The sub-₹20,000 price bracket is rapidly becoming a battleground for the mobile phone industries biggest moguls. With brands like Xiaomi and Asus already being present, Nokia has recently launched an aggressively priced smartphone, which is powered by Google’s Android One program, in India. We compare the three most trending phones- Nokia 6.1 Plus, Xiaomi Mi A2 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 to find out which one fares above the rest.
Design and Display
In 2018, mobile phone manufacturers are trying to make the best use of the real estate in a phone. Almost all manufacturers are opting for the taller 18:9 display as opposed to the older 16:9 to provide a more immersive screen.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 both have identical 5.99-inch FHD+ screens sporting 18:9 displays. Nokia has jumped on the notch bandwagon and is providing a 5.8-inch FHD+ display at a 19:9 aspect ratio on the 6.1 Plus.
Coming to screen resolutions, the Mi A2 and the Zenfone Max Pro M1 both have similar 2060 x 1080 pixels. Since the Nokia 6.1 Plus offers a notch display, it has a higher resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels.
In terms of physical size, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is the heaviest, weighing in at 180 grams. The Mi A2 comes in second at 168 grams and Nokia 6.1, the lightest among the lot weighs 151 grams though it is the only one with a glass back.
Under the hood
The three phones are powerful beasts at the price points you can buy them at. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset clocked at 2.2 GHz making it the most powerful phone of the bunch. Paired with Adreno 512 GPU and AI capabilities, this device will handle all your multitasking needs.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Nokia 6.1 Plus, both come equipped with identical Snapdragon 636 chipsets clocked at 1.8 GHz each. Not many changes when we talk about GPUs as both the phones sport Adreno 509 GPU, making the Mi A2 a superior choice in terms of on paper specifications.
All three phones have octa-core processors which should perform in the most demanding situations.
As far as software is concerned, all phones come with Android v8.1 preloaded straight out of the box. So you won’t have to go through the update woes generally faced by Android devices. Both the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Xiaomi Mi A2 come with Google’s Android One programme which will be getting timely updates from the manufacturers. Nokia has been doing well in the update department and the 7 Plus has already received the Android 9.0 Pie update. Users of both devices can expect the same for their phones soon in the future.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 has nearly stock Android, coupled with some preloaded Asus apps to make the user experience better. Asus has ditched the ZenUI skin for this one and gone for a cleaner, more stable vanilla Android version.
The three phones have some seriously strong camera hardware, both on the front and back. Another growing trend- that of a dual camera setup, can be seen in all three mid-range devices.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 has a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 20-megapixel secondary camera for the portrait mode and Beautify 4.0. At f/1.8 aperture, the device should perform well. An impressive 20-megapixel front-facing camera is present for all selfie lovers out there. The front facing camera also has a front firing flash, making it the most impressive of all three devices.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is complete with a 16-megapixel primary camera at f/2.0 aperture and a secondary camera at 5 megapixels with a f/2.2 aperture with a depth sensor. The software has been tweaked a bit to offer more functionality such as HDR mode and a feature called ‘Bothie’ which captures live what the front and back cameras are pointed at. The front-facing camera is powerful as well, having a 16-megapixel camera at f/2.0 aperture.
Different variants of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 have different camera hardware, though the software remains the same. The 3/4 GB models have a wide angle 13-megapixel primary camera at f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel secondary camera at f/2.4 aperture for depth sensing and portrait mode. The 6 GB version of the device is seen to have a 16 megapixel at f/2.0 aperture primary camera and the same 5-megapixel secondary camera. The front-facing camera on the 3/4 GB variant is 8 megapixels at f/2.2 aperture and the 6 GB variant is to sport a 16-megapixel camera at the same aperture. The device recently received an update providing it EIS capability.
Here is where a user's maximum interest lies. People are concerned about how long their devices have until the juice runs out. And for good cause. The Nokia 6.1 Plus has an average battery size of 3060 mAH. Coming in with a smaller battery, the Xiaomi Mi A2 has a 3010 mAH sized battery. The clear winner here is the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 which has a huge 5000 mAH battery. Both the Nokia and Xiaomi devices support USB type C charging while the Asus device does not.
Price and Availability
The three devices are aggressively priced against one another. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is in the market and is available for ₹17,999 on Amazon.in.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a Flipkart exclusive and can be purchased for a price of ₹17,600 from the website
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes in as the cheapest of the bunch at a lucrative price of ₹12,999 for the 3/4 GB variant and ₹14,999 for the 6 GB variant