Phone-Off: Xiaomi Mi Note 2 vs Blackberry DTEK 60

Phone-Off: Xiaomi Mi Note 2 vs Blackberry DTEK 60

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As Blackberry re-enters the smartphone race through outsourcing, we pit it, this time, against the Chinese giant that’s been aggressive in the market catering to high-end spec’ed phones for low prices. How does it hold up?

Design

The Mi Note 2 boasts a pseudo 3D curved display. Its sleek and elegant metal frame is sandwiched between the front and rear glass panels. Protecting the front panel is the 5.7-inch OLED display along with the selfie camera, the earpiece and the LED notification light on the top. The chin will be housing the capacitive fingerprint sensor and interchangeable capacitive backlit navigation keys. Flip the device over and you will find the flushed rear camera setup with two-tone flash and the Mi logo located at the bottom portion.

The power button and volume rocker are found at the right side and on the opposite end sits the dual-nano sim tray. Up top locates the headphone jack, noise-canceling mic, and IR blaster while at the bottom is the USB Type-C port accompanied by two speaker grilles.

The very first thing you’ll notice on the DTEK 60 is the camera hump at the back that packs a 21MP f/2.0 camera setup. Right below, will be the flushed fingerprint sensor and the blackberry logo by the middle portion. Both front and back are covered in glass panels with the metal chamfered frame housing the volume rocker above the Blackberry convenience key at the right side. On the other side will be the power button at the very top and the Hybrid dual nano-sim tray right below. Good thing though as double tap to wake and sleep is available on the device that avoids awkward finger gymnastics to turn the display off. Up top is the 3.55mm headphone jack while at the bottom is the USB Type-C port.

The dual firing speakers are found on the top and bottom portions of the raised frame that also blasts towards the back.

The glass panel upfront bevels and curves towards the side frames meeting the raised frame. Underneath it will be an 8MP front-facing shooter, the Blackberry red LED notification light, ambient and proximity sensors and the 5.5 QHD AMOLED display.

Wielding the DTEK 60 is on the heavier side but surprisingly comfortable and easy to use with one hand while the Mi Note 2 feels fragile and slippery. One-handed mode feature on the Mi Note 2 will aid in navigating the device.

Overall, the DTEK 60 just feels solid and sturdy that you won’t even have to worry about getting it a few bumps compared to the sleeker yet fragile mi note 2.

The DTEK 60 wins this one.

Display

The Mi Note 2 utilizes a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED display while its contender, the DTEK 60, employs a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display at 386 and 534 ppi, respectively.

No doubt that details are crisp and colors are vivid for both displays with no problem using under broad daylight. DTEK 60 leans to saturated but accurate color reproduction while Mi Note 2 has a cooler tone overall. DTEK 60 is just overall pleasing to the eyes with accurate display and a lot sharper for the trained eye.

DTEK 60 wins this round.

Camera

On to the camera. Mi Note 2 is coming in with a 22.MP f/2.0 main shooter while the DTEK 60 will try to outperform its contender with 21MP f/2.0.

Capturing images in broad daylight prove a cinch for both our contenders as they provided natural colors with great details on the image. However, the DTEK 60 was a bit washed out with a touch over exposure and white balance discrepancies.

Taking images of close-up subjects focused properly for our contenders with the DTEK 60 pulling ahead in color accuracy. The Mi Note 2 had some problems with white balance seen here.

Shots taken indoors with ample lighting showed that both phones can handle the challenge well with some underexposure for the DTEK 60.

Low light scenarios produces images that are almost at par with one another with some underexposure in tow for the DTEK 60. The Mi Note 2 pulls ahead by a bit with capturing more details comparing.

Outdoor night shooting shows that the Mi Note 2 will pull ahead with a better grasp of capturing more compared to the underexposed capabilities of the DTEK 60.

Either one of our contenders can take videos in glorious 4K resolution. The Mi Note 2 will have an extra edge here thanks to Electronic Image Stabilization.

Overall, the color and video processing of the Mi Note 2 is pleasurable to watch compared to the washed out version of the DTEK 60.

For selfie lovers out there, the DTEK 60 will provide you that natural look on your face and is suitable for groupie with its wider angle. On-screen flash is also available should you wish to improve quality on low-light scenarios.

Mi Note 2 is going to take this one.

Performance

The DTEK 60 will be a packing the early 2016 standard Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC clocked at 2.15GHz paired with 4GB of RAM over the same slightly upgraded Snapdragon 821 clocked at 2.35GHz paired with 6GB RAM in favor of the Mi Note 2.

Antutu Benchmark score shows the Mi Note 2 pulls ahead of the DTEK 60 by about 4k points at 141k thanks to the extra 2GB of RAM.

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Real world usage will pit both our contenders within an arm’s length from each other with Blackberry focusing on performance and security keeping the experience as close to stock as possible with ironclad safety-nets direct from Canada.

Xiaomi takes on a 180 approach by emulating an iOS experience with its skin and animation heavy MiUI 8.0 on top of Android Marshmallow 6.0. Take heed as region specific units may not have Google Play store pre-installed and will require manual installation.

The interface will come down to user preference so we’re leaving this one up to you guys. Would you rather a near-stock experience or one that emulates iOS? Let us know in the comments section below.

Battery

Battery performance for the both was impressive and can last a whole day of use but if you are a power user, charging the 4070mAh juice pack of the MI Note 2 took only an hour and 46mins while the 3000mAh of the DTEK 60 got its tank filled for only an hour and 7mins.

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Average usage will provide you 4 hours screen-on-time on the Mi Note 2 while the DTEK 60 can squeeze out 3.5 hours of screen-on-time.

The Mi Note 2 takes this one.

Audio

Both devices come with support for high-res audio playback via audio accessories but using its built-in speakers is an entirely different story.

When it comes to intensity, both are nearly on par with each other but the bass and clarity of the dual-firing speaker of the DTEK 60 pulls ahead and provides astounding audio quality.

DTEK 60 clearly wins this one.

Pricing and verdict

The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is expected at P28,990 or $580 for the 4/64GB variant while the 6GB/128GB variant is expected at P34,990 or $700. The Blackberry DTEK 60 is expected to land at P25,500 or $512.

DTEK 60 was able to prove that in can be competitive in the market and is still a good buy for consumers who are looking for added security. The Xiaomi Mi Note 2, on the other hand, enables an iOS like device for consumers who want the same experience without breaking the bank.

What do you think of our contenders in this phone-off? Let us know in the comments section below.

Mabuhay, Manila.

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Xiaomi Mi Note 2 
vs BlackBerry DTEK 60 Comparison + Video Review

Full Specs

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

BlackBerry DTEK 60

Display 5.7-inch OLED 1080p HD IPS, 386 ppi 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED 534ppi
Design 3D curved glass, aluminum glass and metal
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
CPU quad-core, 2.35GHz Quad-Core 2.16GHz
GPU Adreno 530 GPU Adreno 530
RAM 4/6GB LPDDR4 4GB
Memory 64/128GB UFS 2.0 32GB expandable storage up to 256GB
Camera 22.56MP f/2.0 IMX 318 sensor, EIS 4K video, PDAF + contrast autofocus 21 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Selfie 8MP f/2.0 IMX 268 sensor, autofocus 8 MP, f/2.2, 1080p
Connectivity Global LTE Support, Dual Nano Sim, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS 4G LTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC
Security Fingerprint scanner Fingerprint scanner
OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8.0 Android Marshmalllow 6.0
Battery 4070mAh with Quick Charge 3.0 3000mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0
Ports and charging USB Type-C, 3.5 mm audio jack USB Type-C, 3.55mm headphone jack
Audio AQSTIC audio, 192KHz/24-bit Hi-Fi dual-firing stereo speakers, MaxxAudio, 192KHz/24-bit Hi-Fi
Release Date October 2016 availability in China, December 2016 in Philippine online stores October 2016
Official price expected at P28,990 $580 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage while P34,990 or $700 for 6GB/128GB variant. expected to land at P25,500 or $512