Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel: Camera Shootout

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What happens when we have the two best single-lens camera phones in our possession? We take them out for a shootout, of course!

Since getting our hands on the Galaxy S8, we’ve been wondering why Samsung didn’t opt for a dual-camera setup like most flagship smartphones these days. After trying it out, we realized there wasn’t any need to, considering how well it performs without any added features.

This also brought up the question: How well would the Galaxy S8 fare against last year’s single-camera king, the Google Pixel? After comparing their photos side by side, we must say, calling a winner is a lot tougher than we imagined.

Each shot was taken with Auto settings turned on and using each phone’s default camera app. This best simulates what a casual user would do, which involves quick-launching the camera and shooting away.

Let’s begin:

We’ll start with a basic building shot in daylight. You can see how the Galaxy S8 illuminates the foreground better — notice the brighter exhaust pipe to the right and slightly clearer building in the middle. And yet, this causes the background to become overexposed. The Pixel nails the exposure for the sky and building in the background.

This situation tests how well the two cameras handle sharpness across the picture. The Galaxy S8 has a much warmer tone, but it noticeably sharper on the bottom floor. The Pixel, meanwhile does a better job of balancing each detail on the brick wall to the right.

Close-up portrait time! Both phones produced a sharp subject with a creamy background, but the Galaxy S8’s colors have much more pop! to them. The warm white balance of the S8 also added more life to our Creative Director’s face while the sun was gradually setting.

How do both phones handle macro shots? Quite well, actually! The two cameras managed to focus nicely on the flower and blur out all the unneeded background elements. We just found the Galaxy S8’s shot to be a tiny bit oversaturated, and the Pixel’s a little underexposed.

Here’s another instance that tests how the cameras handle sharpness when there’s less light. Like in earlier photos, the Galaxy S8 has a sharper image throughout and livened up the tree to the left a lot more. The Pixel’s edge is in the sharpness of the trees’ reflection in the puddle.

This is where things start getting tricky. The two phones shot virtually identical photos, with the only difference being the Pixel’s slightly higher exposure. Considering the nature of Auto settings, the results could just as easily be the other way around if taken a few minutes earlier or later.

We can now tell how well each phone’s auto white balance and image stabilization comes into play in this poorly lit scene. After zooming in, we’d say the Galaxy S8 has a sharper subject and more accurate colors. On the other hand, the Pixel’s camera didn’t wash out as much and retained more details on the building’s facade.

Bright lights in near darkness is a tough test for any camera. Both phones did a splendid job overall, but the Galaxy S8 ensured the sign’s brightness didn’t spill over to the background. You can see how the S8 effortlessly kept all colors in their place.

Now we check out how well the selfie camera does at night. Like with the dark shots earlier, the Galaxy S8 once again gets the colors right while keeping skin tones lively. We have to give the Pixel a point though for not turning the scarf and strands of hair into mush.

And we’ll end this shootout with a daytime selfie! This time, the Pixel wins with a rosier skin tone and sharper details on Michael Josh’s face. The Google phone also manages to produce a more accurately colored background with all the details and proper white balance retained.

When it comes down to it, all photos are absolutely superb. Never have we seen such a well-contested match between two high-end phones. Still, we have to hand out some awards.

The Pixel retains its crown as the leader in smartphone HDR photography with a distinct advantage when it comes to illuminating all parts of each photo. It also produced more pleasant selfies in daytime, as well as sharper details for things like hair and walls.

For everything else, the Galaxy S8 is a clear winner. We love how we look on the portraits it produces, whether they were taken with lots of light or barely any. No matter what situation, colors always have so much life in them without oversaturating the subjects. Samsung made the right choice of sticking to a single camera lens and simply improving on the Galaxy S7’s already awesome shooter.

With that, we want to hear from you which camera you think wins this shootout. Leave a comment below and let your opinions be heard!

SEE ALSO: 6 things the Samsung Galaxy S8 camera can do

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Camera Shootouts

Mate 20 Pro vs iPhone XS vs Galaxy Note 9: Camera shootout

The top three brands collide!

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Huawei, Apple, and Samsung have released their top phones recently, which brings us to what you’ve all been waiting for: a camera shootout!

Not only are these among the fastest handsets in the market, they own some of the best cameras, as well. But because you have to pay a pretty penny to own one, it’s imperative that you make the right choice.

Brand loyalty aside, each one has its own specialty, but which flagship can we consider to be the overall best? While it’s highly subjective, they’re fun to compare nonetheless.

Even more enjoyable: Placing their photos in side-by-side comparisons for you to gander at. We compiled 14 of them in a blind test, all shot in Auto mode with AI applied when needed. Once you’re done pixel peeping at each photo, find out which phone took which picture by checking the answer sheet at the bottom.

Portrait

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Indoor 1

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Indoor 2

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Daylight 1

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Daylight 2

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Macro 1

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Macro 2

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HDR 1

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HDR 2

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Food 1

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Food 2

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Selfie

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Nighttime

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Bokeh

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Are you done choosing for each round? Here are the answers:

Portrait: iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note 9

Indoor 1: Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro

Indoor 2: Mate 20 Pro, iPhone XS, Galaxy Note 9

Daylight 1: Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro

Daylight 2: iPhone XS, Galaxy Note 9, Mate 20 Pro

Macro 1: Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro

Macro 2: Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS

HDR 1: iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note 9

HDR 2: Mate 20 Pro, iPhone XS, Galaxy Note 9

Food 1: Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS

Food 2: iPhone XS, Galaxy Note 9, Mate 20 Pro

Selfie: Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro

Nighttime: Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS

Bokeh: iPhone XS, Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note 9

Clearly, they all did great and are definitely top-notchers in the premium segment. Were there any surprises for you? Do you see a clear-cut winner? Let us know in the comments section below.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Camera Shootouts

Honor 10 Lite vs OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Selfie Shootout

Which phone takes the best selfies?

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Most of the newly released phones lately don’t just have great rear shooters; they are also equipped with quality front cameras. This only means one thing: They can take good selfies. However, which phone is the best selfie taker?

In this comparison, we’re pitting the new Honor 10 Lite against the OPPO F9 and the Vivo V11.

The Honor 10 Lite is equipped with a 24-megapixel front camera with beautification features and AI scene detection. Both the OPPO F9 and Vivo V11, on the other hand, have 25-megapixel selfie snappers with AI beauty mode.

Without further ado, let’s begin the comparison:

#1

Let’s start with the first set of photos. These were taken without any smoothening or bokeh processing. These are as natural as their selfies can get. Taken inside a well-lit room, the phones had enough light to take a clear photo.

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#2

For the second set, we went to the balcony to check how the phones would fare in low-light. The flash setting was on auto to let the phones decide how they should take a low-light selfie. Unsurprisingly, the phones fired up their screen to act as the flash.

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#3

All three phones can take portrait-like selfies by applying artificial blur to the background. This set of photos was taken indoors with plenty of light coming in and bokeh mode turned on.

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#4

For the final set of selfies, we had bokeh and beauty mode turned on. Both the OPPO F9 and Vivo V11 were set to use AI to determine the level of beauty effect necessary. Meanwhile, the Honor 10 Lite was set to Level 3 (out of 10) to match the smoothening effect of the other two phones. To make it trickier, the photos were taken inside a busy cafe.

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That ends our selfie comparison using the Honor 10 Lite, OPPO F9, and Vivo V11. Each phone delivers different results in every scenario. Which of the selfies do you like most?

The Honor 10 Lite is officially arriving in the Philippines on January 22. Starting January 26, the phone will be available in all Honor authorized shops and dealers. Also, you may catch the Honor roadshow happening on January 26 in SM North EDSA where the Honor 10 Lite will be on sale and bundled with exciting freebies! For more information about the Honor 10 Lite, visit www.hihonor.com/ph or follow Honor Philippines Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HonorPhilippines.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Honor Philippines.

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone XR vs Pixel 3: Camera shootout

Which single-camera setup takes better photos?

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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

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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

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#11

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#12

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#13

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#14

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#15

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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.

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