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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bottom of the phones have the micro-USB ports (gasp!), speaker grilles, and audio jacks.
Again, there are no physical buttons on the chin as both phones have on-screen home, back, and recent apps buttons.
Distinct Huawei branding can be seen on the Nova 2i while OPPO keeps it clean up front.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
[irp posts=”23132" name=”OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+: Side-by-side comparison”]
Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei P30 Pro: Camera shootout
2019’s early flagship Androids
Now that Samsung and Huawei have released their respective flagships for the early part of 2019, it’s time to compare them in the funnest way we know how: a blind camera shootout.
Both brands make it clear that they’re proud of what their premium phones can achieve in the imaging department. While the Galaxy S10+ is incredibly versatile with its triple-camera setup and host of software tricks ranging from Live Focus to intelligent scene detection, the P30 Pro boosts its hybrid zoom and night mode game with a total of four rear cameras.
They rightfully deserve their scores at the top of DxOMark’s rankings, but what does the general public think about their camera output? With this shootout, you have your chance to analyze each photo and pick the better of the two without bias.
As always, every photo is shot in auto mode with default settings unless a category needs specific options applied. No post-processing was done except for resizing to keep the file sizes down. You may find the answer sheet at the end of this comparison.
#1 — Architecture
#2 — Building facade
#3 — Flower macro
#4 — Low-light indoor
#5 — Food close-up
#6 — Landscape
#7 — Ultra-wide landscape
#8 — Portrait
#9 — Colors
#10 — Food
#11 — Selfie
#12 — Dynamic range
#13 — Details
#14 — Nighttime outdoor
#15 — Nighttime indoor
Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14A, 15B
P30 Pro: 1A, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14B, 15A
Like past premium shootouts, the results here can often go either way. The Galaxy S10+ seems to shoot a little wider with its ultra-wide lens and tends to raise exposure more in certain situations; the P30 Pro, meanwhile, is slightly better at retaining detail in daytime and controlling light in dark areas.
Redmi Note 7 vs Realme 3: Camera shootout
A true budget battle!
We love pitting premium phones against one another to see which ones rule the mobile camera space, but every now and then, we need to see how well the budget options perform with their entry-level shooters.
For this installment of our long-running series, we’re comparing the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3, which are undeniably the most popular phones in the sub-US$ 200 segment. Being affordable doesn’t mean performing cheap, however; they have surprisingly good image sensors on them as proven in our reviews.
To make this interesting, we’re presenting yet another blind shootout so you can play along with us. Everything is shot on auto mode and no post-processing was applied except for resizing to keep the file sizes bearable.
You can find the results at the end of this article. Let’s begin:
#1 — Detail
#2 — Moving animals
#3 — Macro
#4 — Portrait mode
#5 — Selfie
#6 — Food
#7 — Landscape
Redmi Note 7: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A
Realme 3: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B
There’s no doubt that both phones shoot well at their price points, and some of the rounds could go either way depending on individual taste.
If we were to nitpick, we’d say that the Realme 3 provides more detail and produces better dynamic range, while the Redmi Note 7 is smarter when it comes to background blur and has more realistic colors on subjects.
What do you think? Connect with us on our social media channels and let us know which phones you’d like us to compare next.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Camera shootout
Wide, regular, and zoom!
We’ve come to a point wherein three rear cameras on a smartphone are becoming the norm and all three must serve an individual purpose.
That’s the case with the Galaxy S10+ and Mate 20 Pro, which are Samsung and Huawei’s most versatile camera phones to date. They both have the ability to go wide and zoomed in, on top of their regular high-resolution shooters.
As always, we’re turning this into a blind shootout so you can play along. The order of each round is random, and everything has been shot using auto settings to give both phones a fair chance to shine. The results are found at the end of this article.
#1 — Flower
#2 — Building
#3 — Graffiti
#4 — Ultra-wide
#5 — Regular
#6 — Zoom
#7 — Background blur
#8 — Backlit
#9 — Bright sky
#10 — Moving subject
#11 — Macro
#12 — Landscape
#13 — Dynamic range
#14 — Portrait
#15 — Sunset
#16 — Artwork
#17 — Twilight
#18 — Food
#19 — Vegetation
#20 — Nighttime
#21 — Total darkness
Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18A, 19B, 20A, 21B
Mate 20 Pro: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18B, 19A, 20B, 21A
How do you feel about the results?
Truth be told, it’s as close as you’d expect from the two top mobile camera performers on DxOMark (for now, of course). Each round could go either way, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference — like if you prefer warmer tones or greater contrast in your photos.
Let us know which smartphone you think won in the comments section below.
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