Moto E 3G vs Redmi 2: The ultimate comparison between the two best budget smartphones of 2015

by April 9, 2015 0 comments

Smartphone industry has witnessed some of the biggest changes in the technology world and that too in a very short span of time. The phones have gone smarter, powerful and the best part, affordable. A smartphone under 10k can easily compete or even outshine mid segment and flagship models of 2014 and 2013 respectively.

The credit for the most part goes to the two manufacturers; Motorola, which made waves with its most affordable smartphone Moto E and the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, whose Redmi 1S set new standards in budget smartphone category.

And now once again, the two technology giants are back in the ring with the updated models of their budget smartphones. Let’s delve into deeper and check how they improve over their predecessors and which one offers better value for money.

First take a look at the key specifications of both the devices:

Moto E 3G

4.5” IPS LCD capacitive, 540 x 960 pixels (245 ppi)

1.2 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU

Adreno 302GPU

5 MP autofocus rear camera, VGA front

1 GB RAM

Android 5.0 Lollipop

8GB in-built storage and expandable up-to 32GB via microSD card

2380 mAh battery unit

3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0

Dual SIM support

Redmi 2

4.70 “IPS LCD capacitive, 720x1080p (312 ppi)
1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 CPU

Adreno 306 GPU

8 MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash, 2MP front camera

1 GB RAM

Android 4.4 with MIUI 6
8GB in-built storage and expandable up-to 32GB via microSD card

2200 mAh battery unit

3G, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0

Dual 4G Sim support

Moto E 3G has an edge over design and build quality

There is not much of a difference in terms of design of Moto E 3G over its predecessor. The new one carries the same ergonomic construction; rounded curves, soft touch back which feel good to hold and a balanced overall weight.Motorola 1

The design is upgraded by the addition of a rubberised band that wraps around the edges and hides the dual SIM card and microSD card slots. You can replace this band with other colourful options which gives the smartphone a refreshing new look. Overall, the new Moto E feels very sturdy, not at all cheap and is the cutest kid of the Motorola’s family.

Moto 2

The Redmi 2 on the other hand is a huge improvement over Redmi 1S. It sheds that extra bulk, wider bezels and incorporates a matte finish removable back panel which is far better than that glossy one seen on Redmi 1S. For now, the white version is available in India.

This slimmer, lighter and refined construction gives it an edge over its predecessor, however when put in comparison against the latest Moto E; the smartphone loses the game. At the same price point; Moto E 3G feels premium than the Redmi 2.

Redmi 2’s HD display vs. the non HD on Moto E

Xiaomi has always known for offering higher specifications than its competitors and Redmi 2 follows the same tradition. The 4.7 inch 720p screen on Redmi 2 surpasses the 540x960p resolution of Moto E’s 4.5 inch display. This difference in pixels per inch; Moto E (245ppi) and Redmi 2 (312ppi); is quite visible in terms of sharpness and viewing angles, as Redmi 2 scores high in both the departments.

dispkay

Also the screen on Moto E has a warmer tone than the Redmi 2. When both the smartphones were placed side by side, the whites on Redmi 2 look more natural than on the Moto E’s.

However, the displays on both the smartphones offer good level of brightness and are easily visible in outdoor conditions. Moreover the Dragontrail glass on Redmi2 and Gorilla Glass 3 on Moto E 3G provides required protection from unwanted damages.

A hard choice between Android 5.0 Lollipop & Xiaomi’s MIUI 6

Software experience on both the smartphones is a treat. Motorola is offering the best looking Android version; the 5.0 Lollipop out of the box and Redmi 2 run the latest MIUI 6 over Android 4.4.4 Kitkat.

I had a hard time settling on one as both have a different taste and unique set of features.

motorola 3

Android 5.0, on the one hand comes with the new animations; material design as Google calls it, which I found quite clean and refreshing. Its performance on Moto E is most of the time fluidic, with minor lags observed with more than 10 applications running simultaneously in the background, an acceptable thing.

Motorola’s custom tweaks such as lock screen notifications, quick launch of camera by twisting your wrist, Moto Assist, etc. comes quite handy.

IMG_20150323_180505262_HDR_1

MIUI 6 on Redmi 2 is also a much refined version of the previous MIUI. It’s visually very clean, follows nice subtle animations and is highly customisable with the powerful theme engine. However, it resembles to the jailbreak iOS 8 to a great extent, something we mentioned last week in the review of Mi4.

Redmi 2 is a clear winner in terms of camera performance

The performance of the camera on both the smartphones is poles apart. Motorola has not achieved any significant improvement in camera performance of its updated budget smartphone. It is the same old 5 MP shooter with an autofocus.

The pictures come out to be of average quality with lack of details. The low light shots are full of noise, and the worst part, you don’t get a flash, so no pictures after 8 PM. However, Motorola has added a VGA shooter on front this time, but it is as bad as rear.

On the contrary, Redmi 2 integrates an 8 MP rear shooter which is number one in our list of budget camera smartphones. It quickly takes the subject in focus and the clicked pictures displays accurate colour formation and fine detailing. We were also quite impressed by the camera performance in low light conditions as the pictures have very minimal noise.

Moreover, the effective HDR, various filters, scene modes, beauty mode (front camera) and intuitive exposure, ISO control makes it one of the best camera application.

(You can check the pictures clicked by both the smartphones at the end of this article)

 The real performance test

We used both the smartphones for a week and their performances were more than satisfactory considering the price point.

We kept both the devices side by side and checked the application loading and shifting time. Though there was hardly a difference in the application loading time of both the devices, we recorded a difference of a millisecond or two in the multitasking when more than 7 applications were active in the background. Redmi 2 tends to offer faster multitasking than the Moto E 3G.

Then the real difference was observed in the heavy tasks such as graphical intensive games where Redmi 2 showed an edge over the Moto E 3G. The Moto E with its Adreno 302 GPU, took time to load the heavy games and even stuttered frequently during game play, whereas Redmi 2’s Adreno 306 managed to run the same with fewer lags.

The synthetic benchmarks also signify the same, where a noticeable difference is recorded in the scores of the two smartphones. Redmi 2’s 64-bit quad-core 410 Snapdragon processor outshines Moto E 3G’s quad-core Snapdragon 200 CPU.

Redmi 2’s Dual 4G SIM support

Another sought after feature of Redmi 2 is the dual 4G SIM support. Both the SIM card slots of the smartphone support 4G, which makes it perfect if you you would like to keep two active SIM cards (official and personal) with 4G connectivity.

Which one lasts longer??

Surprisingly, even with a powerful battery unit, the Moto E 3G lasted for 6 hours 35 minutes on our video playback test; whereas Redmi 2 touched a mark of 6 hours 45 minutes. On a similar usage pattern which includes calling, web browsing, camera, social networks, etc.  Redmi 2 lasted for a little longer than the Moto E 3G. It is pretty amazing as despite of a larger screen with extra resolution, Redmi 2 offers better battery back-up.

Bottomline:Moto E 3G vs Redmi 2

Now the real question, which one is good for you? It’s no doubt that both the devices offer decent smartphone experience at a very affordable price-point. So the final decision rests on your usage requirements and personal choice.

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If you want to taste the latest stock Android experience out of the box, not much of a gamer and camera user and need a sturdy and premium looking device at a pocket friendly price then Moto E 3G is the device for you.

However, if you look for a budget smartphone that can click great pictures (day and night), is highly customizable, sleeker, powerful and even has 4G, then Xiaomi’s Redmi 2 is your option.

Shot by Moto E

a

HDR shot

b

Shot by Redmi 2

c

HDR shot

d

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