Microsoft, the second most valuable brand after Apple, has become increasingly aggressive after acquiring Nokia's devices business. The Redmond-based company, known for its software, is not new to the hardware business. Its gaming-console Xbox has millions of fans. However, this is the first time, a Microsoft-branded product will compete in the mass-market segment. This segment is mostly dominated by Chinese companies like Xiaomi. When phone-makers such as Samsung, HTC, Sony, are avoiding direct confrontations with Xiaomi in the entry-level smartphone section, Microsoft is taking them head-on. So let's find-out, how the Microsoft Lumia 535 and Xiaomi Redmi Note stack-up against each other. Irrespective of which company scores here, consumer is going to be a real winner, by getting plethora of features at affordable price.
Screen The Redmi Note features an HD screen, while the Lumia 535 settles for qHD resolution. However, since the Redmi Note has a slightly bigger 5.5-inch screen, the pixel density difference between these phones is not as big as you would have apprehended. To be precise, it is 220 ppi for the 5-inch Lumia and 220 ppi and 266 ppi for the Redmi Note. Both the phones have IPS type screen, so the colour reproduction should be decent. The Lumia 535 comes with a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, which is missing on the Redmi Note.
Aesthetics Budget smartphones are mostly plasticky, and the Lumia 535 and Redmi Note are not exception. What we like about the 535 is that it comes in six hues. Out of that, Cyan, Black and White offer matte finish. While the Redmi Note also comes in variety of colours, only White and Black seems to be available in India.
Microsoft Lumia 535.
Xiaomi Redmi Note.
Firepower Unlike the Lumia 520, 530, 625, 639, the Lumia 535 comes with 1 GB RAM. This means that most Windows Phone games will be compatible with this handset. It comes with a modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset. It houses a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU and Adreno 302 GPU. On the other hand, the Xiaomi packs-in an octa-core Mediatek MT6592 SoC (System-on-Chip). To handle multitasking and gaming, you get 2 GB RAM and Mali-450MP4 GPU. So if you're into gaming, the Xiaomi phone is a clear winner here.
Cameras Another area where the Redmi Note shines on paper is photography. it features a 13 megapixel primary camera, and a 5 megapixel snapper for Selfies. On the other hand, the Lumia 535 comes with a 5 megapixel front and rear cameras. While Note packs in more megapixels, the 535 offers Lumia camera interface that lets you fiddle with advance settings. Both the handsets feature LED flash.
Software The Lumia 535 ships with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim software. That's exactly what you get on the more expensive phones such as the Lumia 720 and 830. On the other hand, the Redmi Note runs Android Jelly Bean with MIUI v5 running on top of it. In addition to offering the latest OS, the 535 gets an edge due to Lumia exclusive apps such as offline HERE maps and MixRadio.
Storage And battery Both the Lumia 535 and Redmi Note pack-in 8 GB internal storage. While both the handsets have microSD card slots, there's a small difference. The Lumia 535 can support up to 128 GB of memory expansion whereas the Note cannot take anything more than 32 GB. The Lumia 535 comes with 1905 mAh battery. Considering that the Redmi Note packs-in a powerful processor and Android is not that optimised, this device comes with a 3200 mAh battery.
As far as the specifications are concerned, Xiaomi beats Microsoft by a long shot. However, the numbers only tell you one side of the story. To find out how they perform in real world scenario, keep an eye-out for our reviews.