Xiaomi Mi 4i vs Asus Zenfone 2 Launch Event: Who Won The Mega Battle?
Product launches are always special for various reasons; but when a marketer attends one, it’s the ‘brand story’ which becomes more important than the specs.
Few days back, we had shared that Clash of Titans is going to happen in New Delhi on April 23rd, as world’s most valuable tech startup Xiaomi has decided to take world’s 5th largest laptop vendor Asus heads-on. Both of these companies announced their major product launches on the same day, in the same place: Delhi NCR.
Being a technological observer, I happened to visit both the product launches, but my experiences at both the events were vastly different.
On one hand Asus had ensured enough fireworks to light up the whole city – with celebrities and music and a huge auditorium with an equally huge stage.
One the other hand Xiaomi was powered by passionate fans, who had assembled at the historic Siri Fort Auditorium to witness their favorite company come up with a new product; and ofcourse to experience the charm of Hugo Barra, who is slowly attaining a cult following all over the world.
As it turned out, both Xiaomi’s and Asus’s product offering were different, and targeted for different audiences. But it was Xiaomi who stole the show, with a passionate, intense display of sharing the brand story, which was sadly missing from Asus’s presentation.
Asus Zenfone2: Powerful Hardware and Knockout Configurations
When celebrities like Saif Ali Khan, Aditi Singh Sharma and Dabboo Ratnani had ensured their presence, then the event itself becomes huge.
Asus had no doubt planned this event on a magnificent scale, equally matching their new Zenfone 2, which is a successor of their fairly successful Zenfone which was launched last year (alongside Xiaomi’s Mi 3 phones)
The way designers at Zen had considered the aesthetics and ergonomics is simply breath taking. For example, in the Zenfone2, they have placed the volume control button in the back side, at a spot where our thumb normally rests.
Thereby giving it a clean, new look and easing the process of volume control as well.
Another novelty was the round, circular open space in the front of the flip cover, which again gives it a new look. The display clock has been strategically placed to cover that round hole with the round clock.
Hailed as world’s first smartphone with 64 bit, 4GB RAM, Zenfone2 does provide a killer deal in performance:
- 64 Bit Intel Atom processor with 2.3 GHz speed
- 6430 PowerVR 533 MHz GPU
- 60ms response time
- 5.5 inch ‘FHD’ display
- Android L Operating System
- 13 megapixel back camera and 5 megapixel front camera
- Lolliflash, a new, innovative technology to click better selfies
- Customization options (users can even change fonts)
- Faster battery charge (60% charge in 39 minutes)
And lot more…
Considering the extreme customizations supported by Zenfone2, Asus has decided to price every accessory differently. Hence, the flip cover costs Rs 1599; Zen earphone costs Rs 599; Zen Power backup costs Rs 799 and the new improved Zen Flash costs Rs 1599.
There are basically 4 variants of Zenfone2:
- ZE550ML for Rs 12,999 (5.5”; 1.8 GHz ; 2GB Ram ; 16 GB storage; 1280×720 HD Display)
- ZE551 ML for Rs 14,999 (5.5”; 1.8 GHz ; 2GB Ram ; 16 GB storage ; 1080 p full HD Display)
- ZE551 ML for Rs 19,999 (5.5” ; 2.3 GHz ; 4GB RAM ; 32 GB storage ; 1080 p full HD Display)
- ZE551 ML for Rs 22,999 (5.5 “ ; 2.3 GHz ; 4 GB RAM ; 64 GB storage ; 1080 p full HD Display)
It is being sold exclusively on Asus’s own store and on Flipkart.
For dedicated gamers & heavy application users, Zenfone’s 4GB RAM can do wonders, as over 30 apps can be run on Zenfone2 at a given moment.
As Saif Ali Khan said, this is a phone right out of space age!
Xiaomi Mi 4i: A product of love created artistically
The moment Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President, appeared on stage, the crowd went berserk, and all we heard were hoots, shouts and claps. I was personally amazed with the immense fan following which this company has attained, despite no offline sales channel and no advertisements on TV and newspapers, which some of our Indian ecommerce ventures are actively pursuing.
We have already shared the details of their new phone Mi 4i which was launched yesterday, and specifications wise, it is way below Zenfone 2.
But the electrified crowd present there didn’t seem to bother about that much, as they were mesmerized with the presentation of Hugo. Explaining the relevance of i, specifically said that it’s a flagship device, Made for India.
Interestingly, this is Xiaomi’s first global launch of a product in India.
Instead of blaring out loud music while describing the USPs of this phone, Xiaomi decided to appear aesthetic and classical by sharing the ‘beauty’ and ‘user experience’ which has been kept in mind while creating this phone.
Another interesting point: They have reduced the display area for this phone, going against the market which is hell bent on increasing the display area with each new model.
Powered by 64 bit 1.7 GHz Snapdragon Octa-core along with Adreno 405 GPU, it is a fairly powerful device for a casual user. 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage makes it sufficient to run apps and not so heavy games. Another unique aspect is that it supports dual SIM, and both can support 4G services. 13 Mega pixel back camera and 5 mega pixel front camera makes it compatible with other high end phones.
The product launch reached its crescendo when it was time for announcing the price, which was not revealed till now. Priced at Rs 12,999, it will surely give some tough fight to other contemporary high end phones from other manufacturers.
As I was walking back from the event, I bumped into a fan of Xiaomi, who had travelled all the way from Amritsar to attend this event. I asked whether he will buy Mi 4i, and a big yes came out of his mouth, the next second. When I asked him the reason, he simply said, “Xiaomi has touched our hearts. I will miss this phone if I don’t buy it!”.
My verdict: Customer is the king; and after these two mega launches, he is more spoilt for choices than ever.
My suggestion: Instead of creating a brand, technological companies should focus on creating a strong community of it’s fans; branding will take care of themselves.