Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Vs Honor 9 Lite: In-Depth Camera Comparison

Which One Of The Two Mid-Rangers Offers A Better Camera Experience?

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The good thing about technology is that as it matures, it not only gets better, but also more accessible. Think about mobile phones and cameras. Only a few years ago (in the pre-smartphone era, that is), the only mobile devices having decent-quality cameras were flagships like the Nokia N95 and the Sony Ericsson C905.

Fast forward to the present, and even the most affordable smartphone out there offers a fairly good camera experience. And if you’re planning on getting a mid-ranger, you can even have dual-camera systems with funky depth-of-field effects.

Speaking of mid-range smartphones, Honor and Xiaomi have been slugging it out in the segment for quite a while. The base variants of their respective recent launches – Honor 9 Lite and Redmi Note 5 Pro – offer pretty competitive dual-camera systems – for under Rs 15K. But which one is better, and deserves your money?

Let’s find out, in our in-depth camera comparison between Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite.

Daylight Photos (Regular)

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - daylight (hdr off)

In well-lit conditions, both Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite work pretty well. Photos come out to be amply bright and have good exposure levels. On closer inspection though, Redmi Note 5 Pro’s shots appear to have better colour accuracy. Honor 9 Lite’s sharpening algorithm seems to be a little on the aggressive side, as zooming in on the photos shows quite some noise.

Daylight Photos (HDR)

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - daylight (hdr on)

Using High-Dynamic Range (HDR) mode shakes things up a bit for both smartphones. The result is (slightly) enhanced images that have better-detailed bright and dark areas. But in this case too, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro proves to be marginally ahead of Honor 9 Lite. Zoomed in photos from the former are revealed as having richer contrast levels than than those from the latter. Good thing is that HDR also reduces noise in Honor 9 Lite’s photos.

Summary: Xiaomi  Redmi Note 5 Pro’s daylight performance is better than that of Honor 9 Lite, even if by a minuscule margin.

Lowlight Photos (Regular)

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - lowlight (hdr off)

Getting photos right when the ambient light is low is a tricky affair for majority of the smartphones, even more so for mid-rangers. However, Xiaomi and Honor’s offerings do a pretty great job, especially considering their prices. Colors and details are captured by both smartphones’ cameras quite well. That said, Redmi Note 5 Pro’s shots come out to be a little more vibrant and sharper. Zooming in tips the scale even further in Redmi Note 5 Pro’s favor, as 9 Lite’s photos exhibit increased compression artefacts.

Lowlight Photos (HDR)

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - lowlight (hdr on)

Things get interesting as soon as the HDR mode is flipped on in lowlight settings. In case of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, photos get better contrast levels and sharpness (at least in places) is also enhanced. On the contrary, HDR proves to be disastrous for Honor 9 Lite, as overall exposure levels are completely thrown off balance. Sharpness levels also nosedive in Honor 9 Lite’s images, something that’s clearly visible when zooming in.

Dedicated Night Mode

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If there’s one point when Honor 9 Lite absolutely owns Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, it’s when the dedicated night mode is brought into service. Honor 9 Lite’s dedicated night mode takes up to 20 seconds to shoot a single photo, combining multiple shots with different exposure levels to create one image. But if you have the patience and a very steady hand (or better yet, a tripod), the result is mindblowing.

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - dedicated night mode

The photos captured using Honor 9 Lite’s dedicated night mode don’t look one bit as if they’ve been shot using a sub-15K smartphone. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro’s dedicated night mode does a decent job too, but it doesn’t even come close to Honor 9 Lite.

Summary: So if you lowlight photography is your thing and you don’t mind lugging a mini tripod around, get Honor 9 Lite. If you just want good-looking lowlight shots without much hassle, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro will do just fine.  

Portrait Mode (Depth Of Field)

What’s the point of having two cameras at the back if you can’t ride the portrait mode hype train, right? Fear not, as both Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite have you covered. The two smartphones make it easy to capture photos with depth-of-field effect, with Honor 9 Lite even allowing you to adjust aperture after the shot.

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - depth of field (portrait mode)

Both Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite do a great job of separating the subject and blurring out the background. However, the formers photos are a tad sharper.

Selfies (Regular)

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - selfie (regular)

Love taking selfies and posting them everywhere? Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite have you covered, with the latter coming with two front cameras. As for the quality of selfies, both do an admirable job. But Honor 9 Lite’s performance in this case is far better than that of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, with enhanced contrast and sharpness. Strangely, the latter’s selfies look completely washed out.

Selfies (Beauty Mode)

redmi note 5 pro vs honor 9 lite - selfie (beauty mode)

For those who like jazzing up their self-portraits with skin smoothening and facial contouring, ‘beauty mode’ is there to help. The ‘beauty mode’ smoothens the facial contours a bit too much in case of Honor 9 Lite.  In case of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, things don’t really get any better, at all.

Summary: There’s no question here. If selfies are your thing, Honor 9 Lite is what you should get.

Verdict

Neither of the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite is a bad performer. Especially when you factor in the price, the camera experience offered by both of these smartphones is quite good. In fact, each smartphone is good in some areas and bad in others. So we recommend that you choose accordingly.

 

If you value selfies above all else, and don’t mind waiting 20 seconds for those perfect lowlight shots, go for Honor 9 Lite. But if you couldn’t care less about self-portraits and just want a smartphone with an overall decent camera performance, Xiaomi  Redmi Note 5 is what you should get.

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