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Nubia M2 Lite Review - Solid, Beautiful and Affordable

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In our initial impressions, we saw liked the M2 lite out of the box with comparable specs to the Infinix Hot S3 but with Android Marshmallow at PHP 5,899.
Nubia M2 Lite Review - Solid, Beautiful and Affordable
Nubia M2 Lite review!

We love the design and with the fast for price MT6750 octa-core processor and the Mali-T860 MP2 GPU, this phone is one of the more promising phone out there.

Our only gripe was the Marshmallow version of Android it comes with.

Let's find out more from our review.


Display Quality

Good screen quality for the price
Good screen quality for the price

The display is a 5.5-inch HD 1280 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 267 ppi. The maximum brightness is enough combat direct sunlight making the contents of the screen visible. The colors are decently vibrant with good contrast. 720 panels aren't going to get better than this for its class.

Good 720p panel!

The 2.5D glass is beautiful though fingerprint prone is one of the staples of most phones but the the design of how the curved edges merges with the metal frame is beautiful.

It also has a 10-point multi-touch display which makes this versatile for games and apps that make use of multiple touch points simultaneously. It is fast, accurate and responsive. We've never felt that it misread our taps or gestures.

Audio Quality

The single right side firing speakers gets decent loudness but can be muffled when a finger covers it. The sound quality is decent with a wide enough range and acceptable separation and details.

The mids and treble are balanced with more emphasis on the bass. Most people will be happy by this.

Audio quality is good!

For headphones and earphones, we used the stock earphones and our RHA S500i and Sennheiser HD 4.20s. The stock earphones is good. The sound is louder and is more defined and the small sound stage gives a somewhat immersive experience. It does however have similar treatment to the mids and trebles as with the speaker. The bass is also prominent here.

The microphones are clear and clean enough for calls and recordings. We never had an issue or a caller comment that our voice had concerns during calls.

Battery Life

More than 8 hours
More than 8 hours

In our usual PC Mark battery benchmark it was rated for more than 8 hours. The the GPU and the processor are powerful combined with the 720p display; This shows how efficient it is even though it has Marshmallow under the hood. The result isn't great, but it is far from bad.

In our daily use of email, texting, calling, social media interactions, YouTube streaming, we were getting 6 to 7 hours of on screen time with LTE and LTE hotspot. We would unplug the phone at 8AM and end our day at 6PM at 10 to 15 percent battery left.

It has the standard battery saving modes where it lowers performance and background tasks to improve longevity. It includes a regular power saving mode that will darken the screen and disconnect you to WiFi, data or Bluetooth and smart-saving that consumes less power.

Charging time is under 90 minutes! It is fast charge compatible. The charging plug is a 2A charger.

Camera

Single 13MP snapper behind
Single 13MP snapper behind

The M2 Lite is equipped with a single 13MP f/2.2 w/ AF and LED flash for the rear camera.
Pro mode
Pro mode

It has the usual Pro, Photo, Video and Pretty (Beauty) modes that you find in most phones today but as soon as you swipe to the Camera Family tab, you will find Multiple Exposure, Light Draw, E-Aperture(software based wide aperture up to F2.8), Slow Shutter, Star Trail, Video Maker, Trajectory, DNG, Clone, Time lapse, Slo-Mo, Pano and Macro modes. This makes the M2 lite's camera app one of the most versatile camera app out there. This is even more packed than most flagships.

Manual focus includes focus peaking (red colored highlights in focus objects inside the image frame)

The Pro mode has controls for exposure compensation, ISO, metering and white balance. ISO can be set from 100 to 12800. The shutter speed goes from 1/60000, to 2 seconds. If you want longer shutter speeds, you need to go to the light draw mode or slow shutter mode which can run from 1 minute to 2 minutes.

In daylight, the images have good resolution, good color, decent dynamic range and decent contrast.

In lowlight, the grain is more noticeable and softens the image. The contrast and color also take a hit. Though it sounds bad, this is normal for most phones in the price range.

It is also susceptible to overexposing highlights which exaggerates lens flare in low light and dimly lit environments.

The LED flash is there for the main camera and a screen flash for the selfie if you need it.  Both are strong enough to illuminate any subject within 2 feet.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
d
Indoor
Indoor
Close-up
Close-up
Lowlight
Lowlight
Lowlight flash
On the other hand, it carries the 16MP f/2.0 w/ softlight LED flash for the selfie camera.

Modes like wide selfie and Live Focus (bokeh) mode were added. The wide selfie is a panorama mode for selfies that allows you to turn the phone and it will stitch the images in post.

The image quality is nearly identical if not better than the main camera as well where we find the resolution, color, contrast, and dynamic range to be good in daylight. It is one of the better cameras in the price range.

The lowlight selfie images without the flash is grainy with loss of resolution and with noticeable color cast but this significantly improves with the flash. In fact this is the first phone we highly recommend to use the flash in low light situations. The noise is radically reduced and as a result, the resolution is similar to the day light images.

Like the main camera, when shot in low light, the camera is susceptible to over exposing highlights which causes exagerated flaring.

There is a beauty mode called Beauty Mode it has 10 levels of beautification. At level 10, the beautification is too artificial for use. We recommend using up until level 4 only.

There is no bokeh mode though, unfortunately.

Selfie Camera Samples

Well-lit
Well-lit
Indoor face beauty
Indoor face beauty
Lowlight 1
Lowlight 1
Lowlight flash
Lowlight flash
Light trails
Light trails

For videos the rear and front selfie cameras shoot up to 1080p without the choice of frame rates.

There is image stabilization but only electronic and it only works when shooting video in FHD.

The video quality is very good. The resolution, colors, contrast fair very well in daylight and low light. We love how smooth it is even for 30fps. We did wish it had OIS and not EIS though. Hand wobbles are still very off-putting. Otherwise, the footage is pretty good.

Performance

Benchmarks

The phone packs the 1.5GHz 64-bit MT6750 octa-core processor with the Mali-T860 MP2 plus 3GB of RAM. It makes the phone perform quickly with most tasks and some multitasking but in comparison with the similarly priced competition, the benchmark scores are in line with most of the competition.

Good performance!

The result is smooth minor tasks, limited but good multitasking and good gaming frame rates at medium to high settings.


For gaming, the phone is able heavy games like Asphalt 8 at low to medium settings without problem. NBA is playable at low to medium settings with minor frame drops.

The phone does get warm after more than 30 minutes of gameplay. Not alarmingly hot, just warm. It's not too much of a problem. We never had problems with lag or force closures when playing a game. More demanding games may have hiccups though.
It may be Marshmallow, but the UI doesn't feel dated
It may be Marshmallow, but the UI doesn't feel dated

Equipped with Android 6.0 based skin. Surprisingly that even though the OS is several years old, it doesn't look dated. It does perform well given that it is running with fast processors.

It isn't as power efficient as Oreo or Nougat but it handles it well. One other this we noticed is that it is very conservative with data connections. We were getting more data savings from our usual Data packages from our Globe and Smart sims.

We do wish Nubia would send an update for the OS soon as we miss multitasking and other Oreo features.

The fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate. We've never had an incident where it misread our fingerprint. 

Telephone connectivity is good with strong signal and steady 4G data connectivity. There's the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS as well that never failed us.

Pros - One of the prettiest phones at its price, solid specs, robust camera features, great daylight camera performance, soft screen flash performance for low light is one of the best, fast charging time
Cons - Still using Android Marshmallow, average battery life, good speaker but easily muffled

Verdict

The Nubia M2 lite is one of the prettiest and good performing phone for its PHP 5899 price tag.

It excels with its hardware performance as well as its daylight camera performance. This is complimented by the robust camera features that are found on expensive phones.

Though the battery is just average and it does run Android Marshmallow, we are willing to overlook these because of how much value this phone offers.

We highly recommend it alongside its Infinix Hot S3 competitor.

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4
Audio - 3.75
Batt
Camera - 4
Performance - 3.75
Average - 3.92 / 5
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