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Face-Off: Nubia N2 locks horns with Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-07-2017 Abhijit Ahaskar

ZTE is betting on big battery smartphones. After the Nubia N1, which had a 5,000mAh battery, the company has come up with its successor the N2 which also packs in a 5,000mAh battery. It is priced at Rs15,999, and is available on Amazon in gold and black colour options. It faces direct competition from the Redmi Note 4, which is selling at Rs12,999. But there is more to a big battery smartphone than just a big battery.

The extra feature in the Nubia N2 is the USB Type-C connector which is easier to plug into than the microUSB connector in the Redmi Note 4.

Design: N2 looks more stylish, but the Redmi Note 4 is handy

The Nubia N2 is a metal-clad smartphone with a matte black finish and a slim gold frame around the display. This gives the smartphone a touch of class. It weighs 180g, which is impressive for a smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery inside. Its rival, the Redmi Note 4, has a smaller 4,100mAh battery, weighs just 165g and has a flat side panel, which offers better grip quality than the curved edges on the Nubia N2. The fingerprint sensor in the Note 4 is placed on the back, while in the N2 it is integrated with the non-clickable home button in front. Both fingerprint sensors are fast and accurate. The extra feature in the Nubia N2 is the USB Type-C connector which is easier to plug into than the microUSB connector in the Redmi Note 4.

The 5.5-inch AMOLED display on the N2 has a resolution of 1,280x720p.

Display: N2 has a brighter display, but it doesn’t make it better

The 5.5-inch AMOLED display on the N2 has a resolution of 1,280x720p, but doesn’t look inferior right away. Colours look a bit exaggerated for more effect. The smartphone also has a display customisation mode which makes colours pop out even more in movies and games. The Redmi Note 4 has a sharper 5.5-inch (1,920x1,080p) display and also looks more realistic in terms of colour reproduction. It also offers reading mode, which blocks out blue-light filter and reduces stress on eyes.

The Nubia N2 runs a slightly older Marshmallow (6.0) version of Android with the Nubia UI over it.

Software: Old Android, but Redmi Note 4 has more features

The Nubia N2 runs a slightly older Marshmallow (6.0) version of Android with the Nubia UI over it. It is a custom UI with some interesting features such as Dual instance (it allows two versions of the same app), Screen split-up (side-by-side multi-tasking similar to the one seen on Android 7.0) and Edge Gesture (with these users can carry out tasks such as adjust brightness, or close all apps at once through gesture controls).

The Xiaomi smartphone also runs Android 6.0, but looks more polished and offers more features such as online themes, child mode, lock home screen, and one-handed mode.

Performance: Similar performance, N2 has a better battery backup

Powered by MediaTek’s MT 6750 octa-core processor and 4GB RAM, the Nubia N2 delivers a cool and consistent performance. We didn’t notice any stutter or heating issues on the back while running games or multi-tasking. The Redmi Note 4 runs on a superior Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset with 4GB RAM, which can handle heavy games slightly better.

In terms of storage, the N2 is on the same page as the Redmi Note 4. It also offers 64GB storage and accepts microSD cards of up to 128GB.

The area where the N2 outperforms its rival is the battery backup. The 5,000mAh battery delivers over two days of backup on modest use, which is more than the one and a half days of backup that you get on the Redmi Note 4.

The 13-megapixel primary camera on the Nubia N2 comes with IMX258 Sony sensor and has some interesting modes such as multi-exposure and slow motion.

Camera: The N2 scores in colours, Redmi Note 4 is good at detailing

The 13-megapixel primary camera on the Nubia N2 comes with IMX258 Sony sensor and has some interesting modes such as macro, time-lapse, sow shutter, multi-exposure and slow motion. In terms of picture quality, it is a mixed bag. Colours look good, but the images look sharper in shots taken with the Redmi Note 4’s 13-megapixel camera which uses the same Sony sensor. What gives the N2 an edge is the 16-megapixel front camera which can muster more detail in selfies than the 5-megapixel camera on the Redmi Note 4.

Verdict

The Nubia N2 is a treat for users who don’t like charging their smartphones repeatedly. It also looks good, delivers a steady performance and has an impressive selfie camera. If you can manage with a slightly lower battery backup, you should go for the Redmi Note 4, for its better display, feature rich UI, more ergonomic design and lower price tag.

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