Xiaomi Redmi 5A vs Nokia 2: Battle of the entry-level titans

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Earlier this year, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi became the joint largest smartphone brand in India by market share, along with Samsung. Both the companies accounted for roughly 24% each of the smartphone shipments in India in Q3, 2017. In fact, if the current growth rates continue, it is likely that Xiaomi will go on to become the number 1 smartphone brand in India in 2018.  If this does happen, it would be a remarkable feat for a company that only started its journey in India three years ago with a single smartphone model. Xiaomi’s USP has always been providing absolute value for money for the consumer. Time and again, Xiaomi handsets have featured in the list of “recommended smartphones” of most leading publications and tech media outlets thanks to this insistence on offering its customers the most bang for their buck.

It is, however, not going to be easy for Xiaomi to continue maintaining this lead.

While there is no denying that Xiaomi remains the absolute king of the affordable segment ring in India, there have been several new launches of late that were seen as attempts to tackle the domination Xiaomi’s domination of this segment. Companies like Micromax, Nokia and Motorola have released several handsets in this sub Rs.10k segment to attract potential Xiaomi owners with their own offerings. However, thanks to underwhelming specs and poor pricing strategy most of these products did not affect Xiaomi’s sales adversely. One of the most important launches of recent times in the affordable smartphones segment came from Nokia, the legendary Finnish telecommunications company. Nokia, which launched handsets like the Nokia 6, Nokia 7 and the Nokia 8 handsets earlier this year also has a line up of affordable handsets on sale. These handsets include the Nokia 5 and the Nokia 3. However, the most important launch for Nokia in India in the budget segment has to be Nokia 2.

Launched in India back in November, the Nokia 2 was dubbed as the ultimate entry-level handset by Nokia. The USP of the handset is its claimed two-day battery life. In this article, let us compare how the most affordable offering from Nokia stacks up against Xiaomi’s newest entrant into the entry-level segment, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A.

Redmi 5A vs Nokia 2: Specs comparison

Both the handsets being entry-level phones get a 5-inch 720p display. Designwise, both the handsets feature a metallic design and look fairly premium. The Nokia 2 gets a polycarbonate body as well. The differences, however, are in the internals. While the Nokia 2 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor, the Redmi 5A gets a better spec’d Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chip. The Nokia gets by with just 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage as opposed to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage on the the entry-level version of the Redmi 5A. The Nokia 2 gets an 8-megapixel camera at the rear and a 5-megapixel shooter at the front. The Redmi 5A, on the other hand, gets a 13-megapixel camera at the rear and a 5-megapixel camera at the front. While the Redmi 5A clearly trumps the Nokia 2 when it comes to most hardware specs, the Nokia 2 does get a larger battery – 4100 mAh compared to 3,000 mAh on the Redmi 5A.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A Nokia 2
5-inch HD Display, 1280 x 720 pixels Display 5-inch HD Display, 1280 x 720 pixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 212
16GB or 32GB Memory 8GB
2GB or 3GB RAM 1GB
3000 mAh Battery Capacity 4100 mAh
13MP rear camera Rear Camera 8MP rear camera
5MP front camera Front Camera 5MP front camera
Nano-SIM + Nano-SIM + expandable microSD card SIM type Dual SIM
2GB+16GB: Rs. 4,999, 3GB+32GB: Rs. 6,999 Pricing Rs.6,999

Redmi 5A vs Nokia 2: Price

Now that you have seen the comparative spec sheets of both the phones, let us now look at the pricing of both these handsets. The Nokia 2 has been priced at Rs. 6,999 in India. For that price, you can actually buy the top-of-the-line Redmi 5A with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The lower spec’d 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, on the other hand, is cheaper by Rs.2,000 and still offers a better spec sheet than the Nokia 2 Clearly, unless you really long for that claimed two-day battery life, and swear by the Nokia brand name, it really doesn’t make any sense going for the Nokia 2.