In the past couple of years, the phablet market has been increasing exponentially. Several smartphone makers are now focusing on bringing high-end and mid-range smartphones with screen sizes higher than 5-inches. In India, Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi made a popular name in this segment with its Redmi Note series smartphones. The brand’s Note series devices bring high-end configuration for a budget. The ZenFone series devices from ASUS are also quite popular in the Indian market, which are available in multiple screen size variants. The latest phablet in the Indian market from Xiaomi is the Redmi Note 3, while the ASUS ZenFone 3 is the newest offering in the same segment from the Taiwanese brand.
If you are planning to buy a high-end phablet, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and ASUS ZenFone 3 are among the best options available in the country at the moment. Let’s put these devices on the table for a comparison to find out how they stand against each other.
ASUS ZenFone 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 – high-end phablets compared
Talking about the design first, the ASUS ZenFone 3 boasts a premium design with a metal frame around the edges for enhanced durability. The phone sports a 2.5D curved glass back panel, which adds a nice appealing touch to the design. The handset offers a sleek profile with a 7.6mm waistline, and weighs 155 grams. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is also a premium offering that sports a durably metal unibody design, which measures 8.65mm around the waist, and tips the scale at 164 grams. Both phones also sport fingerprint sensors on the back panel for enhanced security. Overall, the ASUS ZenFone 3 looks more appealing, and is both slimmer and lighter than the Redmi Note 3.
Display and OS
The ASUS ZenFone 3 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, both smartphones boast phablet-grade 5.5-inch full HD displays. They sport a high pixel density count of 401 pixels per inch, which results in immersive media viewing experience on a high resolution screen. The displays of these smartphones are also covered with scratch-resistant glasses. As for the OS, The ZenFone 3 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box with ZenUI 3.0 on top. The Redmi Note 3 on the other hand runs Android 5.1 Lollipop-based MIUI 7.1 ROM, but will soon be getting the MIUI 8 with Android Marshmallow. So, in the display and OS section, both smartphones deliver similar features.
Moving on to the configuration, the ASUS ZenFone 3 is the world’s first smartphone to be powered by the new 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, further supported by meaty 4GB of RAM. The phone comes with a massive 64GB of internal memory, which can be further increased up to 128GB by inserting a microSD card. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 on the other hand is fuelled by a less powerful 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor. The phone comes in two models – one with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM, and another with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. Both models also accept microSD cards up to 32GB in size. So on the performance and storage front, the ZenFone 3 is better than the Redmi Note 3, but the latter has the advantage of multiple configuration variants.
As for the camera prowess, the ASUS ZenFone 3 boasts a 16MP primary snapper with a dual-tone LED flash, and an 8MP secondary selfie shooter on the front. The rear camera of the device is accompanied by the ASUS TriTech autofocus system, which allows the phone to automatically select from laser, phase detection and continuous autofocus to deliver fast focus in just 0.03 seconds. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 on the other hand offers a 16MP rear snapper with an LED flash and phase detection autofocus, and a 5-megapixel secondary shooter for selfies. Overall, the ZenFone 3 delivers much better imaging experience than the Redmi Note 3.
Connectivity and battery
In terms of connectivity, the ASUS ZenFone 3 offers 4G LTE with X9 LTE modem for faster data downloading speeds, a reversible USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, and A-GPS. The Redmi Note 3’s connectivity options include 4G LTE, dual-SIM slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro-USB, and A-GPS. The phone misses out a hassle-free USB Type-C port. As for the battery, the ZenFone 3 offers a 3,000mAh battery without fast charging support. The Redmi Note 3 on the other hand is fuelled by a massive 4,500mAh battery that supports fast charging for a quick charge. Overall, the ZenFone 3 offers better connectivity options than the Redmi Note 3, but the latter wins in the battery segment with a massive unit.
Coming to the verdict, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is quite a popular smartphone in India in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment for its basic 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM model. The phone offers an excellent display, decent configuration, decent camera specs, and a massive battery that should keep the device alive for days. The ZenFone 3 on the other hand is a more premium offering than the Redmi Note 3 as it comes with an appealing design, a more powerful processor, higher configuration, better camera specs, and the latest connectivity and software features. However, for the extra perks, you will need to shell out a couple of thousand extra bucks for it. The Redmi Note 3 is up for grabs in India for Rs 9,999 for the base model and Rs 11,999 for the higher-specced edition. The ASUS ZenFone 3 has been priced at Rs 16,999, and will go on sale in India later this year. So, which one of these devices has caught your attention? Share in the comments.