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Honor 9 Lite vs Moto G5S Plus: Comparative Camera Review

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If you plan to buy a mid-range smartphone these days, you’re going to have a really hard time deciding on one. There are innumerable choices available under the sub-20K price point, with nearly all of them packed with a whole gamut of features and offering very good value for money.

Two such smartphones are Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite, priced at Rs 13,999 and Rs 10,999 (3GB RAM/32GB internal storage variant) respectively. While the former has been around for quite a few months now, the latter was launched only recently.

Among other goodies, both smartphones come with dual-camera systems on the back. In fact, the 9 Lite has dual cams even in the front. But which of these two mid-range smartphones offers a better overall imaging experience?

We find out, in our in-depth camera comparison between Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite.

Daylight Photos (Regular)

moto g5s plus vs honor 9 lite - daylight (hdr off)

As is the case with majority of the smartphones, both Honor 9 Lite and Moto G5S Plus capture pretty good photos in well-lit conditions. That said, shots from the 9 Lite come out to be a little brighter.

honor 9 lite vs moto g5s plus - daylight (hdr off)

When it comes to sharpness levels, the G5S Plus clearly edges out its rival, with better preserved details and lesser noise. Colors are a tad more accurate in the photos from Moto G5S Plus.

Daylight Photos (HDR)

moto g5s plus vs honor 9 lite - daylight (hdr on)

Turning on High Dynamic Range (HDR) breathes new life into Moto G5S Plus’s photos, which look much brighter and more vibrant. HDR does help in case of Honor 9 Lite too, but its effect is less pronounced.

honor 9 lite vs moto g5s plus - daylight (hdr on)

Zooming in, photos from Moto G5S Plus are revealed to be better than those from Honor 9 Lite. Whether it’s color accuracy or sharpness levels, the G5S Plus is better.

Bottom Line: In broad daylight, Moto G5S Plus offers a better camera experience than Honor 9 Lite.

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Lowlight Photos (Regular)

moto g5s plus vs honor 9 lite - lowlight (hdr off)

At night, Moto G5S Plus captures much brighter photos than Honor 9 Lite. There’s no need for flash, provided there is sufficient ambient light. That said, the occasional lens flare does get into Moto G5S Plus’s images.

honor 9 lite vs moto g5s plus - lowlight (hdr off)

Honor 9 Lite’s photos look appreciably-good, but they are much darker and don’t have accurate colors. On zooming in though, they are sharper than images from Moto G5S Plus.

Lowlight Photos (HDR)

moto g5s plus vs honor 9 lite - lowlight (hdr on)

Flipping on HDR at night slightly improves image quality, both in case of Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite. The photos from the G5S Plus come out with better contrast and sharpness levels are enhanced too, but the lens flare issue remains.

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honor 9 lite vs moto g5s plus - lowlight (hdr on)

Talking about Honor 9 Lite, HDR boosts contrasts, and enhances saturation as well. But it takes a heavy toll on sharpness levels, with compression artefacts becoming more pronounced.

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Dedicated Night Mode Photos

Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite both have a dedicated night mode, aimed at helping users capture better photos at, well, night. The 9 Lite takes about 10 to 20 seconds to take a photo with this mode, and you need a really steady hand for it to work. Moto G5S Plus also takes some time, but it’s not that long.

moto g5s plus vs honor 9 lite - dedicated night mode

However, the good thing is that the dedicated night mode serves its purpose quite well. Color accuracy and resolved detail come out to be quite good in Honor 9 Lite’s night mode photos. In comparison, Moto G5S Plus’s night mode photos seem to have an overall bluish tint. Zooming in reveals Honor 9 Lite’s shots as having better sharpness levels than those of Moto G5S Plus.

Bottom Line: It’s true that the dedicated night mode helps Honor 9 Lite some really good photos, but that’s the only way it can surpass Moto G5S Plus in terms of lowlight camera performance. Moreover, it’s not exactly convenient to wait 10-20 seconds to capture a single photo.

Depth-Of-Field Photos

Love keeping up with the trends and want to capture photos with those funky depth-of-field effect? Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite both let you do that. But which one does better ‘bokeh’ mode photos?

honor 9 lite vs moto g5s plus - depth of field

Short answer is, both Honor 9 Lite and Moto G5S Plus capture very good portrait mode photos. The cameras do a great job of bringing out the subject and blurring out the background. That said, Honor 9 Lite is slightly better at this than Moto G5S Plus

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Selfies

To help up your selfie game, Honor 9 Lite comes with two cameras even in the front. In comparison, Moto G5S Plus has only a single front-facing snapper.

moto g5s plus vs honor 9 lite - selfies (regular)

Both smartphones capture pretty good selfies, but those from Honor 9 Lite are much brighter than those from Moto G5S Plus. Resolved detail and sharpness levels are identical in photos from both handsets.

Selfies (Beauty Mode)

honor 9 lite vs moto g5s plus - selfies (beauty mode)

Once beauty mode is turned on, both phones employ software-based tricks to brighten selfies and tweak facial features. But Honor 9 Lite’s approach is so extreme that it takes away the natural look of the person’s face. On the other hand, Moto G5S Plus’s ‘smoothening’ effect isn’t that aggressive.

Verdict

Whether we talk specifically about camera experience (or overall performance, as a matter of fact), none of Honor 9 Lite and Moto G5S Plus is a bad smartphone. On the contrary, both handsets offer great value for money, especially considering the asking price.

However, Moto G5S Plus is simply the better performer of the two.

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