The beauty of Android is that we can buy a smartphone in every category but mainly flagships are the ones that give the maximum features.
Sadly the price of these flagships is sky high, fortunately, though, we now have some competition in that segment as well and there are companies that are trying to bring the cost down.
This new category has emerged recently, let’s call it affordable flagships. There are a handful of devices in the affordable flagship segment, these are usually smartphones
with high-end specifications, but still, maintain competition on the pricing side as well.
Three major smartphones come to my mind when we talk about affordable flagships.
The Poco F1, Zenfone 5Z and OnePlus 6, and today we are going to compare these three
smartphones to pick the best affordable flagship you can buy right now, or maybe in a few
months from now.
Let’s talk about the design
Let’s this first talk about the Xiaomi’s sub-brand the Poco F1, it is built with polycarbonate
plastic, so, there isn’t anything great to say about its design.
And the fact that Poco F1 retails at Rs 21000, proves that Xiaomi has done most of the
cost-cutting in its design.
The other two smartphones, the Zenfone 5 and OnePlus 6 are the metal built, which gives a premium look and feels when you hold them in your hand.
Talking about uniqueness the Zenfone 5 wins the battle here with a more unique design than the OnePlus 6, which is very much inspired from the iPhone X.
So, in terms of uniqueness, my vote will go to the Asus Zenfone 5Z. But, getting inspired by iPhone X is not a bad thing.
In the display department, the OnePlus 6 is far superior in comparison to the Poco F1 and Zenfone 5Z, both the F1 and 5Z use LCD IPS screens, while the OnePlus 6 has an
All the three smartphones pack a similar 19:9 aspect ratio, courtesy of the notch which is now standard practice amongst manufacturers. Notches are usually bad, but if we compare them on these smartphones, the Notch on OnePlus 6 is the least noticeable.
All the three phones have an approximately similar screen size of 6.2 inches.
Let’s talk about the performance
This is where all the three smartphones are going to be at a very similar level since the
specifications of the Poco F1, Zenfone 5Z and OnePlus 6 are virtually identical.
All three smartphones are powered by Snapdragon 845 chipset and have an Adreno 630 GPU.
All three smartphones have Octa-Core processors and are available in multiple storage variants, the base model of all these three smartphones has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage and the higher end device has got 256 GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM.
The performance of all the three smartphones is on an at par level and which is why
these three smartphones belong to the same category of affordable flagships.
Let’s talk about the camera
Talking about the camera, all the three smartphones have got the different dual camera set up on the back.
OnePlus 6 has got a superior setup, with 16MP + 20MP with the 16MP being the primary
sensor, having a f/1.7 aperture, with 20MP being the wide angle lens with f/1.7 aperture.
The Zenfone 5Z has 12MP+8MP dual setup where 12MP is the primary sensor with f/1.8
aperture and 8MP being secondary with f/2.0.
The Poco F1 smartphone has 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup with a 12MP Primary sensor
having f/1.9 aperture and 5MP being the depth sensor.
All the three smartphone cameras have got gyro based Electronic Image Stabilization, but the Optical Image Stabilization is only available on OnePlus 6 and Zenfone 5Z.
All the three smartphones are capable of shooting in 4K @30fps and 240fps slow-mo at 720p resolution OnePlus offers super slow-mo at 480fps for 720p resolution.
In terms of the front camera, OnePlus 6 has a 16MP camera that also has Electronic Image
Stabilization while the Zenfone 5Z and Poco F1 have 8MP and 20MP front camera
The aperture for all the three smartphone front camera s is f/2.0.
In real life situations, OnePlus 6 camera performs better than the other two smartphones in this comparison post.
Let’s talk about other specifications
Finally other specifications, the OnePlus 6 and Zenfone 5Z have 3300mAh battery while
the Poco F1 packs a 4000mAh battery. I’ve used the Poco F1 as my daily driver and a 4000mAh battery is really helpful and easily lasts a day and a half.
All the three smartphones thankfully have the 3.5 mm audio jack, so you can still use your
Mostly all the other things like the USB type C reversible connector for charging and data sync is available on all the three smartphones, there is a fingerprint sensor at the back of the smartphones. All three smartphones support fast charging.
Let’s talk about your operating system
Another similarity is that all three smartphones are powered by Android 8 Oreo, with 8.1 Oreo on OnePlus 6 and Oppo F1 while the Zenfone 5Z phone comes with Android 8.0 out of the box.
These three phones have got their own custom UI over the top of Android.
OnePlus 6 has Oxygen OS 5.1.11 which is pretty minimalistic and almost like a stock Android, while the Poco F1 has got MIUI 9.6 with a specialised Poco customisation.
The Asus Zenfone 5Z comes with Asus Zen UI 5.0 which has a few quirks but still isn’t too
far away from stock Android.
Of all the three, OnePlus 6 is more likely to get updated to Android 9.0 first. So if you are
someone who likes to run the latest Android OS on their smartphones, then the OnePlus 6 could be your choice.
Let’s talk about the price
- The Poco F1 is the cheapest of all since the base variant having 4 GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage is available at Rs 21000.
- While the same base variant for Zenfone 5Z is available at Rs 30000.
- And the OnePlus 6 is retailing at Rs 35000.
If we compare these smartphones, the Poco F1 offers the most value for money smartphone with the least compromises.
There are only a few things that you will be missing such as the OLED screen display and maybe the optical image stabilization in the camera.
And maybe that plastic body, which clearly differentiates the smartphone from the other two.
But if you really care about the outer design of the smartphones, you can spend an extra Rs 9000 to get the Zenfone 5Z, it is also likely to be cheaper than that since Flipkart will be running a sales promotion on their website where the Asus Zenfone 5Z would be available at a far cheaper price.
Even Amazon India will be reducing the price of OnePlus 6 since the OnePlus 6T, which
comparison site Tiger Mobiles has already leaked, with some 4k renders, will be taking its place soon, when it launches on October 30th in New York.
So, if both the smartphones get a price cut of Rs 5000/- it would really make sense to go for the OnePlus 6 since it is a complete package.
Either way, you can get either of the smartphones I will put the link below for you to pick.