on its LG G6 flagship phone, the LG Q6, with the great-value Honor 9 and OnePlus 5 mobiles. From feature-packed cameras and premium specs to slick performance and all-day battery life, which of these smartphones is best for you?

The LG Q6 just launched this week, offering strong value for money for anyone who fancies the LG G6 flagship but can’t stretch to that premium asking price. You take a hit on performance and some of the other specs, although you still get that lovely stretched display with a sharp resolution and LG’s UX 6.0 features.

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Huawei’s Honor 9 and the OnePlus 5 will of course be providing stiff competition for the LG Q6. Both the Honor and the OnePlus phones are fresh handsets which boast top-end performance, capable dual-lens cameras and premium features, for a price that undercuts most of the competition.

So which of these value-focused handsets is best for you? Here’s our full LG Q6 vs OnePlus 5 vs Honor 9 comparison review to help you decide.

Read next: Our pick of the best budget smartphones, and the best budget camera phones you can buy right now.

LG Q6 vs Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5: Specs

Phone Honor 9 LG Q6 OnePlus 5
Screen size 5.15-inch 5.5-inches 5.5-inch
Screen resolution 1920×1080 2160×1080 1920×1080
Fingerprint sensor? Yes No Yes
OS Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1 Android 7.1.1 + LG UX 6.0 Android 7.1 + OxygenOS
Processor Kirin 960 Snapdragon 435 Snapdragon 835
Memory 6GB 2/3/4GB 6/8GB
Storage 64GB 16/32/64GB 64/128GB
microSD Yes (256GB) TBC No
Rear camera 12+20MP Dual-lens 13MP 16+20MP Dual-lens
Front camera 8MP 5MP 16MP
Battery 3200mAh 3000mAh 3300mAh
UK Price £380 TBC From £449

LG Q6 vs Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5: Design

The Honor 9 is quite compact, especially when compared with the other phones here. That 5.15-inch build makes for easier one-handed use, while the 5.5-inch OnePlus 5 and LG Q6 are more of a handful and best operated with both mitts at once. That said, the OnePlus and Q6 offer some software features to help out when needed. Also, the Q6’s narrow design (thanks to the near non-existent bezels) makes for a comfortable clutch.

The LG Q6 and OnePlus 5 both offer a solid metallic finish, with an aluminium frame that wraps around the back and edges of the handset. In fact, the Q6 is constructed from ultra-strong 7000-series aluminum, one of the highest strength alloys around. However, either of these phones are resistant to scratches, while also looking the biz.

In sharp contrast, Huawei’s Honor 9 sports a great-looking curved glass finish, split by a metal rim. That of course means the Honor 9 shows scuffs and greasy prints more easily than the others here, while it’s also more fragile – a crack appeared on our review sample in next to no time, with no drops or anything to explain it away.

The Honor 9 does at least come with an in-your-face bright blue option, which stands out compared with the muted colour choices of the OnePlus 5 and LG Q6.

None of these mobile phones are water resistant, so keep them well clear of bathtubs, toilets and the rest.

LG Q6 vs Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5: Screen and media

Good news, media fans. All three of these smartphones are a solid choice for enjoying music and movies on the move.

You get Full HD visuals across the board, although the LG Q6 actually offers a ‘Full HD+’ (2160×1080) resolution, compared with the standard 1920×1080 resolution of the OnePlus and Honor handsets. This is a result of the stretched 18:9 aspect ratio, which is better suited to watching movies. The letterboxing effect is reduced, so you get more action on-screen.

The Honor has a smaller screen than the rivals here, although it’s still fine for a bit of Netflix and what have you. You can expect quite vibrant visuals in all three cases, with a powerful maximum brightness for cutting through glare.

We’re still waiting to hear if the LG Q6 supports microSD memory cards, for expanding the 16-64GB of built-in storage space. However, we’d be surprised if it didn’t. The Honor 9 also supports cards, up to 256GB in size, while the OnePlus 5 shuns all memory cards. You’re stuck with the internal 64 or 128GB of storage space.

LG Q6 vs Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5: Features and OS

All three of these value handsets run Android Nougat, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. This is excellent at resource management, to keep your phone running smoothly and for longer between charges, while also adding cool features such as split-screen multi-tasking.

Of course, LG, Huawei and OnePlus have added their own overlays to their handsets, which adds a bunch of new features and gives the LG Q6, Honor 9 and OnePlus 5 a distinctive look and feel.

LG’s Q6 should deliver many of the software features found on the more expensive G6 handset. For instance, you can expect an app scaling mode to make your software fit the 18:9 display. Quick Capture is a handy way to scribble notes at any time, while you’ll get extended resource management to keep your storage clear and the phone running efficiently.

With the Honor 9 you get Huawei’s own Emotion UI in its latest flavour, EMUI 5.1. This offers up some useful gesture controls, the ability to log into your online accounts with more than one user ID at once, plus plenty more besides. Check out our EMUI review for all you need to know.

The OnePlus 5 also offers up some gesture support of its own, via the Oxygen OS overlay. You also get a new Reading Mode for getting stuck into books without straining your eyes, and a Gaming Mode for minimal distractions while smashing through fast-paced titles. Check out our OnePlus 5 best features guide for all you need to know.

When it comes to security, the LG Q6 is the odd one out here. Both the OnePlus 5 and Honor 9 boast a fingerprint sensor, for quickly unlocking your phone with a tap of your finger or thumb. However, the LG Q6 shuns this feature for a Face Recognition alternative. This uses the selfie camera to match your facial structure and ensure no one unauthorised can access your handset. How well it works is another question, one we’ll answer in our in-depth LG Q6 review.

LG Q6 vs Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5: Performance and battery life

The Honor 9 offers a silky smooth everyday performance, thanks to its Huawei-made Kirin 960 chipset (backed by 4GB of RAM). However, the OnePlus 5 is a step beyond, packing the impressive Snapdragon 835 chipset from Qualcomm – undoubtedly the best mobile chipset of 2017. With a choice of 6 to 8GB of RAM on board as well, the OnePlus 5 offers future-proofed performance as well as impressive support for mobile VR and beyond.

Performance is the one area where the LG Q6 really falls short compared with the competition here. This handset uses another Qualcomm mobile platform, this time the Snapdragon 435 (which has already been succeeded by the 450 chipset). That means more limited functionality, including slower data transfer, reduced efficiency and less capable graphical performance.

OnePlus’ Dash Charge tech speedily refills the phone’s empty cell while keeping the device reassuringly cool. Huawei’s own fast charge tech is on board the Honor 9 and performs just as well, with no overheating once again. We’re yet to see if the LG Q6 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, although we’re optimistic – which again would mean a short recharge time.

LG Q6 vs Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5: Camera tech

Both the OnePlus 5 and Honor 9 offer up a dual-lens rear camera, which can capture detailed everyday snaps. You get good-looking bokeh-filled photos from these two handsets using their built-in Portrait Mode, as well as quite strong performance in high-contrast situations. The OnePlus 5 also handles low light well, an area where the Honor 9 usually struggles.

Either phone can shoot up to 4K resolution video, as well as Full HD video at up to 60 frames-per-second. You get digital image stabilisation, although this is only active on Full HD video at 30 frames-per-second.

The LG Q6 sports just a single lens in its rear camera, at 13-megapixels. We’re yet to test this snapper out, although you get the same Square Mode of the LG G6, for shooting funky collages and the rest. You can shoot up to Full HD video at 30 frames-per-second, again with digital image stabilisation.

You also get a 100-degree wide angle selfie camera on the Q6, to shoot 5-megapixel snaps of you and all of your mates. The OnePlus 5 wins for sheer detail levels of course, with its mighty 16-megapixel selfie snapper.