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Asus Zenfone Max M1 vs Huawei Nova 2 Lite vs Xiaomi Redmi S2 – An Entry-level Camera Comparison

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Most entry-level smartphones nowadays offer good specs including its camera capabilities. Xiaomi recently released a selfie-centric smartphone under the Redmi series namely the Xiaomi Redmi S2. Today, we decided to compare this smartphone with other smartphones in the budget category. Here is the camera comparison of the Asus Zenfone Max M1, Huawei Nova 2 Lite, and Xiaomi Redmi S2.

SPECSAsus Zenfone Max M1Huawei Nova 2 LiteXiaomi Redmi S2
Rear CameraDual: 13 MP (f/2.0) + 8 MP (17mm, no AF), gyro EIS, phase detection autofocus, LED flash

 

13 MP + 2MP, PDAF and LED flash12 MP (f/2.2, 1.25μm, PDAF) + 5 MP, gyro-EIS, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Front Camera8 MP, f/2.28-megapixel f/2.0 aperture, Soft LED flash, Beautification mode16-megapixel front camera, HDR. LED flash, AI
Price (SRP)Php 8, 995Php 9, 990Php 7, 990

The Huawei Nova 2 Lite features a dual 13MP + 2MP rear camera. Meanwhile, the Asus ZenFone Max M1 sports a dual 13MP + 8MP rear camera and the Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a dual 12MP + 5MP rear camera. Both the Asus and the Huawei smartphones feature an 8MP front camera whereas the Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a 16MP selfie snapper which is understandable since its main focus is its selfie camera.

Camera Comparison

On the first set of photos, the first thing you’ll notice is how the Huawei Nova 2 Lite shots’ colors aren’t that vibrant compared to the Asus Zenfone Max M1 and the Xiaomi Redmi S2.

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 is slightly darker than the Xiaomi Redmi S2 which for me, got the best shot among the rest. The colors are vibrant and although the Max M1 and Nova 2 Lite are readable, the Redmi S2’s image has clarity in every stroke of the texts that’s why on this round, the Redmi S2 won.

Looking closely, the Huawei Nova 2 Lite’s shot has fewer shadows compared to the Asus Zenfone Max M1 and the Xiaomi Redmi S2. Aside from that, it has the brightest photo among the rest. Meanwhile, the Asus Zenfone Max M1, despite being the darkest of the three, has the most vibrant-colored leaves. This means that it got the highest contrast level as compared to the rest. Lastly, the Xiaomi Redmi S2’s shot isn’t the lightest nor darkest which puts it in between of the other two shots. Detail-wise, there are parts where it is a bit blurry in all shots. To be fair, it was windy when I took the shot so it would be unfair if I said that this phone isn’t good with details.

These photos were taken using HDR mode. You can clearly see the differences between the three and how their own HDR mode is working with artificial lights.

Starting with the lightest, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 has the most accurate take on the lights. However, the lights looked scattered as compared to the Nova 2 Lite and the Redmi S2. The Huawei Nova 2 Lite’s shot has a good amount of lights whereas the Xiaomi Redmi S2 looks like the exposure level is turned down to balance the dark with light.

I was a bit surprised with the Nova 2 Lite’s shot since the light coming from the lamp looked harsh enough that the wall cannot be seen. Other than that, I didn’t have problems with the colors and exposure of the photo. Moving on to the Asus Zenfone Max M1 which I honestly liked this time, it has a nice amount of light and vibrancy making it look pleasing to the eye. Lastly, the Redmi S2 produced the darkest image in all three. Rest assured, this doesn’t mean that the photo looked dull. Instead, it looks calming to the eye.

Going to the landscape shot, there are three different shades of blue but at that time of the day, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 is the one closest to real life in terms of colors. The details are noticeable as well. The same goes for the Nova 2 Lite but it had lighter shades of color as compared with the Asus Zenfone Max M1 which had a darker feel on the photo.

Let’s move on to the selfies. Using only the ambient light, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 made the subject’s skin look a bit yellowish although it is closer to accurate as compared with the Nova 2 Lite which made the subject’s skin even lighter than it is. It looked like beauty mode was used. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 made the subject’s skin fair and fresh without making the skin look exaggeratedly white.

Using the beauty mode, there were only minimal changes with the skin while using the mode on maximum level. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 still gave a yellowish tone to the subject’s skin. As for the Xiaomi Redmi S2, it had a fair amount of changes in terms of skin and the subject’s beauty mark was also hidden. The Huawei Nova 2 Lite made the subject’s skin whiter with subtle changes on the jawline making her face look slimmer.

On a selfie with artificial light, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 still made the subject’s skin yellowish and darker. I must say, most Filipinos don’t like making themselves look darker in photos so the Zenfone Max M1 might not be a top choice when it comes to selfies. On the other side, the Huawei Nova 2 Lite made the subject even whiter than its normal skin tone which might be a good thing and a bad thing for some. Lastly, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 has the right amount of color rendering with the skin which is why the outcome is good. It is not too dark and not too white.

These last set of photos were taken with beauty mode. It still looks the same but this time, the Redmi S2 has not just enhanced the subject’s skin but also made her face slimmer and eyes bigger. The same goes for the Nova 2 Lite but it was more subtle. The Asus Zenfone Max M1’s shot still gave the subject a yellowish complexion.

Verdict

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 has an average camera quality especially when it comes to shooting photos on the rear camera. It is able to adapt to different lighting situations. As for the front camera, I didn’t like how the subject’s skin turned out every time a photo snapped since it produced a yellowish tint.

Going to Huawei Nova 2 Lite, it gives the photo a lively feel because the photos taken through the rear camera produced vibrant colors. In terms of the front camera, there are times that your skin will be enhanced in an exaggerated manner depending on the lighting situation.

Lastly, as what I’ve mentioned earlier, in between the Asus Zenfone Max M1, Huawei Nova 2 Lite, and Xiaomi Redmi S2, the Xiaomi smartphone always got the right amount of color in different lighting situations and the same goes for its front camera quality. It’s reasonable to say that among the three, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 gave out selfies with the nicest quality given that it is equipped with a 16-megapixel camera. Of course, in the end, the decision still lies on the user’s preference.

How about you guys? In your opinion, which of the three smartphones won? Comment your choices down below!

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