“Wondering which device is the best buy under Rs 7,000? You’re at the right place”
A few months ago (three months, to be precise), if you had asked us for the best smartphone priced under Rs 7,000, we would have suggested you go with any device from the likes of Micromax and Karbonn. But not anymore. On the back of the success of the Moto G (review | FAQs), Motorola launched its smaller sibling in the form of the Moto E (review | FAQs). Aimed at offering a capable smartphone experience to those upgrading from a feature phone for the first time, the Moto E initiated a new era of budget performance devices. India’s second-largest manufacturer, Micromax, was quick to reply to Motorola’s threat with the Unite 2 A106 (review | FAQs). There were several devices launched after, that offered a similar hardware experience, (read our list of Top Android KitKat smartphones below Rs 7,000), but the main battle was between the aforementioned devices only. However, now we have the Apple of China, Xiaomi, shaking up the segment once again with the most affordable device from its stable, the Redmi 1s (first impressions).
If you’re wondering how these three devices fare against each other, we’ve made a handy comparison table for you. We have also highlighted the advantages offered by the devices with respect to their individual specs.
The Moto E is clearly the phone which kicked off this trend, but as we said in our review, the device isn’t the only one in this segment. As a matter of fact, the device has made some serious compromises, and that’s why the Micromax Unite 2 comes off as a better bet. To give you the gist, the Unite 2 offers a larger screen, an LED flash alongside the primary camera for shooting in low-light conditions, a front-facing shooter for Skyping, and OTG support. However, what the Moto E lacks in core specs, it makes up for with its smooth user experience and high-quality components. It was one of the first devices in this segment to run the latest Android KitKat build, and Motorola’s promise of pushing timely OS updates will definitely bring the upcoming Android L release to the device. The smartphone offers superb build quality, and the curved rear ensures comfortable handling. It’s also one of the few devices under Rs 10,000 that feature Corning Gorilla Glass protection to withstand minor knocks and scratches.
But when we consider the recently launched Xiaomi Redmi 1s, the whole equation changes drastically. It’s the only device under Rs 7,000 that flaunts a high-density 720p display panel, compared to the qHD and FWVGA resolutions available on other devices. Hardware-wise, it offers a killer combination of the quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC, 1GB RAM and adequate 8GB of flash storage (almost all other devices in this segment have merely 4GB of storage). The camera is also better, at least in terms of the megapixel count. So at the surface level, Xiaomi’s offering gives competitors a run for their money, and even devices twice its asking price. But that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect – the OS isn’t the latest, and Xiaomi will take time to update the device to the latest version, since the company needs to integrate it with its custom firmware called MIUI. Further, it will be made available in limited stocks on Flipkart. You could say the same for Motorola’s offering, but after the initial hiccups, the Moto E is now in stock. The after-sales service of Xiaomi devices is also questionable, as the company is still ramping up at this point of time, and that too will be limited to major cities only. For our money though, the Xiaomi Redmi 1s is the one we’ll go with.
Comparison image by Pratik Vyas