Did you think we’d pit the ZenFone 3 Zoom only against the OnePlus 3T? Think again!
As close as the fight was, we feel ASUS’ best camera phone deserves to be compared to a fellow dual-camera handset in the same price bracket, as well. For this shootout, we’re bringing in Huawei’s flagship P10.
The P10 is best known for its Leica branding which carries over from last year’s P9 and Mate 9. Its dual-lens implementation, however, is quite different from the ZenFone’s. While the ZenFone 3 Zoom uses its second camera module for optical zoom, the P10’s secondary monochrome sensor adds to the imaging data to increase overall quality.
Two different styles, one worthy matchup! Like before, everything is set at Auto settings using the default camera apps and no editing in between. I highly recommend viewing these photos on a monitor to truly see the differences.
Here we have a bright sunny day to compare landscape photos. Both cameras did a fine job rendering the entire scene with balanced details and wide dynamic range. The only difference is the P10’s shot being a little warmer and the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s looking more saturated. This round can go either way.
Similar to the last sample, the P10 prefers the warmer side of the scale while making everything look nice and sharp. The ZenFone 3 Zoom did fine keeping the white balance in check, but sacrificed sharpness for the grass and wall in the process.
This round should definitely go to Huawei’s smartphone. The macro shot of the flowers has beautiful colors and fantastic focus throughout the subject. The ZenFone 3 Zoom, on the other hand, had a difficult time locking on to the moving flowers and maintaining proper exposure.
Although some may prefer the saturated skin tone the ZenFone 3 Zoom produced here, we find the P10 better at injecting more life into the scene and nailing every single detail in both the foreground and background.
In this scenario, the cameras are put to the dynamic range and detail test without the use of HDR mode or added filters. With that, the P10 once again wins with more natural colors and without blowing out the sky like what the ZenFone 3 Zoom unfortunately did.
As great as their dual-cameras are, that doesn’t automatically translate to good front-facing cameras. Both phones outputted acceptable results, but neither really ran away with the win. It’s up to you whether you prefer the more saturated and colorful look of the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s selfie or the subdued, softer self portrait of the P10.
This part is a challenge for any camera phone, but the two competitors did fine by our standards. Because of the unpredictable lighting from the disco ball, the ZenFone 3 Zoom ended up with a reddish layer, while the P10’s photo looks yellowish yet slightly brighter.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom again had a hard time lighting up subjects in a dimly lit environment. We much prefer the P10’s product in this case, having noticeably better exposure distribution and greater sharpness on the clip we focused on to the left.
In yet another challenging situation, the P10 has a slight edge in getting the white balance correctly and making the elements look sharper. We have to appreciate the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s attempt at reducing noise in the darkest regions of the landscape, though.
Now, here’s something evenly matched! We can’t fault either phone for struggling to find light using their tiny selfie cameras, but the results were fine and don’t deserve any complaints. You’ll just notice the P10’s photo looking a tad bit warmer, while the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s shot favors sharpness.
Just like in the disco ball photo earlier, the ZenFone 3 Zoom casts a red hue on darker spots, whereas the P10’s picture looks a lot more yellowish. We have to give the edge to the P10 for reducing the amount of ugly noise in the background, although the ZenFone does a better job handling white balance on the road and crossing.
Rounding up all tests, Huawei’s flagship phone edged out the ZenFone 3 Zoom in most cases. The P10 really outdid itself in producing vivid colors without oversaturating during daytime, and its low-light performance is some of the best we’ve seen out of any smartphone to come out recently. Having two main cameras work together to create one stunning photo nearly every time won us over.
With that, we can’t fault ASUS for wanting to use its additional lens for something other than improving image quality. By having optical zoom, you can capture moments without having to inch closer to the subject, which is incredibly useful when shooting things that are normally too far away or sensitive to minor movements, like a musician on stage or pets, respectively.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below if you agree or disagree with our assessments.