The entry-level Android smartphones segment is one of the most active in India. All smartphone manufacturers are attempting to develop handsets that offer good performance at a very attractive price. Interestingly, several reputed brands have even developed sub-brands for this specific segment. While the Xiaomi has the Redmi 6 Series, Oppo has Realme-branded phones. Meanwhile, Honor, Lenovo, and Asus have special series of smartphones that sport aggressively low prices but pack several relevant features and surprisingly capable hardware.
Today, we are comparing three such entry-level but feature-packed Android smartphones from reputed brands. The Realme 2, Lenovo K9, and Asus Zenfone Max M1 are quite affordable. Let’s compare their prices, specifications, and features so that first-time buyers interested in purchasing an Android smartphone on a tight budget, can take an informed decision. Incidentally, all the smartphones are sold on the Indian e-commerce website Flipkart.
Realme 2 vs Lenovo K9 vs Asus Zenfone Max M1: Price in India
The Realme 2 belongs to Oppo’s sub-brand. The company launched the budget Android smartphone at a very attractive price of Rs. 8,990. For the price, buyers get 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The 4GB RAM + 64GB variant of Realme 2 costs just Rs. 10,990.
The Lenovo K9 surprisingly costs the same. However, there’s no 4GB/64GB variant of the Lenovo smartphone. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 too, is available in a single 3GB/32GB memory configuration. However, it is the cheapest among the trio. The Asus smartphone costs only Rs. 7,499.
Realme 2 vs Lenovo K9 vs Asus Zenfone Max M1: Build, Display
The Realme 2 features a surprisingly tall 6.2-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with a notch and 19:9 aspect ratio, and an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 88 percent. It also sports a diamond-cut glass finish on the back, making it look beautiful.
The Lenovo K9 has a slightly smaller 5.7-inch HD+ LCD display with 18:9 aspect ratio. There’s no notch, but it does have dual 2.5D curved glass. Similarly, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 has a 5.45-inch HD+ IPS LCD display, with no notch and 18:9 aspect ratio. But the Asus smartphone does have a metallic finish on the back panel and hence looks a little more premium.
Realme 2 vs Lenovo K9 vs Asus Zenfone Max M1: Performance, Software
Given the aggressive price points, all the smartphones on the list do not have impressive processors or GPU. All the devices do get an octa-core processor through. Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset powers the Realme 2 smartphone. Meanwhile, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, which is slightly older than the Snapdragon 450, powers the Asus Zenfone Max M1. Interestingly, the Lenovo K9 gets a better Mediatek Helio P22 processor. The Helio branded processor is a Mediatek offering and is quite aggressive in performance.
Interestingly, all the entry-level Android smartphones run on Android 8.1 Oreo, which is a very recent operating system, which the Android 9 Pie succeeded. However, each company on the list, applies its own custom layer atop Android 8.1 Oreo base OS. The Realme 2 gets Color OS 5.1, while the Lenovo K9 boots ZUI 4.0 skin. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 runs on ZenUI 5.0. Although performance-wise all these custom layers aren’t bad, the customization may not appeal to everyone.
Realme 2 vs Lenovo K9 vs Asus Zenfone Max M1: Camera
Customers looking at entry-level and budget Android smartphones seldom demand great imaging hardware. Still, the Realme 2 sporting a 13MP + 2MP dual camera setup on the back. There’s an 8MP front-facing camera on the Oppo sub-brand device.
The Lenovo K9 looks quite competitive in this category, since it is the only handset offering a front dual-camera as well a rear dual-camera. The Lenovo smartphone gets a 13MP + 5MP setup for both the rear as well as the selfie cameras. The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 comes with a single 13MP rear camera and a single 8MP front shooter.
Realme 2 vs Lenovo K9 vs Asus Zenfone Max M1: Battery, Connectivity
The Realme 2 packs the largest battery among the three. With a 4,230mAh battery pack, buyers can easily get multi-day usage on a single charge. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 follows the Realme 2 with an equall large 4,000mAh battery and surprisingly gets 10W Fast Charging. The Lenovo K9 gets a rather small 3,000mAh battery, but does benefit from 10W Fast Charging as well.
All the three budget Android smartphones get a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and other standard connectivity ports including WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, micro-USB port, etc. Incidentally, all the devices also sport the humble but practical 3.5mm headphone jack.
Realme 2 vs Lenovo K9 vs Asus Zenfone Max M1: Conclusion
Considering the specifications alone, the Realme 2 from Oppo appears to be quite an attractive smartphone. Buyers looking for dual camera setup, large battery, and big display can certainly opt of the device.
The Lenovo K9 has the dual camera setup on both the sides as one of the main selling aspects. However, if budget is a big priority, then the Asus Zenfone Max M1 can be a great option. Asus has managed to pack all the relevant features at an amazingly low price.