After striking an exclusive deal with Flipkart, Motorola took the Indian market by storm with its affordable Moto G. Thanks to its HD screen and impressive performance; the phone became a hot favorite among the users. Since Motorola has almost no presence in India, it was a perfect example of how companies can successfully sell lakhs of phones with an Indian online retailer’s ground support. It also proved that most of the budget buyers aren’t very concerned about after-sales service any more. In no time, more companies followed suit. Among the newcomers, ASUS and Xiaomi have entered the mid-range phone battle along with Moto G, but do they really stand a chance? Let’s find out.
Design And Construction
Speaking of construction, all three handsets are strong. Although priced modestly, these phones feature quality materials. The Moto G, ZenFone 5, and Mi 3 are available in variety of hues. As far as the looks are concerned, Xiaomi’s handset takes the top spot. It has a fancy unibody design that one rarely gets under this price bracket. Asus too impresses with its simple and elegant design, that reminds us of HTC’s One series. Moto G, though looks decent, it fades away when compared to the Mi 3 and ZenFone 5.
Display is one of the most important aspects of a smartphone, and these companies know it quite well. Moto G features a sharp 4.5-inch HD IPS screen, while the ZenFone 5 sports a 5″ display with HD resolution. Out of these two, we prefer the ZenFone 5’s display due to its vibrant colours. However, Xiaomi’s Mi 3 blows the competition out of the water with its Full HD IPS screen. No phone in this price range can match the sharpness of this screen. Similar to high-end Lumia phones, the Mi 3 boasts of super sensitive screen technology, which lets you operate phone with gloves on. Clearly, if you want quality screen, the Mi 3 is your best bet.
Moto G supports the latest Android 4.4 Kitkat, which is almost like the stock Android you get on the Nexus series of smartphones. The Mi 3 runs Android 4.4 Kitkat with MIUI skin on top of it. MIUI launcher has been quite famous in the Android community. It’s basically, Android with a twist of iOS aesthetics. The ZenFone 5 comes with the highly-modified ZenUI. Inspired by HTC’s Sense 6, the ZenUI looks quite elegant. The only drawback here is that it’s stuck on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and there’s no information about the Kitkat roll-out date. So as far as the updates are concerned, the Moto G is a better option than the ZenFone 5 and Mi 3.
The Moto G is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 chipset. This 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, along with 1 GB RAM, handles many popular games without an issue. The Intel Atom based ZenFone 5 is not a slouch either. The 1.6 GHz Dual-Core Atom Z2560 chipset, coupled with 2 GB RAM, runs most high-end games including the Asphalt 8: Airborne. So both these phones are good enough to keep the gamers happy. However, they don’t even come close to what the Mi 3 has to offer. Fuelled by the Snapdragon 800, which is found in flagship phones such as the Xperia Z2 and Lumia 930, the Mi 3 can run any game you throw at it. Undoubtedly, Xiaomi’s handset is way ahead the competition.
When you own such powerful phones, it makes sense to load them with movies and games. For that you need sufficient storage capacity. Priced at Rs 14,000, the Moto G and Mi 3 come with 16 GB internal storage, which is more than enough for most users. For those who want more, ASUS’ handset features a microSD card slot that supports up to 64 GB of additional storage space. So unlike the Moto G and Mi 3, you are not stuck with limited space on the ZenFone 5.
Moto G is the weakest link here. Not because it has a 5 megapixel camera, but the fact that its optics are incredibly bad. Even in good lighting conditions, Moto G disappoints with grainy pictures. ZenFone 5, on the other hand, features a solid 8 megapixel camera. Aided by the PixelMaster technology, it also performs quite well in low-light conditions. Xiaomi’s camera is even better. The 13 megapixel images contain plenty of details to please the shutter-bugs. So if camera tops your list of priorities, you should go for the Mi 3.
Moto G (16 GB) and Mi 3 are priced at Rs 14,000. Although Moto G is a good phone, comparatively Mi 3 offers a better screen and performance at the same price. ZenFone 5 may not be the most powerful among the lot, but priced at Rs 10,000, it offers excellent value for money. So if anyone is on a strict budget, we would definitely recommend ZenFone 5. Those ready to spend up to 14k, should go for the Xiaomi Mi 3.