Today we have a nuanced group of smartphones ready to be compared. The Redmi Note 3 is an affordable alternative to flagship devices sporting a 5.5-inch display; Lenovo Z2 Plus is a device that brings fantastic specs for a great price and the Galaxy J7 is a budget device coming from Samsung offering solid hardware, with a higher than expected price. Let’s see which one is the best choice.

Lenovo Zuk Z2 Plus

Dimensions, Design

The Redmi Note 3 measures 150 x 76 x 8.7 mm; relatively humble dimensions considering the screen size. The design follows the classic Xiaomi philosophy, with few details and minimalistic looks. The device is far from being described as unattractive, but it can’t be considered as strikingly beautiful.

Lenovo Z2 Plus sports a fantastic design. Excellent front side, looking like a stealth fighter; on the backside, you’ll find the main camera lens, which is placed on the upper left part. The phone measures 141.7 x 68.9 x 8.5 mm, making it an average sized 5-inch device. All in all, the Z2 Plus is one very appealing smartphone.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) sports a classic Samsung design philosophy, which was first used on the Galaxy S3. GEnlte curves, a large Home button and the camera lens placed on the upper middle part of the backside make for one average-looking phone. At least it offers thin profile and very thin bezels. The Galaxy J7 measures 151.7 x 76 x 7.8 mm, a bit bulkier that the Redmi Note 3.

xiaomi redmi note 3 image

Hardware, Display

The Redmi Note 3 packs a powerful Snapdragon 650 (4×1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 coupled with Adreno 510 GPU); 650 is an excellent choice, the processor can stand shoulder to shoulder with last year’s flagship chipsets (Snapdragon 810 for instance); it even surpasses them a bit. You can choose between 2 gigs and 3 gigs of RAM and 16 GB and 32 GB of internal storage. The storage can be expanded (SIM 2 slot).

Lenovo Z2 Plus makes no compromises hardware-wise. The phone comes with a Snapdragon 820 (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo along with Adreno 530) the second most powerful chipset from Qualcomm at the moment, surpassed only by the new Snapdragon 821. You can choose between 3GB/4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of internal storage that, sadly, can’t be expanded.

The Galaxy J7 features either Snapdragon 617 (4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 backed up by Andreno 405) or Exynos 7870 Octa (Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 combined with Mali-T830MP2 GPU). Both chipsets have lots of power, they aren’t among the fastest solutions around but will give the phone enough power for any kind of work. Gaming, movies, multitasking, everything will work just fine. The phone comes with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in storage, expandable via dedicated SD card slot.

The Redmi Note 3 features a large, 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, great for any kind of work. With naturally-looking colors and huge viewing angles, using the Redmi Pro 3 is a joy.

The Z2 Plus comes with a 5-inch, 1080p LTPS (Low-Temperature Poly-Silicon) IPS LCD display. LTPS IPS displays, aside from natural colors and wide viewing angles, offer extremely high response rate.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) comes with a large 5.5-inch 720p Super AMOLED display. Because the colors are extremely saturated relatively low sharpness (267 ppi pixel density) won’t be highly noticeable. AMOLED screens offer deep blacks, rich colors, and solid viewing angles, and since the screen is a large one, web surfing, gaming, movies, and book reading will be perfect.

Galaxy J7 2016
Galaxy J7 2016

Camera

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 packs a 16 MP (f/2.0) main camera sensor. Photos taken are of high quality, and the camera will perform rather well, even if taking shots in dark places. The main camera supports phase detection autofocus, HDR, and a dual-LED flash. It can record 1080p at 30fps videos. The selfie camera counts 5 MP and can take 1080p videos.

Z2 Plus features a quality camera with 13 MP main sensor (f/2.2). The camera offers phase detection autofocus, HDR, and a LED flash. It is capable of recording 2160p at 30fps videos. The front-facing camera counts 8 MP (f/2.0) and can snag 1080p videos.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) comes equipped with a 13 MP (f/1.9) main camera sensor, capable of snapping high-quality photos. The camera is one of the best things about the new J7 model; it supports autofocus, LED flash and HDR and is capable of recording 1080p at 30fps videos. The selfie snapper counts 5 MP (f/1.9) and can record 1080p videos.

Battery, Software

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 comes packed with a huge, 4050 mAh capacity power bank that should last two, even three days before screaming for a charger. The phone runs under Android Lollipop coated with MIUI.

Lenovo Z2 Plus features a solid (for a 5-inch screen) battery, with a capacity of 3500 mAh. The device comes with Android Marshmallow. OS is coated with Lenovo’s ZUI 2.0 user interface.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) features a large 3300 mAh battery, enough for a full day of use. It runs under Android Marshmallow.

Lenovo and Xiaomi devices support fast charging and are equipped with fingerprint scanners; none is to be found on the Galaxy J7 (2016).

 Conclusion

If it had expandable storage, the Z2 Plus would be an excellent choice. Snapdragon 820, lots of RAM, a tough chassis made out of fiberglass, and a solid camera will cost you Rs 19,999 ($300) at Amazon (64 GB version). If wanting a 5.5-inch device, pick the Redmi Note 3. It packs an excellent CPU, has 3 gigs of RAM and offers expandable storage. The phone (16 GB version) can be yours for around Rs 9,500 ($140). If we compare its price with the Galaxy J7 (2016) price (Rs 16,400; $245) we come to the conclusion that Samsung’s device gives way less for the money. Lenovo Z2 Plus is a great choice for everyone looking for a top hardware at a normal price, while the Redmi Note 3 is an excellent budget 5.5-inch screen device.