These days, dual-camera smartphones are the norm. As to how this tech is applied, however, differs between brands — some go monochromatic, some opt for the zoom. Personally, I prefer the wide-angled treatment, as this means more picture-perfect scenery in my photos, especially useful for my travels.
During one of my recent trips, I tested two phones in this category: the ASUS ZenFone 4 and LG G6. Both phones boast dual rear cameras that are wide-angled — the better to see you all with! Both are also around the same price range (in the Philippines) with the ZenFone 4 retailing for PhP 28,995 and the LG G6 at PhP 29,990.*
I set out to see which of these two phones, with the same camera features and (almost) the same price, would perform better in terms of photo taking.
Touchdown Dumaguete City!
Over the weekend, I flew to Dumaguete City in the Philippines. Hailed as a top vacation spot in the Southeast Asian archipelago, Dumaguete is known as a laidback coastal destination. Armed with these smartphones shooters, I aimed to capture the beauty of the place, and the sights and sounds of their annual Sandurot Festival.
A picture is worth a thousand words and this lazy photo by the beach perfectly captures Dumaguete’s mood.
The LG G6 and ASUS ZenFone 4’s cameras definitely perform well in ideal photography scenarios; you can barely tell the difference between the two in terms of color and lighting. There are, however, visible differences in terms of the wide-angle application.
Street dancing and parades
On this particular visit, everyone was at an all-time high in the city as the Sandurot Festival was ongoing. Festivities including parades and street dancing were in order. Different contingents from Dumaguete showed off their skills and pulled out all the stops!
This was the perfect opportunity to make use of my wide-angled shooters. Without moving from my spot, I took these photos using both phones, the first on wide-angle mode…
…and the second one on normal mode.
Again, it’s worth taking note that even if both smartphone cameras boast wide-angle rear dual cameras, the shooting distance still seem to vary depending on what phone you use.
There are certain differences when it comes to the color and vibrance of the photos, too. The LG G6 proves to be consistently better when it comes to color quality and photo saturation. The ASUS ZenFone 4 just does not convince, as the blues (which there is a lot of in this photo set) seem a little too artificial.
Unwinding in a city by the ocean
The day of fun ended and night time closed in on a city that refused to stop celebrating. Countless people came out to continue with the merriment — which isn’t hard to do in a place with a night scene that’s very much alive. The seemingly lazy mood turned into one of revelry. Below’s photos are wide-angle shots of the city. On the far left, one of the new bars that line the street overlooks the ocean.
The ZenFone 4 wins here; its photos have better contrast in low-light scenarios.
Waking up to paradise
The morning rolls by quickly in Dumaguete. Waking up to beautiful tropical sights like this is not extraordinary here.
There is also no shortage of great places to visit. Quaint coffee shops and great dining places are common. Most of them are Instagram-worthy, too!
This is not my first time in Dumaguete and it’s always a relaxing and beautiful time. I always leave here with all smiles. Here’s a selfie to prove it!
In terms of selfies, the LG G6 wins me over. Both have great beauty features, but the color and warmth of the G6’s selfies give that glow I look for in certain photos. An added bonus is the LG G6’s wide-angled selfie mode, although only done via software.
Well, that short trip to Dumaguete was definitely a blast, as you saw. Now, on to the shootout results!
Both the LG G6 and ASUS Zenfone 4 have capable rear cameras and wide-angle functionality, although the G6 seems to capture more scenery in this setting. The ZenFone 4’s photos, on the other hand, tend to be more zoomed out on normal mode.
Photo quality was good on both smartphones, but the G6 stunned with better and brighter colors — a requisite for photo trips such as this.
In terms of low-light photography, the ZenFone 4 definitely impressed with picture quality, able to keep both the highlights and shadows in check most of the time.
All things considered, I’d say the LG G6 won over the ASUS ZenFone 4 in this round. Not that the latter’s camera was bad, but at almost the same price price point, the G6 camera just performed better.
* Pricing varies depending on region. The ASUS ZenFone 4 retails for US$ 399; the LG G6 retails at US$ 600. This different pricing, however, would change the shootout parameters.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Camera shootout
Is there any improvement?
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:
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.
Does AI on Honor 10 photos really work?
We took plenty of snaps to find out
Artificial Intelligence or AI appears to have become a staple feature on smartphones released in 2018. It’s even a headline feature on the Honor 10 with its tagline “Beauty in AI.”
Just how much can AI enhance your images? We took a stroll one afternoon and took a few photos to find out. Side note: The only editing done on these photos was resizing to make sure they load faster on the website.
Even without AI, the Honor 10’s pair of cameras does a good job of capturing the details of the buildings, but with AI turned on, the colors pop. If you look closely at the clouds, it almost appears as if the gates of heaven are about to open.
Moving on, we spotted this colorful set of umbrellas. You’ll notice right away that the photo taken with AI is more vibrant. This will be a recurring theme throughout this entire article.
This flower photo shows how color translates well even in closer shots.
Inside the mall, the photo taken with AI captured the feeling evoked by the installation better. Felt pretty bright and cheery seeing inanimate flamingos in love.
Before heading out to eat, I checked out some new kicks because apparently, that’s something I’m really into now. I’m not a fan of King James but this Nike LeBron 15 Low “Ashes” caught my eye. In this photo, I thought the one without AI did a better job at focusing my attention on the shoe.
Snapped this quick portrait of Leez right before we ate. The AI did fantastic work here, but as you’ll see later on, it doesn’t always get things right.
Here’s what I had for late lunch and the AI made it look super sumptuous. I’m crazy about Hot Star’s large fried chicken — the BBQ flavor, in particular. 🤤
We ran into a few superheroes when we stepped out. Iron Man Hulkbuster looked lackluster without AI, but he shines once it’s turned on.
Leez’s photo with Deadpool shows the Honor 10 does a decent job identifying more than one subject when applying bokeh.
Now, here’s an example of when the Honor 10 just didn’t get it right. We had more results like this than really good ones. I don’t know if it was me being a little too emo here, but bokeh on the photo went a little too far.
However, when it does bokeh right, the photo can look magical.
Took one more shot before leaving and honestly, this was my reaction after seeing how much enhancement the AI does on the Honor 10. Can it be better? Sure. But for what it does now, we were pretty happy with the results.
Huawei P20 vs P20 Lite: Camera Shootout
Double the price, double the performance?
We all know the Huawei P20 family has a fantastic set of cameras, but the questions is: How do they compare against each other?
While a P20 versus P20 Pro comparison would be interesting, I figured comparing the P20 against the lower-end P20 Lite is more compelling. Why? Because the latter is half the price of the former.
And yet, they both share a dual-camera setup, sans the Leica branding on the Lite model. But do those sweet German lenses justify the doubling in price? That’s something we need to find out in this shootout.
As usual, every photo is taken on Auto mode without any post-processing, except for resizing to let this page load faster. To make this comparison more fun, we’ll make it a blind shootout. You can find the answer sheet at the bottom.
So, was it closer than you expected? Here’s the answer sheet:
#1: P20 Lite (left) vs P20 (right)
#2: P20 Lite (left) vs P20 (right)
#3: P20 (left) vs P20 Lite (right)
#4: P20 (left) vs P20 Lite (right)
#5: P20 (left) vs P20 Lite (right)
#6: P20 Lite (left) vs P20 (right)
#7: P20 (left) vs P20 Lite (right)
#8: P20 Lite (left) vs P20 (right)
#9: P20 Lite (left) vs P20 (right)
#10: P20 Lite (left) vs P20 (right)
#11: P20 (left) vs P20 Lite (right)
#12: P20 (left) vs P20 Lite (right)
From my own experience, I’d say the P20 clearly does better at night, but they do equally well during daytime. Another thing to consider — and this doesn’t show up on the results — is that the P20 focuses on subjects faster and has a richer camera app. The P20 also has that useful night mode allowing four-second handheld photos, which weren’t included in this shootout.
So, what do you think about the comparison? And which phones should we compare next? Let us know in the comments section below.
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