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Which is the best budget smartphone?

Xiaomi's Redmi 2, Motorola's E2 and Lenovo A6000 — the trio could possibly be the best budget smart phones in the market, each available for Rs 6,999. How do they match up against each other? Hassan M Kamal finds out

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Design: An improved and lighter successor of the Redmi 1S, the Xiaomi Redmi2 is the perfect size for a smart phone. The 4.7-inch screen size gives it an edge over Moto E2 as well as the Lenovo A6000. Looks-wise, though, the Redmi 2 is just another ordinary smart phone, a plain Jane, but if you like it simple, this one is for you.
Rating: 6 / 10

Display:
Superbly done! As we said earlier, the 4.7-inch IPS screen with 720x1280 resolution makes the Redmi 2 a clear winner. A smaller size display means better pixel density (312ppi), and that goes heavily in favour of the Redmi 2. The display comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection.
Rating: 9 /10

Hardware: The quad core 1.2GHz Qualcomm S410 SoC performs well including with games like Asphalt 8. The dual sim Redmi 2 offers not only 2G, 3G but also 4G in LTE FDD Band 3 (1,800) and LTE TDD Band 40 (2,300). The 2,200mAh battery does a decent job lasting a full day with regular usage, however, since we haven’t been able to test its performance in 4G networks, we can’t be sure about its longevity. But the quick charge option comes handy in desperate situations. The device also supports Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi Hotspot. The RAM and in-built storage is at 1GB and 8GB respectively, but around 5.75GB storage is available to users. Supports OTG devices.
Rating: 8 /10

OS: Xiaomi runs its own user interface, MIUI 6 over Android 4.4 KitKat. And though, it’s not as fluid as the Android Lollipop, the customisation that it offers is worth a try. Unfortunately, though you may have to shell out few extra bucks for them. There’s no guaranteed update to Android Lollipop.
Rating: 7 /10

Camera: Redmi 2 gets a 2MP front camera, and an 8MP rear camera with flash. It supports HDR and a BSI sensor to aid photography in low-light conditions.
Rating: 7 /10

Overall Rating: 7.4 / 10

Lenovo A6000

Lenovo A6000

Design: We have to say it — the Lenovo A6000 is the most boring looking phone in this category. Though, Lenovo seems to have made no effort to make it a bit appealing to the eyes, for a 5-inch screen phone, it’s handy and easy to use. And, it’s the lightest smart phone in the category.
Rating: 5 /10

Display: Lenovo should be praised for how easy the A6000's 5-inch screen is on the eyes. Though, a bit more pixelated than the Redmi 2, it manages to hold its own and offers sharp and crisp display. No Corning Gorilla Glass protection, though.
Rating: 8 /10

Hardware: The 64-bit Snapdragon 410 SoC in the Lenovo A6000, makes it quite a catch at this price. The dual-sim phone matches it well with performance both in benchmarks as well as in real life, making multi-tasking a breeze. In terms of connectivity, the A6000 wins handsomely; offering support to more bands in 4G LTE including the FDD Band 1,3,7,20 (2,100) and Band 40 (2,300) — a useful addition for those who travel to foreign destinations a lot — along with 2G and 3G. The 2,300mAH battery is removable and offers a full-day usage, but like Redmi 2, usage may vary on 4G networks. It also supports Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi Hotspot. Both the RAM and in-built storage is same at 1GB and 8GB respectively, similar to the Redmi 2 and Moto E2. No OTG, though.
Rating: 9 /10

OS: Lenovo too uses its own skin, the Vibe UI 2.0 on Android Kitkat 4.4, in the A6000, which though is not as populated and backed by a strong community, like Xiaomi’s but thankfully it doesn’t slowdown the phone. No guaranteed update to Lollipop either.
Rating: 7 /10

Camera: Lenovo A6000 gets a fixed focus 2MP front camera and an 8MP rear camera with flash. The camera is slightly better than Moto E2, but again, nothing great.
Rating: 7 /10

Overall Rating: 7.2 / 10

Moto E (2nd Generation)

MOTO E2

Design: Some people have begun to admit that it’s high time to take Motorola seriously. We said so when we were the first to review the Moto G (first generation) last year. The reason, simply put, was that Motorola had put a lot of thought and effort into making the Moto G look and act good. Now, the company has taken it several notches higher with the Moto E2 and that too at Rs 6,999. It’s strong, well-built and chic. The replaceable rims are a clever idea and makes Moto E2, undoubtedly the best designed budget phone in the sub 7K range. We hope, Lenovo takes a few lessons from its new subsidiary.
Rating:
9 /10

Display: Though, better than the Moto E (first generation), Moto E2’s 4.5-inch IPS screen with 540x960 resolution fails to impress. It’s difficult to read magazines or comics without putting extra stress on your eyes. The lone saving grace is the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection layer. But that’s all about it.
Rating: 4 /10

Hardware: The 1.2GHz quadcore core Cortex A7 processor of the Moto E2 is sufficient to meet most of your multi-tasking needs. The Adreno 306 graphic processor does well even with games, but is slow to load. Connectivty in the dual sim phone is limited to 2G and 3G. The device also supports Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi Hotspot. The 2,390mAH battery is the best of the lot, and though not removable, offers more than a day-long backup on regular usage on 3G networks. The RAM offering (1GB) is same as Redmi 2 and Lenovo A6000, but thanks to the stock Android OS makes it slightly faster than the other phones. The in-built storage is again same, but only 4.5GB of storage is available for users. No support for OTG devices, though.
Rating: 7 /10

OS: Moto E2 comes with Android Lollipop 5.0, and makes things much smoother; this is the biggest attraction of the device. It’s cleaner, lighter and easier to work with. You might love some of the features like the new notifications menu, which minimises incoming calls at the top while you are busy on other apps. Some of the premium Motorola intuitive features like sleep mode, shake to wakeup phone, etc, are now available with Moto E2 as well.
Rating: 9 /10

Camera: Moto E2 gets a 0.3MP camera in the front and a 5MP camera in the rear with Auto Focus but no flash. The picture quality is average.
Rating: 5 /10

Overall Rating: 6.8 / 10

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