Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6: Camera Shootout

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We’ve compared the Galaxy S8’s camera to numerous smartphones — from its most bitter rival to a phone less than a fourth its price — but in terms of design, nothing is as close as this comparison.

While not exactly similar-looking, the LG G6 is the closest thing we’ve got to the Galaxy S8 aesthetically. A near-borderless display and unusually narrow aspect ratio do that, but that’s where the similarities end.

Like previous LG flagships, the G6 owns a dual-camera setup at the back designed to take super-wide-angle shots on top of the normal photos we’re accustomed to. It definitely gives the LG handset a clear advantage for landscape pictures and artsy images, and so, we won’t be including this feature in our shootout.

As for the rest of the mechanics, both sides settle for Auto camera settings with HDR and filters turned off. Samples were resized for quicker loading, although we still recommend viewing this shootout on a color-calibrated monitor to see the differences.

Right off the bat, you can already tell what style each camera favors. The Galaxy S8’s photo has a slight green tint to it and looks a lot softer, while the G6 is noticeably redder and oversharpens the subject to the point of looking a bit grainy. At the same time, both camera did a fine job illuminating all parts of the scene. This round can go either way.

With flash turned on, the camera capabilities really show. As good a job the Galaxy S8 did in highlighting the flower up front, the G6 covered a lot more ground and even upped the warmth for a more natural look. Thumbs up, LG!

Any night shot with as much individual lighting and fog as this is a challenge, but the Galaxy S8 pulled through and impressed us with even exposure throughout the landscape without blowing out any of the highlights. The G6 output looks good as well, but overdid highlights a tad too much.

We focused on the brightly lighted sign to the lower right for this one, which gave both cameras a difficult time. In the end, however, the Galaxy S8 wins with much more accurate color reproduction to the left and top of the photo. The G6 didn’t seem to even bother with those areas.

This is another test which favors the Galaxy S8. For nighttime selfies, the G6 has always delivered low-resolution-looking photos — this isn’t the first time — whereas the Galaxy S8’s selfie passes our standards with an overall clear and sharp portrait.

Now that the sun’s out, we can see how each camera handles harsh lighting at noontime. This round can go either way: While the Galaxy S8 produced better shadows around the sculpture, the G6’s more saturated output places greater emphasis on “Hope.”

This round also comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer the highly saturated and strong colors of the Galaxy S8, or the focus on detail from the G6’s macro shot? We find both great, and appreciate how well each one provided smooth background blur.

For food photography, it’s all about making the spread as tasty-looking as possible. In this case, the Galaxy S8 does it better. On top of coming out much brighter, there’s greater emphasis on the reflections of the glistening fruit tart. Yum!

When we came to this spot, we knew HDR mode had to be turned on to maximize the scenery. At first glance, you’d think the G6 won this HDR test, but upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that the Galaxy S8 managed to retain much more detail, especially on the upper-left region of the photo.

This is when the noontime sun was at its harshest, giving both cameras more than they could chew. The Galaxy S8 and G6 handled the situation in distinctly different ways: The former accepted all the direct sunlight but heavily darkened the shadows, while the latter evenly distributed the rays for a less saturated aesthetic.

After ten rounds of camera photography in New York, the results are clear: The Galaxy S8 takes better photos in most environments. None of the tough lighting situations really fazed the Samsung flagship, and we were happy with the results even at its worst.

This isn’t to say the G6 lost entirely. A lot of rounds were neck and neck, with the LG handset clearly having a better camera for flash photography. On its own, the G6 has a stellar camera, especially when you factor in its secondary lens — something which the Galaxy S8 can’t hold a candle to.

Take a look at a couple of extra-wide-angle G6 photos that the Galaxy S8 can only dream of doing:

Until the Samsung Galaxy S or Note series acquires a similar secondary camera at the back, LG flagships will always have this advantage over their competition.

What do you think of this shootout? Do you believe we missed something? Please let us know in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: LG G6 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Camera Shootout

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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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Camera Shootouts

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

Seeing in the dark

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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:

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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.

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera Shootout

Which midrange contender comes out on top?

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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.

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