Huawei and Xiaomi, these two tech giants are the top of the mind when it comes to smartphones. Recently, Xiaomi released their selfie-centric smartphone under Redmi series namely Xiaomi Redmi S2. Meanwhile, Huawei keeps on innovating on their products which is why this company has been getting huge every smartphone release.
- Huawei Nova 2 Lite Review – Beast Budget Smartphone
- Xiaomi Redmi S2 Review — A budget phone with 16 MP AI selfie camera
Now that we have the two budget beast smartphones, we cannot wait to compare the two to see which will rule the budget smartphone category. Here’s the comparison of Huawei Nova 2 Lite and Xiaomi Redmi S2.
|SPECS||Huawei Nova 2 Lite||Xiaomi Redmi S2|
|Display||5.99″ 18:9 display (720 x 1440) Huawei FullView Display||5.99″ 18:9 display (720 x 1440) IPS LCD|
|Dimensions||158.3 x 76.7 x 7.8 mm, 155g||160.7 x 77.3 x 8.1 mm, 170g|
|Color||Matte Black, Blue, Gold||Rose Gold, Champagne Gold, Platinum Silver|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 430||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625|
|GPU||Adreno 505||Adreno 506|
|Memory||3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage||4GB of RAM / 64GB storage or 3GB of RAM / 32GB storage|
|Main Camera||13 MP + 2MP, PDAF and LED flash||12 MP (f/2.2, 1.25μm, PDAF) + 5 MP, gyro-EIS, phase detection autofocus, LED flash|
|Front camera||8-megapixel f/2.0 aperture, Soft LED flash, Beautification mode||16-megapixel front camera, HDR. LED flash, AI|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, USB 2.0, USB On-the-go||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, USB 2.0|
|Security||Fingerprint scanner, Face Unlock||Fingerprint scanner|
|OS||Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0||Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI 9|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 3080 mAh battery|
|Official Price||Php 9,990||Php 7,990|
|Availability date (Philippines)||March 2018||June 2018|
The Huawei Nova 2 Lite and Xiaomi Redmi S2 both sports a tall all screen display. Remi S2 sports an all-metal body built while Nova 2 Lite also has a metal on its side with a plastic cover on its back. Both smartphones are not prone to fingerprints, but it doesn’t that matter now because whenever you buy a smartphone that was released last year and this year comes with a clear phone case.
The back panel of the Huawei Nova 2 Lite has a horizontally aligned dual camera lens with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a brander at the bottom portion of the phone. Same with Xiaomi Redmi S2 except for the vertically aligned dual camera setup and the antenna lines at the top and bottom of Nova 2 Lite.
At the bottom, we’ll see a speaker grille and USB 2.0 charging port but unlike the Huawei Nova 2 Lite, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 its headphone jack is placed at the top. Turning to sides we’ll see the power button, volume rockers and sim tray on both handsets.
Although both phones have a nice design, I prefer the Nova 2 Lite over Xiaomi Redmi S2. It was sophisticatedly designed which is what I liked about it.
On the display, these two are similar from screen size to screen resolution. The Huawei Nova 2 Lite features a 5.99-inch display with a screen resolution of 720 x 1440 which is the same with Redmi S2. However, Redmi S2 comes with an IPS LCD while Nova 2 Lite has their very own Huawei FullView Display. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is a little heavier weighing 170g with a dimension of 160.7 x 77.3 x 8.1 mm compared with Nova 2 Lite’s 155g weight with dimensions of 158.3 x 76.7 x 7.8 mm.
As I was using the two smartphones, I noticed that Huawei Nova 2 Lite’s screen is not as vibrant as Xiaomi Redmi S2. However, there is an option where we can customize the screen color so that would probably a solution to this.
Going to the optics, Huawei Nova 2 Lite is equipped with 13-megapixel + 2-megapixel dual lenses with PDAF and LED flash while Xiaomi Redmi S2’s main camera 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel with gyro-EIS, phase detection autofocus and LED flash. As for the front-facing camera, Xiaomi Redmi S2 definitely won this part with their smartphone’s megapixel doubled Nova 2 Lite’s. Redmi S2 has a 16-megapixel with HDR, LED flash and AI while Huawei Nova 2 Lite 8-megapixel with f/2.0 aperture, soft LED flash and beautification mode.
These first set of shots are in HDR mode. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is looking pretty sharp in this photo rendering solid colors. Unlike the Huawei Nova 2 Lite, the light beside the jar in Redmi S2’s isn’t scattered. So obviously, Redmi S2’s HDR here is better compared to Nova 2 Lite.
At first glance, these two looks like it was taken on a same phone but no. If you look closely, there are subtle differences in color vibrancy. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a more vibrant color than Huawei Nova 2 Lite though it produced more shadows than Huawei’s. Still, Redmi S2 got this category again using HDR mode on photos.
Without HDR, these smartphones still made sure the colors are still popping. Both photos are good with Huawei Nova 2 Lite seems to be on cool side while Redmi on the warm side in this photo. When you also browsed all over the photos we took, you’ll clearly notice the difference in tones.
Just like what I’ve mentioned earlier, these two are on an opposite side of tones. On this daylight photo, Huawei Nova 2 Lite photo has a higher exposure than Redmi S2. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 also has a different contrast level leaving the leaves even greener than the other one.
Well, I can say that these two proved that budget smartphones are also leveling up in terms of mobile camera game. There’s really a thin line between these two in terms of colors on this photo. Looking closely, you’ll see the subject’s skin and clothes are most noticeable change. Huawei Nova 2 Lite got the subject’s skin little yellow-ish while Redmi S2 got it close to accurate.
Going to the selfies, we’ll see the Redmi S2’s 16MP camera works fine under fluorescent lighting. While Nova 2 Lite produced a photo that looks soft using its 8MP front camera. It’s like you used a beauty mode on a level 2.
I went outside to see if phones will improve under ambient lighting, but as I can see that it does on subject’s face getting good details. However, photos are overexposed especially on Huawei Nova 2 Lite.
Using the beauty modes on these 4 photos, I must say that I did not like how it came out because it obviously looked you tweaked your photo to enhance your selfies. Aside from that, it seems that everything in the photo is overexposed and it’s not good for a photo. However, looking back to the smartphones, we cannot demand too much on an outstanding camera for a budget smartphone.
On low-lighting, Xiaomi Redmi S2’s 16MP camera produced a decent selfie still showing half of my face due to the lights coming inside, while Nova 2 Lite still tried its best to give a good shot, however, it’s not as clear as Redmi S2.
Lastly, on this night shot, you’ll see that Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a better shot compared to Huawei Nova 2 Lite. At first shot on Huawei Nova 2 Lite, I was shocked because there’s nothing except the lights so I did the 2nd attempt and it came out same as my first photo.
Overall, we cannot blame that it doesn’t get the outstanding photos because they’re not like the high-end phones that can take almost professional level phone in terms of quality. So all of these are forgivable.
Listening to these two, The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is louder, as matter of fact, both phones can actually produce sounds that are loud enough to play a music or watch movies in a standard room. Listen for yourselves here:
Using these two can last you a day of browsing the web and playing music. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 is packed with a slightly bigger battery capacity of 3080mAh while the Huawei Nova 2 Lite has an exactly 3000mAh batter juice.
The Nova 2 Lite lasted for 8-10 hours of playing games, taking pictures, social media browsing and chatting while the Xiaomi Redmi S2 lasted almost 10 hours of purely watching YouTube videos with a little social media browsing.
|Device||Battery||MS Battery Rating||Charging-Time (0-100)|
|Huawei Nova 2 Lite||3000mAh||32h 05m||2h 30m|
|Xiaomi Redmi S2||3080mAh||34h 32m||3h 5m|
As I was using the two, I unconsciously enjoyed watching a lot of videos using the Xiaomi Redmi S2 because of its tall screen. On the other hand, I liked the feeling of Nova 2 Lite on hand because it’s not that heavy so I spent a couple of hours playing games on this phone.
Browsing through settings of Xiaomi Redmi S2 an option that says the ‘second disk’ caught my eye.
It’s like you have a fresh new phone when navigating on the other side. This feature isn’t present in Xiaomi Redmi S2. On the security features, surprisingly Huawei Nova 2 Lite got an update that comes with Face Unlock feature which isn’t available with Xiaomi Nova 2 Lite.
In addition to this I mention that I enjoyed playing games on Nova 2 Lite, however, when I turned it on full-screen display, my Mortal Kombat X game was cropped on the upper part. I got worried that it will stay like that on the entire game but good thing it’s just on the loading screen.
Going back to the display, both have their own services to offer the users. With Huawei eye comfort while Huawei Nova 2 Lite has their Contrast & Color.
Huawei Nova 2 Lite
Xiaomi Redmi S2
I must say, that Huawei’s UI looked even better and more organized. It took me a long time to find a certain option using the Xiaomi Redmi S2. So, if you just got a Xioami phone you’re not yet familiarized then it will be difficult to find certain options at first.
Under the hood, Xiaomi Redmi S2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with Adreno 506 GPU higher than Huawei Nova 2 Lite’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with Adreno 505 GPU. Both runs Qualcomm Android chipset, however, the Redmi S2 has the latest 8.1 version while Nova 2 Lite has the 8.0 version. The Xiaomi Redmi S2 carries two RAM and storage variants, 4GB of RAM / 64GB storage or 3GB of RAM / 32GB storage while Huawei Nova 2 Lite carries 3GB of RAM / 32GB which can be expanded using microSD cards.
When it comes to battery capacity, the Xiaomi Redmi S2 has a slightly bigger power with 3080 mAh compared to Huawei Nova 2 Lite with 3000 mAh battery juice, both are non-removable.
|Huawei Nova 2 Lite||88072||678||2783|
|Xiaomi Redmi S2||77668||832||4237|
Playing on both phones are fine, though there are hiccups when starting the game on Redmi S2. On 4th attempt, it went smoothly at last. While Nova 2 Lite, I haven’t encountered any problems. On my end, it’s fine to play high graphics games, but make sure that other apps aren’t running so that lags won’t happen.
Decent Camera, Specs, Battery and more. Huawei Nova 2 Lite and Xiaomi Redmi S2 can compete with the other budget smartphones in the industry. So if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to splurge your money but want to have a good phone then these two are recommended to be on one of your choices.