Lava Pixel V1, the fourth member of Android One family, seemed like a perfect player to bring overshadowed Lava back into the limelight. The phone featured well on paper specs and was priced effectively, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out so well, and the new handset soon came down as of the biggest busts of 2015.
Well now, looks like all those glitches have been fixed and the company set to make a strong comeback with the second and much improved version of Pixel V1, the Pixel V2. The new beauty from Lava seeks several design cues from the original Pixel V1 and brings a much improved experience with slick and lag-free performance. The dual SIM phone sits among the top budget phones, and offers a complete smartphone experience with stunning looks.
However, the package of slick performance with good looks is not new for any of us. Samsung, the famous tech-giant from South Korea also offers a good deal with almost identical specs and a slightly higher price tag. So, from the point of budget buyers, let’s compare these two phones and see which one comes out on the top.
Design and Build Quality
In terms of design, both budget phones make a strong impression with clean and simple looks. Lava Pixel V2 seeks several design cues from Sony smartphones and flaunts a glass-like back, which is actually nothing but plastic. The phone weighs around 128 grams on paper and measures at 141.6 x 70.8 x 7.6 mm. On whole, it offers a light, slim, and compact package, which is not usually found in the sub-10k price category.
Samsung Galaxy J5, on the other hand, is the same Samsung which disappoints us every time. The front-panel of the device incorporates the “unchanged” home-button, while the back has a soft-touch matte-finish, which does feel good but is nothing new for budget phone buyers. Overall, the anodized body of the handset with shiny faux metal bezels gives a nice look and feel and can be counted as a potential competitor for Pixel V2. Though on paper, it loses clearly with 149 grams of weight and 7.9mm thickness.
In terms of visual experience, the margin of difference between Lava Pixel V2 and Samsung Galaxy J5 is really thin. Both budget phones make a strong impression with their 5-incher HD panels, and produce true-to-life images with rich colours and perfect viewing angles. They both feature decent pixel density and look extremely crisp and well-detailed in all conditions. However, the matter of difference is the Super AMOLED panel of Galaxy J5. It looks denser than standard IPS panels, and endows a prolific visual experience with rich colours and better contrasts. In a nutshell, the SAMOLED panel might just give Galaxy J5 an edge over Pixel V2.
Hardware and Performance
Under the hood, it’s a tie between Galaxy J5 and Pixel V2. The Samsung Galaxy J5 uses a quad-core Snapdragon 410 chipset with 1.2GB RAM, while the Pixel V2 powers up by a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC with 2GB of RAM. They both deliver seamless performance, but if you keep them side by side and compare on-paper specs, Galaxy J5 will stand out with a better processor, and Pixel V2 will look more power with 2GB of RAM. In a nutshell, they both go neck and neck with each other!
Software and OS
On the software front, Galaxy J5 runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box with TouchWiz UI, while Lava goes colourful with Android 5.1 Lollipop based Color UI 2.0. The two phones feature a slick and responsive interface, but if you ignore all the freebies and focus just on quality, TouchWiz might be our real winner. It’s enriched with a gamut of features and is relatively faster and cleaner than Color OS or any other custom Android skin.
As for camera performance, there is hardly any difference between Pixel V2 and Galaxy J5. Samsung has equipped Galaxy J5 with one of the rear cameras, a 13-megapixel shooter with LED flash, phase detection auto-focus, geo-tagging, HDR. It gives sharp images in all environments, and outperforms several budget phones with quick launch and prolific shutter speed. The 5-megapixel wide-angle selfie camera is an essential part of the package!
On the other side, the camera equipped with Lava Pixel V2 is also at par with the Galaxy J5 camera. It features an aperture as wide as f/2.0 and captures sharp and colour rich images even in lowlight conditions. The 8MP front-facing snapper might just perform better than Galaxy J5, but as far as rear camera quality is concerned, both go neck and neck with each other.
Going towards power efficiency, Samsung offers a 2600 mAh battery with Galaxy J5, while Lava has given a slightly smaller 2500 mAh battery with Pixel V2. They both perform decently and offer sufficient juice for normal usage. This means with a few calls, internet surfing and messaging, and these beauties can give you at least 4-5 hours of screen-on time. It’s pretty good for budget phone and cannot get better unless you’re switching towards a high-end phone with a bigger battery!
In India, Samsung Galaxy J5 is hitting the shelves exclusively via Flipkart.com at Rs. 12,390, while Lava has unleashed Pixel V2 via several online and offline channels at Rs. 10,750. The prices keep on changing, and if purchase wisely, each of these phones can be bagged at a price somewhere around 10k.
The face-off was close, but because of superb performance and those good looks, Lava Pixel V2 is our winner of the day. The budget beauty from Lava brings a perfect combination of good looks and smooth performance. It packs top-tier innards with 2GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt storage, and takes a dig straight against Galaxy J5 and many other budget players rolling in the market.
In the end, we can say, it’s a great deal and it cannot get any better for a price just under 10k!