Budget phones have been around since the inception of Android, or at least as long I could remember. With the invasion of Chinese budget phones hitting the smartphone market in 2013, companies such as Xiaomi and OnePlus hit the market by storm. Both Xiaomi and OnePlus were among the first brands that brought the utmost top-tier internals to the mid-range segment. With the launch of the Xiaomi Mi3 and OnePlus One, companies realized the important of taking the budget market seriously. Both Xiaomi and OnePlus pioneered at doing what they do best, rivaling the big boys, Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG at the time. You name it. Back then, $650 phones were considered being expensive, and now we’re here wondering if $600 is cheap enough anymore. Back then, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and 801 were all the craze, both OnePlus’s OnePlus One and Xiaomi’s Mi 3 featured these SoCs. They were both priced relatively around the same price range at about $300, half the price of the big boys.
Today, the smartphone market has diversified. A ton of competition has hit the market. Companies such as Sony, HTC and LG are feeling the heat from all of these brands. Huawei and Asus also jumped into the craze and offered similar devices. While Huawei took its own route with the help of its in-house internals, Asus had taken a separate approach by sourcing its hardware. The first generation of Asus’s Zenfone lineup was impressive, and hey, does anyone even remember the Padfone S? Well, let’s skip that. Soon after Asus had a taste of success, Asus started to increase their take on budget phones and started to push itself as a premium brand. This could be noticed in full clarity when Asus launched its Zenfone 3 series of devices. However, with the recent launches, it seems like Asus has regained its senses and is giving the likes of Xiaomi a hard bite to swallow. Both companies are now stuck in a very harsh rivalry and it seems like the consumers are winning by this point. What seemed to be a dominant price range for Xiaomi, had been invaded by the Taiwanese giant, Asus.
So, today, we have three major devices that cover the mid-range market with flagship internals. That’s the Xiaomi Mi 8, Asus Zenfone 5Z, as well as the OnePlus 6. Since all of these sport the 845, what makes them unique? Well, that’s what spec sheets are for, aren’t they?
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|Phone||Xiaomi Mi 8||Asus Zenfone 5Z||OnePlus 6|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|GPU||Adreno 630||Adreno 630||Adreno 630|
|RAM||6GB | 8GB LPDDR4x||4GB | 6GB | 8GB LPDDR4x||6GB | 8GB LPDDR4x|
|Internal Storage||64GB | 128GB UFS 2.1||64 GB | 128 GB | 256 GB UFS 2.1||64 GB | 128 GB | 256 GB UFS 2.1|
1/2.55" Sony IMX363
12MP 4-axis OIS, f/1.8
12MP Telephoto / Portrait lens, f/2.4
12MP, OIS, f/1.8
120° wide-angle camera
Sony IMX 519
16MP, OIS/EIS-enabled, f/1.7
Sony IMX 376K
Sony IMX 371
16MP, EIS f/2.0
|Video Recording||4K / 60 fps||4K / 60 fps||4K / 60 fps|
|Display||2248 x 1080 FHD+ 600 nits||6.2-inch Full HD+ (2246 x 1080) 550 nits||6.28-inch 2280 x 1080 pixels, 600 nits|
|Battery Size||3400mAh | Supports Quick Charge 4.0||3300mAh | Supports Fast Charging 9V/2A/18W||3300 mAh (non-removable) Fast Charging (5V 4A)|
There isn’t much to differentiate between these devices except for their design and camera quality and UI. All three phones have their own take on Android. Xiaomi prides itself with MIUI 10. While OnePlus taken a more simplistic stock Android look. Meanwhile Asus pampers itself with Asus’s ZenUI.
Apart from the spec sheet, what’s worth noting is the fact that the Mi 8 is the only device among the three that lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. Two of the devices, the Mi8 and Zenfone 5Z offer notches at their top packing the front camera and sensors.
All three of the devices also support face unlocking. However, Xiaomi’s take on the 3D facial scanning technology has to be credited. Despite ripping off Apple, Xiaomi’s definitely among the top Android OEMs to actually pack such a complex array of additional sensors to unlock the Mi8.
All three of these devices come is pretty similar prices as well. If you’re planning to pickup any of these devices, do note that you’d need at least $520 if you’re willing to pickup the OnePlus 6. However, if you’re willing to pickup either of the two other options, you could save even more. However, considering that discounts could cut of some prices considerably, I wouldn’t take the price of these three devices into consideration given that they’re priced pretty closely to each another.
if you have decided to pickup any of these devices, there’s a ton of reviews out there that fill in the details that a simple spec sheet won’t. So watch a few reviews of the device you actually want to pickup before you finally do.