The Rs 12,999 Battle!
Technology does change ever so fast. If you had told us this time last year that one of the biggest rivalries in the smartphone arena would be between two phones that cost Rs 12,999, we would have laughed at the very notion. After all, rivalries are supposed to be high profile, aren’t they? They are supposed to be like iPhone vs Galaxy S or Galaxy S6 vs LG G4. And yet, today, if there is a question that one gets asked most often, and often among the college going crowd, which is not always overflowing with funds, it is: should I go for the XiaomiMi 4i or the new Moto G? Both phones cost Rs 12,999, and both claim to deliver near flagship level performances at that staggeringly low price. But which is the one for you? Well, let us see if we can help, shall we?
On paper, this would seem to be a landslide victory for the Mi 4i. It is a mere 7.8 mm thin as compared to the 11.6 mm thickness of the new Moto G, which seems like a blast from the past. At 130 grammes, the Mi 4i is also much lighter than the 155 grammes heavy Moto. Although both devices sport 5.0-inch displays, the Mi 4i is the more compact – just 138 mm long as compared to the 142 mm of the Moto G. Still, the dotted, textured back of the Moto G is going to attract people as is the fact that it is resistant to water and can even stay underwater for a short period of time. Those going for pure aesthetics might prefer the sleeker Mi 4i, but we think we can see an equal number people liking the textured back and water resistance of the Moto G.
Tie (those loving the sleek will like the Mi 4i, those preferring the sturdy, the Moto G)
And this is an absolutely massacre, for on paper, the Mi 4i makes mincemeat of the Moto G (3rd generation). It comes with full HD display as against the 720p HD one on the Moto, and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor as against the Snapdragon 410 on the Moto. Both devices sport 13.0-megapixel rear and 5.0-megapixel front facing cameras and come with 16 GB storage, but the Moto G scores by getting expandable storage. Both are dual SIM devices and come with similar connectivity options, but the Mi 4i beats the Moto G in the battery department as well – packing in a 3120 mAh battery in a smaller frame as compared to the 2470 mAh one on the bulkier Moto G.
If the Mi 4i scores on hardware, the Moto G pulls back some ground on the software side. Yes, we love the feature laden MIUI 6 interface on the Mi 4i, but it can gobble a lot of RAM, whereas the Moto G runs on the latest version of Android with no overlays whatsoever. Those who love colourful icons and wallpapers and a frequently updated UI will prefer the MIUI, but pure Android fans will love the Moto G.
Moto G (3rd generation)
Multimedia and Gaming
Bring on the cameras and sound and the pendulum swings right back to the Mi 4i whose 13.0 megapixel camera is a clear notch above the one of the Moto G, even though the latter does have an impressive turn of speed. In terms of sound too, the Mi 4i seems to have an advantage with the new Moto G not having the stereo sound of its predecessor. The better processor also gives the Mi 4i the edge when it comes to gaming – it can actually handle titles like FIFA 15 without too many headaches, while the Moto G gets distinctly laggy. Finally, the full HD display makes videos and Web pages a whole lot more fun to read on the Mi 4i. Another round to the Xiaomi device, then.
Which brings us to the general performance or the “doing routine stuff” section and here we see the Moto G inching ahead of the Mi 4i. The Mi 4i does tend to lag sometimes (we suspect that the RAM-hungry MIUI 6 is to blame) and although it is more adept at handling games and multimedia tasks, it does tend to heat up. On the other hand, the unfettered Android on the Moto G rolls though routine tasks with silky smoothness and also scores on call quality – a traditional Motorola strength. Battery life turned out to be a much closer shave than we thought, given the significantly larger battery on the Mi 4i – the Xiaomi device did win by lasting more than a day, but the Moto G almost got through a day itself.
Moto G (3rd generation)
So that adds up to two rounds apiece and one tied. Which one would be the better choice? Honestly, we think that both devices are meant for different audiences. We can see the Moto G striking a chord with those who want a more “basic smartphone” with some high-end features like a good camera and the water resistance. On the other hand, those seeking performance and high-end, or close to high-end specs would prefer the markedly superior display on the Mi 4i. If we had to pick one of the two, we would go for the sleeker Mi 4i, thanks to its superior hardware and ability to hand more tasks. That said, the Moto G is right at home in rain and shine and is a smooth operator as long as you do not push it too much. The choice is yours…
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