Best Snapdragon 636 phone in India

Well, Xiaomi was the first to launch the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor with its Redmi Note 5 Pro. This was followed by Asus with its Zenfone Max Pro M1 3 GB / 4 GB variants and later the 6 GB variant. On 21st August, Nokia revealed its Nokia 6.1 Plus, which is going to be on sale on 30th August. Coincidentally, all the three phones can be bought on Flipkart. As on date, these are the only phones available in India that boast of the Snapdragon 636 processor in them. The table below mentions the most important parameters that are to be considered before going for one of these.

Here we compare the  Redmi Note 5 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (two variants) and Nokia 6.1 Plus.

Redmi Note 5 Pro Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 3/4 GB Asus Zenphone Max Pro M1 6 GB Nokia 6.1 Plus
RAM and ROM 4 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM,
and 6 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM
3 GB RAM | 32 GB ROM,
and 4 GB RAM | 64GB ROM
6 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM 6 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM
Processor Snapdragon 636 Snapdragon 636 Snapdragon 636 Snapdragon 636
Rear Camera 12MP + 5MP
Primary Sensor – f/2.2, 1.25 microns Pixel Size, 5P Lens, Secondary Sensor – f/2.0, 1.12 microns Pixel Size, 4P Lens, PDAF
13MP + 5MP
13MP, f/2.2, PDAF + 5MP with Bokeh
16MP, f/2.0, PDAF + 5MP with Bokeh, f2.4, 1.12micrometer 16MP + 5MP
1.0um + 1.12um, f2.0, AF, HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography and AI Assistance
Front Camera 20MP
f/2.2, 1.0 microns Pixel Size
8MP
f/2.2
16MP, f/2.0, 5P lens 16MP
1.0um, f/2.0
Flash Both rear and front LED flash Both rear and front LED flash Both rear and front LED flash Rear Dual Tone Flash and Front Display Flash
OS Latest update: MIUI 9.5.6 based on Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo
Battery 4000 mAh 5000 mAh 5000 mAh 3060 mAh
Expandable memory Expandable upto 128 GB Expandable upto 2 TB Expandable upto 2 TB Expandable upto 400 GB
SIM and Memory card tray Hybrid Slot 3 Slots – 2 SIM Card and 1 MicroSD 3 Slots – 2 SIM Card and 1 MicroSD Hybrid Slot
Phone body Metal back Metal back Metal back All glass design
Screen Full HD+
18:9, 5.99-inch
Corning Gorilla Glass
Full HD+
18:9
2.5D Glass, 5.99-inch Full View Display
Full HD+, 18:9
2.5D Glass, 5.99-inch Full View Display
2.5D curved glass, 5.8 inch
19:9 w/ Notch, Corner R, Gorilla Glass 3 CG
Audio out jack 3.5 mm 3.5 mm 3.5 mm 3.5 mm
Charging port micro-USB port micro-USB port micro-USB port USB C-type
Price 4 GB variant for Rs.15,000, and 6 GB variant for Rs. 17,000 3 GB variant for Rs.11,000, and 4 GB for Rs.13,000 Rs. 15,000 Rs 16,000
Pros
Cons

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Looks : As you can see, in the price range that the respective phones are being offered, the cons (highlighted in yellow) are very few. All these devices look premium, with the Nokia 6.1 Plus showcasing an all glass design and, the Zenfone Max Pro and the Redmi Note 5 Pro have metallic backs.

Rear Camera : Comparing the cameras is really difficult when it comes to smartphones, as the resolution (in megapixels) and the F number are not the only things that are to be considered. Unfortunately the companies do not reveal all the camera specs, and the picture quality might improve with software updates (Asus has already done that). So, one can compare between different phone cameras from expert reviews by unbiased and reliable sources.

 All the phones in this comparison have dual rear camera setup.

  • The Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Nokia 6.1 Plus have electronic image stabilization, that reduces the shaki-ness in videos shot while moving. However in the case of other phones, there are several free applications that you can use to stabilize your video.
  • The Zenfone Max Pro 6GB’s rear camera in day light still photos provide more sharpness and detailing as compared to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. However the Redmi performs better than the Zenfone 6 GB in indoor lighting conditions.
  • Rear camera of Nokia 6.1 Plus produces good detailing. The Asus and Nokia phones produce natural color photos as compared to more saturated colors in the Redmi photos.
  • In terms of dynamic range, Nokia and Asus perform better than the Redmi that produce dull background in its still images.

Front Camera : Front camera of the Zenfone Max Pro 6 GB does not perform so well as the Redmi Note 5 Pro or Nokia 6.1 plus. Comparing the front camera of Redmi Note 5 Pro with that of Nokia 6.1 Plus, the still images in day light conditions are almost similar, with Nokia showing better background details and the Redmi showing better details in foreground. For portraits with the selfie camera, all the phones have good edge detection. In darker conditions, due to lack of front flash, the Nokia 6.1 Plus falls back when compared to the other phones.


 

If looks are more important than battery life for you, then Nokia 6.1 Plus makes sense.  It is an Android One device (~stock Android with latest security updates). This phone comes in a notch and a full glass body (Corning gorilla screen) with an USB C-type charging port (fast charging).

While the battery of 3060 mAh looks small on paper, the Snapdragon 636 is a very efficient processor and will not drain out your battery quickly.

 


 

The Redmi Note 5 Pro, has proven to be a favourite of many and offers a well rounded package. This phone has a 4000 mAh battery and corning Gorilla Glass screen.

The only drawbacks are the lack of USB C-type charging port and the sim/memory card tray that support only 2 cards in total. You can use only one SIM card if you also need to insert a memory card. However, it must also be considered that data transfers from inbuilt memory cards are much faster than that from external memory cards, which is why more expensive phones do not provide memory card slots (that might lower the speed, and the companies don’t want someone to curse the phone and have bad experience).

 


 

The Asus Zenphone Max Pro M1 comes in 3GB-32Gb, 4GB-64GB and 6GB-64GB variants. The cameras in the 3 GB and 4 GB variants are identical. however the 6 GB variant, that was launched later has upgraded cameras.

The huge battery of the Zenfone Max Pro M1, its dedicated micro-SD card slot, and aggressive pricing has made it a huge competitor for the other 2 phones with Snapdragon 636 processor. The operating system on this device is near stock Android, and the phone also has great RAM management.

If you want to go for the cheapest phone with Snapdragon 636, or are looking for the best phone within decent budget *(Rs 11000) , then Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 3GB is the choice.


Familiarizing with Snapdragon 636 – The tech inside

The Snapdragon 636 features an 8x Kryo 260 CPU with an Adreno 509 GPU and a Hexagon 680 DSP. It has Spectra 160 ISP that can handle single camera upto 24 MP and dual camera upto 16 MP, and 2x Image Sensor Processor. It has an integrated 11ac WiFi+ WCN3980 companion chip and supports Bluetooth 5.0. Due to its 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, it is more power efficient as compared to its predecessors (Snapdragon 625) and supports Qualcomm quick charge 4.0.


Upcoming phones with Snapdragon 636 processor in India

Motorola One Power (5000 mAh battery, price: Rs20,000+) (rumored)

Meizu E3 (rumored)