Camera Shootouts

$200 phone vs $600 phone: Dual-camera shootout

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Dual-camera setups are part of a major smartphone trend, and they’re not exclusive to expensive devices. Cherry Mobile introduced their own dual rear camera phone to the Philippine market in the form of the Desire R8, which is priced at just PhP 9,990 (US$ 200).

Since affordable phones are now able to match flagships in their own way, let’s put the Desire R8 against one of our favorites: the Huawei P10.

We took the photos using both phones’ bokeh or wide aperture mode and applied the biggest lens opening possible. The Desire R8 has 13- and 5-megapixel color sensors, while the P10 has 20-megapixel monochrome and 12-megapixel color sensors with optical image stabilization.

Let’s begin with the comparison.

We start with a candid photo of Leez and her purple Brookstone Cat Ear Headphones. Both phones were able to capture a nice image with great bokeh effect. If you find the blur to be excessive, you can always adjust after taking the shot.

Now on to a proper portrait of Leez with a lot of natural light coming from the window, which brightened her face well. We kind of prefer the Desire R8’s shot here (despite the yellowish skin tone and dim exposure) over the P10’s luminous portrait. The Desire R8’s soft cut out of Leez is also easier on the eye.

As for indoor macro shots, we have Mario as our subject with Luigi and a sand stormtrooper in the background. The 12-inch distance to Mario created satisfying bokeh from both phones; however, the Desire R8 struggled in this faint lighting environment.

Our Spider-Man Sphero toy stars in this next shot. With enough natural and artificial light, Spidey was able to stand out from the background. The Desire R8 produced the best bokeh effect here, although it looked overprocessed compared to the P10’s photo.

Going outdoors will give you the best results, as you can see with Isa’s portrait. The abundant amount of light balanced out the shadows and highlights, but the Desire R8 processed the image too much. The P10’s shot looks a bit flat, though you can always edit afterward.

So, how did the $200 Cherry Mobile phone stand up against Huawei’s flagship? For its price, the Desire R8 was able to put up a good fight. It showed aggressiveness in image processing, which made its shots look unnatural; we’re still surprised with its output, though. As long as you can find good lighting, you’ll be able to take a decent bokeh-rich shot.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P10 Plus portraits: Pia Wurtzbach vs Me

Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera shootout

The rivalry is on!

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OPPO and Vivo’s newest midrange contenders are now in the market, and as usual we’re here to pit them against one another.

The OPPO F9 sports a bigger display and what OPPO calls the water drop notch, but with similar internals as its predecessor, the F7. The Vivo V11 also gets the smaller notch treatment, but boasts a higher-end processor and in-display fingerprint reader compared to the V9.

What we’re curious to see, now that we’ve reviewed both devices, is which one takes better photos. We took the F9 and V11 with us as we sought to find out what the city of Berlin, Germany has to offer.

Get your pen and paper ready because we’ve prepared another blind test here at GadgetMatch. All photos were taken in Auto Mode 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.

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Are you ready to see which phone took the photos you picked? Here’s the answer sheet:

#1
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#2
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#3
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#4
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#5
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#6
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#7
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#8
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#9
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#10
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#11
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#12
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#13
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#14
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

In most instances I prefer Vivo V11’s photos better than those of the OPPO F9’s. They’re more detailed, vibrant, the camera’s HDR capabilities do really well in backlit scenarios — something I also experienced on the Vivo NEX — and portrait cutouts are also more precise.

The OPPO F9 also visibly struggled to take clear shots compared to the V11 in scenarios without bright sunlight. If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the V11, it’s the way it tends to oversaturate scenes that it detects as “food” or “flower.”

What do you think of this comparison? Are you upgrading to any of these devices? Let us know in the comments below.

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO Find X vs Vivo NEX: Camera shootout

Battle of the pop-ups!

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When we got both the Find X and NEX in our hands at the same time, we knew what had to be done: a camera shootout!

For the uninformed, these are the pop-up camera-sporting flagship smartphones of OPPO and Vivo released this year. The former uses a pop-up mechanism to house its front and rear cameras, while the latter uses one just for the selfie shooter.

We already had a short comparison in our Find X versus NEX comparison video, but we wanted to conduct a more enjoyable blind shootout this time. And because both these phones tout their selfie capabilities and our resident social media princess took the photos you’re about to see, expect lots of self portraits.

As usual, all these photos were taken on auto settings with no post-processing other than resizing for quicker load times. For the selfies, the default AI beauty mode was turned on in all instances except one (which we’ll indicate later on).

You can find the answer sheet at the end of this article. Let’s begin:

#1

 

#2

 

#3

 

#4

 

#5

 

#6

 

#7

 

#8

 

#9

 

#10

 

#11

 

#12

 

#13

 

#14

 

#15

 

#1: Find X (left) vs NEX (right)

#2: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#3: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#4: Find X (left) vs NEX (right)

#5: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#6: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#7: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#8: Find X (left) vs NEX (right)

#9: Find X (left) vs NEX (right)

#10: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#11: Find X (left) vs NEX (right)

#12: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

#13: Find X (left) vs NEX (right)

#14: Find X (left) vs NEX (right) — no beauty mode

#15: NEX (left) vs Find X (right)

Are you surprised by the results? OPPO and Vivo clearly have different ways of handling image output, and their AI-powered beauty modes think differently, as well.

It ultimately comes down to which style you prefer. Do you like saturated photos or more muted ones? And which beauty mode fits your face better?

Despite being similar in execution, the Find X and NEX cater to different user types. Fortunately for us consumers, this means more GadgetMatches!

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Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Camera shootout

Is there any improvement?

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It was made clear that the brand-new Galaxy Note 9 has the same set of cameras as that of the Galaxy S9+ — they were released in the same year, after all. But there’s a more pressing concern: How much of an improvement is there over the Note 8?

Being the curious techies that we are, we took the two S Pen-equipped smartphones around New York City to see how they fare against each other. To make this shootout more interesting, we’re turning it into a blind comparison.

How blind? All rounds are in a random order, so you won’t know which phone shot Photo A and Photo B without checking the answer sheet at the end of this article.

To make things fair, all samples were shot using the default camera app on auto settings. No post-processing or editing was done, except for resizing so that they load faster.

Here we go:

#1

 

#2

 

#3

 

#4

 

#5

 

#6

 

#7

 

#8

 

#9

 

#10

 

#11

 

#12

 

Now it’s time to see which phones you actually picked:

#1: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#2: Note 9 (left) vs Note 8 (right)

#3: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#4: Note 9 (left) vs Note 8 (right)

#5: Note 9 (left) vs Note 8 (right)

#6: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9(right)

#7: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#8: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#9: Note 9 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#10: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#11: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

#12: Note 8 (left) vs Note 9 (right)

As you can see, the differences are minor except for specific instances. The Note 9 seems to perform slightly better when it comes to portraits using either the front or rear cameras. Skin tone is more accurate and the photos look sharper up close.

Although the Note 8’s output is often too warm, it does surprisingly well, especially in low-light environments. And despite lacking the Dual Aperture feature of the Note 9, the predecessor can keep up in terms of overall exposure and dynamic range.

Do note that the Note 8 has had a year to refine its cameras, whereas the Note 9 just came out with its fresh software. These results could easily change in a few months with software updates.

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