A showdown between three popular Chinese brands!
The mid-range price band is freaking insane in the Philippines, where offerings of top brands vie for dominance in the highly competitive market. Nowhere is this more apparent in the Php 15K/$277 to 20K/$369 price bracket which hosts a number of highly competitive offerings from top-tier international brands.
Today we’re taking a look at three of the most competitive phones in that price range: the Huawei Nova 3i, the OPPO F9 and vivo’s V11.
All three come with their own unique set of features, but which one leads the pack in the highly competitive segment?
vivo V11 Specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660AIE octa-core processor
- 6GB RAM
- 6.41-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Halo FullView display, 2340×1080 resolution
- 64GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB)
- 12-megapixel f/1.8 and 5-megapixel f/2.4 rear cameras with PDAF, Dual Tone LED flash, AI Scene Recognition
- 25-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with 3D Portrait Lighting
- Dual SIM
- 4G, LTE, VoLTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- In-display fingerprint sensor, Jovi assistant
- 3400mAh battery with 18W fast charging
- Android 8.1, FunTouch OS 4.5
OPPO F9 Specs
- MediaTek octa-core Helio P60 processor
ARM Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- 6.3-inch 19:9 aspect ratio Full HD+ LTPS IPS display, 2280 x 1080 resolution
- 64GB of expandable storage
- 16-megapixel f/1.8 and 2-megapixel rear cameras PDAF with LED flash
- 25-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture, SONY IMX576, AI beautification
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint sensor
- 3500mAh battery with VOOC quick charging
- Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.2 UI
Huawei Nova 3i Specs
- 2.2GHz HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core processor
- Mali-G51 GPU
- 4GB of RAM
- 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD Display; 1080×2340 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio
- 128GB of expandable storage
- 16-megapixel f/2.2 and 2-megapixel rear cameras with PDAF, Contrast Focus, LED Flash
- 24-megapixel f/2.0 and 2-megapixel front cameras
- 4G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Face Unlock
- Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2
- 3340mAh Battery
While all three phones boast of gradient-colored backs, the Nova 3i wins aesthetically as it has a metal and glass build, which is more premium over the V11 and F9’s acrylic bodies. All three are roughly the same size, though in our experience, the F9 is the least slippery and least smudge-prone among the three.
While the V11’s Snapdragon 660 chipset should put the device out on top when it comes to benchmarks, it’s on par with the Kirin 710 and Helio P60 on both the Huawei Nova 3i and OPPO F9 in AnTuTu. The V11’s underclocked SD 660 chipset isn’t doing it any favors in this regard, though in actual use you’ll hardly see the difference when compared to a full-clocked chipset.
As far as gaming is concerned, all three perform well even with AAA mobile game titles. Using Asphalt 9 as our testbed, the V11 and Nova 3i are at a close fight with 30FPS and 100% gameplay. The Nova 3i gets a slight edge with a lower variability index compared to the V11.
Huawei Nova 3i
As for RAM and internal storage, the V11 and F9 have the advantage of having more RAM at 6GB, while the Nova 3i offers more storage at 128GB.
The V11 has an advantage over the Nova 3i and F9 on two things: first, it is slightly larger at 6.41 inches, and second, its Super AMOLED display delivers better color reproduction and more vivid images overall. In addition, the use of a Super AMOLED display gives the V11 extra features like Always On display and its standout in-display fingerprint scanner. In addition, the V11’s AMOLED panel is the brightest of the bunch, followed by the F9’s IPS panel.
As for the notch, the F9 and V11 have the upper hand for their tiny notches, though the Nova 3i’s large notch is needed to accommodate two front cameras.
On paper, the V11 has the best dual rear camera setup with its 12-megapixel f/1.8 and 5-megapixel f/2.4 snappers. However, don’t count out the F9 and Nova 3i’s cameras, as their respective AI-assisted tech helps in delivering great photos. Check out the photos from the three phones below:
OPPO F9 photos
Huawei Nova 3i photos
vivo V11 photos
In comparing their photography performance, the Nova 3i’s AI consistently tweaks the colors. On the other hand, the F9 and V11 try to keep the image as natural as possible, though the V11 is more accurate when it comes to white balance. For low light, it is a close fight between the V11 and F9 in terms of detail: the difference is that the V11 underexposes a bit to preserve details.
As for videos, the V11 is the best out of the three: aside from its ability to shoot in 4K (without EIS), the V11 nails tricky exposures well and performs decently in low-light video recording.
While the F9 has the biggest battery capacity at 3500mAh, all three phones perform well in terms of power efficiency. Based on our tests, we were averaging around 9 to 10 hours, which translates to at least a day on a full charge.
As for charging tech, all three use the aging MicroUSB port, but the F9 and V11 come with their own version of quick charging. Based on our tests, we prefer the V11’s Dual Engine Quick Charing as it supports a broader variety of quick charging products compared to the F9’s proprietary VOOC charging.
Verdict: The V11 is the best choice AT a price
Even beyond the spec sheet, the V11 is arguably the best phone out of the three with its in-display fingerprint scanner, 4K video recording, and Super AMOLED display. However, all of these come at a price: at Php 19,995/$368.50, the V11 is also the most expensive out of the three. If pricing is factored in, both the F9 and Nova 3i are also decent choices with the specs they offer at their advertised prices.