Camera Shootouts

$200 Phone vs $850 Phone: Camera Shootout

Published

on

When it comes to camera shootouts, we’ve always compared phones of equal value. Let’s try something different this time.

Because of the way we pick each smartphone, comparisons often turned out barely distinguishable or too close to call, which made us wonder: What would happen if we pitted the most expensive phone in our office with the cheapest one?

The chosen two are Samsung’s US$ 850 Galaxy S8+ and Vivo’s US$ 200 V5 Lite — excellent handsets in their own right, but worlds apart when compared spec for spec, dollar for dollar.

The Galaxy S8+ has the most advanced single-camera to date, beating the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 7 Plus in their respective shootouts. The Vivo V5 Lite has none of Sammy’s cool features and settles for simple rear and front-facing shooters, although it did well against the more expensive Moto M.

To make things interesting, we’re turning this into a blind test. Take note that Photo A in one round might not have been taken by the same phone that shot Photo A in another round; the same goes for Photo B samples.

As usual, all settings are set at Auto with HDR turned off and no editing or filters applied. For better pixel peeping, view this page on a monitor — a calibrated one if possible.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

Now, it’s time to reveal which phone shot what.

#1: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#2: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#3: Galaxy S8+ (A) vs V5 Lite (B)

#4: Galaxy S8+ (A) vs V5 Lite (B)

#5: Galaxy S8+ (A) vs V5 Lite (B)

#6: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#7: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#8: Galaxy S8+ (A) vs V5 Lite (B)

#9: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#10: Galaxy S8+ (A) vs V5 Lite (B)

#11: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#12: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#13: V5 Lite (A) vs Galaxy S8+ (B)

#14: Galaxy S8+ (A) vs V5 Lite (B)

We were honestly surprised by how close some comparisons turned out to be, especially for daytime scenes. It was only with selfies and macro shots that one was more favorable, that being the Galaxy S8+.

So, what did we learn from this experiment? We’d say flagship handsets continue to own the best cameras, but improvements have been in minor increments through the years. Lower-end phones have been making bigger strides in the imaging department, and have reached a point where they’re now comparable to the very best.

What do you think? Would you say this was a close fight or a shootout not worth doing again? Let us know in the comments section.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Camera Shootout

[irp posts=”12065″ name=”Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Camera Shootout”]

Camera Shootouts

iPhone XR vs Pixel 3: Camera shootout

Which single-camera setup takes better photos?

Published

on

In an age where dual and triple cameras have become a standard, two premium flagship smartphones with a single-camera setup can still compete. Google’s Pixel 3 is regarded by many as having the overall best smartphone camera because it produces well-balanced colors and clean cutouts on portrait mode. Apple’s iPhone XR has almost the same camera setup and features as the more expensive XS and XS Max, including the TrueDepth camera in front.

In this comparison, we pit the two against each other to find out which smartphone you think takes better photos. This is once again a blind test so get your pen and paper ready! Do note that all photos were taken on Auto or Portrait mode (when applicable) and have only been resized for faster loading times. They are labeled Photo A and Photo B randomly. Swipe left to see the photos in full and take note of your picks!

#1

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#3

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#4

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#5

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#6

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#7

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#8

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#9

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#10

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#11

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#12

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#13

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#14

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#15

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ready to find out which phone took your picks? Here’s the answer key:

#1
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#2
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#3
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#4
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#5
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#6
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#7
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#8
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#9
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#10
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#11
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#12
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#13
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

#14
Photo A: iPhone XR
Photo B: Pixel 3

#15
Photo A: Pixel 3
Photo B: iPhone XR

There’s no clear winner in this shootout; both phones did a great job in capturing images even in low-light scenarios. Choosing which one is better boils down to preference.

The Pixel 3 produces photos with higher contrast and sharpness, which sometimes turn out darker so photos tend to look more dramatic than they are in real life.  The iPhone XR, with its Smart HDR technology, balances out highlights and shadows really well, so much so that backlit images look like they have more than one light source.

In the portrait mode department, neither of the phones did a perfect job — how the cutouts turn out varies depending on the hair’s texture, how busy the background is, and even lighting.

When it comes to selfies, the Pixel 3 offers a wider field of view, an option to switch to a secondary wide-angle lens, as well as a feature called Night Sight that’s also available on its rear camera. One complaint we’ve always had with iPhones is how tight selfies are as seen in sets #13 and #14, although the iPhone XR selfies look more pleasing compared to those taken with the Pixel 3, where my skin tone tends to look more dull.

What do you think of this comparison? Let us know in the comments section below.

Continue Reading

Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3: Night mode shootout

Seeing in the dark

Published

on

Smartphone manufacturers have always been upping their camera games, whether it’s by adding more sensors to the setup or increasing pixel count. But one of the bigger revolutions was Huawei bringing a true night mode to the P20 Pro earlier this year.

Since then, Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro followed up on the trend, only to be challenged by another camera-centric smartphone: the Pixel 3. Google’s latest flagship also has a well-received night mode, but the feature came out a couple of months after the phone’s launch.

Now that Google’s Night Sight is official and we have a Mate 20 Pro on hand, it’s time to compare their performance and answer the question lots of people have been asking: What’s the best smartphone for nighttime photography?

For this shootout, I brought the two phones around Taiwan and took photos only on their respective night modes. No post-processing was done except resizing, so the images would load a little quicker on this page.

Here we go:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing’s for sure: Both perform really well in any situation, exceeding expectations in most cases. Although, a lot of the comparisons come down to personal taste.

For one, the Pixel 3 often removes a layer of warmth and makes nighttime scenes look more like daytime. On the other hand, the Mate 20 Pro is better at preserving how the environment actually looks in low-light spots.

In the most extreme cases, however, the Pixel 3 can see better in total darkness. The secret sauce Google applied here works wonders for when sufficient lighting is out of the question. At the same time, Huawei’s phone can apply motion blur to moving subjects, making them feel more like a long-exposure shot.

With no clear winner, it’s safe to say that both sides prove that their leaders in the night mode realm. Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Continue Reading

Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera Shootout

Which midrange contender comes out on top?

Published

on

Two brands that impressed us this year with their unconventional take on the borderless design are OPPO and Vivo. These two are always neck and neck when it comes to performance, design, and even cameras. So in this video, we set out to find which of these midrange contenders takes better photos.

Continue Reading

Trending