Xiaomi today launched Redmi Y1, a rebranded Redmi Note 5A Prime that it’s marketing as its first selfie phone in India. Which is to say, it doesn’t want to miss out riding the selfie wave that has soared manufacturers like Oppo and Vivo to unrivaled heights.
The closest selfie phone contender to the Redmi Y1 is the Zenfone 4 Selfie which is a good looking phone from Asus, one of the pioneers in the selfie race. Let’s stack the two against one another to help you decide which one is a better buy.
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Specifications
|Model||Xiaomi Redmi Y1||Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie|
|Display||5.5-Inch, IPS LCD 720p HD display, Gorilla Glass 3||5.5-Inch, IPS LCD 720p HD display, Gorilla Glass 3|
|Processor||1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 435 processor||1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 425 processor|
|Internal Storage||32GB/64GB, dedicated microSD card slot(128GB)||32GB, dedicated microSD card slot(256GB)|
|Software||Android 7.0 Nougat based MIUI 9||Android 7.0 Nougat based Zen UI 4.0|
|Rear Camera||13MP sensor, PDAF, LED Flash||13MP sensor, PDAF, LED Flash|
|Front Camera||16MP Front-Facing Camera, f/2.0, LED flash||13MP Front-Facing Camera, f/2.0, LED flash|
|Battery||3080 mAh||3000 mAh|
|Others||Dual SIM (Nano + Nano, 4G VoLTE, fingerprint sensor, IR Remote||Dual SIM (Nano + Nano), 4G VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions and Weight||153 x 76.2 x 7.7mm; 153 grams||155.7 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm; 144 grams|
|Price||Rs. 8,999/ Rs. 10,999||Rs. 9,999|
Design and Display
The Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie both have polycarbonate bodies with metal finish. Or in simpler words, these are both plastic phones that try to pass on as metal ones. And that’s fine in our books, especially at this price range.
Both of these are slim phones with 2.5D glass on the front but the Zenfone 4 Selfie has an advantage of being a tad lighter. One notable difference between the two is the fingerprint sensor placement.
We prefer the front mounted one on the Zenfone 4 selfie to the rear mounted one on the Redmi Y1, but your personal preferences may differ. Other than that, there isn’t much to choose between the two devices in terms of design.
Or in terms of display. Both devices come with a 5.5-inch display with 720p HD resolution. If you aren’t habituated to sharper full HD display panels, you won’t perhaps mind the low resolution. If not, you will notice that the text isn’t as crisp even when the colors, contrast, and brightness appear fine on both phones.
Performance and Software
The Redmi Y1 is powered by Snapdragon 435 octa-core SoC and the Zenfone 4 Selfie relies on Snapdragon 430 octa-core chipset. The real world and on-paper difference between the two mobile platforms are minimal and you can expect near same performance from the two. The day-to-day usage should work fine with ‘normal usage’ but neither is meant for high-end gaming.
Both phones have a dedicated card slot and the comparable models have 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. A 64GB storage and 4GB RAM variant of Redmi Y1 also exists.
The Redmi Y1 is running Android Nougat based MIUI 9 software (not right out of the box, though) and Xiaomi has added quite a few nifty touches like the new limitless theme, faster UI response, new Video player, an image editor, new notification panel, App Vault and more.
Asus has also overhauled the ZenUI experience with the v4.0 running on the new Zenfone 4 Selfie. It’s a lot more attractive and has a lot less clutter. Both MIUI 9 and Zen UI are heavily optimized Android skins. We personally prefer the ZenUI 4.0, but that’s more because of the way we use our phone. The MIUI 9 enjoys better community support and might very well be a more preferable option for you.
While Asus guarantees Android Oreo update for the Zenfone 4 Selfie, the Redmi Y1 will get MIUI version updates in the long run. Xiaomi just isn’t very good with Android version upgrades on its devices.
Camera and Battery
It’s the selfie camera that takes center stage in both of these devices. Redmi Y1 has a bigger 16MP sensor and technically that isn’t much of an advantage. High-end phones like Note 8 and iPhone X still manage well with just 8MP selfie sensor resolution.
Xiaomi has been vocal about the pixel binning on the Y1 (that combines data from adjoining pixels for better accuracy and details) but that’s a rather common practice in selfie-first phones. Both phones have F/2.0 aperture optics and LED flash assistance.
On the software side of the equation, the Zenfone 4 Selfie has some additional enticements like real-time beatification for video fees even via third-party apps.
The practical distinction between the selfies on both phones will be clear only after we are through with the Redmi Y1 full review but based on initial reports we’d be surprised if there is much difference between the two.
On the rear, both phones have basic 13MP rear cameras which should deliver workable shots when the lighting is adequate.
As for the battery backup, both phones have near same battery capacity (3080mAh vs 3000mAh) and neither of the two supports fast charging. Between HD display resolution and power-efficient chipsets, moderate users should easily manage a one-day mileage, if not more.
Both the Redmi Y1 and Zenfone 4 Selfie are remarkably close in terms of features they integrate and experience they promise. The Redmi Y1 benefits from being 1,000 INR cheaper. It also has a higher storage and more RAM variant which is a bit more expensive but should serve better than the Zenfone 4 Selfie in the long run.
Who should buy the Redmi Y1 – Xiaomi fans who can manage with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage can opt for the Redmi Y1 and save some money.
Who should buy the Zenfone 4 Selfie – Consumers who prefer a front mounted fingerprint sensor and would want an assured Android Oreo update in the future.