Shootout: ASUS ZenFone 5 vs. HTC Desire 616 vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S

By Sidney Wong - 11 Aug 2014


Popularity of Dual-SIM Phones

Dual-SIM phones have been in the market for a long time; however, they only became more popular recently due to the entry of Chinese phone maker Xiaomi in this region. Motorola did make a splash on the scene in early January when it launched the Moto G, but the one phone that got everyone's attention was Xiaomi's original Redmi, which started selling since February 21 this year. Since then, the floodgates seem to have swung wide open; ASUS, HTC, Huawei, Oppo, and Nokia have all jumped on the bandwagon. 

Bearing that in mind, we decided to take a look at notable recently launched dual-SIM smartphones in the market. For this comparison, we narrowed down dual-SIM smartphones with three criteria: display sizes up to 5-inches, priced below S$300, and made available in retail as recent as July 2014.

This brings us to three models - the ASUS ZenFone 5, the HTC Desire 616 Dual SIM and the Xiaomi Redmi 1S. The premise of this shootout article is to help consumers decide which of these three new dual-SIM smartphone offers the best price to performance ratio. Note that while we've reviewed the ASUS ZenFone 5 sometime back in May, that was a review unit that had 1GB of RAM. The recently available retail version that was sold to consumers was bumped up to 2GB and so this is the edition we're comparing this time round.

Before we move on to the feature presentation in proper, check out how the phones stack up against one another:

ASUS ZenFone 5 vs. HTC Desire 616 Dual SIM vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S
  ASUS ZenFone 5 (2GB RAM) HTC Desire 616 Dual SIM (4GB) Xiaomi Redmi 1S
  ASUS ZenFone 5 (2GB RAM) HTC Desire 616 Dual SIM (4GB) Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Launch SRP
  • From S$249
  • From S$298
  • From S$169
Operating system
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with ASUS ZenUI (Upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat)
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense
  • MIUI V5 (based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean)
  • Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core 1.6GHz
  • MediaTek MT6592 octa-core 1.4GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.6GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 5-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels / IPS+
  • 5-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • 4.7-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels / IPS
  • Rear: 8-megapixel with f/2.0 aperture and PixelMaster technology
  • Front: 2-megapixel
  • Rear: 8-megapixel with LED flash
  • Front: 2-megapixel
  • Rear: 8-megapixel with dual-LED flash, aperture of f/2.2 and 28mm wide angle lens
  • Front: Front: 1.3-megapixel
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (EDR + A2DP)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS + AGPS
Storage Type
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microSD card support up to 64GB
  • 4GB internal storage
  • microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 64GB
  • 2,110mAh
  • 2,000mAh
  • 2,000mAh
  • 148.2 x 72.8 x 5.5-10.34mm
  • 142 x 71.9 x 9.15mm
  • 137 x 69 x 9.9mm
  • 145g
  • 150g
  • 158g

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