Camera Shootouts

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i: Side-by-side comparison

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The battle for the best borderless smartphones has begun, and as we have quickly found out, near bezel-less phones don’t have to cost you an arm and leg, or a flagship price!

The Huawei Nova 2i, also known as the Huawei Mate 10 Lite, Maimang 6, or Honor 9i (depending on what region you’re in), is a top near-borderless budget option with a four-cam setup. The OPPO F5 is a fresh release from the selfie experts with a taller display and new AI beauty mode. With a price difference of just around US$ 20 between the two, how do these phones measure up to each other?

Side-by-side

The OPPO F5 has a 6-inch screen while the Huawei Nova 2i’s display is just a teeny bit smaller at 5.9 inches. Both phones have the same 1080 x 2160 resolution and, of course, that coveted 18:9 screen ratio. There are no physical buttons up front and both moved their fingerprint scanners to the back.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i lock screens

OPPO F5 on the left and the Huawei Nova 2i on the right

Plastic that’s made to look and feel like metal — a popular material among handsets these days — is what the F5 is made of. The Nova 2i, however, boasts a metal unibody design. I didn’t really notice the difference as both devices have a good weight and great feel to them.

The Huawei Nova 2i’s design appeals to me more; OPPO’s familiar form factor makes its look less unique.

Our Nova 2i unit is blue, but it’s also available in black and gold. Our F5 is silver, though they do have a red or black option. What’s different about this OPPO handset is how this particular color has a white face as opposed to the usual black bezels found on near borderless devices. This can go both ways: Chay loves this refreshing change while I personally prefer the sleek black bezel look.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i

The foreheads (yes, those top bezels) are about the same size and they house the earpiece and the selfie cameras — two selfie cameras in the case of the Nova 2i.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i forehead

Power buttons are on the upper-right side of both phones. This area also houses the volume rocker for the 2i and the SIM tray for the F5.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i sides

Left side has the F5’s volume rocker and the Nova 2i’s SIM tray which can accommodate two nano-SIMs with one slot convertible to a microSD slot. The F5, on the other hand, has space for two nano-SIM cards and a third slot for a microSD card.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i

Bottom of the phones have the micro-USB ports (gasp!), speaker grilles, and audio jacks.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i ports

Again, there are no physical buttons on the chin as both phones have on-screen home, back, and recent apps buttons.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i bottom chin

Distinct Huawei branding can be seen on the Nova 2i while OPPO keeps it clean up front.

Camera shootout!

The OPPO F5’s 16-megapixel rear camera goes against the Huawei Nova 2i’s 16- and 2-megapixel twin shooters. Although the F5 allows for a portrait bokeh mode on this camera, the Nova 2i has the option to do portrait mode for bokeh effect or a wide aperture mode.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i

Both phones perform considerably well even in challenging lighting situations. In the photo below, however, the Nova 2i does better in terms of contrast. Notice the noise on the buildings in the F5 photo.

Color also seems to pop more on the Huawei shooters. See how bright the door is on the Nova 2i picture.

In weird lighting conditions (like most ambient restaurant lighting), the Nova 2i took brighter and more vivid photos. The OPPO, on the other hand, took a sharper photo that’s a more faithful replica of how that salad looked in reality.

Low-light shots also look stunning with the Nova 2i, which came up with more balanced shots compared to the F5, though it must be said that both phones did an overall good job.

In front, the OPPO F5 packs a 20-megapixel selfie cam while the Nova 2i has a 13- and 2-megapixel setup. Both phones have a bokeh feature and their respective beauty modes, but it’s only the F5 which uses artificial intelligence to beautify your photos — a fairly new development in the OPPO selfie scene.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i front-facing camera

Selfies on the Nova 2i are brighter and more vivid, something a lot of people prefer, but the beauty mode on it was not the best I’ve tried on a smartphone. There were shooting instances that resulted in great selfies, but a number of shots on this mode’s middle setting resulted in my face being too washed out, or color contrast tended to look off.

The OPPO F5’s AI beauty mode detects sex, age, and race then uses this information to automatically calculate which beauty mode setting would be right for you. This results in fresh selfies that look more natural and less airbrushed, but colors usually weren’t as vivid.

In the selfie above, the Nova 2i brightened my face to the point where my eyebrows were noticeably lighter then saturated my red hair to make it look more fiery than it actually is in real life. The F5 kept it balanced with colors not as saturated.

The same thing happens with group selfies. Admittedly, we all look fresh in both photos and I’d be willing to post either one on social media.

What’s inside?

A MediaTek MT6763T processor running on Android Nougat and ColorOS 3.2 powers the OPPO F5 while the Nova 2i runs on Huawei’s Kirin 659 with EMUI 5.1 on top of Android Nougat. Both phones have 4GB of memory, although the F5 only has 32GB of storage as opposed to the Nova 2i’s 64GB.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i

The Huawei Nova 2i packs 3340mAh of battery power while the OPPO F5 has a battery capacity of 3200mAh.

Which is your GadgetMatch?

If taking selfies is your first and foremost priority — and you don’t mind paying a little extra — then you may want to check out the OPPO F5 and its impressive AI beauty technology.

On the other hand, if you like being behind the camera or if brighter and more saturated photos are your jam, then the Huawei Nova 2i is worth considering. It’s worth noting that this handset also runs on a more powerful processor, so if you’re not concerned about smartphone photography at all, this would definitely be the better choice for you.

OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i

If affordability is the name of the game, well, you’re in good company. These phones are two of the cheapest near-borderless phones in the market today. The OPPO F5 retails for PhP 15,990 (around US$ 305) in the Philippines and the Huawei Nova 2i retails for PhP 14,990 in the Philippines and EUR 399 in Europe (roughly below US$ 300).

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 2i Review: The midrange phone to beat?

SEE ALSO: OPPO F5 hands-on: A nearly borderless selfie phone

[irp posts=”23132″ name=”OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+: Side-by-side comparison”]

 

Camera Shootouts

iPhone XR vs Pixel 3: Camera shootout

Which single-camera setup takes better photos?

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In an age where dual and triple cameras have become a standard, two premium flagship smartphones with a single-camera setup can still compete. Google’s Pixel 3 is regarded by many as having the overall best smartphone camera because it produces well-balanced colors and clean cutouts on portrait mode. Apple’s iPhone XR has almost the same camera setup and features as the more expensive XS and XS Max, including the TrueDepth camera in front.

In this comparison, we pit the two against each other to find out which smartphone you think takes better photos. This is once again a blind test so get your pen and paper ready! Do note that all photos were taken on Auto or Portrait mode (when applicable) and have only been resized for faster loading times. They are labeled Photo A and Photo B randomly. Swipe left to see the photos in full and take note of your picks!

#1

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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

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#11

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#12

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#13

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#14

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#15

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Ready to find out which phone took your picks? Here’s the answer key:

#1
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#2
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#3
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#4
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#5
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#6
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#7
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#8
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#9
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#10
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#11
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#12
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#13
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#14
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#15
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

There’s no clear winner in this shootout; both phones did a great job in capturing images even in low-light scenarios. Choosing which one is better boils down to preference.

The Pixel 3 produces photos with higher contrast and sharpness, which sometimes turn out darker so photos tend to look more dramatic than they are in real life.  The iPhone XR, with its Smart HDR technology, balances out highlights and shadows really well, so much so that backlit images look like they have more than one light source.

In the portrait mode department, neither of the phones did a perfect job — how the cutouts turn out varies depending on the hair’s texture, how busy the background is, and even lighting.

When it comes to selfies, the Pixel 3 offers a wider field of view, an option to switch to a secondary wide-angle lens, as well as a feature called Night Sight that’s also available on its rear camera. One complaint we’ve always had with iPhones is how tight selfies are as seen in sets #13 and #14, although the iPhone XR selfies look more pleasing compared to those taken with the Pixel 3, where my skin tone tends to look more dull.

What do you think of this comparison? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3: Night mode shootout

Seeing in the dark

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Smartphone manufacturers have always been upping their camera games, whether it’s by adding more sensors to the setup or increasing pixel count. But one of the bigger revolutions was Huawei bringing a true night mode to the P20 Pro earlier this year.

Since then, Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro followed up on the trend, only to be challenged by another camera-centric smartphone: the Pixel 3. Google’s latest flagship also has a well-received night mode, but the feature came out a couple of months after the phone’s launch.

Now that Google’s Night Sight is official and we have a Mate 20 Pro on hand, it’s time to compare their performance and answer the question lots of people have been asking: What’s the best smartphone for nighttime photography?

For this shootout, I brought the two phones around Taiwan and took photos only on their respective night modes. No post-processing was done except resizing, so the images would load a little quicker on this page.

Here we go:

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One thing’s for sure: Both perform really well in any situation, exceeding expectations in most cases. Although, a lot of the comparisons come down to personal taste.

For one, the Pixel 3 often removes a layer of warmth and makes nighttime scenes look more like daytime. On the other hand, the Mate 20 Pro is better at preserving how the environment actually looks in low-light spots.

In the most extreme cases, however, the Pixel 3 can see better in total darkness. The secret sauce Google applied here works wonders for when sufficient lighting is out of the question. At the same time, Huawei’s phone can apply motion blur to moving subjects, making them feel more like a long-exposure shot.

With no clear winner, it’s safe to say that both sides prove that their leaders in the night mode realm. Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera Shootout

Which midrange contender comes out on top?

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Two brands that impressed us this year with their unconventional take on the borderless design are OPPO and Vivo. These two are always neck and neck when it comes to performance, design, and even cameras. So in this video, we set out to find which of these midrange contenders takes better photos.

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