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Vivo V7+ vs OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i - Midrange Comparison

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Smartphones with tall 18:9 screen aspect ratio are not exclusive for the high-end market anymore.
Midrange 18:9 fight!

In a just span of two months, Vivo, OPPO, and Huawei, three of the biggest Chinese smartphone brands, has unleashed smartphones w/ tall 18:9 near bezel-less screens to slug it out for midrange supremacy this last quarter of the year.

Vivo started fire w/ the Vivo V7+ w/ 24MP front camera. It was followed Huawei with the announcement of the quad camera powered Nova 2i. Then two weeks ago, OPPO has revealed the F5 w/ 20MP AI ready selfie camera. All three smartphones are priced between PHP 15 to 18K range.

Now, its time to check who's the right 18:9 near bezel-less midrange Android smartphone for you. Is it the Vivo V7+, OPPO F5, or Huawei Nova 2i. Read on.

Vivo V7+ vs OPPO F5 vs Huawei Nova 2i Specs Comparison

Device:Vivo V7+OPPO F5Nova 2i
Display:5.99-inch HD+ FullView 1440 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 267 ppi6-inch FHD+ IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 5 protection at 403 ppi5.9-inch FHD+ FullView 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved class at 409 ppi
CPU:1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 450 octa core processor2.5GHz 64-bit Helio P23 octa-core processor2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 659 octa-core processor
GPU:Adreno 506Mali-G71MP2Mali-T830
RAM:4GB4GB 4GB
ROM:64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)32GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Main Camera:16 MP f/2.0 OV16880 w/ AF and LED flash16MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF and LED flash16MP + 2 MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera:24MP f/2.0 w/ softlight flash20MP f/2.0 w/ A.I. Beauty Recognition and screen flash13MP + 2 MP f/2.0 w/ softlight flash
Battery:3,255mAh3,200 mAh w/ 2A charger3,340mAh
OS:Android 7.1 Nougat w/ Funtouch OS 3.2Android 7.1.1 Nougat w/ ColorOS 3.2Android 7.0 Nougat w/ EMUI 5.1
Connectivity:WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM (nano)WiFi, 3G, 700 MHz LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIMWiFi, LTE w/ VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE, aptX, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors:Accelerometer, ambient light, digital compass, proximity gyroscopeAccelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magneticAccelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic
Others:Fingerprint sensor, IP53 splash resistance, USB Fingerprint sensor, AK4376A HiFi DAC, Colors: matte black, champagne goldFingerprint sensor, facial recognitionFingerprint sensor, dual microphones w/ noise reduction, Colors: obsidian black, streamer gold, and aurora blue
Dimensions:155.87 x 75.74 x 7.7 mm156.5 x 76 x 7.5 mm156.2 x 75.2 x 7.5 mm
Weight:160 g152 g164 g
Price:PHP 17,990PHP 15,990PHP 14,990

Build Quality / Design

Sleek designs

The Vivo V7+ features an all plastic unibody construction that has a "metallic" feel due to its nice paint finish. On top, the screen is protected w/ an unverified version of Gorilla Glass.
Slim profiles
Slim profiles

On the other hand, the OPPO F5 has a silver nano coated plastic construction that feels identical w/ Vivo's build. But, in front, it has the toughest Gorilla Glass 5 protected screen.

The Nova 2i is the most affordable of the bunch, but it has the most premium build among the three. It has metal unibody construction that feels more premium compared w/ the plastic build of Vivo and OPPO.

However, its FullView screen has no protection against scratches. Fortunately, it has a pre-installed screen protector (Like F5 and V7+).

All three phones features a modern and tall 18:9 screen w/ side, top, and bottom bezels. They also all have slim overall profiles, fingerprint scanner behind, and protruding cameras. 

The F5 and Nova 2i are the slightly slimmer phones at 7.5 mm. The F5 and V7+ has triple slots (dual SIM + dedicated microSD card slot) compared w/ the hybrid slot (dual SIM or single SIM + microSD card) of Nova 2i.

All also has nice curves at the back and on the corners for great grip and hold all over.

Build / Design - Nova 2i > F5 > V7+

Display Quality

18:9 trend is strong
18:9 trend is strong

All three phones highlights the taller 18:9 screen aspect ratio for that "FullView" for better overall viewing experience effect. Both the F5 and Nova 2i featured the sharper FHD+ 2160 x 1080 resolution. On the other hand, the V7+ has the lower HD+ 1440 x 720 resolution.

The screen quality of the F5 and Nova 2i are about the same. They also has identical amount of colors, contrast, and brightness level. Images and next are also crispier on them both compared w/ V7+.

But, despite having the lower-res screen, the display of V7+ is no slough. It has the most vivid colors among the three for us. It also has the brighter screen compared w/ F5 and Nova 2i.

All three phones has also has eye protection mode and 10 points multitouch.

Display - F5 = Nova 2i > V7+

Audio Quality

All three phones has a single speaker below. The one with the loudest is the V7+, but it is also the noisiest among the three. The F5 and Nova 2i are about the same in loudness level and distortion, but the F5 is slightly ahead.

All of them has pretty clean audio output. The Nova 2i has the most natural sound for me, but its driving power isn't the best out there. On the other hand, the F5 has this "Real Sound Technology" that enhances soundstage to create a stereo sound effect. But, the sound is bloated, muddier, and unnatural in my opinion.

The Vivo V7+ w/ dedicated HiFi DAC delivered the meatiest and most refined headphone audio performance among the three.

Microphone quality for calls are about the same.

Audio - V7+ > Nova 2i = F5

Battery Life

V7+ battery score
V7+ battery score

Vivo V7+ clocked the highest battery benchmark score at 17 hours and 48 mins. Real life usage can make you use your 4G LTE data for an entire work day on a single charge. Charging time is around 2 hours. Thanks to its lower res screen.
OPPO F5 battery score
OPPO F5 battery score

OPPO F5 w/ 3,200mAh battery came in second w/ a score of 10 hours and 59 mins. In real life, it is quite good as well. We clocked 5 hours of screen on time w/ the F5 even w/ 4G LTE in our test. However, charging time is quite slow at around 2:45 mins to 3 hours.
Nova 2i battery score
Nova 2i battery score

The Nova 2i has the biggest battery among the three at 3,340mAh, but both V7+ and F5 clocked higher scores. In real life, battery performance is still good at over 4 hours screen on time w/ 4G LTE data and even WiFi hotspot on all the time. Charging time is 2 hours and 30 mins.

Battery - V7+ > F5 > Nova 2i

Cameras

Capable photography phones
Capable photography phones

Behind, the V7+ sports a 16MP f/2.0 main camera w/ AF and LED flash. The OPPO F5 is equipped w/ another 16MP f/1.8 PDAF camera w/ LED Flash. The Nova 2i comes w/ a 16 MP + 2 MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF for photography. Let's compare!

Rear Camera Samples

Scene 1 - Gloomy daylight
Gloomy daylight V7++
Gloomy daylight V7+

The V7+ got the colors correctly and details are pretty sharp. But, highlights and dynamic range are not that wide.
Gloomy daylight F5
Gloomy daylight F5

The F5 produced the warmer color tone and the better dynamic range, details, and overall quality.
Gloomy daylight Nova 2i
Gloomy daylight Nova 2i

The Nova 2i produced the photo w/ better details among the three despite the slight overexposure.

Scene 2 - Close-up
Vivo V7+ close-up
Vivo V7+ close-up

The shadows that V7+ produced in this scene is quite nice. But, it is lacking in detail compared w/ F5. Color accuracy is isn't as good as the F5 as well.
F5 close-up
F5 close-up

The F5 nailed this scene! It is sharp, detailed, and well exposed. It is far from grainy as well. Background blur is even deep.
Nova 2i close-up
Nova 2i close-up

The Nova 2i delivered a decent performance in this scene too. It has good background blur as well. But, it is a bit overexposed in my opinion. The details and colors on the F5 are also better.

Scene 3 - Indoor artificial light
V7+ indoor artificial light
V7+ indoor artificial light

The V7+ captured this scene w/ high level of details and nice shadows. But, its hue is quite pinkish and unnatural.
F5 indoor artificial light
F5 indoor artificial light

OPPO F5 delivered the brightest shot w/ the most accurate colors among the three. It is very detailed as well.
Nova 2i indoor artificial light
Nova 2i indoor artificial light

The match is very close between the Nova 2i and F5. But, I slightly preferred F5's shot over Nova 2i in this scene.

Scene 4 - Lowlight point and shoot
V7+ lowlight point and shoot
V7+ lowlight point and shoot

The V7+ is quite decent in lowlight. It has pretty good details and nice dynamic range for a phone. Colors are slightly pinkish though.

F5 lowlight point and shoot
F5 lowlight point and shoot

The OPPO F5's bright f/1.8 lens captured the image w/ the brightest exposure w/ fairly accurate colors. But, it isn't as detailed as the V7+ and Nova 2i. It is also having a pretty hard time to focus in lowlight which could result to blurrier images.
Nova 2i lowlight point and shoot
Nova 2i lowlight point and shoot

The Nova 2i despite having the lowest f/2.2 aperture among the three delivered the arguably better lowlight shot in the scene vs V7+ and F5. Details are sharper vs F5 and color accuracy is better than V7+.

Note: All has professional modes for manual camera controls. 
Nova 2i has the most robust set of camera features and controls. It even has ISO 50 and up to 32 seconds shutter using the Night Mode.
Three of the best selfie phones in the midrange department
Three of the best selfie phones in the midrange department

For selfies, the V7+ boasts a 24MP f/2.0 front facing camera, the OPPO F5 has an A.I. assisted 20MP f/2.0 shooter, and the Nova 2i has a 13MP + 2MP f/2.0 dual camera setup.

All three phones proved to be great selfie shooters in the midrange game. All also has nice face beauty mode and portrait for bokeh effect.

The face beauty on F5 is a little bit "more special" compared w/ V7+ and Nova 2i as it has A.I. beautification tech. It simply means that it will automatically enhance your selfies the "right way" to #CaptureTheRealYou.

But, for lowlight, it only has the old screen flash. Both the V7+ and Nova 2i has the better softlight LED flash to make you look better at night.

Anyway, let's check the camera samples!

Selfie Camera Samples

Scene 1 - Daylight selfie
V7+ daylight selfie
V7+ daylight selfie

There's no clear winner in this scene. But, the Vivo V7+ delivered my preferred kind of skin color tone.  It has nice details details as well. 
F5 daylight selfie
F5 daylight selfie

Some may prefer this look due to its sharper details. But, the color on my face using the F5 looked a paler compared V7+ and Nova 2i even on auto mode.
F5 daylight selfie
Nova 2i daylight selfie

I also liked the output (especially the color) that Nova 2i delivered in this scene. It can compete very well with the V7+ with higher 24MP resolution.

Scene 2 - Indoor portrait (Face beauty level 3)
V7+ indoor portrait
V7+ indoor portrait


The color on my face is slightly pinkish in color. But, the level of detail and beautification is quite good on the V7+. It has a nice close to natural (for a phone) background blur effect too.
F5 indoor portrait
F5 indoor portrait

My skin is paler again on the OPPO F5. But, the details is as good as V7+ and the bokeh effect is nearly as deep as Nova 2i. The background blur looks a bit more natural than the Nova 2i as well.
Nova 2i indoor portrait
Nova 2i indoor portrait

The one who delivered the best color accuracy among the 3 is Nova 2i. Is is also quite detailed even if it isn't as sharp as V7+ and F5. It also has the deepest background blur even among the three (background blur can even be adjusted after taking the shot). But, the separation between the foreground and background looks more natural on V7+ and F5.

Scene 3 - Indoor dim
V7+ indoor dim
V7+ indoor dim
Again the V7+ delivered another strong performance. It is a bit underexposed, but details remained sharp and colors are quite good.
OPPO F5 indoor dim
OPPO F5 indoor dim

Finally, OPPO F5 captured the real me! Colors are on point and details are very good. It also has less grains (slightly) over V7+ and Nova 2i.
Nova 2i indoor dim
Nova 2i indoor dim

Nova 2i showed that it can compete against the selfie-centric phones again. OPPO's F5 is slightly more detailed in this scene, but matched its color accuracy quite well.

Scene 4 - Lowlight, portrait, face beauty level 3, flash
V7+ lowlight, portrait, face beauty level 3, flash
V7+ lowlight, portrait, face beauty level 3, flash

The V7+ delivered another strong performance! It isn't over beautified, details are still there, and colors are quite good. It is a tad sharper than Nova 2i and clearly more detailed than V5.

F5 lowlight, portrait, face beauty level 3, flash
F5 lowlight, portrait, face beauty level 3, flash

OPPO's A.I. Beauty Recognition is very promising, but this scene showed why it is still a work in progress. It contoured my face automatically to make it look slimmer. The face beauty effect is decent, but the screen flash and made my skin whiter than what I wanted. It has a good bokeh effect though.
Nova 2i lowlight, portrait, face beauty level 3, flash

The softlight flash of Nova 2i is surprisingly good. My skin tone looked quite natural. The background blur effect is deep and nice too. However, the face beauty is a bit too much in this scene.

For videos, all three phones can record up to 1080p in quality for both front and back. The F5 has the ability to shoot w/ face beauty effects for selfies up to 720p. The same goes w/ Nova 2i.

Personally, I find the videos on F5 (both back and front) a bit smoother (more stabilized) than both V7+ and Nova 2i.

Main Camera - F5 = Nova 2i < V7+
Selfie Camera - V7+ < F5 = Nova 2i
Videos: F5 < V7+ < Nova 2i

Performance

The AnTuTu scores!
The AnTuTu scores!

Vivo's V7+ has a decent performing 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 450 octa-core chip w/ the trusty Adreno 506 GPU for gaming. It even has 4GB RAM and large 64GB expandable storage.

All three phones are speedy and stable!

On the other hand, the OPPO F5 has the highest processor specs on paper. It has a 64-bit Helio P23 octa-core chip clocked at 2.5GHz w/ close to flagship grade Mali-G71MP2 graphics. The higher classes of Mali-G71 GPU are found on the likes of Mate 9 and Galaxy S8. It also has 4GB RAM, but the ROM is noticeably lesser than V7+ and Nova 2i at just 32GB.

The Nova 2i is no slough too! It has the new and pretty speedy 64-bit Kirin 659 octa-core processor clocked at 2.36GHz. However, it only has the lower-end Mali-T830 GPU. It is weaker than both Adreno 506 and Mali-G71MP2 when it comes to handling demanding games.

In real life, there are times where the Nova 2i is the speediest in opening apps and switching from an app to another. But, there are times where the F5 will beat the Nova 2i in that regard.

Gaming is stable on the V7+ due to its Adreno 506 GPU and lower-res screen!

For gaming, the F5 is smoother than V7+ for few minutes. But, we find the gaming experience to be more stable on the V7+ versus the F5 in the long run. The Nova 2i can handle heavy games, but it won't be as smooth as both F5 and V7+.

All three phones has stable signal connectivity (LTE on V7+ is a bit faster than both), speedy fingerprint scanner (Nova 2i is a hair faster than both), app clone mode, and split screen features.


Both the F5 and Nova 2i has speedy OPPO to OPPO or Huawei to Huawei file transfer. OPPO dubbed it as the OPPO share and Huawei called it the Huawei share. All three phones has USB OTG support no. Only the Nova 2i has no gyroscope though.


Speed - F5 = Nova 2i > V7+
Gaming - V7+ > F5 > Nova 2i
Features - F5 = Nova 2i > V7+

Vivo V7+ advantages - Consistent gaming performance, large 64GB storage, great battery life, above average audio quality, most detailed selfie camera, dedicated microSD card slot
OPPO F5 advantages - Tough Gorilla Glass 5 protected screen, FHD+ resolution, capable point and shoot main camera, A.I. assisted selfie camera, dedicated microSD card slot
Huawei Nova 2i advantages - Metal clad body, speediest fingerprint scanner, big 64GB storage, feature packed quad cameras, nice affordability

Verdict

For us all three phones are worthy and capable midrangers w/ great specs, features, and refreshing 18:9 screens.

Consider the Vivo V7+ if you need a phone with good gaming capabilities, extra long battery life, HiFi audio output, and capable back and front cameras for PHP 17,990.

The OPPO F5 is more than just your regular selfie phone at PHP 15,990. It also has good well rounded performance and decent battery life. The main camera of this handset is great for point and shoots as well.

Despite being the most affordable of the bunch at just PHP 14,990, the Huawei Nova 2i has the nicest build among the three. It is also no slouch in overall performance, features, and camera quality.

For our Vivo V7+ full review: Vivo V7+ Review - Bezel-less 24 MP Selfie Machine!
For our OPPO F5 impressions: OPPO F5 Unboxing and First Impressions
For our Huawei Nova 2i full review: Huawei Nova 2i Review - The King Of Midrange Phones?
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