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Shootouts

Shootout: The best smartphones under S$350

By James Lu - 26 Jun 2015

Benchmark Performance & Battery Life

Benchmark Performance

There's a fair bit of chipset variety between our mid-range smartphones. The Phicomm P660, Xiaomi Mi 4i and ZTE Blade S6 all use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, although notably, Xiaomi's Mi 4i uses a speedier version with 1.7Ghz and 1.1Ghz cores. Lenovo also uses an octa-core processor, but one made by Mediatek, while ASUS uses an Intel Atom Z3560 quad-core 1.8GHz processor. Microsoft uses an older 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor and also has just 1GB RAM (everyone else has 2GB). Here's a specs table recap:-

  ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE551ML (2GB RAM) Lenovo A7000 Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE Phicomm P660 Xiaomi Mi 4i ZTE Blade S6
  ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE551ML (2GB RAM) Lenovo A7000 Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE Phicomm P660 Xiaomi Mi 4i ZTE Blade S6
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with Vibe UI 3.0
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Denim
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Expect UI 5
  • Android OS, v5.0.2 (Lollipop) with MIUI 6
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with MiFavor 3.0
Processor
  • Intel Atom Z3560 quad-core 1.8 GHz
  • MediaTek MT6752m Octa-core 1.5GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core (Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core (Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core (Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
Built-in Memory
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (403ppi) / IPS
  • 5.5-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels (267ppi) / IPS
  • 5-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels (294 ppi) / IPS
  • 5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441ppi) / IPS
  • 5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441ppi) / IPS
  • 5-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels (294ppi) / IPS
Camera
  • Rear: 13-megapixel, f2.0, 5-element lens and PixelMaster technology
  • Front: 5-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear: 8-megapixel, 1/4-inch Sony Exmor IMX219 sensor, dual LED flash
  • Front: 5-megapixel
  • Rear: 8-megapixel autofocus
  • Front: 0.9-megapixels
  • Rear: 13-megapixel, 1/3.06-inch Sony Exmor RS IMX214 CMOS sensor, f/2.0, LED flash
  • Front: 5-megapixel
  • Rear: 13-megapixel, 1/3.06-inch Sony Exmor RS IMX214 CMOS sensor, five-element lens construction, f/2.0 aperture, Philips dual-LED warm/cold flash
  • Front: 5-megapixel
  • Rear: 13-megapixel, 1/3.06-inch Sony Exmor RS IMX214 CMOS sensor, f/2.0, LED flash
  • Front: 5-megapixel
Connectivity
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, EDR
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot,
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP
Storage Type
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 64GB
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 32GB
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 128GB
  • 32GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card support up to 64GB
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 16GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card support up to 64GB
Battery
  • 3,000 mAh
  • 2,900 mAh
  • 2,500mAh
  • 2,300 mAh
  • 3,120 mAh
  • 2,400 mAh
Dimensions
  • 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
  • 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm
  • 141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
  • 139.5 x 69 mm x 7.3 mm
  • 138.1 x 69.6 x 7.8 mm
  • 144 x 70.7 x 7.7 mm
Weight
  • 170g
  • 140g
  • 145g
  • 110g
  • 130g
  • 154g

 

SunSpider Javascript

SunSpider JavaScript measures the browsing performance of a device when processing JavaScript. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. The ASUS ZenFone 2 was the clear winner in this benchmark, with a blistering speed of 688.8ms, which surpasses many flagship smartphones.

 

Quadrant

Quadrant is an Android benchmark that evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performances. As this is an Android benchmark, the Lumia 640 LTE is not included. Surprisingly, the winner here was the Snapdragon 615-equipped Xiaomi Mi 4i, which also easily beat the other 615-equipped smartphones thanks to its slightly higher clock speeds. The ZenFone 2 also performed well.


 

3DMark 2013

3DMark 2013 is designed to test the gaming capabilities of a device, putting its GPU through a rigorous OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark test that uses fixed off-screen rendering with high quality textures and post-processing effects. The Unlimited version of the benchmark disables v-sync, display scaling and other OS factors, making it ideal for chipset comparison.

The ZenFone 2's PowerVR G6430 GPU was surprisingly dominant, easily outscoring the rest of the field. There wasn’t much to separate the rest of our smartphones, although it looks like the Lumia 640 was held back by having just 1GB RAM.

 

Battery Life

Our standard battery test for mobile phones includes the following parameters:

  • Looping a 800 x 480-pixel video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

As expected, the phones with lower resolutions did better in our battery life benchmark, and the Lumia 640’s combination of a reasonably small screen, HD resolution display, and a relatively under-powered processor made it the leader here. That aside, the ASUS ZenFone 2 is the next best performer for a Full HD smartphone.

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