Performance Shootout: Moto G Turbo vs Xiaomi Mi 4i vs Asus Zenfone 2

By Sameer Mitha | Published on 15 Dec 2015
Performance Shootout: Moto G Turbo vs Xiaomi Mi 4i vs Asus Zenfone 2

Battle of the budget smartphones: We take three popular smartphones in the sub-15K price point and compare them, telling you which is the right smartphone for you!

When we get requests for smartphone recommendations, the most popular price bracket is under Rs. 15,000, and the features on demand are camera performance, good battery life, good gaming abilities and an overall lag-free experience. So, essentially, companies are expected to pack a punch in their smartphones for a budget price, and throw everything in them except the kitchen sink and a cappuccino maker.

If you are looking for a smartphone within the budget of Rs. 15,000, you have the likes of the Asus Zonfone 2, Xiaomi Mi 4i, Moto G, Lenovo K3 Note, Infocus M810 and many more. Sure, all of these smartphones are great, and show a lot of potential because of which they are a part of our top 10. But, by popular demand, today we are going to take a look at the recently-launched Moto G Turbo, Mi 4i (still in high demand) and the Asus Zenfone 2 (2GB RAM + 16GB storage variant).

Let's kick things off with the specifications of the three devices.

Particulars Moto G Turbo Xiaomi Mi 4i Asus Zenfone 2
Thickness 11.6mm 7.8mm 10.9mm
Weight 155 grams 130 grams 170 grams
Display Size 5-inch 5-inch 5.5-inch
Resolution 1280x720 1920x1080 1920x1080
OS Android 5.1.1 Android 5.0.2 with MIUI 6.0 Android 5.0 with Asus ZenUI
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Intel Atom Z3560
CPU Quad-core 1.5GHz & quad-core 1GHz Quad-core 1.7GHz & quad-core 1GHz Quad-core 1.8 GHz
GPU Adreno 405 Adreno 405 PowerVR G6430
Built-in sotrage 16GB 16/32GB 16GB
Expandable storage up to 32GB via a MicroSD card No up to 64GB via a MicroSD card
Rear Camera 13MP 13MP 13MP
Front Camera 5MP 5MP 5MP
Battery 2470mAh 3120mAh 3000mAh
Dual-SIM Yes Yes Yes
Price Rs. 14,499 Rs. 11,999 (16GB) / Rs. 14,999 (32GB) Rs. 13,999

On paper, it seems like the Moto G Turbo has a disadvantage when it comes to the display resolution, which is a mere 720p. In real world usage, however, the smartphone performs well. Sure, the colours on the Mi 4i's display are better, but when watching videos, playing games and browsing the Internet, the Moto G Turbo performs just fine. All of these smartphones run on Android 5.0 Lollipop, with the Moto G Turbo offering near-stock Android experience. The Mi 4i has Xiaomi's MiUI, and the Zenfone has Asus’ Zen UI, so despite having the same OS, all the smartphones offer a unique experience.

As far as the hardware powering the device is concerned, we will save that for the performance section. These phones are priced under 15k, and the advantage that the Mi 4i has is that it boasts of 32GB built-in storage, whereas the other two have 16GB built-in storage. Sure, the 32GB variant is available on Xiaomi’s own website, but we don’t think that should make much of a difference.

Here is a quick look at the benchmark scores of the three smartphones. It's interesting to see two of the three smartphones run on the Snapdragon 615, and one running on an Intel SoC. 


The new AnTuTu benchmark did not run on the Xiaomi Mi 4i. The Moto G Turbo scored higher in AnTuTu when compared to Zenfone 2. When it comes to 3D mark Ice Storm Unlimited, the Asus Zenfone 2 scored the highest, which means that if you are looking for a smartphone for gaming, the Asus is your weapon of choice.

Moving on, here is a look at some of the images clicked from all the three smartphones.

Images clicked with the Asus Zenfone 2 (Click to see the full image)

Images clicked with the Xiaomi Mi 4i (Click to see the full image)

Images clicked from the Moto G Turbo (Click to see the full image)

When it comes to the camera performance, all the three smartphones perform well in well-lit situations – well enough to upload on social networking websites with good results. When it comes to low-lit situations, all the camera samples have noise. While the Moto G Turbo rendered lesser noise, it ended up softening subject edges. The Mi 4i rendered more noise, but kept saturation, contrast and sharpness intact.

In my hands
So we now know the performance of the three smartphones. But, let's talk about other things that matter – the build and design, and how comfortable it is to hold in one's hands. Kicking things off with the Moto G Turbo, the smartphone has a curved, textured back, with curved edges, which makes it the most comfortable of the three to hold. The display is 5 inches, making it big enough for multimedia content, and small enough for single-handed operations.

Moving on to the Mi 4i, the smartphone has a candybar form factor with curved edges and a flat back. It’s easy for the smartphone to slip and fall from hands. Once you get a grip of the phone, however, it is comfortable to type on. Last but not least, we have the Asus Zenfone, which has a 5.5-inch display, a curved back and curved edges. The device is better for two-handed operations because of its size, and the curved back makes it comfortable to hold. The power button is at the top of the Zenfone 2 making it a tad uncomfortable to unlock, when compared to the side location of the power button on the other smartphones.

So, which device should you buy?
Well, all of the smartphones are a part of our list of top 10 smartphones under 15k. If you are looking for a large screen for great multimedia consumption and gaming, then the Asus Zenfone 2 is the way to go. If you are looking for a comfortable form factor, stock Android experience and a decent camera, then the Moto G Turbo is the way to go. If sleek build, with more built-in storage is what you need, then it’s the Xiaomi Mi 4i. The Mi 4i is a smooth, overall performer, and its UI is one that has grown on us. All of the three smartphones have their own share of pros and cons, so judge your priorities and requirements before investing.

Sameer Mitha

Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.

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