Last month, we saw three Chinese companies Nubia, Coolpad and Meizu making their debut in India and this week, another firm Phicomm from our neighbouring country launched a new handset dubbed as Passion 660.
The new Phicomm Passion 660 comes loaded with top-end 64-bit class CPU, Sony camera and other value-added features and yet it costs under ₹11,000 posing a serious threat to not only domestic players, but also to established MNC brands like Xiaomi Mi 4i and recently released Sony Xperia M4 Aqua and Nubia Z9 Mini that house the same hardware, but cost much higher than the new competitor.
To provide a better perspective on these phones, we have briefly described the key specifications so that so you can make informed decision before you buy any one of them.
The new Phicomm Passion 660, ZTE Nubia Mini and Xiaomi Mi 4i sport a 5.0-inch full HD display having pixel density of 441ppi (pixels per inch).
On the other hand, Sony Xperia M4 Aqua sports an HD (1,280x720p) resolution. Though it features a sub-par display feature, Sony makes up for this shortcoming by focusing on increasing the durability of the device.
It comes with the highest IP (Ingress Protection) rating in a smartphone category – IP65/68. This is a standard that measures a device's resistance levels to dust (IP65) and water (IP68 – both for splashes and submersion).
This means users can take the Sony phone for a dip in the swimming pool (or any other fresh water-body) up to five feet (1.5 metres) under water for close 30 minutes, provided that the phone's ports are covered by the flaps that come with the package.
Processor & RAM storage capacity:
In this aspect, all four competitors stand even, housing 64-bit class Snapdragon 615 Octa-core SoC (System on Chip), manufactured by industry leader Qualcomm.
It has to be noted that Snapdragon 615 processor comes paired with H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) that enables in faster computational operations. It is aptly backed by Adreno 405 graphics engine and 2GB DDR3 RAM.
The only drawback of Xiaomi Mi 4i is that it lacks microSD card slot for memory expansion. All other phones come with storage expandable options.
Everybody knows that Sony is a trend-setter in terms of incorporating top-notch camera in smartphones, not just on its Xperia phones, but also on popular MNC brands like Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi.
Mid-range Xperia M4 Aqua too houses a top-of-the-line 13mp with proprietary Sony Exmor RS sensor, LED flash, HDR, full HD video recording, image stabiliser, red-eye reduction and many more features. And on the front, it ships with a 5mp wide-angle camera.
The new Phicomm houses 13mp camera with Sony IMX 214 sensor, auto-focus, LED flash and a 5mp front-facing camera that is decent enough to capture a good selfie.
ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini also features a feature-rich 16mp camera on the rear-side with Sony IMX234 Exmor RS sensor, LED flash, f/2.0 aperture and an 8mp front camera with f/2.4 aperture, 80-degree wide-angle picture capture feature.
Xiaomi Mi 4i features a 13mp Sony/Samsung camera with dual-tone LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, auto-focus, HDR, touch-focus, full HD video-recording ability and a 5mp snapper with 80-degree wide-angle lens, f/1.8 aperture with full HD video-recording ability that is certain to please the selfie aficionados.
[Note: More mega-pixel count in the camera does not guarantee a good quality photograph. It all depends on the type of the lens, size and aperture.]
Mobile operating system:
In this aspect, all phones stand even as they run on same Android mobile OS platform, but differ in OS version and user interface.
Xperia M4 Aqua, Xiaomi Mi4i and ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini are shipped with Lollipop OS accompanied with respective custom interface Xperia Themes, MIUI v6.0, Nubia v2.8 and ZenUI respectively.
On the other hand, Phicomm Passion 660 is shipped with a one-generation-old Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The good news is that it is slated to receive Lollipop soon.
Price is one of the most important aspects of this comparison article as it plays a crucial role in the minds of the price-sensitive middle-class working population, which forms the biggest chunk of India's demography.
In this aspect, Phicomm has hit a bull's eye. The new Passion 660 comes with an aggressive price-tag ₹10,999, making it the cheapest 5.0-inch full HD smartphone to run on the 64-bit class Snapdragon 615 CPU, whereas Xiaomi Mi 4i costs ₹12,999 on Flipkart.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is now available across India for ₹24,990. On the other hand, ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini will set you back by ₹16,999.
Key Specifications of ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini, Xiaomi Mi 4i and Asus Zenfone 2:
|Models||Phicomm Passion 660||Xiaomi Mi 4i||Sony Xperia M4 Aqua||ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini|
|OS||Android 4.4.4 KitKat (guaranteed to get 5.0 Lollipop)||Android 5.0 Lollipop with MIUI 6.0||Android 5.0.2 Lollipop||Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with Nubia 2.8 UI|
|Processor||1.65GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Series Octa-core (1.7GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53 + 1.0GHz quad-core A53) CPU||2nd Generation 1.65GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Series Octa-core (1.7GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53 + 1.0GHz quad-core A53) CPU||64-bit Class Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) Octa-core CPU (1.5GHz Cortex-A53 quad-core + 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 quad-core)||64-bit class Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 series Octa-core CPU|
|GPU||Adreno 405||Adreno 405||Adreno 405||Adreno 405 graphics engine|
|Storage capacity||16GB, expandable up to 64GB||16GB (eMMC), not expandable||16GB, expandable up to 128GB||16GB, expandable up to 128GB|
|Network||4G-LTE||4G-LTE||4G-LTE (select markets)||3G/ 4G-LTE|
|Add-ons||Dual Sims (Micro+Nano with SD card slot), Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), GSP/A-GPS, micro-USB, G-sensor，L-sensor，P-Sensor, E-compass, Barometer, Step-counter sensor, Gesture sensor||Visual IVR (Interactive Voice Response), Dual-SIM (micro+ micro) slots, Wi-Fi (802.11 ac; MU-MIMO), GPS/GLONASS, uni-body design,||Dual-SIM slot (comes in separate model), IP65 and IP68 water-and-dust proof certifications, Bluetooth v4.1 (A2DP), Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), micro-USB 2.0, A-GPS/GLONASS, FM Radio with RDS,||Dual-SIM slots (Nano+ Nano), Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n/ac), NFC, micro-USB slot (OTG), microSD card slot, Dolby 7.1 surround sound technology|