Xiaomi M2 Vs Newman N2: Camera Shootout

Both the Newman N2 and Xiaomi M2 are budget phones which have redefined what we should expect from $300 smartphones. Both pack quad-core processors, great screens and fantastic camera’s. But which is better the Xiaomi M2 or the Newman N2.

The specs

Both the Newman N2 and Xiaomi M2 boast equally impressive hardware. I don’t just mean impressive for the price, but impressive full stop! If you were to look at a phone with similar specs from either HTC or Samsung you could expect to pay double what these Chinese phones cost!

Newman N2

newman n2 hands on reviewThe Newman N2 packs a 1.4 Ghz quad-core Samsung Exynos 4412 CPU, 1GB RAM and a Mali 400 GPU powers the large 4.7-inch HD display. As for the camera’s the N2 has a 2 mega-pixel front camera while the rear is a 13 mega-pixel sensor with F/2.2 aperture.

The Newman N2 costs 1499 Yuan in China (if you can find one!).

Xiaomi M2

xiaomi m2 hands on reviewThe M2 also boasts a powerful quad-core CPU, but this time it’s a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 unit with 2GB RAM. The display is smaller at 4.2-inch, but the cameras are equally impressive with both units capable of capturing 1080 video. The Xiaomi M2 has a 2 mega-pixel front camera, while the rear is an 8 mega-pixel sensor with an F/2.0 aperture.

The Xiaomi M2 costs 1999 Yuan in China (if you can find one!)

Did I choose the best phone?

While I love to have the fastest processors and best quality screens on my smartphones, the one feature which veto’s the rest is the performance of the rear camera. With this in mind many readers wondered why I decided to buy the Xiaomi M2 as my personal phone, when the Newman N2 is cheaper and has a 13 mega-pixel camera? It got me wondering too! Had I made the wrong decision?

Lucky I still have the Newman N2 on my desk from last months review when the N2’s rear camera really did blow me away! So with both phones at my disposal I set out to testing which handset has the better rear camera.

Note: I did start the shoot-out on Thursday and took a number of photos at a local market, however after an 2 hours sitting in traffic and an hour of taking photos I got back to my car and discovered I had the Xiaomi set in 6 mega-pixel capture!!!! So I started again today.

Newman N2 Vs. Xiaomi M2 camera shoot out

All the photos you see here were taken as anyone of you would take them, i.e. on the spur of the moment with no setting up or adjusting of the light. Both phones were left on auto, I’m sure adjusting the various manual setting you could produce better looking photos, but I wanted to keep things fair.

Xiaomi M2 vs Newman N2

The photos shown in the galleries below have been reduced so as not to slow page loading times, but I will post links where you can download the full size images at the end of the shoot-out.

Test 1: Bright sunny day at the beach

It just so happened that the fog and pollution of the past few days had passed, and so with a bright blue sky and the sun shining I headed to a local park situated by the sea for some N2 on M2 action.

With the sun in full force it really gave me a good opportunity to test just how well the screens on both phones could be viewed.

As mentioned in our Newman N2 review here, the N2’s screen was difficult to view even on the brightest setting. This became a problem when capturing photos as we were unsure when photos were in focus or not. The Xiaomi on the other hand was much easier to see with the brightness set to just 3/4. That and the fact the M2 makes and audible ‘beep’ when in focus made taking photos on the Xiaomi much easier.

Read Also:  MIUI 13 update surprises another budget Xiaomi smartphone

So how about the results? Which phone produced the better photos on a bright sunlit day?

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Xiaomi m2 vs newman n2 camera test

Personally I prefer the images produced by the Xiaomi. Not only was it easier to line up a photo on the M2, but the captured image seems to be much sharper and offer brighter colours.

Xiaomi M2 photo samples

The N2 produces excellent photos too, but they seem to be less sharp and the colours look a little faded and not as vibrant. The Newman’s colours seemed to be a little more natural, but I personally prefer the look of the M2’s.

Newman N2 photo samples

Winner: Xiaomi M2 (but it really is down to personal opinion)

Test 2: Indoor close-up photos with artificial lighting

Next stop on our photo shootout was the local supermarket. This gave me ample opportunity to snap some close up photos bright fruit and vegetables. Not only was this a great test for both phones, but it was also a nice treat for the staff must have thought I was the strangest “Laowai” they had ever seen!

xiaomi m2 vs newman n2 close up photos

So how did the phone compare in these indoor conditions?

newman n2 vs xiaomi m2 photo shootout

In my opinion the Newman N2 performed much better when used close up and the 13 mega-pixel sensor performed a great job of picking out the finer details. Colours were less vibrant on some of the Newman’s photos, but they also appeared closer the real life. The M2 produced brighter images but without the finer details when zoomed in.

Xiaomi M2 photo samples

Newman N2 photo samples

Again, this is down to personal preference, and you might prefer the more natural and detailed image caught by the Newman N2, or the more attractive, but less accurate colours from the M2.

Winner: Newman N2 for detail and realistic colours (personal preference).

Test 3: Night and low-light photos

xiaomi m2 vs newman n2 night photo

The final test was a night time shoot. This first lot of photos shows what was captured using auto settings once more, but with the flash turned off. As you can see the Newman really can’t compete with the Xiaomi’s low-light performance.

Xiaomi M2 Night photo samples (no flash)


Newman N2 Night photo samples (no flash)

With the flash on both phones are capable of capturing useable photos, however the Xiaomi’s flash seems more powerful and offers a more natural light making the image much better looking when viewed on a larger screen.

Xiaomi M2 Night photos (with flash)

Newman N2 Night Photos (with flash)

As for usability the Xiaomi M2 scores additional points as we are given a short preview of the captured image before it is sent to the gallery. The Newman N2 doesn’t do this so and it can be a little frustrating to have to keep going in to the gallery to see if the photo is a keeper.

Winner: Xiaomi M2


Both phones taking outstanding photos in most conditions, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. The Newman N2 is the runaway leader for capturing detailed closeups! But when the light disappears the Xiaomi M2 is in another league.

As for photos taken when the conditions are good, both produce great photos and it really comes down to which you prefer (and I prefer the Xiaomi).

Overall I’m really impressed with both phones. They both offer great value for money, awesome performance and produce great photos. So am I still happy with opting to buy the Xiaomi M2? Most certainly, but had I bought an Newman I certainly wouldn’t feel disappointed!

If you want to see the full resolution images you can download them from here!

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  1. Andreas Vollen
    February 2, 2013

    Hello Andi, I must say, as many others, that this is a wonderful website about China-related gadgets. Your reviews are comprehensive and thorough. I have read many of your texts in some time, but this is the first time I give a comment. After reading many comments field in some of your other reviews, I have seen many ask where you can buy the phones. I even bought some China phones to friends and family, but should like to learn even more about where I could buy the phones safe.

    – Andreas

    • grislikon
      February 2, 2013

      I have to agree. This site is my new home forall things Android, but would like advice for the best places to buy.

  2. Airyl
    February 2, 2013

    Cool! Overall, I think I made the right choice of taking a Newman N2. Although the Xiaomi is more powerful, the bigger screen on the Newman is what really reeled me in. Also, I was wondering if there are going to be mo

  3. Airyl
    February 2, 2013

    Cool! Overall, I think I made the right choice of taking a Newman N2. Although the Xiaomi is more powerful, the bigger screen on the Newman is what really reeled me in. Also, I was wondering if there are going to be more parts to this battle, lik

  4. Airyl
    February 2, 2013

    Cool! Overall, I think I made the right choice of taking a Newman N2. Although the Xiaomi is more powerful, the bigger screen on the Newman is what really reeled me in. Also, I was wondering if there are going to be more parts to this battle, like a performance and battery comparison?

  5. Indra
    February 2, 2013

    Thanks Andi. Superb review. I always need this kind of comparison/review. Camera is one of my most needed feature too. I think I’ll buy a Xiaomi M2 for my girlfriend, it’s perfect, nice night camera and the screen is not too big for her.

    • Indra
      February 2, 2013

      Oh yeah, how about the front camera? Can you make an update?

      Thanks Andi

  6. gabri
    February 2, 2013

    thx for doing this incredible work for camera comparision!
    🙂 i really like the N2 but… but…. 🙂 thx for this work Andy

  7. Victor
    February 2, 2013

    Great review Andy , i like this much ! I think it is the time for China Phone to improve their camera quality then they will be more competitive.

  8. Kester
    February 3, 2013

    Thanks for the review Andi! I am glad with the outcome of the comparison, picture quality from Xiaomi is what I prefer too.

    Regarding Mi2, the original setting for the phone was 6MP, perhaps its the optimised setting in terms of capturing and processing time.

    All in all, I am glad that I did not take the plunge on Newman N2. Had it (Newman N2) been available earlier and easily purchased, I might have gone bananas and purchased whichever obtainable/buyable first.

    Few things that I personally think about the Mi2 camera, as I have been shooting outdoor yesterday, it is hard to take usable pictures in a situation where direct sunlight and shades, pictures taken contains very high contrast.

    One of the funny effect I got from using the voice command is that people turned around and look at me, as I told the phone to snap pictures. And oh, when the environment gets noisy, the camera could mistake the noise as the “snap/shoot” command and take pictures automatically.

    The camera also suffers from lens flare, and also, taking pics in HDR mode takes quite a while.

    Would love to hear more about the image processing time, panoramic picture review and zoom-in comparisons from both devices.


    • Kester
      February 4, 2013

      Just updated the MIUI rom fron JLB10.0 to JLB11.0. HDR photo taking is faster now!!!

      • February 4, 2013

        Going to update mine now 🙂

        • Kester
          February 4, 2013

          A company that’s busy serving their customer by providing up to date ROMs is always better than a company that’s busy suing other company(ies).

  9. DT
    February 3, 2013

    The low level detail of the M2 displays consistent smearing. The Newman is a better camera–the difference in the shots has to do with focus and exposure. When the Newman is focused on the subject, and reasonably well exposed, it is substantially better. No camera will look good underexposed, not even a Leica.
    Try a HDR program to get some more dynamic range from the sensor.

  10. Koko
    February 3, 2013

    Again Great review Andi!

    I’m more than happy with my Newman N2.

    Instead of Camera comparison it’s have Great big screen 😉

  11. Karlok
    February 3, 2013

    Thanks for the review!
    I think im going for the newman n2 :).

  12. Stefan
    February 3, 2013

    Hi Andi,
    thanks for your review. I’m happy with my N2 and its camera. Buts nice to see it in direct comparsion to the M2.
    Unfortunately the zip file with the original Images seems to be defect. Cant open it after download. Try it two times but still not to openable, would be fine if you could have a look and reup it.Thanks in advance

    • Sérgio Miguel Silva
      February 3, 2013

      Uploaded on a Mac… no wonder :p

      You can repair the archive, it’ll recover most if not all pictures.

      • Stefan
        February 3, 2013

        Thanks for advice, but already tried diskinternal zip repair. No chance. Any other tips?

        • Sérgio Miguel Silva
          February 3, 2013

          WinRar did the trick for me.

          Anyway, it’s uploading to here:


          Should be finished by 02:00 GMT

          • Stefan
            February 4, 2013

            Thank you very much!

          • Indra
            February 4, 2013


            But can’t find M2 night picture without flash. 🙁 And the pictures are upside down too.

          • Sérgio Miguel Silva
            February 4, 2013

            Well, I can’t do miracles, if the archive was badly done and / or uploaded there’s only so much the recovery can do. Only Andi can provide a new archive.

            If there are upside-down pictures just rotate them.

  13. Airyl
    February 10, 2013

    Just updated my Newman;s firmware to version N2_00.25 and downloaded Snap Camera, works like a charm!

  14. Tayo
    March 11, 2013

    The Newman N2 is a very bad phone. battery life is short and the screen becomes unbearably hot
    Very poor product indeed and I regret buying it

  15. Zdenek
    June 28, 2013

    Hi, thx for great review, but the archive you linked is corrupted and the link mentioned above not working either :-(. May you reupload it once more please ?