If you’re currently looking for an affordable flagship alternative this spring, you might want to look towards the premium mid-range category with confidence. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 are expensive phones not everyone can afford, but luckily the market abounds of smartphones with advanced specifications that sell for far more convenient price-tags.

For this smartphone showdown, we chose the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom and Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) because they both borrow include premium features you’d normally expect to see on more premium devices, while keeping costs low. But which one is better suited to your needs? Keep reading below to find out.

Display

5.5-inch display with fullHD res vs 5.7-inch display with fullHD res

401ppi vs 386ppi

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) offers a larger 5.7-inch display, while the ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom comes with a smaller 5.5-inch one. However, both bring forth 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Galaxy A7 features a physical home button which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, while the Zenfone 3 Zoom makes uses of three capacitive navigation buttons instead

Performance

Snapdragon 625 vs Exynos 7880

4GB of RAM vs 3GB of RAM

32GB/64GB/128GB of storage vs 32GB of storage

The Snapdragon 625 can be found inside many great middle-rangers like the Moto G5 Plus or ZTE Blade V8 Pro. The octa-core chipset with eight 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 cores is capable of delivering sufficiently advanced performance and a very good battery life.

Actually in a recent video, ASUS touts the Zenfone 3 Zoom’s superior battery life, saying it lasts longer than the iPhone 7 Plus’. The phone also offers more RAM and comes with a three internal storage options. It also bundles a microSD card slot which can be used to increase memory up to 256GB.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) takes advantage of an Exynos 7880 which is also an octa-core affair with eight 1.9 GHz Cortex-A53 cores – so performance should be quite similar to the Zenfone 3 Zoom. However, there’s only 3GB of RAM onboard to support the workings of the CPU. Also the Galaxy A7 (2017) only features on 32GB of built-in storage option. Luckily a microSD card slot is available.

Cameras

Dual 12-megapixel vs 16-megapixel main camera

13-megapixel vs 16-megapixel secondary camera

Photography is one of the ASUS’ Zenfone Zoom 3 biggest selling points. The phone offers 3x optical zoom and 2.3x magnification on one of the lenses that make up the dual 12-megapixel camera setup. The other sensor features f/1.7 aperture and OIS (optical image stabilization). The Zoom 3 also features an impressive 13-megapixel selfie snapper with f/2.0.

While the Galaxy A7 (2017) does not have a dual-camera, it does feature a decent 16-megapixel snapper with f/1.9, autofocus and LED flash plus and advanced 16-megapixel selfie camera.

Software

Despite being launched in 2017, the Galaxy A7 (2017) and Zenfone Zoom 3 both come with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box. While Samsung’s phone will surely get Android 7.0 Nougat at some point in 2017 (the update has entered the testing phase), we can’t be too sure the same will be true for the Zoomfone Zoom 3 (given ASUS’ history with updates).

The Galaxy A7 (2017) offers the services of Samsung Pay, so users can make contactless payments using the phone.

Battery

5,000 mAh battery vs 3,600 mAh battery

Another of the ASUS Zenfone Zoom 3’s attractive qualities is the huge 5,000 mAh battery inside. In a recent video released by ASUS recently we can see the Zenfone lasts longer than the iPhone 7 Plus when shooting a time-lapse video, as well as when playing video playback.

But if the Galaxy A7 (2016)’s battery performance is any indication, the Galaxy A7 (2017) should be able to provide a long lasting battery life thanks to the 3,600 mAh unit hiding under the hood.

Value

$399 vs $352

The ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom is not currently available in the US, although the producing company promised the device will make a debut in the country this quarter. Hopefully by June the device will be available for purchase in the country. The expected price tag is $399.

As for the Galaxy A7 (2017) users can currently pick it up for about $350 from places like Amazon. While the phone comes equipped with less RAM and only one storage option, it does feature IP68 certification for dust/water resistance over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes. It also does not have a dual camera setup, but boasts a more advanced selfie camera. It’s also bound to get Android 7.0 Nougat at some point in 2017.

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