Snapdragon 821/820, 6GB RAM, IPS 5.5"+ Phone Recommendation

Collider

Senior member
Jan 20, 2008
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Been researching some phones to replace my Moto X Pure.

Here are my requirements:
- Snapdragon 821/820 (or similar performance-wise)
- 6 GB RAM
- 5.5" or larger screen (the bigger the better)
- IPS Panel (No AMOLED as they use PWM)
- AT&T / T-Mobile compatible

Obvious choices like Galaxy Edge, Pixel XL or Moto Z are automatically out as they use AMOLED displays with PWM flicker that is very detectable at lower brightnesses and causes eye strain.

LG V20 is great with its SD Card and Replaceable / Expandable Battery, but is only 4GB Ram :(

OnePlus 3T is almost perfect but again its an AMOLED panel with PWM flicker.

That leaves me looking into some of the Chinese phones but there are so many brands and variants its hard to make a choice.

Would love some recommendations from this forum. Thanks in advance!
 

Lodix

Senior member
Jun 24, 2016
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The Huawei Mate 9 has a Chinese version with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM. It has all of what you ask for.
 
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Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
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EDIT: I don't see any phone that meets your requirements. The 6GB RAM is especially limiting, as more than a few of the Chinese phones that have 6GB RAM don't have the LTE bands AT&T and T-Mobile use. I'd rethink one or two of your requirements if you want options. That, or wait a few months, as more Snapdragon 821 phones arrive.
 
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Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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I've used AMOLED screens exclusively since my Galaxy S2, and I have never noticed any flicker. On the other hand, IPS LCD screens tend to get very washed out at low backlight levels and can't go anywhere near as dark as an OLED screen. I often use my phone laying in bed late at night and even the dimmest LCDs are blindingly bright compared with OLED.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
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Think you pushed those requirements too far, I'm afraid. Have you been irritated by AMOLED flicker, or is this just something you've heard about and think you have to avoid? I've used numerous recent AMOLED phones and haven't run into this, even at night in low brightness.

This reminds me a bit of those dreamy laptop recommendation threads you occasionally see on forums. "Must have 14-inch 1800p screen, play the latest Call of Duty at 60FPS in native resolution, carry at least two Thunderbolt 3 ports, last for 10 hours on battery... and cost less than $1,000." Not to say that your requests are completely unrealistic, but there is a point where the sheer range of requirements makes it difficult for anyone to meet your demands.

In short: get something that works well, don't insist on perfection. A OnePlus 3T sounds like it'd be best unless that flicker is a serious problem.
 

core2slow

Senior member
Mar 7, 2008
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LeEco Pro3
Xiaomi Mi 5s plus

Those are the only 2 to fit your entire description. Now if you would take amoled into consideration then that opens up the pool a bit to the huawei mate 9 pro.

Correction: forgot about your lte requirement, in that case only the le eco pro3 would work since it has band 2 & 4.
 
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nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Both display technologies have their advantages and disadvantages, however the OP prefers IPS. I'm not sure what advantage 6 gigs offers over 4 gigs right now but the LG V20 is about the best choice imho if an iPhone isn't an option without going "off brand".
 

Paladin

Senior member
Oct 22, 2001
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I've used SAMOLED on my phones for the past 5 years, and never seen flicker. The S7Edge probably has the best screen in the industry. My son's LG looks very bland and washed out compared to it. Just my 2c.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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I don't know what this flicker is, but it's been a while since I've used anything but an AMOLED and I'll never use anything else.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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I don't think there is any proof yet that 6GB > 4GB of ram on Android. In fact it might be a detriment to battery life.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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I've used SAMOLED on my phones for the past 5 years, and never seen flicker. The S7Edge probably has the best screen in the industry. My son's LG looks very bland and washed out compared to it. Just my 2c.
I think the display on the Samsung looks too cartoonish and overblown, but that's the trend, un-natural colors etc. I suspect people that like that look are the same folks posting their hdr photos on FB and turning their televisions video to the vivid or action preset and leave it there ;)
 

agent00f

Lifer
Jun 9, 2016
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I've used AMOLED screens exclusively since my Galaxy S2, and I have never noticed any flicker. On the other hand, IPS LCD screens tend to get very washed out at low backlight levels and can't go anywhere near as dark as an OLED screen. I often use my phone laying in bed late at night and even the dimmest LCDs are blindingly bright compared with OLED.
This site proclaims to have some measurement of how they're "pulsed": http://www.ixbt.com/mobile/samsung-galaxy-note4.shtml
240hz should be fine for displays, akin to most tv's, not typically visible.

The amoled tech itself seems to be scan & hold type: http://wenku.baidu.com/view/0b1933fd0242a8956bece43c.html, pg6.
but you can always turn the thing off.

Usually the reason to pulse led's which is less power efficient instead of reducing current is color shift, which can be important because mobile phone ambient light changes.
 

agent00f

Lifer
Jun 9, 2016
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I've never heard of nor experienced this flickering with LED displays.
Me either and my last 3 phones have all been AMOLED.
It's because it happens at high-ish freq. If you turn down the brightness and wave your hand in front of the screen there should be some temporal aliasing in the form of a strobe effect.

On my nexus 6 I have to set it all the way to the bottom for this to be visible. Supposedly with samsung it happens sooner as shown in the link above. I suspect the point is selected for the power/color compromise mentioned.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
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It's because it happens at high-ish freq. If you turn down the brightness and wave your hand in front of the screen there should be some temporal aliasing in the form of a strobe effect.

On my nexus 6 I have to set it all the way to the bottom for this to be visible. Supposedly with samsung it happens sooner as shown in the link above. I suspect the point is selected for the power/color compromise mentioned.
Then don't turn down the brightness and wave your hand. Seriously, amoleds are the best screen type around.
 
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dark zero

Platinum Member
Jun 2, 2015
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LeEco Pro3
Xiaomi Mi 5s plus

Those are the only 2 to fit your entire description. Now if you would take amoled into consideration then that opens up the pool a bit to the huawei mate 9 pro.

Correction: forgot about your lte requirement, in that case only the le eco pro3 would work since it has band 2 & 4.
Agreed. Only the Le Eco Pro 3 fills this requirement... If you don't mind, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is not bad deal after all. The SD 650 is not as bad as expecting. However the camera is not as great.

And how about the Xiaomi Mi Mix or the Smartisan M1L?
 

Collider

Senior member
Jan 20, 2008
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Thanks to everyone that contributed to replies on this post.

For anyone that's not sure of the effects of PWM on AMOLED screens - it causes eye strain. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. I'm a software engineer and spend 10-12 hours per day behind a screen, thus I'm very sensitive to PWM as it causes eye strain.

I just received my OnePlus 3T (ordered within hours of it going live), and instantly upon turning it on, even before entering my Gmail account I felt strain on my eyes. I will be returning it for that reason. PWM strain is real for people that are sensitive to it. It really sucks as I really like the OnePlus 3T, it is super fluid, very fast and it feels amazing to handle. However my eyes hurt using it within a few minutes.

I also agree with some opinions here that question the benefit of 6GB vs. 4GB - perhaps it is something I will reconsider. From my current research there is minor current benefit of 6GB ram over 4GB ram - the only benefit is when multitasking and switching between multiple apps. 6GB will not force you to reload apps when switching as they will be cached.

So far, from my research and from the suggestions here my runners up are:
- Huawei Mate 9
- Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
- Xiaomi Mi Mix

I think the above 3 are the best phones you can currently get for your money.

Le Pro 3 has many OS problems reported in its reviews. So its out of consideration.

Its also amazing the Chinese makers are dominating the high-end / price market.

Huawei Mate 9 scores a few points more as will come with Android 7.0 upon its release (whenever that will be)

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus seems solid and is available right now for about $480 with 6GB Ram and 128 storage. Just feel a bit skeptical about the OS and need to do some research first. Also not sure when it will be upgraded to 7.0

Xiaomi Mi Mix is the most exciting of the 3, as it offers a 6.4" screen while still maintaining the same form factor as other 5.5" & 5.7" phones due to its bevel-less design.
 
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Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
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Can you actually buy a Mix (at a reasonable price)? Not that it supports U.S bands, anyway.
 

Collider

Senior member
Jan 20, 2008
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Can you actually buy a Mix (at a reasonable price)? Not that it supports U.S bands, anyway.
You're right Mi Mix prices online are ridiculous. However the 6GB version is priced around $500 in China, I happen to have someone traveling to China next month and can ask them to bring one back for me. Also there is no tax.

Regarding US Bands, it does support LTE bands, but not all. From my research it will support AT&T and T-Mobile, but it may not work everywhere in the country as not all LTE bands are supported. Obviously its a bit of a gamble which may be worth to run a 6.4" screen.
 

Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
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I'm also looking at a phone with a 6.4" screen, the Lenovo Phab2 Pro. It doesn't have bleeding edge specs, but it's possibly worth buying for me because of the AR capability (which is admittedly unpolished at this stage, going by reviews).
 

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