Huawei Nova 2i vs OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+ Specs, Design, Benchmark Scores, and Key Features Comparison

"Sir Mark, which of those three Q4 2017 to early 2018 midrange Android smartphones is the best?"

That's probably the one question that I've been asked the most by my readers since OPPO officially launched the OPPO F5 last Thursday, October 26, 2017, completing the announcement of the much awaited triumvirate of powerhouse mid-level handsets.

All priced below Php 20,000 and featuring great selfie-snapping capabilities, Huawei Nova 2i, OPPO F5, and Vivo V7+ are now in a seeming battle of Titans to grab the attention of Pinoy consumers - especially students and young professionals who are in the millennial age bracket.

To answer the question above, we'll first have to take a look at the technical specifications and key features of the handsets one by one.

Launched on October 21, 2017, the metal clad Huawei Nova 2i is the first smartphone the Chinese tech giant to have a Full View display and four cameras. To be specific, it has a 5.9-inch Full HD+ IPS display that covers almost the entire face of the device, a 16MP + 2MP f/2.2 camera module at the back that delivers good bokeh effect that beautifully blurs the subject's background for a interesting looking shot, 13MP + 2MP f/2.0 cam set-up in front, and a 3,340 mAh non-removable battery pack. Inside, it runs its EMUI 5.1 skinned Android 7.1 Nougat operating system with an Octa Core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor having a Mali-T830 graphics processing unit, has 4GB of RAM, and comes with 64GB of storage that's expandable via the phone's hybrid secondary nanoSIM slot that supports microSD card memory expansion.

Huawei Nova 2i vs OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+

On the other hand, OPPO F5 debuts the company's AI Beautification Technology that's sophisticated enough to "Capture The Real You" by keeping the essence of your face and not making you look like another person altogether. As for specs, the handset sports a 6-inch Full HD+ IPS display with rounded corners similar to that of LG G6 and Gorilla Glass 5 protection, a 16MP f/1.8 PDAF camera at the back, a 20MP f/2.0 front cam that also supports Face Unlock, and a non-removable 3,200 mAh battery pack. Underneath the phone's anodized aluminum shell, OPPO F5 runs its Color OS 3.2 flavored Android 7.1 Nougat OS with an Octa Core MediaTek MT6737T processor incorporating a Mali-G71 GPU, has 4GB of RAM, and comes with 32GB of storage that's expandable via the handset's dedicated microSD card slot.

Finally, Vivo V7+ - which has the highest front facing camera resolution of any smartphone released so far at 24 MegaPixels - was officially launched on September 20, 2017. This device is equipped with a 5.99-inch HD+ IPS display - with curved corners - that's protected by Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen, a 16 MegaPixel f/2.0 rear camera, Face Unlock technology, and a non-removable 3,225 mAh battery pack. Under the hood, this gorgeous smartphone's Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with Adreno 506 GPU runs the FunTouch OS 3.2 skinned Android 7.1.2 Nougat operating system. The chipset is complemented by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that's expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot. One of the coolest features of this handset that you won't find on its competitors is its AK4376A Hi-Fi chip that improves the audio experience when listening to music and watching videos on the phone by boosting the trebles and basses.

Huawei Nova 2i vs OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+
Huawei Nova 2i, OPPO F5, and Vivo V7+, respectively.

To make it easier for us to compare the specs of these three Android smartphones, I made this side-by-side comparison table. I even included the dimensions and weight of the handsets as well as their official suggested retail prices.

Huawei Nova 2i vs OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+

Here are the winners per category or specification:

Dimensions - I'd say it's a near tie here as there's less than 1 millimeter difference in each measurement. However, I should note that Vivo V7+ is the shortest of the bunch and this helped increase its screen to body ratio.

Weight - OPPO F5, which weighs at 152 grams, is the lightest model - more or a joy to hold and to keep in the pocket.

Display - I'll give this one to OPPO F5 is its 6-inch Full HD+ display also has rounded corners, which made it more visually appealing.

Screen to Body Ratio - As I've noted above, Vivo V7+'s short frame helped boost its All-Screen proposition with a whopping 78.4 screen to body ratio.

Screen Protection - Huawei has yet to specify the scratch-resistant glass they used for the Nova 2i. But here, it's clear that OPPO F5 has superiority with its Corning Gorilla Glass 5 panel.

Selfie Camera - All of the phones have their own merits when it comes to snapping selfies using the front cam. Vivo V7+ has the highest resolution at 24 MegaPixels but OPPO F5 has an advanced AI Beautification software while Huawei Nova 2i has a 13MP + 2MP Dual Camera module that supposedly delivers better shallow depth of field effect.

Rear Camera - Here's a toss up between OPPO F5 and Huawei Nova 2i. OPPO's offering has a 16 MP sensor with a wide f/1.8 aperture for better low light shots while Huawei's midrange has a 16MP + 2MP Dual Camera module for good, adjustable bokeh effect.

User Interface and Operating System - All phones run Android 7.1 operating system so in that sense, it's a tie. As for UI, it's all a matter of preference or taste.

Processor - Looking at Antutu Benchmark Scores of these phones, it's clear that Huawei Nova 2i's Kirin 659 processor makes it superior in this category. In fact, its power is already comparable to that of Qualcomm Snapdragon 625.

Huawei Nova 2i vs OPPO F5 vs Vivo V7+
(Thanks, Kuya Bryan R., for providing me with the updated Antutu Benchmark Score breakdown of Huawei Nova 2i running the latest firmware!)

GPU - Again, looking at strict 3D benchmark scores, OPPO F5's Mali-G71 MP2's graphics chip is superior to Mali-T830 and Adreno 506 of Nova 2i and V7+, respectively. With this, we can say that 3D gaming experience will be best on the OPPO F5 -- if a bit.

Expandable Storage - Here, the clear winner is Vivo V7+ has it has 64GB of ROM plus a dedicated microSD card slot so you won't to sacrifice Dual SIM connectivity just to get more storage space.

Battery Size - In terms of battery capacity alone, Huawei Nova 2i is the winner. Though, I have to note that total uptime is not just a function of the size of the battery pack. We are still running our tests to know which model stays on the longest with regular use.

Fingerprint Scanner - Again, it's a tie. I've tested the fingerprint scanner of each phone - all about the pack for quick access with the pointer finger - and I found that their speed and performance are just about the same.

Connectivity - All three phones come with pretty much the same connectivity options. OPPO F5 has an ever slight edge in this department though as it supports 4G LTE-A Cat 12 vs Cat 6 for the two other handsets.

Gyroscope - Oddly enough, Nova 2i doesn't have this sensor, which is essential in some mobile games. Its omission is probably one of the ways that Huawei was able to bring the cost of the handset down so for me, it's all good.

HiFi Audio - This is the department where Vivo V7+ truly shines; Among the three models, it's the only one that has it. When you're using a high-quality pair of earphones or headset, V7+'s AK4376A Hi-Fi chip delivers louder volume, clearer basses, and brighter trebles for a more enjoyable audio experience.

Price - Clearly, Huawei Nova 2i wins here. Priced at Php 14,990, it's the most affordable of the bunch.

Alright! So given all these information, here's my answer to the question I posed at the beginning of this article:

"Huawei Nova 2i, OPPO F5, and Vivo V7+ have such different strengths and weakness that - for me - the question we should ask is not about which one is the best but rather, which handset is right for the user given his or her needs and requirements.

If you want an all around reliable handset that lets you add interesting bokeh effect on photos taken using both front and back cameras and Php 15,000 is the most you can spend on it, then - naturally - Nova 2i would be ideal for you.

If you want to experience next-level selfie technology on a handset with a great display, light build, rear camera that performs well in low-light settings, and great 3D gaming performance, you might want to choose OPPO F5.

Now, if you're very particular about audio quality when listening to music on the go and you love snapping ultra-high resolution selfies using a sleek mid-level handset with good internal hardware, Vivo V7+ could very well be perfect new smartphone for you."

So there you have it! That's my answer. Do you have a different opinion regarding this topic? Share you thoughts with me via our comments section below. Let's talk.

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