Lava Pixel V2: Blowing Hot, Blowing Cold

 
Lava Pixel V2

Lava Pixel V2

Supriya Joshi tests the Lava Pixel V2 to see if it really is smartphone photography redefined.

Lava Mobiles’ marketing strategy lately has been to push for the Pixel series as real pathbreaking imaging devices. For the latest Pixel V2, they signed up fashion photographer Subi Samuel to sell us the camera features the device offers. But just like any product, it’s best to keep your reservations until you see it for yourself.

Next in Line
A follow-up to the Lava Pixel V1, the V2 features a 13MP rear camera with 1.4-micron pixel size, an aperture of f/2, 5p Largan lens and Blue Glass filter with dual-LED flash. It also features an 8MP front-facing camera with f/2.4 aperture, 4p lens and LED flash as well. The company has packed in an endless amount of shooting modes and filters into the phone, some of them including Multi angle view, Intelligent Mode, Bokeh and Panorama.

 Despite poor low light image quality, the AF speed of the Pixel V2 is quite responsive. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Despite poor low light image quality, the AF speed of the Pixel V2 is quite responsive. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Not so Pleasing Results
For a cameraphone that promises the moon, the performance of the Pixel V2 was underwhelming, at best. In bright light, the image quality passes muster, but it gets progressively worse as the light levels reduce. This, despite there being a dedicated Night Pro mode, which promises to produce clear shots in low light conditions. Smudging and smearing of details are clearly visible and aggressive noise reduction coupled with compression artifacts make for some very unpleasant low-light images.

The front camera does not perform much better, but the Wide Selfie is an interesting mode to use. It stitches together three consecutively shot images to form one wide angle photograph. An extremely outrageous Beauty Mode also exists as a camera function, which can make you look like a weird ghostlike alien. The timelapse feature is quite nifty, though, where you can set your cellphone to shoot at intervals ranging from 1sec–10sec.

The phone allows you to shoot at bursts of 40 or 60 frames at a stretch to help you capture pivotal scenes. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

The phone allows you to shoot at bursts of 40 or 60 frames at a stretch to help you capture pivotal scenes. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Should You Buy it?
Ultimately, where the Lava Pixel V2 went wrong is that it promised too many features that it is just not capable of delivering. The MRP of Rs. 9499 is tempting, indeed, as it is overall not a bad cellphone. The 5-inch 720 x 1280 pixels screen renders colours beautifully, and the 2500mAh battery is good enough to last a day of non-continuous shooting. But for a discerning cellphone photographer, the Pixel V2 just does not make the cut. There are far too many cameraphones available today which can perform much better and even at a lesser price. Which is a shame, because the V2 is aimed specifically at cellphone photographers.

AT A GLANCE
SPECIFICATIONS 13MP rear and 8MP front camera, 16GB built-in memory (expandable up to 32GB), 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor, 2GB RAM, Rs. 9499
WHAT WE LIKE Some fun modes
WHAT WE DISLIKE Poor camera performance
WHY BUY IT If you are on a budget and looking for a competent cellphone, the Pixel V2 is a good choice. But for its imaging capabilities, it is a miss.
FINAL RATINGS 70%
CAMERA FEATURES 13MP dual LED flash, lots of shooting modes and filters  18/25 
IMAGE QUALITY  Very poor low light performance  15/30
VIDEO QUALITY Average video at Full HD 1080p at 30fps  11/25
HANDLING  Simple and straighforward UI  13/15
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Fast AF with no shutter lag  13/15
Tags: budget cameraphone, February 2016, Lava Pixel V2, Lava Pixel V2 review, Supriya Joshi