Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) vs Moto G6 Play vs Honor 7C: Best Budget Smartphones Compared

The budget smartphone segment is heating up with loads of new releases and we help you decide which one is best for you.


Ever since Xiaomi launched the Redmi series of smartphones in the Indian market, it has more or less dominated the budget segment. Other manufacturers like Asus, Lenovo, Huawei etc have tried their best but haven’t been able to displace Xiaomi as the preferred brand for phone buyers in the ~10K range. In today’s comparison, we feature the recently launched Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and the Honor 7C, and we throw in the soon-to-be-launched Redmi S2 (to launch in India as Redmi Y2), as they take on the Moto G6 Play which launched yesterday. Which phone takes the crown? We find out.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) vs Moto G6 Play vs Honor 7C: Price in India

The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a Flipkart exclusive and is priced at Rs. 10,999 for 3GB RAM+32GB storage variant and Rs 12,999 for the 4GB RAM+64GB storage model. The Honor 7C, on the other hand, is an Amazon exclusive and will go on sale from May 31 at Rs 9,999. There are also some attractive launch offers like no-cost EMI and cashback of up to Rs 2,000 on purchase of the Honor 7C.

The Redmi S2 has been launched in China, and is yet to hit Indian shores. Some of the reports state that Xiaomi might make it official in India on June 7, but there is no confirmation by the company. In China, the Redmi S2 is priced at CNY 999, which converts to Rs.10,500. We can expect the Redmi S2 to launch under the 10k segment.

The Moto G6 play has been launched in India at Rs. 11,999 for the 3GB RAM+32GB storage variant. It is up for sale exclusively via Flipkart.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) vs Moto G6 Play vs Honor 7C: Design, Display

All three of these phones offer premium metal construction. The designs are nothing special to write about, with all three of the phones sporting a metal frame with extra-tall displays at the front. The Honor 7C has a 5.99-inch (1440 x 720 pixels) 18:9 FullView 2.5D curved glass display. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 has a 5.99 inch FHD+ Full View Display, while the Redmi S2 will be launching with a 5.99-inch IPS LCD screen with 720×1440 pixels resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9.

The Moto G6 play improves on the design from last year and features a funky-looking body with that extra-tall display up front. The screen itself is a 5.7-inch HD+ IPS panel.

There’s very little to separate these phones when it comes to design and display and all four of them fare equally here.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) vs Moto G6 Play vs Honor 7C: Performance, Hardware, Software

This is where the real differences start to show. The Redmi S2 comes powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset paired with Adreno 506 GPU. It features 3GB/4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB storage options.  For software, the Redmi S2 runs Android Oreo-based MIUI 9.5.

The Moto G6 Play is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 427 chipset which is coupled with 2GB of RAM clocked at 1.4 GHz with an Adreno 505 GPU. It runs Android Oreo out of the box and is fueled by a massive 4000mAh battery, meaning the Moto G6 Play is good enough to last even the heaviest days of usage with ease. The smartphone is available in two memory configurations – 2GB RAM + 16GB internal memory and 3GB RAM + 32GB internal memory. There’s also an option to expand this using a microSD card.

The Honor 7C has a lower-end, albeit still octa-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC, paired with 3GB of RAM. The phone has 32GB and 64GB storage options both expandable via microSD card. Notably, the phone has dual-sim support in addition to the expandable memory card slot, so no more compromises there. It runs on Android 8.0 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.0.

Asus’ Zenfone Max Pro M1 takes the cake here, with a powerful Snapdragon 635 processor coupled with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32/64 gigs of internal storage options. Where the Zenfone wins hands down is its battery, with a massive 5000mAh cell powering the Max Pro M1, and Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. The Honor 7C comes with a 3,000mAh cell.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) vs Moto G6 Play vs Honor 7C: Camera

Cameras were never a priority for budget smartphones but that trend is slowly fading away, with manufacturers packing good camera hardware even on the budget range of phones. The Redmi S2 sports 12MP+5MP dual camera setup at the rear, and a 16MP front-facing camera for selfies.

The Honor 7C has a dual rear camera setup that has a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor, paired with an autofocus lens that has an f/2.2 aperture. On the front, the Honor 7C has an 8-megapixel sensor with a fixed focus lens sporting an f/2.0 aperture.

On the imaging front, the Moto G6 Play boasts a 13-megapixel primary rear camera with phase detection autofocus, and a f/2.0 aperture lens. The 13-megapixel camera on the back is accompanied by an LED flash. On the front, there is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter.

The Zenfone Max Pro M1 too has a dual 13MP, f/2.2 + 5MP camera setup which enables bokeh mode photos. On the front, is an 8MP shooter with Beauty modes and also a Front LED flash.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2) vs Moto G6 Play vs Honor 7C: Conclusion

The Honor 7C is a solid phone and packs in quite a punch to take on the Redmi S2. The G6 play continues to build on the Moto G series heritage and does everything right. However, its price might be off-putting for someone who’s looking for a device near the 10K mark. Which leaves us with the Zenfone Max Pro M1. Asus seems to have hit it out of the park with the Zenfone Max Pro M1 as its great screen, good rear cameras and some nifty features like the 2nd generation NXP SMART Amplifier and 5-magnet Speaker which definitely adds to your media consumption experience. To top it all, it comes with a massive battery which is bound to last you 2 full days of medium to heavy usage. If you’re looking for a phone near the 10-12K bracket, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is our recommendation.