Xiaomi, as we reported yesterday, has announced that the Redmi S2 is headed for the Philippines, with the local release pegged for June 4.
The technology company’s latest budget offering is expected to face stiff competition from comparable sub-P10,000 (under $192) phones such as the OPPO A83 and ASUS ZenFone Max (M1). According to Xiaomi, it will be the 3GB RAM and 32GB version of the Redmi S2 that will make its way to stores soon, and the price is as low as you’ll find anywhere else. For all its specs and features, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 will go for P7,990 ($153) here. Crazy, we know.
But even so, the OPPO A83 and ASUS ZenFone Max (M1), as we’ve said in this space previously, are great phones in their own right. OPPO’s A83 packs respectable hardware for its price, in an extra-tall design with slimmer bezels all around. In the ASUS corner, the ZenFone Max (M1) delivers good performance on both productivity and gaming fronts and even better battery life on a single charge.
All three stand to offer value for money for those who are careful with their purse strings. But which one will bring you greater value? Read on and decide for yourself.
The case for the Xiaomi Redmi S2
As with most devices from the Redmi stables, the S2 carries the hallmarks of a mid-tier device, as well as a price tag that is favorable for consumers. Machined-aluminum construction with fingerprint hardware? Check. HD display with less bezels and more screen? Check. Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 powered by a decent-sized battery and Android 8.1 Oreo? Check and check.
For taking pictures, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 also gets the upper hand on its rivals, at least on paper. The primary system mounts two cameras of the 12- and 5-megapixel kind, while the front-facing one uses a bright 16-megapixel camera assisted by LED flash. The cameras are said to perform faster and better in portrait and beauty photography, thanks to on-device artificial intelligence or AI.
Xiaomi describes the S2 as the “best Redmi phone for selfies,” and given the laundry list of features included, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Still, we’ll reserve our judgment until we’re able to test the phone in the coming weeks.
Then there’s the price. At P7,990 ($153), the Redmi S2 is the cheapest of the three phones listed here — and by a considerable margin.
The case for the OPPO A83
In our review of the P9,990 ($191) OPPO A83, we called it the “most recommendable OPPO phone yet,” which spoke volumes about the level of confidence we had on the phone. A few months into that verdict, the observation still stands.
The front camera of the A83 exceeds expectations in this price range, and the Helio P23 at the helm is arguably about as good, if not better, than the Snapdragon 625. Thermal performance is above average and does not throttle nearly as much after long periods of use, and the chip delivers consistently solid frame rates when playing intensive games. Also, keeping the display on for stretches of time doesn’t kill the battery quickly.
The case for the ASUS ZenFone Max (M1)
The P8,995 ($172) ZenFone Max (M1), in keeping with the trend these days, features dual cameras at the back. Unlike most other phones, however, it’s got one camera rocking a regular lens and another with a wide-angle lens for taking in the world around you — as long as you don’t mind the fish-eye or distorted effect on the fringes.
The 4,000mAh battery inside the newer Max entry also offers more capacity than what’s inside the Redmi S2 and A83. The advantage means hours and hours away from a wall plug, although conversely, with the higher-capacity cell comes longer charging times. Based on our experience, it takes around three hours to juice up the battery from zero to full using the included accessories.
In a nutshell: Specs and price comparison
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