Asus made its attempt to take a bite out of the smartphone market in India with its Zenfone series. Three devices were introduced in the series initially and then one more added later. While the other devices are pretty good as well, we really loved the Asus Zenfone 5. It is a great device for the price it is available for. The hardware is powerful, software is usable and the built quality is impressive. And all that is available at a really attractive price making it an excellent device.
While the Zenfone 5 is a good one, the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi took the phrase ‘value for money’ to an entirely different level. They first launched the Mi3 which offered hardware better than Nexus 5 at half the price. Then came in the Redmi 1S which was a budget device offering mid-range specs. Now they are coming in with the Redmi Note which is a reasonably powerful mid-range device with large screen. Just like the other two devices, it will also come with a very attractive price tag and would go on sale in India very soon. We put these two really impressive devices against each other to figure out which one of them makes more sense.
The Asus Zenfone 5 manages to impress in the first look. It has got a sleek styling with a nicely curved back and flat sides. The back looks impressive but it is a pain removing it. The concentric circle pattern below the display looks nice adding to the premium feel of the device. For a 5 inch device, it is a bit tall. The Google Nexus 5 has really set different standards for how small a 5 inch device can be. We thought the HTC One M8 is big but the Asus Zenfone 5 is even taller making it a bit difficult to handle. It tips the scale at 145 Gms but the weight distribution is near perfect. You hardly feel the weight of the device and it feels even lighter than Galaxy S3 or Google Nexus 4.
The Redmi Note has got a design which is very simple. It has also got capacitive keys below the display like the Zenfone 5 which further add to the length of the already big device. It is significantly bigger than the Zenfone 5 which is obvious with the large display. It is also very heavy at 199 Gms and unlike the Zenfone 5, you feel its weight very well. The build quality of the device is decent and it feels solidly build.While the Xiaomi Redmi Note isn’t bad, the Asus Zenfone 5 is definitely the better device here.
Both the devices offer IPS LCD displays with 720p resolution. The display on Asus Zenfone 5 measures 5 inches and the one on Redmi Note measures 5.5 inches. You get a decent pixel density on the Zenfone 5, 294 ppi to be precise. Most other devices in this class come with similar displays. It is reasonably crisp and you won’t have to zoom in to read small texts. The colours and contrast of the display are impressive and just in case you are not satisfied, the settings would allow you to alter the colours of the display.
The Xiaomi has got a large display and that is why it isn’t as crisp. The pixel density is acceptable at this price point but not at all impressive. Look closer and you will be able to spot the pixels in small text. Otherwise the display is decent with good colour saturation and impressive contrast. Like the Asus, Xiaomi also allows you to tinker with the colour settings of the display. People who love playing games or watching movies on their device would really like the display.
Both the devices have got a fairly decent hardware. The Asus Zenfone 5 runs an Intel chipset with a dual core Atom processor running at a clock speed of 1.6 GHz. This along with 2 GB of RAM makes the device pretty fast and it also manages to post impressive benchmark scores. It is available with 8 and 16 GB of storage options and also comes with support for micro SD card. Apart from 4G connectivity and NFC, they haven’t skipped on any connectivity options. The battery has 2110 mAh capacity and is used up very quickly. It would be hard to even last a day of average use which is disappointing.
The Redmi Note on the other hand comes with an octa core processor. The Mediatek processor on this device runs at a maximum clock speed of 1.7 GHz. It has also got 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of on-board storage. You also get a micro SD card slot like the Zenfone. It offers similar connectivity options as the Zenfone though to make up for the large display and powerful hardware; it comes with a 3200 mAh battery.
The Asus Zenfone 5 has got a primary camera of 8 megapixels. The camera isn’t very impressive but still it is decent and comes with a nice camera interface. It offers a lot of camera modes and a number of filters. This allows you to play around with the camera and get some interesting results. The secondary camera has a reasonable 2 megapixel sensor. The Redmi Note comes with a 13 megapixel primary camera which would definitely have slight edge over the Zenfone. The camera interface on MIUI is decent as well though it doesn’t offer as many options. The secondary camera has a sensor of 5 megapixels.
Xiaomi has announced the price of Redmi Note to be Rs 9999. That is exactly the same price as 8 GB variant of Zenfone 5. If you are looking for premium look & feel and you can live with dull battery life, you can go for the Zenfone 5. But if you want more power for your money and won’t mind handling a large device, the Redmi Note would make a great buy.
Author Bio: The author is an expert in mobile technology and loves to write about different handsets launched. He has listed the specifications of Asus Zenfone 5 for the readers to make an informed buying decision.