Do we have a good one for you today – two Asian powerhouses square off to see which one of these devices will be winner of this comparison…the ASUS ZenFone 2 versus the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 4G LTE. Both versions are the latest renditions, with the ZenFone 2 having 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory and the new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro with 4G/LTE connectivity. In other words, we are looking at their flagship devices in this comparison. The design and construction are totally different, but both devices look great, although once you pick them up, you can tell the better build quality of the Mi Note Pro 4G/LTE, but then you are paying for those materials with a higher price tag.
The ZenFone 2 and the Mi Note Pro have a few things in common – for one they are close to the same size and the ZenFone 2 is only 9 grams heavier. Their displays are also terribly close in size with the ZenFone the smaller of the two at 5.5-inches and the Mi Note Pro coming in at 5.7-inches, as well as both are of the LCD variety, but with different resolutions. Both devices are sporting a 64-bit processor, but different brands and the number of cores with both devices having 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.
Camera areas on both smartphones are very much alike – both have 13MP sensors, autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash…the Mi Note Pro adds OIS. The front-facing cameras (FFC) are close in size with the ZenFone 2 coming in at 5MP and the Mi Note Pro measuring in at 4MP, using UltraPixels. They both have a non-removable 3,000mAh battery that should get you through most of a normal day, but no longer, and they both have a form of quick charge capability built-in. Both have one loudspeaker, the ASUS puts theirs on the back and Xiaomi puts theirs on the bottom.
The both have some of the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 on ZenFone 2 and 4.1 on Mi Note Pro), GPS and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
ASUS ZenFone 2
The ASUS ZenFone 2 stole some of its looks and ideas from the LG G3/G4 – although made from plastic, it looks like brushed metal and is extremely sharp looking and has a good feel in your hand due to the curved back and sides. They also placed the volume rocker switch on the back of the device, although the on/off switch is placed on the top. When compared to the Mi Note Pro with its glass and metal body, the ZenFone 2 does not quite have the premium feel of the Mi Note Pro.
The ASUS ZenFone 2 features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD (FHD) display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 pixels-per-inch (PPI) vs 515 PPI on the QHD display on the Mi Note Pro. The ZenFone 2 we are looking at, is the high-spec model that uses a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz and is coupled to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory and, unlike the Mi Note Pro, it does offer expansion by way of a microSD card. This compares to the Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage in the Mi Note Pro.
The main camera on the ZenFone 2 is a good unit sporting a 13MP sensor, autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash although there is no OIS. The Mi Note Pro also uses a 13MP camera, but adds OIS. Both devices will do a good job taking pictures during normal lighting conditions. The ZenFone 2 comes with a large 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social selfies and video chatting and is slightly larger than the 4MP FFC on the Mi Note Pro. Power for both devices is in the form of a non-removable battery even though the back easily comes off the ZenFone 2. They both use a 3,000mAh battery and both devices will get you through the day…especially the ZenFone 2, as it does not have to power the QHD display of the Mi Note Pro.
This Dual-SIM device is also NFC enabled, has an FM radio and is running Android 5.0 Lollipop with its ZenUI Skin overlay that follows the Google Material Design look. You can find the ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory on Amazon for only $299 and comes in black, silver, gold, or red.
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 4G LTE
Xiaomi is well known for offering well-built devices for a reasonable price, but the new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is a real flagship and a work of art with its all glass and metal construction…but it is priced accordingly. It uses Gorilla Glass 2.5D for the display – which means that the glass edge is slightly angled downward – and the back of the device uses Gorilla Glass 3D – which means it actually curves up, in a 'cup-like' fashion. After the innards are placed inside, these two pieces of glass are 'strapped' together by a metal band and it fits and feels great in your hands…not to mention giving it a very premium look.
The Mi Note Pro is a true flagship sporting a 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and 515 PPI versus the ZenFone 2's 5.5-inch FHD display with 403 PPI. Xiaomi uses the most advanced Qualcomm processor on the market – the 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and the other four clocked at 2.0GHz. This goes up against the 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core clocked at 2.3GHz. The Mi Note Pro packs a full 4GB of RAM and 64GB of fixed internal storage with no room for expansion. The ZenFone 2 is packing the same specs as the Mi Note Pro, but also adds a microSD card slot for further expansion.
The main camera is sporting a 13MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash and OIS compared to the 13MP on the ZenFone 2, minus the OIS. The Mi Note Pro uses a nice sized 4MP UltraPixel FFC for social media selfies and video chatting compared to the 5MP FFC on the ZenFone 2. The battery is a non-removable 3,000mAh, the same size battery in the ZenFone 2.
The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is a dual-SIM device and has a large bottom mounted speaker with enhanced audio circuits for better listening through headsets or external speakers. It is running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop with Xiaomi's heavy MIUI 6 running on top and comes in black, white or gold. It works on US LTE networks that use 4G FDD-LTE on 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz and it will cost you only $532 – $699 off-contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This was one of toughest decisions I had to make – the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro has a better build quality and much better display, but other than that, is it worth the extra $200 to $300? The Xiaomi is definitely the sharper looking and better built device, but when it comes to processor, RAM, memory and cameras, they are really about equal, so because of its $300 price tag, I am choosing the ZenFone 2 as the winner of this comparison.
The ZenFone 2 may have a plastic back, but it is still a solid device and feels nice in your hand. Its only real weak point is the display – still good at 1080p, but it will never outperform the 1440p found on the Mi Note Pro. It has as good a processor (especially when there are reports of the Mi Note Pro overheating from the Snapdragon 810), the same 4GB of RAM, the same 64GB of internal memory and the ZenFone even has a microSD card slot to expand your memory. The camera is the same size with autofocus, dual-tone LED flash and the FFC is 5MP…the Mi Note Pro does offer OIS. The ZenFone 2 also adds NFC and an FM Radio to the mix. They both have non-removable 3,000mAh batteries, but the ZenFone will last longer not pushing that QHD display.
The ASUS ZenFone 2 just seems to offer more than the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro for $230 – $300 less and that is why I am choosing the ZenFone 2 as the winner of this comparison. If you want a QHD display and a glass body and are willing to pay the premium price, then you should be very happy with your Mi Note Pro.