We are here, yet again. Months after the release of the OnePlus 5T and OPPO R11s, we are left scratching our heads at how much these two phones from supposedly different companies look so alike.
Of course, this isn’t the first time, this happened. These two phones’ predecessors, the OnePlus 5 and OPPO R11, also looked confusingly similar.
And so, I had to ask: Despite looking like absolute twinsies, how do the phones’ cameras perform against each other?
Both phones are equipped with dual-rear cameras: A 16- and 20-megapixel combo. Both phones have ditched using their secondary cameras for optical zoom capabilities and instead champion having two shooters with f/1.7 apertures — to shoot better in low-light situations, they claim.
It’s on the front-facing cameras where these two phones differ. The OnePlus 5T sports a 16-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.0 while the OPPO R11s is fitted with a 20-megapixel camera with the same f/2.0 aperture.
Now, on to the shootout!
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a big difference between the two phones in terms of rear camera performance. In great lighting conditions, the OnePlus 5T and the OPPO R11s deliver great color and detailed photos.
As I used the two phones more, however, I noticed a slight difference with the photos they produce.
In very bright or extreme lighting conditions, the OnePlus 5T’s photos had higher contrast while the R11s’ photos were usually brighter in terms of exposure.
With HDR on, the OnePlus 5T did slightly better. This handset was better at balancing the bright sky background and the shadowy flower foreground. The flowers on the R11s sample were visibly darker and less detailed.
Colors come out almost the same — bright and punchy, but not too saturated as other smartphone cameras have been known to do. But, notice that the R11s’ shot is a tad warmer than the 5T’s photo.
This warmth on the R11s photos is more apparent in the photo above. Again, OPPO’s photos are more exposed, though in this case, that led to a lack of detail on this particular photo.
That R11s brightness works for some instances, however. In the pictures above, the brightness on the OPPO R11s photo worked as it made for a more vivid photo of the flowers.
In low-light settings, both devices do good, though we’ve seen other handsets perform better. Colors are brighter and more solid on the OnePlus 5T; its contrast settings work better for scenarios like this.
The OnePlus 5T and the OPPO R11s both have portrait modes on their rear cameras. For the unfamiliar, this shooting mode just allows for a bokeh effect and slight face-filtering that ensures optimum photos.
On this mode, both devices did well. Bokeh cutouts looked good and natural. As expected and as observed from the other photos, the R11s had a higher exposure which meant less shadows on the face. There was also more airbrushing on the R11s photo with Joshua’s (the photo subject) freckles almost disappearing completely.
There’s also an extra setting on the R11s’ rear camera portrait mode that allows for a tighter portrait shot — I call this the “bust” or “full body” button. Toggling this will either crop into the photo like above, or give you a wider shot like the photo before that.
The same observations are applicable to this next portrait photo. Notice how smooth my skin is on the R11s picture — even golden hour’s great lighting wouldn’t have been able to get my skin to look that great!
Now on to selfies!
This first selfie batch was taken with the beauty mode turned off.
Look closer and you’ll notice subtle differences. The R11s’ photo exposure make it seem like my face is brighter, and even without beauty mode, there seems to be subtle airbrushing done on my face. On both photos, you see the detail on my skin, though I’d say that the OnePlus 5T photo is more true to life — not that I’m happy about that fact.
It should be noted, though, that there is no bokeh mode available on the OnePlus 5T’s front-facing cameras. Alas, you have to deal with crappy backgrounds when you’re on this phone as you can’t blur them out.
It’s really on the beauty mode that these two phones differ. The OnePlus 5T does have a beauty mode contolled by a bar that you can toggle for intensity. The OPPO R11s, on the other hand, has beauty mode settings with choices from intensities one to six, and artificial intelligence-powered beauty mode when set to “Auto.”
The OnePlus 5T’s beauty mode is noticeably mild compared to the R11s’. Even on the highest setting, OnePlus’ filters weren’t as strong as some of OPPO’s. Although OPPO’s filters run the risk of too much smoothing and plastic-y skin, the improved AI-beauty mode has me impressed with natural-looking selfie results.
Even in group selfies, the same results carry over. Again, there is no bokeh or portrait mode on the OnePlus 5T’s selfie camera, which is a shame especially for group photos like above.
The OnePlus 5T, slapped with a flagship processor, is aimed at power users who look at utility and value for money as primary priorities. Even this phone’s lack of portrait or bokeh mode on the front-facing camera, if it’s any indication, shows how selfies just aren’t a priority on this device.
The OPPO R11s, on the other hand, sticks to the brand’s selfie roots. It caters to an audience that puts importance on selfies and beauty modes, even going as far as installing artificial intelligence on said beauty mode.
To be completely honest, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of picture quality between these two handsets. It all boils down to preference. Unless you’re very particular about your beauty modes, either phone would work for you.
In this particular case, the cameras aren’t a tie-breaker.
iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Pixel 5: Camera shootout
Which flagship takes the best photo?
By now, most smartphone brands have introduced their respective flagships. Samsung unpacked the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Google revealed the more affordable Pixel 5, and Apple unveiled the most-awaited iPhone 12 Pro.
In this shootout, we took the three flagship smartphones for a camera showdown. These photos were taken around Brooklyn, New York. And if you’ll ask… Yes, we still did our part by wearing masks and following social distancing protocols.
Anyhoo, grab your pen and paper since this is a blind shootout. It’s labeled A, B, and C to make it easier for you to take notes. As usual, no post-processing was done except for putting the images in a collage for faster loading and preview. The answers can be found at the end of this article.
Okay, we’re just messing with you. It’s not that blind test where you have to scroll up and down to find out the answers in different labels. The results are as follows:
A – iPhone 12 Pro
B – Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
C – Google Pixel 5
If you observed them closely, these flagship smartphones have their strengths and weaknesses. Notably, these smartphones differ in terms of focal length, depth-of-field, color balance, and more. Mainly because these flagships use different camera systems and are powered by different processors.
But if you’re wondering what is the point of a camera shootout between the best smartphones you can buy today, it’s about helping people decide based on their preferences, lifestyle, and usage.
The iPhone 12 Pro captured bright and sharp processed photos with a greenish tint. It produced a clean cut-out for its portrait mode, with an improved depth-of-field anyone would love. It’s the perfect camera system for average users needing a smartphone for their daily grind.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra took cooler yet vibrant photos with inconsistent exposure in varying scenarios. It produced images that are expected from a flagship phone, but it’s not as seemingly competitive compared to the iPhone and Pixel’s camera performance.
If anything, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offered the best camera experience it can provide to those in love with Samsung’s smartphones such as Samsung fans and other loyalists (like yours truly).
On the other hand, Google’s Pixel 5 offered strong contrasts and proper white balance in its photos, yet slightly underexposed during the day. However, it’s a real beast when it comes to night photography — even without its night mode.
For what it’s worth, this shootout proved that flagship smartphones aren’t made equal. They exist to serve different tastes, lifestyles, and usage that are apt for every consumer. Whatever your choice is, we’re sure you’ll be taking great photos. Just make sure you polish your skills and you’ll be ready to go.
So, which of these three took the best photo for YOU? Let us know in the comments section, and tell us if it’s your GadgetMatch!
POCO X3 NFC vs realme 7i: Camera shootout
A battle of affordable phones!
The POCO X3 NFC and realme 7i retails for PhP 12,990 and PhP 11,990 respectively. With just a PhP 1,000 price difference, will the phones have a wide gap in camera performance? Let’s find out in this shootout.
Excited to see the results? Here they are:
POCO X3 NFC: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8B, 9B, 10B, 11B, 12B, 13B
realme 7i: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13A
If you analyze the photos well, the POCO X3 NFC captures photos that are warmer — with a greenish tint — and somewhat underexposed, while processing a creamier bokeh and softer blur. On the other hand, the realme 7i produced brighter photos with an extra boost on its vibrance and contrast, as if it’s ready to go on your social media posts.
Having a PhP 1,000 difference didn’t make much of a difference. After all, both phones cater to different consumers with varying preferences.
Which affordable smartphone is the one for you?
Most users picking the POCO X3 NFC are captivated by its performance, apt for their gaming. But even though you’re after power and performance doesn’t mean the camera should be lackluster — which is the case for this smartphone. It’s not as camera-centric as the realme 7i, but its photos are enough to accompany gamer and performance-oriented individuals.
On the other hand, the realme 7i makes the perfect companion for those looking for a smartphone for their daily grind, and mostly spends their time browsing and using social media platforms. Its camera system produces carefully processed photos so that it’s ready for posting — you barely need to edit it.
At the end of the day, these affordable offerings — despite the price differences — can offer decent camera performance. You just have to choose which one suits your budget and lifestyle.
How did you feel about the shootout? Let us know by sharing this story and tagging us on our social media channels.
Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE (2020): Camera shootout
Battle of the small phones
Now that we have the Pixel 4a in our hands, it’s time for another smackdown! Priced at US$ 349, we tested it against Apple’s US$ 399 iPhone SE that packs the powerful A13 Bionic Chip. With two compact phones sporting single rear cameras, which one will shoot better?
Make sure to jot down your answers, as the results of this blind test will be at the end of this article. As usual, photos were labeled, resized, and collaged (this time) for you to load the images faster. No post-processing nor any color adjustments were done in any of the photos. So, let’s begin!
Pixel 4a: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9A, 10A, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18B
iPhone SE: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9B, 10B, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18A
If you observe closely, the iPhone SE produced warmer yet vibrant photos and well-lit, wider portraits. During daylight, it provides more details while it gets pretty noisy in lowlight.
Meanwhile, the Pixel 4a captured cooler photos. Portrait-wise, it has better focus compared to the iPhone SE despite the cropping. But this affordable phone shines better with its HDR and Night Sight, doing a great job in lowlight!
At the end of the day, both phones took photos that are rich in colors and manageable highlights. They also have decent backlit shots and creamy depth-of-field which might appease smartphone photography enthusiasts. For US$ 399, we already have an impressive camera performance. There are no losers here.
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