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Xiaomi Mi 4i Vs Asus Zenfone 2 (2GB RAM Version): Which One To Buy

Xiaomi Mi 4i vs Asus Zenfone 2 (2GB RAM version): Which one to buy
If you’re in the market for a premium budget smartphone that costs between Rs 12,000 to 14,000, we have some good news. The good news is that there are plenty of options including the two new offerings from Xiaomi and Asus. However, while there's a plethora of choice available, it also leads to problem of plenty.

To make your buying decision easier, we pit the newly launched Xiaomi Mi 4i against Asus Zenfone 2 (2GB RAM variant).

1. Build & Design

April 24, 2015
Build & design
The Zenfone 2 looks very similar to the original Zenfone series (4,5 and 6) complete with curved back, plastic body and metal chin but sports a bigger 5.5-inch display. The removable plastic back panel sports a brushed metallic finish; the volume rocker is on the back, the same way it is in LG’s top-end G series. The smartphone's power key is at the top making it a little cumbersome to use. Asus Zenfone 2 measures 152.5x77.2x10.9mm.

Xiaomi Mi 4i's nearly 5-inch display is placed comfortably in a 138x69.6x7.8mm compact, unibody frame, almost similar to Apple iPhone 6. The power and volume rocker keys are also placed at the right edge for easy reach. The main frame is made of a steel alloy while the body panel is polycarbonate. 

Xiaomi is initially selling the white coloured, matte finish variant of the phone that looks and feels nice.
In terms of looks and build quality, Xiaomi Mi 4i would appeal to people who prefer a phone offering one hand-use and don’t have an issue with the plastic body. The Zenfone 2 offers a more metallic look, is not large despite the big screen but the placement of the keys is a bit odd.

2. Display

April 24, 2015
Asus Zenfone 2 sports a 5.5-inch HD IPS (720x1280p) display while the Mi 4i features a 5-inch full-HD IPS (1280x1020p) display. While the Asus phone has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches, the Xiaomi Mi 4i comes with Corning Concore One Glass Solution which according to Xiaomi enables it to offer a thinner screen and more sensitive touchscreen. The two are similar when it comes to protection against minor scratches. 

The Mi 4i uses a special technology called Sunlight Display to ensure the display renders graphics well even under direct sunlight. 

Overall, the Mi 4i has a better display packing in more pixels per inch. However, you can choose to get the full-HD variant of the Zenfone 2 by paying Rs 2,000 more.

3. Hardware Specifications

April 24, 2015
Hardware specifications
Xiaomi Mi 4i is powered by a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 64-bit octa-core processor, Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The phone comes with 16GB storage and has a 3,120mAh battery. 12.9GB storage space is available to the user and there’s no microSD card support.

The Zenfone 2 on the other hand, is powered by Intel’s quad-core 1.8GHz Atom Z3560 processor, with PowerVR G6430 graphics chip, backed by 2GB RAM. The phone has 16GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 64GB. It has a 3000mAh battery.

Both phones offer dual-sim functionality and support all Indian 4G networks. However, only Mi 4i supports 4G on both sim card slots. Asus Zenfone 2’s second sim only supports 2G. Both phones also supports Wi-fi 802.11ac Wi-fi.

Both of the phones have capable hardware but it’s a pity the Xiaomi doesn’t support storage expansion slot. Asus Zenfone 2 also has a 4GB RAM variant, a first for the Indian market priced at Rs 19,999.

4. Camera

April 24, 2015
Asus Zenfone 2 sports a 13MP rear camera (f/2.0-aperture, 5 element lens) with a dual-LED flash (Asus calls it a Real Tone flash) and a 5MP wide-angled, front camera.

Xiaomi Mi 4i also comes with a 13MP Sony/Samsung camera (f/2,0-aperture, 5 element lens) and a two-tone flash, and a 5MP front camera in addition to face beautification features.

Both phones comes with enhanced HDR mode and better low-light imaging performance. We can safely say that this is one department where both phones leave other rivals behind.

5. Software And Special Features

April 24, 2015
Software and special features
Zenfone 2 comes with an updated version of Asus Zen UI, based on Android 5.0 (Lollipop). You will be hard-pressed to find the Material Design influence on the custom skin, as it is visible only in the notifications, toggles and animations on the surface. 

However, if you head to settings and dig a little deeper, you will notice standard Android Lollipop features like multiple user profiles, among others.

Xiaomi Mi 4i runs Android 5.0 Lollipop-based MiUI 6, the latest operating system from the company. Xiaomi has added support for 6 Indian languages and Visual IVR for India. Visual IVR allows users to navigate through Interactive Voice Response Systems in a menu-driven fashion. 

Even the Mi 4i doesn’t explicitly feature Android Lollipop’s UI tweaks. Even the app switcher is the one featured in MiUI and system apps don’t feature Material design.

6. Conclusion

April 24, 2015
At Rs 12,999, Xiaomi Mi 4i and Asus Zenfone 2 offer good value for your money. Each has its quirks but it all boils down to your expectations from the device. If expandable storage is critical and you want a larger (but less sharp) display, then the Zenfone 2 should be the phone of your choice. 

However, if you prefer a smaller display for one hand use, and don’t mind a UI similar to Apple’s iOS, then the Xiaomi Mi 4i is a good choice.

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