Of late India’s two new companies, Xiaomi and Asus have made their respective prolific launches in the mobile market. The highlighting point is that both the companies made their launch on the same day, being April 23. If noticed both Xiaomi and Asus became India’s household names very soon which of course elaborates about them a lot.
Xiaomi and Asus together launched their respective ‘flagships’ in the Indian smartphone market, Xiaomi had its Mi 4i launched while Asus released its ZenFone 2. Now it looks like it is a confusing time for smartphone buyers as they would be in soup to decide on to which handset they should go in for. After all, equally the Mi 4i and ZenFone 2 look and feel good and tempting.
Below are briefs to help simply things on the deciding point:
The comparison is between Xiaomi Mi 4i that costs Rs.12, 999 with the ZenFone 2 variant – the Zenfone 2 ZE 550 ML which is of similar price.
Design and Make quality:
The Mi 4i looking more like the Mi Pad that hit the treadmill is no way resembling the Mi 4 and the company itself has claimed that this Mi 4i is not related to it at all. Now that it looks more like the Mi Pad which in turn looks like that of iPhone 5C on steroids is sure to remind one of Apple’s budget phone.
Body wise, the Mi 4i comes with a plastic uni-body design accompanied with thin bezels, rounded corners and brushed metallic buttons. Weighing just 130 grams, this Mi 4i seems to be relatively light. It with 5 inch screen is to comfort anyone operating it with one hand.
On the other hand, the ZenFone 2 with a 5.5-inch screen seems to be a different game player altogether. It weighing 170 grams can be still considered heavier than that of Mi 4i. Look wise, the ZenFone 2 adheres to its basic design aesthetics similar to that of the original ZenFone along with some mix of the HTC One (M8) and the LG G2 infused.
The ZenFone 2 appeals more to the LG G2 with its metallic volume rocker keys on the back while to resemble with HTC One M8, the ZenFone 2 gets its back panel finished well with faux metal and its curves prone to be delicate. It gets its power button on its top edge which cannot be referred as the best place as it is a long device comparatively. Positive about the handset is that it supports both tap to wake and gestures.
Ultimately to choose based on the looks between the two, though is purely based on size preferences – what can be suggested is that the Mi 4i comparatively looks slightly better than the ZenFone 2.
Of the two handsets, the Asus Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML) handsets sports a bigger 5.5inch IPS display with the resolution being 1080 x 1920 pixels and the pixel density marking to be around 403 pixels per inch (ppi) approximately.
The Xiaomi Mi 4i, on the other hand comes with a slightly smaller 5-inch full-HD display with same resolution and pixel density marked to be around 441 PPI. Additionally the Mi 4i is claimed to own something termed the ‘Sunlight Display’ which is meat to improve the visibility of the display outdoor in the bright sun. With this tech the handset is said to measure the brightness automatically around it which then changes the display accordingly to suit the outdoor visibility.
While both the phones support multitouch and 16 million colours, the Zenfone 2 is protected with Gorilla Glass 3 screen protector and has capacitive touchscreen. Xiaomi has claimed that its Mi 4i display’s colour output is comparatively better than the iPhone 6 so obviously the Mi 4i is to give better display output than the ZenFone 2. So just because the ZenFone 2 has got bigger screen display, it cannot be awarded with extra bonus points on its score.
Both the handsets run on the recent Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out-of-the- box. The Mi 4i with Android 5.0 Lollipop gets the company’s new MIUI 6 on top while the Zenfone 2 gets the company’s Zen UI on top along with Android 5.0 Lollipop OS.
So what matters more here with both the handsets is that which one provides the better user interface with smooth experience.
According to Xiaomi’s Global VP, Hugo Barra, this new Mi 4i being inspired by Indian culture is the first Xiaomi phone to run on the latest Android OS which also to appeal with its Indian audience supports some of the country’s local languages that include Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.
Also the Xiaomi handset is loaded with India-specific features such as a Visual IVR which is to help users of the country use their IVR services (IRCTC) in a much better way. This facility is to help people go into visual mode to acquire relevant details rather than waiting for a computer to talk on the instructions and then proceeding with the dialing of the respective numbers.
With all these and with MIUI being the top UI among others on top of Android OS, Xiaomi team has done a splendorous job.
The Zenfone 2, of course has got an app drawer, which is not something that is being used frequently nowadays. This is not a bad one either as its keeps things well organized. But there seem to be a bloat ware though as the device comes with many unwanted apps.
Hardware and Performance:
On looking at their hardware, the Mi 4i gets powered by a 2nd generation 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core chip coupled with 2GB RAM while the inbuilt non-expandable storage being 16GB.
Alternatively, a 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 processor powers the Zenfone 2 along with 2GB RAM. The inbuilt storage again is 16GB that can be further expanded to 64GB.
So performance wise, the Mi 4i can be voted but if you are a person looking out for a device that has extra storage capacity than ZenFone 2 could be the better option as it supports microSD card.
On talking about phones, one of the important factors considered by anyone would be its camera. A 13MP rear camera is drenched into the Mi 4i that has dual-tone flash and f/2.0 lens. Also a 5MP f/1.8 lens front camera is seen within Mi 4i device. As per Xiaomi, the Mi 4i’s rear camera is been improvised with gamma and contrast detuning along with better colour and de-noise correction. With all these fundamentals it can be guessed to have better dim light photos.
To talk about the front camera, it comes with better and improved selfie features such as countdown mode (to facilitate users get prepared for their selfies) and Beautify feature.
The Zenfone 2 also comes sporting a 13MP front camera with dual-tone LED flash, geo-tagging support and auto-focus along with a front-facing camera that is of 5MP with pretty impressed low-light camera output. The device features Selfie Panaroma with which more people can be involved into selfies. Usual beautify feature is there along with something termed as Lolliflash to support better selfies.
Both the devices cameras support 1080p videos shooting at 30 frames per second (fps), but on the offerings wise Xiaomi’s camera tend to be more ample than ZenFone which of-course had an amazing camera at the initial stage but not for the second generation ZenFone devices.
A 3120 mAh battery backs up the Mi 4i which according to the company has used 4.4v nominal battery chemistry rather than the regular 3.7v in-order to make sure a large battery fits in well within the frame of 5-inch. The battery also is capable with fast charging feature; with a 2A charger about 40 per cent battery can be charged within one hour.
The ZenFone 2 comes packed with a smaller 3,000 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery with the fast-charging feature meant only for the high variant ZenFone 2 model. So there nothing given good for a cost of Rs. 12,999.
Both the devices support dual-SIM. While the Mi 4i supports 4G on both its SIMs the ZenFone 2 on one SIM supports 4G LTE and on the other supports 2G. A dual SIM-dual active feature is found on the device with which users when on one call are called by someone on the other SIM, get a missed call displayed with not disconnecting the net connection on the alternate SIM.
Finally after comparing the two devices, it can be clearly mentioned that the Xiaomi Mi 4i ranks the most becoming the better device than the ZenFone 2 ZE 550 ML variant that is priced equally. Here it can be noted that the Zenfone 2 comes in other variants as well that are priced higher.
The Zenfone 2 ZE 551 ML with 64GB memory and 4GB RAM is considered the top end variant and it costs Rs. 22,999.
The Zenfone 2 ZE 551 ML with 32GB memory and 4GB RAM is priced Rs. 19,999 while the Zenfone 2 ZE 551 ML variant with 16GB memory and 2GB RAM is charged Rs. 14,999.
Comparing the Zenfone 2 ZE 550 ML, the one with 16GB memory, 2GB RAM and 720p display with the Mi 4i, Xiaomi wins.
Xiaomi Mi 4i is now available only in India that can be expected to be released worldwide soon. Asus Zenfone 2 is now available in Europe and US via online purchase.
So for someone who is keen in getting a value-for-money device and not just a simple budget smartphone can opt for Xiaomi’s Mi 4i doubtlessly.
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