Xiaomi recently announced the Xiaomi Redmi Pro smartphone with dual cameras on board. The phone is the costliest Redmi handset from the company till date and kind of breaks the common cheap price mentality that we usually associate with the Redmi series.
Considering its 1499 Yuan ($226) price tag, the Redmi Pro might feel as if it’s a bit costly for a Redmi smartphone, which it is, but today, we take a look at the competition for the device and check whether it offers better value for the money you pay. Xiaomi smartphones have always been popular for bringing the best value for your buck, so let’s see if that applies to the Redmi Pro as well.
As most of you would know, there are a lot of innovative features on the Redmi Pro, setting it apart from the competition in its price segment. In fact, it is one of the cheapest dual camera smartphones that you can buy right now. But that’s not just it. It’s also a cheap Helio X20 powered smartphone, although there are a few other options like the Vernee Apollo Lite and the 360 N4s that beats the Redmi Pro in terms of pricing.
Since we are taking a look at the competition of the Redmi Pro, we are considering phones that are around $225 (+- $20). In this range, there are a few good options, and we will compare their specs with the Pro to see whether it’s worth paying $226 for the brand new Redmi device.
Since we want to have the best in this list, we are going to consider phones that are either running Helio x20 or Helio X25 around this price tag. Surprisingly, there is one SD820 phone that’s priced very close to Redmi Pro, which if you remember, is none other than the ZUK Z2 (Rio Edition). Below is a comparison of the competition of Redmi Pro at its $226 price tag.
Appearance & Dimensions:
Most of the phones in the above comparison feature a metal body. ZUK Z2 is the only exception with a double glass body but even that looks premium. So, I am not going to compare the appearance of these phones since the liking to a particular design differ from person to person.
What we can compare is the dimensions of the body. So, when it comes to dimensions, the two LeEco phones in the list, namely the Le 2 and the Le 2 Pro turns out to be much more compact as well as lighter than the Redmi Pro. However, the difference is just marginal and not something that you would notice in your regular usage. The LeEco devices are definitely thinner, measuring just 7.5mm. But Redmi Pro’s 8.2mm thick body is justified by the large battery inside. We won’t be comparing the ZUK Z2’s dimensions and weight, mainly because it’s a 5-inch phone and the rest all are 5.5-inch devices.
The weight of the Redmi Pro is a bit higher than the competition. Both, LeEco models and 360 N4S are lighter at 153 grams and 169 grams respectively, as compared to Redmi Pro’s 174 grams.
The display on the Redmi Pro should be better on paper considering its the only phone with an OLED panel in the list. Rest have IPS LCD screens. Unsurprisingly, all phones have 1080p resolution.
Processor & Memory:
As you can see in the list, there are two phones that should perform better than the Redmi Pro, at least on the basis of their chipsets, namely the Le 2 Pro with Helio X25 and the ZUK Z2 with Snapdragon 820. The difference between Helio X20 and SD820 is actually quite significant, but for most usage, Helio X20 should be enough. If you remember, on AnTuTu, Helio X20 scores just over 90K points, Helio X25 above 95K points and SD820 around 125K+ points.
Since we are considering the base variants of all devices in the list, the Redmi Pro comes with just 3GB of RAM. At around the same price, you have three models which feature 4GB of RAM, the Le 2 Pro, 360 N4S and Vernee Apollo Lite. All the models in this list feature 32GB of internal storage, but Redmi Pro has an advantage as it comes with a MicroSD card slot (hybrid). This is where the Le 2 Pro, which has been doing so well in the earlier departments, fails. On the Le 2 Pro and the Le 2, you will be stuck with 32GB of internal storage with no option to expand.
So, the camera is one major department where specs are not really indicative of its performance. On paper, Redmi Pro has a big advantage, being the only dual camera smartphone in the list, coming with 13MP Sony sensor and 5MP depth secondary sensor from Samsung. This should technically enable better low light images and features such as bokeh, not found in other phones in its price range.
But we can only judge the performance of the camera after we try it out in real life. On paper, the 360 N4S and the Le 2 Pro also seem to have pretty good cameras.
The battery is one area that Redmi phones have managed to master in the recent releases. This one is no different as it comes with a 4050mAh battery, good enough for a couple of days. But you will be surprised to see that Redmi Pro isn’t the largest battery phone in this list. The 360 N4S comes with an even bigger 5000mAh battery, making sure that no other phone is nearly as good as the N4S in the battery department. ZUK Z2 is the third best battery phone in the list as it comes with a 3500mAh battery.
The Redmi Pro costs $226 for the base variant, and there are three other phones in this list that are cheaper than this model. The 360 N4S and Le 2 seem to be the two major competitors who are cheaper than the Redmi model, offering quite similar value. But these two phones have its own set of drawbacks as compared to the Redmi device, which we will mention below. As for the Le 2 Pro, the pricing is same as the Redmi Pro and the ZUK Z2 with SD820 is priced slightly higher at $241.
So, you saw the comparison, and you read the differences above. Which one do you think offers the best value among the above devices?
Well, I would have to say the 360 N4S is Redmi Pro’s biggest competitor, offering 4GB RAM, a larger 5000mAh battery at a much cheaper $180 price tag. But there’s one major problem, getting hold of this handset is not going to be easy. Even the 16MP f/2.0 aperture camera seems to be quite good on paper. If we had to pick Redmi Pro’s advantage, it could be the dual cameras at the back, i.e. if they manage to perform much better than the N4S.
The Le 2 Pro would be another close competition, offering 4GB RAM, slimmer body and a slightly faster Helio X25 at the same $226 price tag. However, the small 3000mAh battery, non-expandable storage and the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack are good reasons for a buyer to prefer the Redmi Pro or 360 N4S model over the Le 2 Pro.
Le 2 is the cheaper offering and at $166, you get great value for money. But when the Redmi Pro comes into the picture with its expandable storage, OLED display, much larger battery and Dual Cameras, the latter seems to bring a lot more features, if you are ready to shell out a bit more.
ZUK Z2 Rio edition is a good option for people who would like to have SD820 for just $240. But if you are okay with Helio X20 (which is quite a decent performer for everyday use), you would see that the Redmi Pro saves you a few bucks and offers much more value with dual cameras, expandable storage and larger battery. Of course, for those who want a power performer, you probably wouldn’t get anything better in terms of power at this price than the Z2 Rio Edition.
Considering that the Vernee Apollo Lite makes it to this list, it shows that the phone offers pretty good value. You get Helio X20 + 4GB RAM and expandable storage for just $200. And unlike the other models, whose international resale price would be much higher (after adding premium from resellers), the Apollo Lite is actually a pretty good phone. But if you manage to get hold of the Redmi Pro at its official price (easier if you are in China), then paying additional $25 gives you a better screen, larger battery, and a better camera setup, all from a trusted and established Chinese brand.
So, like my title says, buying the Redmi Pro at $225 won’t be a bad decision.
What do you think? Which model is your favorite? Also, do you think there’s any other model that can be added to this list? Let me know in the comments down below.