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Unbox Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Dual-camera Madness

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We’re back for the next iteration of our holiday guide, and today we’ll be taking a look at phones with dual-cameras. Why two cameras? Well, two is better than one in most cases, at least according to the thinking of some brands. A second camera allows users to do awesome tricks that single lens cameras can’t accomplish, like add convincing bokeh effects, wide angle shots and overall prettier portrait shots. Today we’ll be taking a look at five smartphones with dual-cameras that you may be interested in picking up for the holidays.

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LG G5

Kicking off this list is the modular LG G5. While the LG G5 hasn’t enjoyed as much commercial success as the Korean brand would have hoped, it’s still a great phone to have if you’re looking to jump into the world of dual-lens cameras. The 16-megapixel rear camera takes excellent photos, and the 8-megapixel secondary camera is a great tool for taking wide-angle shots of sweeping vistas without having to reposition yourself relative to what you’re shooting.

Read: LG G5 review

It’s also one of the fastest phones out in the market today, thanks to the Snapdragon 820 processor inside of it and 4GB of RAM. Just don’t buy it for its promise of modularity – the only thing that you should buy for it are extra batteries and maybe the 360 camera. As luck would have it LG has the G5 at just Php 29,990, which is 5K off of its original price, and the company is throwing in that 350 camera into that package as well if you’re adamant on picking it up.

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Huawei P9 and P9 Plus

Huawei’s P9 and P9 Plus are two of the finest examples of dual-camera phones currently in the market. Aside from RAM, storage and screen size difference, the two phones sport the same core tech inside of them – Huawei’s home-grown Kirin 955 octa-core processor and twin Leica-branded 12-megapixel rear cameras with AF and LED flash.

Read: Huawei P9 Plus review

Unlike the G5, the twin cameras of the P9 and P9 Plus allow users to apply bokeh to their photos via software, since the secondary monochrome camera takes in depth information when you’re taking the shot. The secondary also takes contrast information and combines it with the main image sensor, which improves the overall image quality of the photos that you take. Black and white photos taken with the P9 and P9 Plus are also impressive as well, thanks to that dedicated sensor. The only problem we have with the camera is the fact that it doesn’t have OIS, so videos come out a little shaky.

The Huawei P9 is priced at Php 23,990  while the P9 Plus is Php 29,990.

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Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple surprised us this year by announcing a phone with two cameras – the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple’s phablet had a slightly different implementation of the dual-camera philosophy – instead of having camera modules that had varying megapixel counts or monochrome sensors, the iPhone 7 Plus has identical camera modules that have different zoom capabilities. The camera arrangement allows you to take photos with very convincing bokeh if you want to, and just like before the new iteration has even better image quality than the phone that came before it.

Read: 48 hours with the iPhone 7 Plus

Obviously the biggest drawback here is price – at Php 43,999, it’s not a cheap phone – you’ll really have to be an Apple fan to justify a purchase of this magnitude.

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LG V20

If you’re looking for a more recent, dual-camera equipped phone from LG, you might want to take a look at the V20. While it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the G5, the V20 has many of the same features of its older brother in a bigger, tougher design. The phone has a 5.7-inch display, Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, not to mention a user-replaceable, 3200mAh battery.

Read: A week with the LG V20

The phone also has the same 16-megapixel/8-megapixel camera setup similar to the LG G5. Camera quality is good, and the V20 has a myriad of shooting and recording options to choose from, making it the natural choice for people who like taking photos and videos using their phone. It’s a bit expensive though, at Php 35,990 a pop.

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Starmobile Knight Spectra

Most of the dual-camera phones that we’ve discussed in the article are expensive flagship phones, but there is an option for people who simply wants to mess around with the concept of dual-cameras and #fakebokeh for relatively less. Starmobile’s Knight Spectra is arguably still the only locally branded device in the market that has a dual-camera setup.

Read: Starmobile Knight Spectra review

Since the Spectra comes from a local brand, it has a vastly lower price compared to the other entries in this list, though being a year old, it’s getting a little long in the tooth. Still, it’s the only game in town if you’re looking for a dual-lens camera offered by a local brand – you can get one for Php 9,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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