The Year 2016 has been a very exciting so far for the smartphone industry in India primarily in the mid range price category. The segment is dominated by the Chinese manufacturers who have won the trust of the consumers by providing high end specs phone at very affordable prices. The competition has been even more intense this year with more and more brands coming to India trying to reap benefits of the large market and growing demand for affordable devices. We are only in the 2nd Quarter of the Calendar Year and have already seen atleast 8-10 mid range smartphones being launched by respective brands. LeEco is new entrant in the market and their Le1S too did very well and has helped the company to create a space for themselves. Apart from LeEco you also have the likes of CoolPad, Meizu and some other brands trying to establish themselves in the market. Competition may have intensified for the Brands but it is the end consumers who are enjoying the best deals out of it.
Most of the midrange smartphones now come with the impressive specs and at very affordable price. This draws customer to avail these devices as they are not expensive and they can always switch when a new handset offering additional features hits the market.
In this post, 3 devices from reputed brands which were launched very recently are being compared. The comparison is based on features offered and overall experience of using the device. Please go through the link below to read the complete review of the devices.
Build and Display:It is the first thing we notice about any device and on many occasions it is the build and design based on which we take our decision. In this aspect all the 3 devices are pretty close to each other although Redmi Note 3 sports a metal body while the other two use combination of metal and plastic. The build of all the 3 devices is pretty decent, Zuk Z1 feels a touch more sturdy and has got better ergonomics. Moto G4 Plus comes a close second as it no longer sports a curved back so loses a bit on the comfort quotient. Redmi Note 3 with aluminum body is good but does feel slightly wobbly to hold.
In terms of display too, it is a very close fight but Motorola surges ahead in this aspect as the color reproduction is more natural and crisp. Whereas, Redmi Note 3 has also got a decent display with great viewing angles while Zuk Z1 display is good but auto brightness sensor could have been better.
Winner: Moto G4 Plus (Display)
Battery Life: Once again Zuk Z1 stands out with incredible battery life which can easily last for a day and half. However, Redmi Note with the latest update gives the best battery life among these 3 phones. Moto G too has a decent battery life but in comparison to the other two it seems pretty average.
Hardware Specifications: In terms of hardware each of the devices uses different chipset and configuration. Although Zuk Z1 uses the most powerful chipset but it is more than 2 years old and is based on 32 bit architect. In comparison Redmi Note 3 uses the latest Snapdragon 650 chipset which is pretty powerful and does heat up as much as the Snapdragon 617 chipset used on Moto G4 Plus.
In terms of storage Redmi Note 3 and Moto G4 Plus comes with external SD card support upto 128 GB which places slightly ahead of Zuk Z1 which does not have SD Card support. However, Zuk Z1 has 64 gb internal storage which in my opinion will suffice most of the users.
Since all the 3 devices come with 3GB Ram so no issues regarding it. As for GPU once again, Zuk Z1 has a powerful GPU but it is outdated so my preferred option will be Redmi Note 3.
Software and Features: It gets really interesting here, as they run on different User Interface (UI). Moto G4 Plus runs on the stock android OS whereas Zuk Z1 runs on Cyanogenmod while Redmi Note 3 runs on custom MiUi. It is basically down to end users preference. But in my opinion Stock Android UI is the best as it does not use much of the memory and is well optimized. Whereas Cyanogenmod is a custom UI offering additional features which is preferred by many, while MiUi is also a decent UI but is pretty heavy and uses quite a bit of Ram. Moto G runs on the latest Android 6.0 and is expected to be among the first devices to get the latest Android updates, while Zuk Z1 is still running on Android Lollipop and Redmi Note 3 will be pretty slow in getting the updates.
All of them have fingerprint scanner and other basic features, but Redmi Note 3 surges ahead as it has the IR Blaster which is missing on the other two devices. While, Moto G4 Plus supports fast charging but it does not have a compass sensor which is required for GPS navigation.
Winner: Moto G4 Plus (Software)
Winner: Redmi Note 3 (Features)
Camera Performance: Here the things become really easy as Moto G4 Plus outperforms the other two devices. In terms of still image Moto G4 Plus performs really well and video recording quality is also decent. While Zuk Z1 also captures decent images and video recording quality is also pretty good on most occasions. Redmi Note 3 seems to be slightly soft as far as camera performance is concerned and is pressed hard under artificial and low lighting condition.
Service and Support: The after sales support is not the greatest with any of these brands as it is mostly outsourced to third party service providers. Thus concerns over the service remain. However, Xiaomi has opened up exclusive service centers across the metro cities and are expected to offer better after sale support.
Verdict: Redmi Note 3 does beat its competitors by a very slender margin but one should remember that it is priced 2k less than Zuk Z1 and 3k less than Moto G4 Plus. However, based on Individuals requirement, one may opt for any of the devices as each of them are value for money devices and have their shares of strength and weaknesses.
*Only the top end variant of the devices has been considered for comparison. Please note it is just my personal opinion about the devices and not an endorsement.