The budget smartphone market is getting more competitive with each passing day. Gone are the times when Indian OEMs like Micromax, XOLO and Lava used to dominate this price segment. With the entry of the Chinese, smartphones OEMs like Xiaomi, MEIZU, Lenovo have taken over the reins; especially in terms of online sales. Samsung, Intex and Micromax still have strong foothold in terms of offline sales, though. Now that we have established that Chinese brands are dominating the online space, let's take a look at the budget smartphones from Xiaomi, MEIZU, and Lenovo.
After some delay, Xiaomi launched its budget Redmi 3S in India and guess what - it has been a successful launch for the brand so far. That said, both MEIZU and Lenovo also have budget offerings competing agains the Redmi 3S - the Moto E3 Power and the MEIZU m3s. While one claims to deliver an impeccable battery life, the other tends to steer clear of the competition by its looks.So without further ado, let’s find out how these two budget smartphones stack up against its competitors.
All the three smartphones share a similar display, well that’s the case in terms of raw specs at least. The Moto E3 Power, Xiaomi Redmi 3S and MEIZU m3s, all sport a 5-inch HD (1,280 x 720) IPS LCD display upfront. Despite, the similar display size and resolution, all the displays are calibrated differently. While all the three panels reproduce good colour with decent viewing angles, the panel on the Redmi 3S is by far the best. It’s also worth noting that budget smartphone from Xiaomi has the best screen to body ratio of about 71.1 percent. Unlike the MEIZU m3s and Xiaomi Redmi 3S, the Moto E3 Power from Lenovo makes use of onscreen buttons thereby reducing the area of usable screen estate.
Under the hood, is where a lot of things are different between the three. In terms of raw processing power, the Lenovo-owned Moto E3 Power takes a back seat. The Mediatek 6735P quad core (4 x 1.0GHz Cortex A53) with Mali T720 MP2 GPU simply fails to match up to the competition. Next comes the MEIZU m3s with its Mediatek 6750 octa core (8 x 1.5GHz Cortex A53) SoC. While the Mediatek on the inside of the MEIZU falls shorts of the Redmi 3S, its markedly faster than that of the Moto E3 Power. The Xiaomi Redmi 3s uses a much faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 octa core chip (4 x 1.5GHz Cortex A53 + 4 x 1.2GHz Cortex A53). This is the latest gen chip for budget and mid-range smartphones from the American chipmaker, which essentially is an update of the Snapdragon 615.
Talking of RAM, the MEIZU m3s, Xiaomi Redmi 3 and Moto E3 Power all come with 2GB RAM modules. However, there’s a higher end variant of the Meizu m3s that comes with 3GB RAM. The same can be said about the Xiaomi, as there’s a device called Redmi 3S Prime that has all the Redmi 3 does, but it comes with 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, and an added fingerprint sensor.
The MEIZU m3s seriously misses a punch in this department; for a device that’s being launched in late 2016, Android Lollipop 5.1 indeed seems quite dated. The Xiaomi Redmi 3S and Motorola E3 Power, on the other hand, both run on Android Marshmallow. With the Motorola though, you can be rest assured to receive a major OS update on time. For instance, the Moto E3 Power is scheduled to receive the Android Nougat update early next year. The same won’t be the case with the other two smartphones though.
While Xiaomi and MEIZU are rather quick in rolling out bug fixes, they are just too slow when it come with major software updates. That aside, the MIUI 8 skin on the Xiaomi Redmi 3S and the Flyme OS 5.1 layer on top of base Android on the MEIZU m3s, lack an app drawer and even the UI doesn't look anything like stock Android. Nevertheless, both the UIs have a number of tricks down their sleeves and eventually choosing a winner between them completely boils down to personal preferences.
On the connectivity front, all the three smartphones come with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth (with A2DP profile), A-GPS, GLONASS, and Micro-USB 2.0 port. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack too on all the three devices. That aside the trio come with support for two SIM card slots. However, only the Moto E3 Power ships with a dedicated dual SIM slot, while the other two pack a Hybrid SIM slot. All the, the smartphones come with support VoLTE and therefore you can use your Reliance Jio connection with it.
A surprise inclusion in the MEIZU m3s, however, is the presence of a fingerprint scanner located on the home button at the bottom of the 5inch HD display. It’s one of the very few phones that come with a biometric sensor at this price point. Xiaomi however has a Redmi 3S Prime that comes with a fingerprint sensor located to the back of the smartphone, but that’s priced quite higher than these three.
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