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Best mid-range camera smartphones in Nepal (Under Rs.35,000)

best mid-range camera smartphones in Nepal - J7 Pro vs Nova 2i vs MI A1 vs Oppo F5

Buying a smartphone is pretty daunting these days. The cheesy lines in the advertisement and the fascinating number in the benchmark make us change our thoughts in no time. And among all those numerous smartphones riddled with myriads of specs and features, choosing a good camera smartphone is cumbersome. So to guide you to find the best camera smartphone in the midrange section, we have done an in-depth analysis of some popular and noteworthy camera smartphones in the market. Decrypting their features and unveiling the potential, we have come up with five best mid-range camera smartphones in Nepal, which outdid the others available in the similar price range.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro ‘Details overloaded’

Despite the lack of the fancy dual-camera setup, the J7 pro is an excellent performer in the camera department. The pleasing portrait and lossless zooming may be absent with the deficiency of the dual camera setup but there is some exceptional potential which got it an upper hand over the others on the list.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro - Krishna mandir

Specs wise, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro is gifted with the 13MP camera on the back. The rear camera has embraced a wide aperture of f/1.7, which lets in an abundant amount of light to reach the sensor. Since the amount of light entering into the sensor is more, the sensor can capture plenty of details of the subject even in the low light. The wide aperture of the lens also results in shallow depth of field, however, because of the small size of the sensor and the lens, the sensor fails to depict the Bokeh effects like the DSLRs.

When the rear camera of the J7 Pro comes into action, it freezes the subject in the images bringing an upsurge of details. Because of the packed in details, the images are sharp and seems astoundingly crisp. The color reproduction is also praiseworthy in the device as they are portrayed in the images with a high degree of accuracy. The colors of the details depicted in the images have a close resemblance to their natural state but shifts slightly to the cooler tone. There is also balance in the contrast level and appreciable dynamic range. If the dynamic range is to be intensified, turning on the HDR always helps. With the HDR turned on, the details of the subject in the shadow region pop up generously. The details are not blown and a perfect balance between the highlights and shadows can be obtained.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro - HDR vs Non-HDR
HDR (right) vs Non-HDR (left)

The rear camera on the J7 Pro is a consistent performer even in the low lights. As mentioned earlier, the wide aperture of the rear camera plays a vital role while taking images in low lights. So the working principle involved with the J7 Pro is letting in a greater amount of light through the window known as aperture. So the amount of noises and grains tends to low values and the subject in focus flourishes in the images.

There is another 13MP camera upfront. The selfie camera in the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro comes with an aperture of f/1.9. The front camera also encapsulates great amount of details of the subject with superior color reproduction and a high degree of accuracy. However, low light selfies are less vivid lacking the crisp details. Despite the lack of sharp details, the images try to depict true colors to a great extent. Furthermore, there is a dedicated LED flash alongside the front camera to assist the selfie fanatics during extremely low light scenarios.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro - Selfie sample

Even on the videography side, J7 Pro hunts for the details. The videos look vibrant and even after the gentle shakes; the smartphone focuses the subject properly. However, like every other smartphone in the list, J7 Pro lacks Image Stabilization. So while shooting videos from the J7 Pro, the use of a tripod is crucial if stable videos are desired. The videos can be shot at the maximum of Full-HD (1080p) resolution at 30fps. And if Ultra-HD videos are to be shot, J7 Pro surrenders for its inability.

Wows Oops
Sharp images with great amount of details No 4K recording
Superior performance even in low lights No portrait or Bokeh shots possible
LED flash alongside the front camera
Good dynamic range of the images


Also Read: Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro Review: The Flagship Midrange?

Huawei Nova 2i ‘All about the Bokeh’

Huawei Nova 2i is definitely an unmissable name as it one of the best mid-range camera smartphones in Nepal with four cameras. And the sole smartphone to inherit such spec. With dual camera setup on both front and the rear ends, its devoted inclination to the photography side can be presumed in the first glance.

On the back, Nova 2i incorporates twin cameras of 16MP and 2MP. The primary or the 16MP camera gathers the information of the subject within the frame, whereas the secondary or 2MP camera traces the depth of the objects in the frame. Once the depth information is known, the segregation between the foreground and background is easier. And after the segregation, the subject in the focus can be highlighted with the background blurred. This effect is known as Bokeh effect. And Nova 2i seems as Excelsior in that department. Furthermore, there are features like Documents scans, light painting, numerous filters and effects, audio note, which is definitely a praiseworthy addition. Furthermore, the smartphone is gifted with snappy shutter speed and RAW capturing capabilities. The RAW capturing capability might be handy at times for the pro shooters.

Huawei Nova 2i - Front vs rear bokeh
Front Bokeh (right) vs rear Bokeh (left)

As mentioned earlier, there is another dual-camera setup upfront. The setup includes the 13MP and 2MP cameras placed horizontally in harmony. Alike the rear camera setup, the camera with higher megapixel count on the front captures the details, whereas the camera with lower Megapixel is used for depth sensing. With the cameras at play, foreground and background can be segregated and a high-quality Bokeh shot can be obtained. This is the most noteworthy feature on the Nova 2i. As the secondary front camera on most of the dual-selfie-camera smartphones is usually the wide angle, Bokeh selfies are not their forte. But despite the praiseworthy Bokeh selfies, the processing speed of such selfies is little sluggish.

Talking about the images, the Huawei Nova 2i captures nifty shots with an appreciable amount of details. However, the images are quite shifted to the warmer tone and some parts of the objects in the frame are slightly overexposed. The uneven overexposure is delusional and the true lighting condition cannot be predicted from the images. Color saturation is great with the cameras as natural colors are portrayed in the images. However, the dynamic range is not so praiseworthy. Even with HDR on, no significant improvements are seen in dynamic ranges and images then shot are barely different from the images with HDR muted. Minimum changes in the highlights and shadows on toggling the HDR mode and the details in the shadow reasons do not pop up properly.

Oppo F5 - HDR vs Non-HDR
HDR vs Non-HDR

Low light shots are little noisy and but the camera toils to portray the true colors. A warmer tone is prevalent in the low light shots too but if the details packs in the images are considered, the smartphone obviously deserves a due respect. The smartphone packs ample amount of details and the subject in focus looks crispy even while shooting at dim-lit condition.

Huawei Nova 2i - Low light shot

On the videography side, the cameras on the Nova 2i captures up to Full-HD videos. The 4k shooting feature is missing on the phone, however, the addition of the Time-lapse mode and Slo-mo mode is absolutely a pleasing addition.

Wows Oops
Great portrait shots No 4K recording
Appreciable Bokeh selfies Slow processing speed of Bokeh selfies
Numerous inbuilt features Inefficient HDR mode
RAW capture also possible


Also Read: Huawei Nova 2i Review: Mid-range Segment has a new challenger

Coolpad Cool Play 6 ‘The all-rounder’

The Coolpad Cool Play 6 is one of the underrated smartphones right now that hasn’t made headlines like the other mid-range smartphones of this segment. It is a performance-focused smartphone that promises to fulfill the photography needs of the users as well.

In the optics side, the Coolpad Cool Play 6 houses dual 13MP rear-facing camera. This setup has an aperture of f/2.0, supports phase detection autofocus and is aided with dual tone LED flash. Like every other smartphone, this device also captures portrait pictures with its SLR Mode. The SLR Mode does a good job to capture pictures with a certain depth of field without losing the field of view unlike the Xiaomi Mi A1. While the portraits from the Mi A1 are ‘zoomed in’, the Cool Play 6 doesn’t lose your field of view. However, this device just isn’t able to perfectly detect the edges from where the depth of field is supposed to start.

slr mode coolpad cool play 6

Under low-light setting, the portraits come out with a lot of grains and the device isn’t able to determine where the edges of the objects are as you can see in the picture below. The SLR Mode during night time is certainly better than the Portrait Mode of the Xiaomi Mi A1 though.

night time slr mode coolpad cool play 6

The images from normal mode, however, are quite pleasing to view. The colors are quite accurate and the details it captures is respectable as well. The device handles the exposure level quite nicely as well. However, the pictures come with just a touch of warmth in them. Whether you find this useful or not is entirely up to your personal preference.

day light sample image coolpad cool play 6

The front-facing camera of the Coolpad Cool Play 6 measures 8-megapixel and has an f/2.2 aperture with a pixel size of 1.4 µm. Unlike the Nova 2i which has is capable of taking bokeh selfies with its dual camera up front, the Cool Play 6 doesn’t have that feature. Although lots of international reviewers have slagged off the smartphone’s camera, I actually liked the device’s cameras. And that continues with the secondary camera as well. The selfies have good color reproduction, details and natural saturation. It is, however, the beauty mode that beautified my selfie too much to remove the mole from my forehead, just like the Oppo F5 did.

day light selfie coolpad cool play 6

Under dark setting, the selfies have lots of grains in them and also come with noise, but the device does a good job of handling the pictures.

night time selfie coolpad cool play 6

The Coolpad Cool Play 6 is among the very few mid-range smartphones that is able to shoot 4K videos. The secondary camera also does a good job capturing 1080p videos. However, with the lack of any type of stabilization, I would suggest you get a tripod if you are into videography.

Wows Oops
Great portrait shots on SLR Mode Grainy pictures during night time
Good Color Reproduction Slow processing speed of portrait shots
4K Video Recording Lack of accurate detection of edges during portrait shots
Good low-light performance

 

Xiaomi MI A1 ‘The lossless zooming expert’

MI A1 is another smartphone on the list gifted with dual camera setup. However, unlike the Nova 2i, Xiaomi MI A1 possesses dual-camera setup only on the back.

Talking about the camera, MI A1 inherits 12MP dual camera on the back. The primary rear camera has an aperture of f/2.2, 26mm focal length and the pixel size of 1.25 µm. The secondary camera, on the other hand, has of f/2.6 aperture, 50mm focal length, and 1µm pixel size. In this setup, the secondary camera is used for the optical zooming without losing the image quality. So if you are far from the objects you wanted to capture in images, the telephoto zoom lens comes handy. However, with the zooming beyond 2x, the images start to lose details and images captured are not so enticing.

Xiaomi MI A1 - 2x Zooming
2x Zooming with Xiaomi MI A1

Along with the lossless zooming, the dual camera setup also comes handy while taking the portrait shots. Capturing the images under normal lighting with the stable hands produces top class portrait shots. The edges around the subject are properly identified and the background is blurred accurately. However, the portrait images are jittery in the low lights as the sensor struggles to detect the edges.

Xiaomi MI A1 portrait mode
Xiaomi MI A1 portrait mode

Keeping its zooming potential aside, MI A1 is an excellent performer even in the normal shots. Photos packs in plenty of details and objects in the frame are pleasingly sharp. Color reproduction is great on the device with remarkable contrast, however, green tint prevails in some scenarios.

And talking about the dynamic range, the HDR mode flourishes on the MI A1. The muted details in the shadows with the HDR off mode pop up after toggling the HDR mode. While shooting under low light, the Xiaomi MI A1 struggles to pack in details. And noises prevail in the images whereas the colors look faded sometimes. Such images were unpleasing most of the times. Amount of grains are kept to a minimum level in the low light shots. However, while capturing the images in low light with HDR on, along with the details in shadows, amount of grains is a little amplified.

Xiaomi MI A1 - HDR vs non-HDR
Xiaomi MI A1 – HDR (right) vs non-HDR (left)

In the matter of front camera, Xiaomi MI A1 is lagging behind the others in the megapixel count. Not just in the megapixel count, the images from the front camera of A1 also lack the sharpness as compared to others in the list. Some selfies may seem eye-pleasing and uploadable to the social media, however, they lack punchy details. They seem decent on the phone’s screen but lack the sharpness when zoomed a little or viewed in bigger screens. The selfies in the low light are extremely distorted. The low light selfies are polluted with noises and grains and the details in the subject are barely traceable.

Xiaomi MI A1 - selfies
Ambient light (left) | Low light (right)

The videos from it can be shot up to Ultra-HD at the frame rate of 30fps. Switching to the HD (720p) videos allows the users to capture the videos at an overwhelming frame rate of 120fps. The videos seem fine but since the smartphone lack Image Stabilization, the videos are generally shaky if shot with the smartphone in hand. In such scenarios, using the tripod while shooting videos would be the best alternative.

Wows Oops
Great portrait shots Less sharpness in selfies
Lossless zooming up to 2x Low light selfies are polluted with noises & grains
Supports 4K recording Green tint in some images
Good dynamic range


Also Read: Xiaomi Mi A1 Review: When Two Worlds Collide

Oppo F5 ‘AI in the Self-I’

Last but not the list, there is Oppo F5, the self-proclaimed selfie expert, and leader. With the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence in the selfie camera, Oppo garnered loads of attention from the selfie fanatics. And the presence of high megapixel front camera assured superior selfie experience amongst the superstitious crowd, who believe the myth that the higher Megapixel cameras produce high-quality images.

Oppo F5 - Krishna Mandir

There is a 16MP camera on the back, which is gifted with a wide aperture of f/1.8. The images from the rear camera are slightly oversaturated. To say in simple words, the intensity of colors in the images is intensified than their natural state. Because of the oversaturation, images look vivid at times, however, some images look extremely unpleasing and unnatural. The rear camera also has an affinity for warmer color tones and a pink tint comes into the images on the top. Colors like Pink, Red, Orange, and purple flourish with this tint and looks good in the images. But if other colors are taken into consideration, they look meddled and delusional.

Oppo F5 - HDR vs Non-HDR
HDR vs Non-HDR mode

Even in terms of sharpness, Oppo F5 fails to supersede other smartphones on the list. With the zooming level maintained at the same value, amount of details are little less encapsulated in the Oppo F5 as compared to the others. However, the amount of details in images looks satisfactory unless zoomed extensively or viewed in larger screens.

And Talking about the dynamic range, the Oppo F5 is little frustrating in that department too. The details in the shadows are exposed even with the HDR turned off. And the intensity of light and colors remains the same in the images even after toggling the HDR mode to on state. Low light images are fairly decent as the sensor tries to repel the noises and grains bringing in only the details of the subject. However, with the HDR turned on during the low lights, images are overblown flooded by an intensified amount of grains.

Oppo F5 Camera sample - Extremely low light

Moving to the front, there is an AI-powered 20MP selfie camera in the upper bezel. The selfie camera is USP of the phone, which is capable of taking some excellent selfies with the sharp details. The details pop up extravagantly in the normal mode, however, they are quite suppressed in the beauty mode.

Oppo F5 - With & without beauty mode
With (right) & without (left) beauty mode

In the beauty mode, the facial details like small scars, moles, and minor acne are obliterated completely and the skin is smoothened. The skin tone is then enhanced a little with richer color tone. And for other details like the hair, beard, and eyebrows, beauty mode intensifies the color. And it does the same with colors of the eyes. The intensity of color in the black part along with white part is enriched making it look sparkly at times. So to say in a nutshell, the beautified selfies from the Oppo F5 looks vibrant and makes people look good by muting the scars and acne, but sometimes it does too much and makes the images look completely unnatural.

And talking about the low light selfies, the images look great and tries to keep the colors of an object close to natural. Grains and noises are not so conspicuous so the subject in focus is always the main attraction in the images.

Oppo F5 low light selfie
low light selfie

If the videos are to be captured from the Oppo F5, you must not think it to go beyond the Full-HD resolution. And the videos from the device seem fine with insightful details. However, the colors are slightly oversaturated like in the images. With the gentle shivers and tremors of the hands, the videos come out shaky since it lacks the Image Stabilization. However, the focusing is snappy. And it focuses the subject pretty fast even the subject get out of focus with the shakes and tremors.

Wows Oops
Nifty selfies No 4K recording
Beautified selfies in real time Evident purple tint in the images
Ineffective HDR mode
No Portrait shots or Bokeh effect possible
Oversaturated colors in the images
Inefficient beauty mode


Also Read: 
OPPO F5 Review: The Pretentious Selfie Expert

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
8.8
Huawei Nova 2i
8.6
Xiaomi MI A1
8.5
Oppo F5
8.0
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Hi there, I am a student of Electrical Engineering. As much as I am a tech enthusiast, I love to travel and read novels when I am free.

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