As soon as the specifications of Xiaomi MI3 and Asus Zenfone phones along with the launching dates in India were out, the hot topic among most of the smart phone users & buyers is which would be the best choice in the budget range of 10-20K. For almost 5 months, Moto G has totally captured the market of budget android phone in India. Though we can say that MI3 and Zenfone 5 had good startup sales and demand, we cannot say they have surpassed the craze of Moto G launch. One reason might be that, at the time of Moto G launch, it was the clear winner and only option available for brand conscious ones. Now that there are 3 options with different positives and negatives comparable, the buyer gets trapped in a confusion about which one to take. If the buyer is specific about his/her requirements, the choice would be easier, but it is not as simple as it seems as all the three smart phones have head turner specifications.
Now that Moto G has given a discount of Rs.2000/- for a limited time on flipkart, a lot of people have a task to deal with before the offer loses out of their hand, to find out which is a better phone. Which is the best buy. All the three options are good, which makes the decision more tough.
The confusion increases when our friends start suggesting according to their needs. Some might say take Moto G, it gets all updates for sure. Some would suggest to take zenfone for its Camera and some MI3 for its overall specs. Even worse, one might suggest to wait for the launch of One Plus One. Now is the time to decide what you want.
Here I would not be discussing about the display size, or Ram or processor, as one can easily compare it with respect to specifications in a number of websites. I would be mostly concentrating on the points that need to be noted during the comparison based on my experience in using these phones, which would not be available in the comparison table. You chose which of the below points matter you the most and accordingly take the decision.
1. Android Updates:
The android updates matters to a lot of people. Other than Nexus devices, all the other smart phones get delayed android updates. But yes, Motorola would be the first one to roll out the updates after Nexus. Moto G has already got the 4.4.4 update and even Motorola has officially announced that Moto G and Moto X would definitely receive Android L update. Check the link for details
Coming to Asus Zenfone 5, they have announced that Zenfones will be updated to android 4.4 (kitkat) from the present jelly bean. But it has already been 2 weeks that the phone has been launched, still they run on 4.3. The malaysian users have already got the kitkat update, so Indian users can expect it in one month or so. But Android L would be a dream to expect for Zenfone.
And coming to Xiaomi MI3, the present Indian version comes with android 4.4.2. Xiaomi is not very fast at giving updates to android version, but it definitely updates it’s MIUI regularly. The software experiences some bugs with the latest android version as it is still in developing stage. Android L on MI3 is not sure, but Xiaomi can surprise anytime.
Now that we have looked into the possibilities of the extent to which each phone would be updated, lets just think how much you would need the updates. Frankly, upgrading from 4.1 to 4.4 is not a major one. Some of the security upgrades were worth but the remaining were just upgradation in look, feel and accesibility which anyway would be meaningful in stock android versions. Core upgrading from Android kitkat to Android L might be worth as it might reduce memory 7 increase hardware support. But as google is rolling out as many new features as possible via Play Services updates and app updates, the importance of up- grading android version has decreased atleast for a normal user as all the applications are usable at full performance. Here are some links which explain the real necessary of android updates
Conclusion: If you are a geeky user who always want to be first in experiencing the latest upgrades, then Moto G is the winner. If not any of the three would do.
Second thing which a lot of people are interested is the gaming performance. No doubt all the three phones perform really well with any type of intensive games. Xiaomi MI3 has the best graphic processing unit out of the three, but the heating issue does gain limit its usage for gaming. It can temporarily solved, though one has to always be cautious about extensive gaming on MI3. I have made separate post regarding the heating issues of MI3 and solutions. Other than heating problem, the gaming performance is one of the best on MI3. The only con is the speaker placement which makes it difficult to hold while playing.
The gaming performance video of MI3 can be found here.
MI3 being the best, Moto G emerges as the runner up in the gaming section. It runs all the games without any issues, but the best performance is seen with medium graphic settings for high graphic intensive games like Asphalt 8, Dead trigger 2, Mortal Combat etc,. Extensive gaming does make the back cover warm though. Overall the gaming performance is very good and worth. Only con is that, during game one has to make sure to free Ram as even with basic applications, Moto G’s Ram is normally filled to 70%.
Video for gaming review of Moto G can be found here.
Zenfone 5 comes in third place. Most of the users have experienced occasional frame drops during the high graphic gaming like Asphalt 8, Mortal combat. It does not spoil the experience though considering the price for which it is sold. No issue of free Ram available as it contains 2Gb Ram.
Gaming review video for Asus Zenfone 5 can be found here.
Conclusion: If phone heating is not an issue, and you are a heavy gamer MI3 wins. But if heating is an issue for you, Moto G could be the better option.
3. Multi tasking and UI performance:
Ram availability plays an important role in multi tasking. Here definitely Moto G loses out with the other two phones. I faced occasional hiccups on Moto G while heavy multi tasking due to unavailability of Ram. This might not be experienced in Zenfone 5 and MI3.
Coming to User interface, Xiaomi MIUI provides the maximum accessibility to control and change the look. Zen UI also provides decent amount of customization. But both Zen UI and Xiaomi MIUI have some software glitches which need to debugged by the manufacturers. Where as the Moto G has stock android with minimum customization, but the lag in the UI is observed only during multi tasking.
Conclusion: Heavy multi tasker should go for either MI3 or Zenfone 5 but should be ready to handle the software glitches. Moto G would be for an average user who’s ready to clean Ram when required to do multi tasking.
Due to the heavy usage of smartphone capabilities, the battery consumption of the phones have drastically increased. A smart phone has become almost a replacement of laptop these days. Battery performance is very important for most of the users as no one would be happy to carry a portable power bank along with the phone.
Here MI3 is the best and can easily run for more than a day for an average user. With extensive usage it can withstand a day. Moto G provides decent battery back with around one day for an average user. Heavy user should be ready to charge it by evening or so. Where as the zenfone 5 is very bad considering the battery backup. Even an average user could would get almost 12-14 hours.
Conclusion: If you are concerned about the battery life, MI3 is the winner with no doubt. Even the charging time for MI3 is very less compared to the remaining ones. Thanks to the 2 Amp charger.
5. Call Quality:
Call quality is found to be best in Moto G. MI3 had occasional call drops. Some have mentioned in the xiaomi forums that, this issue is due to the kitkat update. So lets hope the issue would be solved. Where as in Zenfone 5, the call quality is decent enough with some customers complaining about comparatively low sound in ear piece. But I did not experience it.
Conclusion: Moto G and Zenfone, both have decent call quality, but due to the low battery performance of Zenfone, Moto G stand the winner.
6. Form factor & Build quality:
All the three phones have excellent build quality with premium looks. All have gorilla glass 3 provided. Moto G and Zenfone 5 have replaceable back covers, incase if you are bored with the color and want to change them in future. Zenfone 5 and MI3 have capacitive touch buttons, where as Moto G has on screen buttons which is kind of disturbing some times.
Conclusion: For the ones who have no problem in handling smart phones with two hands, MI3 and Zenfone 5 would not be a problem, but for who want to use with single hand, Moto G is clear winner.
7. After sales Service:
This is a grey area for all the three phones. None are established smart phone suppliers in India. All of them have started the service centers recently and most of them are third party centers. As Zenfone 5 and MI3 have been recently launched, they might take some time to ship the spare parts.
I personally do not use phone camera much. Zenfone has found to give good low light photos where as overall wise MI3 has good camera.
For a techie user who can bear with minor software glitches, slight warming issues and just can see the price for the specifications given, I would recommend MI3 undoubtedly. MI3 has an option of rooting without voiding warranty which is even more handy if you have any software issues.
But if you want a clean interface, good battery performance, better call quality , good gaming performance and you are an average user, Moto G would be best also considering its irresistible 2000/- off for a limited period.
And coming to Zenfone 5, I would recommend this to the one who has tight budget and want a better camera, prefer smooth multi tasking, decent overall performance and do not want to buy a chinese phone.
Please leave your views in the comments section and what you would decide in between these three phones. Detailed reviews for each phone would be posted soon. Stay tuned.
Update: Check the detailed review of Xiaomi MI3 here.