It is tough choice to make for consumers looking to buy a budget premium smartphone within Rs. 15,000 as there are plenty of options available from different brands. Major tech giants such as Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Motorola, Xiaomi, LeEco, Meizu and others have offered a wide range of selection in this category, like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K4 Note, LeEco Le 1s, Samsung Galaxy J series, which continues to see major traction in India.
Asus recently updated its Zenfone Max smartphone with a new processor, making it suitable to be pitted against some of the best-sellers in the country. Here is a comparison of the updated Zenfone Max with Lenovo ZUK Z1 and Meizu M3 Note, each of which has recently made a name for itself.
Having a 5.5-inch display has become the new standard for smartphones. All the three phones in this comparison have 5.5-inch displays with Full HD resolution, but there are some additional features that make them unique.
Firstly, Asus Zenfone Max uses the company's proprietary TruVivid technology and Bluelight Filter for Eye Care with 178-degree viewing angle. Lenovo ZUK Z1 boasts of anti-fingerprint coating, display polariser coating and GFF whole-bonding process. Meizu M3 Note gets the 2.5D screen for a much refined look and offers good viewing angles without being a fingerprint magnet.
Following the industry standard, all the three phones are equipped with capable camera sensors. Asus Zenfone Max features a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual-colour LED flash, laser auto focus and f/2.0 aperture. There are multiple camera modes such as Real Time Beautification, Night Mode, Depth of Field, Selfie Mode, Photo Effects, Panorama Mode, Miniature, Time Rewind, Smart Remove, All Smiles and Time Lapse.
Lenovo ZUK Z1 comes with a 13-megapixel Sony EXMOR RS sensor with 1.2µm, dual LED flash, OIS, 5-physical lens and f/2.2 aperture. Meizu M3 Note also has a 13MP primary camera with f/2.2 aperture, PDAF and dual LED flash.
Asus Zenfone Max and Meizu M3 Note get a standard 5MP snapper for the front while Lenovo ZUK Z1 comes with an upgraded 8MP front camera with 1.4µm pixel, OV8865 sensor equipped with OMniBSI-1 technology.
Processor, RAM and storage
Asus Zenfone Max is powered by a 64-bit 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, which is paired with 2GB or 3GB RAM and 32GB expandable storage. Meizu M3 Note is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core CPU, 3GB RAM and has 32GB onboard storage. Lenovo ZUK Z1 comes with a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, paired with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage, which sweeps its rivals.
All three phones are powered by Android. Lenovo ZUK Z1 runs Cyanogen OS 12.1 on top of Android, Meizu M3 Note has its own Flyme OS and Asus Zenfone Max is the only handset to run the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with its own Zen UI on top of it.
Battery and add-ons
For those looking at good battery life, all three phones have impressive battery units. Meizu M3 Note and Lenovo ZUK Z1 are powered by 4,100mAh battery units, but Asus Zenfone Max offers a bigger 5,000mAh unit.
All the phones have dual SIM support with 4G LTE. Lenovo ZUK Z1 offers some extras such as USB Type-C port and a fingerprint scanner. Meizu M3 Note has a fingerprint scanner integrated within its home button, but the biometric sensor is entirely missing from the Zenfone Max.
Price and availability
Asus Zenfone Max is priced at Rs. 9,999 for 2GB RAM model and Rs. 12,999 for 3GB RAM variant. Both variants are available exclusively on Flipkart and come in black, white, orange and blue colours.
Meizu M3 Note is also priced at Rs. 9,999 and available exclusively on Amazon India through weekly flash sales, first of which will be conducted on May 31 at 2 p.m.
Lenovo ZUK Z1 is priced slightly higher, at Rs. 13,499, and is available exclusively on Amazon India. The next sale for the handset is scheduled for June 2 at 2 p.m, for which registrations are mandatory.