All three of them cost exactly the same. And all three deliver a performance that is well above what is expected at that price tag. But which of them works the best? We compare the three phones priced at Rs 6,999 in the market – the Xiaomi Redmi 2, the Moto E (2nd Gen) and the Lenovo A6000.

redmi-2-lenovo-a6000-moto-e

Looks

This is going to boil down to personal preference but the Lenovo A6000 sneaks a surprise win here in our books. None of the three devices are traffic-stoppers, but of the three the A6000 is the smartest thanks to its remarkably slim frame (8.2 mm against the 9.4 mm of the Redmi 2 and the 12.3 mm of the Moto E) but of the three, the real battle is between the Redmi 2 and the A6000. Although it is the largest in terms of size (it does have the biggest display), the A6000 is also remarkably the lightest – it weighs 128 grammes, as compared to the 133 grammes of the Redmi 2 and the 145 grammes of the Moto E. All three devices are made of plastic, but we found that the Redmi 2 and the A6000 felt the best. Those who like a more curve-y frame will like the Redmi 2, while fans of the sleek and slim will prefer the A6000.

Our ranking:

  1. Lenovo A6000
  2. Xiaomi Redmi 2
  3. Moto E (2nd Gen)

Hardware

If you had told us a year ago that the next Moto E would be totally overwhelmed in terms of hardware by two similarly priced devices, we would have mentally accused you of tech insanity. And yet that is exactly what has happened. The Moto E 2015 with its 4.5 inch 960 x 540 px display and quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor is outclassed by the 720p displays and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processors of the Redmi 2 and the A6000. The Lenovo and Redmi also rule the camera roost with 8.0-megapixel rear cameras and 2.0-megapixel front facing ones, far ahead of the modest 5.0-megapixel rear shooter and VGA front facing camera on the Moto E. Round that off with the fact that both the A6000 and Redmi 2 comes with 4G support and the Moto E starts looking a bit ragged, even though it matches two worthies in the RAM (1 GB) and storage (8 GB, expandable) department. Choosing between the Redmi 2 and the A6000 is a very tight call as both have similar hardware – if the Xiaomi device pulls ahead by offering 4G connectivity on both SIM slots (the A6000 offers it on one), the Lenovo smartphone hits back by having dual stereo speakers and a slightly larger display, albeit of the same resolution.

Our ranking:

  1. Xiaomi Redmi 2
  2. Lenovo A6000
  3. Moto E (2nd Gen)

Software

For the geek squad, the Moto E walks away with the honours here. It is the only one of the three running the latest version of Android (5.0, Lollipop) and is also in line to get updates, while the A6000 and the Redmi 2 are running the relatively older Android KitKat (4.4). For those minus the geek glasses however what cannot be denied is that MIUI 6 comes with some very handy features and also looks very good indeed. Lenovo’s Vibe UI is the weakest of the three here, being still a bit of a work in progress for all the interesting features it has. We would call this a tie between the Redmi 2 and the Moto E, with the mainstream consumer preferring the former and the geek brigade opting for the latter.

Our ranking:

  1. Xiaomi Redmi 2 & Moto E (2nd Gen)
  2. Lenovo A6000

Multimedia

The Redmi 2 hands out what can only be called a thrashing to both the A6000 and the Moto E when it comes to the camera, with its 8.0-megapixel camera delivering very good results in different light conditions in terms of colour and detail, and also has the best interface of the three by some distance. The A6000 is a decent performer in normal light conditions but is a tad inconsistent, while the Moto E’s 5.0-megapixel shooter is barely competitive here unless one uses it in inch-perfect light conditions. Move to the sound department, however, and it is the Lenovo A6000 that stands out here with its dual speakers, delivering surprisingly good sound, although the Redmi 2 scores when it comes to sound over the headphones. The Moto E once again brings up the rear here, although it is not a distant third by any means. All three devices have decent displays, and while those who love larger displays will like the 5.0-inch display on the A6000, we think the Redmi 2’s 4.7 inch display was perhaps the best in terms of clarity. And that gives it the win in this category.

Our ranking:

  1. Xiaomi Redmi 2
  2. Lenovo A6000
  3. Moto E (2nd Gen)

Gaming

This is actually a two-tiered affair. When it comes to casual titles like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and Temple Run, the three devices pretty much are on par, although the larger display of the A6000 does give it a slight edge in terms of ease of use. Up the ante and get into the FIFA and Asphalt territory and the better processors of the A6000 and the Redmi 2 result in markedly better performance, although they too have the odd lag here and there. Although we had expected the Lenovo A6000 to do better given the RAM-guzzling propensity of MIUI, we actually think the Redmi 2 handled games a bit better than the A6000 in general. In the benchmark scores, the Redmi 2 pulls ahead of the A6000 with the Moto E bringing up the rear.

Our ranking:

  1. Xiaomi Redmi 2
  2. Lenovo A6000
  3. Moto E (2nd Gen)

General performance

Which brings us down to general functioning and day to day tasks and here the Moto E comes into its own. The Redmi 2 and the A6000 are no pushovers, but when it comes to day to day tasks like social networking, Web browsing, and working on mails and the like, the stock Android experience on the Moto E is smoother than what we saw on its competitors. Call quality too was very good and that relative smaller and lower resolution display combined with the largest battery of the threesome (2390 mAh) meant that the Moto E also lasted the longest on a single charge. That said, the A6000’s larger screen does give it a clear edge in viewing content and in typing, while MIUI 6 on the Redmi 2 does add a number of tools and is perhaps the most intuitive to use. We are handing this one to the Moto E, with the Redmi 2 and A6000 splitting second place.

Our ranking:

  1. Moto E (2nd Gen)
  2. Xiaomi Redmi 2 & Lenovo A6000

Conclusion: Which is the one for me?

Which of the three works best for you boils down to your needs really. Speaking from a purely mainstream perspective, we have to say that the Xiaomi Redmi 2 struck as being the most well-rounded of the three devices, with a good display, very good camera and a superb interface (we cannot stress how important MIUI 6 is, really) – as you can see, it takes top honours in four of our six parameters (although it shares that honour twice with the Lenovo A6000). However, we can see people liking the Lenovo A6000 for its larger display, dual speakers and all right, so accuse us of being superficial, but that slim frame and light weight does make a difference to a lot of people. What then of the Moto E (2nd Gen)? Well, it does seem out of its depth in comparison with the other two in most departments, but if all you are looking for is a compact phone that delivers a smooth performance on routine tasks, then the Moto E is certainly not a bad option at all, with the stock Android experience (and updates) being the icing on the cake.

It is not an easy choice to make, but no matter which way you look at it, all three offer a lot of smartphone bang for Rs 6,999.


Also Read:
 
Associate Editor

Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.