Asus Zenfone 5 or Xiaomi Mi3? What specs are more important?


It might seem odd that we are talking about two phones that were launched sometime ago, but with international launches just starting in some markets the choice between the Asus Zenfone 5 or Xiaomi Mi3 is a very real one.

For some customers the choice between the Xiaomi Mi3 and Asus Zenfone 5 is a simple one, buy the Xiaomi Mi3. It has a higher resolution display, faster processor and 13 mega-pixel main camera. What if your priorities lie elsewhere though? What is you need expandable memory, dual SIM and aren’t necessarily bothered with having a Snapdragon 800 CPU? Well then the Asus Zenfone 5 looks a little more interesting.

So what are the full specifications of the the Asus smartphone. Well like the Xiaomi Mi3 it has 2GB RAM and starts with 16GB of internal memory, but that can be expanded using a 64GB SD card. The rear camera is an 8 megapixel unit, and there is also a 2 mega-pixel shooter up front. The battery is a 2110mAh unit, but only needs to drive a 5-inch 720- display and dual-core Intel Atom processor.

64gb xiaomi mi3

Even the size of the two phones is similar and the weight is exactly the same. So, which would you choose to buy? The Xiaomi is now officially available in some markets outside of China, but elsewhere reseller costs jack the retail higher. The Asus phone, is more widely available.

Which features are more important to you? A powerful processor and 1080 display, or dual SIM and micro SD?

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34 Comments

  1. Robert Kurowski
    July 25, 2014

    For me qHD screen at around 4,5″-5″ is ok. Dual SIM is very desirable and microsd not so much. So in this case I would buy ZenPhone over MI3.

    • gizychu
      July 25, 2014

      zenfone 5 is the easy choice for the average consumer

  2. rajnish kumar
    July 25, 2014

    Yash as i think , Buying a smartphone these days is less abt necessity and more about having our hands on latest happenings. Anyhow these days a large proportion of buyers are frequently changing their smartphone( 18-24 months) and moreover almost each one of the population carries a smartphone and a simple feature phone(for general purpose use). 720p display and dual sim are old age stories, we are here for latest blockbusters.

    • Mitu
      July 25, 2014

      Not everyone wants the latest specs, everyone has different needs.For instance Xiaomi Redmi series are more popular and harder to get than their Mi3 flagship (article on Tencent). Also 720p can be fine unless you like 1080p or 2k displays to suck all the battery juice our of phone within one day.

      Asus’s choice for Intel isn’t maybe the best because the Snapdragons are faster but at least there is an alternative for Mediatek which quality isn’t always the best. The Zenphone 5 in its various version already has gotten 37 firmware updates and each and every update includes a changelog. I don’t see Samsung do this. The only thing that bugs me is since the release Asus say there will be a KitKat update but it still hasn’t been released. Also the availability of the back covers and flip cover with the round hole is terrible and the ones you can buy are either fake or insane pricing with the possibility of being fake.

  3. Brooklyn701
    July 25, 2014

    Even if Kumar still lives behind the moon of providers, Dual SIM is an absolute must nowadays. Anything less is unacceptable. I am actually looking into Tri SIM mobiles since this gives you even more choice (Acer E700).

    But to be fair Dual SIM can’t make up for everything. Halfway decent specs are needed too. but I personally feel that anything above 720p on a 5 inch or below is fully ridiculous and only sucks the battery dry faster than necessary. So ASUS did will there. Changelogs are good too and KitKat will come sooner or later.

    And some people who actually know better will state that a good 8 Mpixel shooter can declass a average 13 Mpixel any day.

  4. Sean Killian
    July 25, 2014

    I have the Zenfone 5 and it is a bit underwhelming tbh, battery life is awful.
    Save yourselves from worries and get the Xiaomi

    • July 25, 2014

      Bad battery-life is alwasy bad news. How long did it last?

      • Sean Killian
        July 25, 2014

        almost 4 hrs hours onscreen time, light gaming, youtube and basic calls….All on 3G

      • Aditya
        July 26, 2014

        My friend too has Zenfone 5 and she has complained about bad battery life. By afternoon she has to charge again. But hopefully a KitKat update will solve things. Also, I couldn’t get ART running on my Atom tablet. And my friends tablet doesn’t have the option of changing runtime. So it looks like there is a problem with ART in Intel Atom series. Doubtful of an Android L update. :/

  5. fred
    July 25, 2014

    just got asus zenfone 6 for the Mrs, very, very impressed. For the price its a steal. Great screen, dual sim, uncluttered software, 3000mA bat, Intel dual core 2.0 with 2GB RAM (but its a lot faster than the mtk6589 I have) and nothing else on the market can take a picture in complete darkness with NO flash like the zenfone 6(check youtube phonegeeks). I’m more surprised that the zenfone 5 gets more coverage, any chance andy can do a review on the zenfone 6?

    • an
      August 11, 2014

      Dear I am using zenphone 5 from 1 week… Battery and camera is very poor….in low light it seems thay flash is not working properly…
      Other than that everything is butter smooth

  6. Robert Kurowski
    July 25, 2014

    For me qHD screen at around 4,5″-5″ is ok. Dual SIM is very desirable and microsd not so much. So in this case I would buy ZenPhone over MI3.

    • Guest
      July 25, 2014

      zenfone 5 is the easy choice for the average consumer

  7. rajnish kumar
    July 25, 2014

    Yash as i think , Buying a smartphone these days is less abt necessity and more about having our hands on latest happenings. Anyhow these days a large proportion of buyers are frequently changing their smartphone( 18-24 months) and moreover almost each one of the population carries a smartphone and a simple feature phone(for general purpose use). 720p display and dual sim are old age stories, we are here for latest blockbusters.

    • Guest
      July 25, 2014

      Not everyone wants the latest specs, everyone has different needs.For instance Xiaomi Redmi series are more popular and harder to get than their Mi3 flagship (article on Tencent). Also 720p can be fine unless you like 1080p or 2k displays to suck all the battery juice our of phone within one day.

      Asus’s choice for Intel isn’t maybe the best because the Snapdragons are faster but at least there is an alternative for Mediatek which quality isn’t always the best. The Zenphone 5 in its various version already has gotten 37 firmware updates and each and every update includes a changelog. I don’t see Samsung do this. The only thing that bugs me is since the release Asus say there will be a KitKat update but it still hasn’t been released. Also the availability of the back covers and flip cover with the round hole is terrible and the ones you can buy are either fake or insane pricing with the possibility of being fake.

  8. iKosh
    July 25, 2014

    Is the Intel Atom any good?

  9. Guest
    July 25, 2014

    Even if Kumar still lives behind the moon of providers, Dual SIM is an absolute must nowadays. Anything less is unacceptable. I am actually looking into Tri SIM mobiles since this gives you even more choice (Acer E700).

    But to be fair Dual SIM can’t make up for everything. Halfway decent specs are needed too. but I personally feel that anything above 720p on a 5 inch or below is fully ridiculous and only sucks the battery dry faster than necessary. So ASUS did will there. Changelogs are good too and KitKat will come sooner or later.

    And some people who actually know better will state that a good 8 Mpixel shooter can declass a average 13 Mpixel any day.

  10. Guest
    July 25, 2014

    I have the Zenfone 5 and it is a bit underwhelming tbh, battery life is awful.
    Save yourselves from worries and get the Xiaomi

    • Andi Sykes
      July 25, 2014

      Bad battery-life is alwasy bad news. How long did it last?

    • Guest
      July 25, 2014

      almost 4 hrs hours onscreen time, light gaming, youtube and basic calls….All on 3G

    • Aditya
      July 26, 2014

      My friend too has Zenfone 5 and she has complained about bad battery life. By afternoon she has to charge again. But hopefully a KitKat update will solve things. Also, I couldn’t get ART running on my Atom tablet. And my friends tablet doesn’t have the option of changing runtime. So it looks like there is a problem with ART in Intel Atom series. Doubtful of an Android L update. :/

  11. Guest
    July 25, 2014

    just got asus zenfone 6 for the Mrs, very, very impressed. For the price its a steal. Great screen, dual sim, uncluttered software, 3000mA bat, Intel dual core 2.0 with 2GB RAM (but its a lot faster than the mtk6589 I have) and nothing else on the market can take a picture in complete darkness with NO flash like the zenfone 6(check youtube phonegeeks). I’m more surprised that the zenfone 5 gets more coverage, any chance andy can do a review on the zenfone 6?

    • Guest
      August 11, 2014

      Dear I am using zenphone 5 from 1 week… Battery and camera is very poor….in low light it seems thay flash is not working properly…
      Other than that everything is butter smooth

  12. iKosh
    July 25, 2014

    Is the Intel Atom any good?

  13. $2548414
    July 25, 2014

    Another factor taken into account especially in India is availability. Wide for Zenphone and scarce for Xiaomi. Mi3 for Indians is pie in the sky..AsusZenphone available in stock no wonder Asus sold 40-50k in quick time..Xiomi 10k with lots of hype..hence Zenphone..in India..practical choice.

  14. Guest
    July 26, 2014

    Another factor taken into account especially in India is availability. Wide for Zenphone and scarce for Xiaomi. Mi3 for Indians is pie in the sky..AsusZenphone available in stock no wonder Asus sold 40-50k in quick time..Xiomi 10k with lots of hype..hence Zenphone..in India..practical choice.

  15. Patrick
    July 26, 2014

    I have so far purchased two Zenfone 5 after previously owning MTK powered phones (I liked my Zenfone so much that I bought another one for a family member). In my opinion the Zenfone is in the sweet spot for most average consumers. The price is very good, everything works (including GREAT GPS and quadband GSM and WCDMA) as it should and vendor support is exemplary (very frequent updates).

  16. Guest
    July 26, 2014

    I have so far purchased two Zenfone 5 after previously owning MTK powered phones (I liked my Zenfone so much that I bought another one for a family member). In my opinion the Zenfone is in the sweet spot for most average consumers. The price is very good, everything works (including GREAT GPS and quadband GSM and WCDMA) as it should and vendor support is exemplary (very frequent updates).

  17. karo
    August 3, 2014

    I have a Xiaomi Mi2a at the moment, i’ve had it for 10 months i guess, & i must say that i need to charge my phone twice a day too. The headphone and charger inputs got broken too, all within 10 months. The only thing i play is Tapped out, so i would say i’m an average user.

    Now i’m seriously concidering buying the Asus Zenfone 5 instead of an Xiaomi.
    In my opinion Xiaomi is China’s Apple. It costs a lot of money (if you compare it with a zenfone for example). Okay it has an awesome interface, you can do alot of custome things with it. But is it worth it for me? No. I like the Asus ZenUi too, & the fact that it has 2 Gb ram.

    So for me no xiaomi anymore, how much I loved it, it’s not worth it 🙂

  18. karo
    August 3, 2014

    I have a Xiaomi Mi2a at the moment, i’ve had it for 10 months i guess, & i must say that i need to charge my phone twice a day too. The headphone and charger inputs got broken too, all within 10 months. The only thing i play is Tapped out, so i would say i’m an average user.

    Now i’m seriously concidering buying the Asus Zenfone 5 instead of an Xiaomi.
    In my opinion Xiaomi is China’s Apple. It costs a lot of money (if you compare it with a zenfone for example). Okay it has an awesome interface, you can do alot of custome things with it. But is it worth it for me? No. I like the Asus ZenUi too, & the fact that it has 2 Gb ram.

    So for me no xiaomi anymore, how much I loved it, it’s not worth it 🙂

  19. Zenfoneuser
    August 7, 2014

    Bought the phone last week and facing serious GPS issues even after firmware updates and factory resets. GPS is very poor and doesnt lock 9 out of 10 times. Anyone else facing similar issues? Thinking of returning the phone.

  20. Guest
    August 7, 2014

    Bought the phone last week and facing serious GPS issues even after firmware updates and factory resets. GPS is very poor and doesnt lock 9 out of 10 times. Anyone else facing similar issues? Thinking of returning the phone.

  21. ravi
    August 12, 2014

    which phone i should buy asus zenfone 5 or xiaomi mi3

  22. Guest
    August 12, 2014

    which phone i should buy asus zenfone 5 or xiaomi mi3