The segment just north of Rs 10,000 has been a tough one for many smartphone makers since a long, long time. Given the fact that mid-tier smartphone internals are punchier and more affordable than ever, the segment strikes the perfect balance among design, performance and value for money. But how much can a smartphone maker really squeeze into that price bracket? Let’s find out by comparing the three of the latest offerings by Xiaomi, Realme and Honor — Redmi 6 Pro, Realme 2 and Honor 9N.
Comparison: Redmi 6 Pro vs Realme 2 vs Honor 9N
Unlike the trend of 2017, smartphones in this price range no longer look alike — with a display covered by glass at the front and a metal unibody slapped at the back. Now you have considerable variety of textures, colours and materials when it comes to smartphone design at this price point.
Take Realme 2, for instance — wrapped in glass at the front and back, the phone feels nothing short of premium in hand. The metal frame sandwiched between also gives a reassuring feel to this device. Realme has been known for its “diamond cut” design with its Realme 1 and the Realme 2 keeps that design aspect intact. Even the fingerprint scanner is placed at a slight angle at the back of the phone to reduce finger placement errors.
The Redmi 6 Pro on the other hand follows the traditional Xiaomi design philosophy of having a metal back and chassis. The phone feels sturdy and surprisingly small in hand but the all-metal design also adds considerable weight to the phone.
The Honor 9N also features a glass back, but comes in a single tone. The company claims it has 12 layers of premium glass with nano-coating. It is the lightest and shortest of all three phones in the shootout, which makes it the most holdable smartphone of the three.
The notch, one of the biggest compromises in the smartphone industry ushered in by Apple’s iPhone X, is present on all three smartphones. The main reason to do so is to spread out the display to the edges as much as possible. This eliminates the chin and forehead of a smartphone to an extent, giving it an eyebrow instead.
All three phones also come with LCD displays featuring an aspect ratio of 19:9, providing more vertical screen real estate in a factor that’s not uncomfortable to grip in your palm.
The Realme 2 has the biggest screen of the lot, sizing in at 6.2-inches horizontally with a resolution of 1520×720 pixels. The Redmi 6 Pro and Honor 9N feature identical screens measuring 5.84-inches horizontally with a resolution of 2280×1080.
The pixel density, however, is the lowest in the Realme 2—at 271 ppi. That is because of low resolution on a large screen, which in turn compromises the crispness of the display. The other two phones come with the same density of 432 ppi and are sufficiently crisp for consuming visual content.
All three phones in the shootout come with different processors—all with eight cores. Starting with the most powerful of the lot, the Honor 9N features the in-house HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor, with four cores clocked at 2.36GHz and the other four at 1.7GHz.
However, the Snapdragon 625 and 450 present in Redmi 6 Pro and Realme 2 are based on a 14nm manufacturing process, which gives them better power efficiency.
The Snapdragon 450 in the Realme 2 is a lower-spec variant though, clocking in only at 1.8GHz when compared to 2GHz on the Redmi 6 Pro.
In terms of RAM and storage, Realme 2 comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage as compared to 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage in the other two. All three phones come with expandable storage though.
Same story follows on the battery front, where Realme 2 leads the pack with 4,230mAh while the Redmi 6 Pro and Honor 9N come with 4,000mAh and 3,000mAh batteries, respectively.
All three smartphones come with the same connectivity options—4G, WiFi, MicroUSB 2.0, A-GPS and Bluetooth 4.2.
All three run Android Oreo 8 out of the box, but with different custom UIs. The Redmi 6 Pro comes with Xiaomi’s MIUI while the Realme 2 uses Oppo’s ColorOS 5.1 and Honor 9N uses Huawei’s EMUI 8.0.
All three phones come with bundled apps and custom ROMs are a subject of preference. If you’re not a fan, you can always slap a launcher.
The Redmi 6 Pro features a 12MP+5MP dual rear camera setup with phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), while at the front it comes with a 5MP sensor.
The Realme 2 and Honor 9N feature similar rear camera setups, as they both ship with 13MP+2MP sensors at the back. In the front, the Realme 2 features an 8MP clicker while the Honor 9N comes with a 16MP sensor.
All three smartphones come with good cameras, but the camera app experience varies in terms of look and speed.
The Redmi 6 Pro is the costliest of the lot, priced at Rs 11,999, while the other two are priced identically—Realme 2 at Rs 10,999 and Honor 9N at Rs 10,990.
Given the variety of options and compromises with these phones, we would suggest you clear out your priorities before buying any of these phones. If you’re a video junky with preference for high performance, a display with good pixel density and processor with higher clock speeds will matter more, while if you’re conscious about looks, you can’t go wrong with a diamond cut back.