Camera Shootouts

Xiaomi Mi 6 vs Mi 5X: Camera Shootout

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Xiaomi has been active in equipping dual cameras across its entire lineup, from the budget-friendly to the midrange and flagship levels. This got us thinking: How would the cheapest of the bunch fare against the most expensive? There’s only one way to find out.

For this single-branded camera shootout, we’re pitting the high-end Mi 6 against the much more affordable Mi 5X. While the former should smoke the latter in terms of raw performance, image quality may actually be more competitive than you’d expect.

They both have a pair of 12-megapixel cameras at the back with dual-LED flash and 2x optical zoom. Being the pricier one of the two, the Mi 6 naturally has some advantages, namely optical image stabilization and a slightly larger aperture opening on the wide-angle lens for brighter photos.

But just how big of a difference would those features make? Let’s compare photos taken around Beijing, China to find out.

Our first samples are close-ups with the naturally produced background blur of the two sets of cameras. Right off the bat, we can see how close this comparison is going to be. Both did an outstanding job of blurring out the background while keeping the flower sharp. The Mi 6’s photo just happens to be a little brighter because of the larger aperture.

At first glance, both shots seem to be identical in terms of pure quality, but looking a bit closer reveals slightly sharper details on the walls of the Mi 6’s photo and more noise in the Mi 5X’s output.

The Mi 5X needed a higher ISO to evenly illuminate the subject, but because of that, you can see some loss of detail in the darker areas. Still, it has better contrast than what the Mi 6 produced.

Similar to the flower photos earlier, the macro shots here give a slight edge to the Mi 6, but only because of the better-controlled exposure on the subject itself and around it.

Now we have our first samples from the zoom lenses of each phone. Results turned out similar to the previous comparison, with the Mi 5X’s product being more subdued.

This scenario gives us more to work with. The Mi 6’s image is noticeably better here with a warmer tone and less blown-out highlights.

Using optical zoom this time, the results are again more or less the same. Both phones did a splendid job of keeping everything sharp; the photo from the Mi 6 is just warmer.

HDR mode was active to retain all the details in the highlights and shadows. We give this round to the Mi 6 for rendering the lines on the building’s facade with greater accuracy.

Selfie time! This one was tough with the strong backlighting, but both phones did well enough. If you pixel peep, you’d notice less mush on the face for the MI 6, at the expense of minimal overexposure.

Surprisingly, the output favors the Mi 5X this time. The cheaper phone’s advantages are in the better-looking floor, clothing, and vegetation in the background.

Indoor shots with poor lighting are tough for any smartphone, and this is no different. The Mi 5X had difficulty focusing and took several attempts to capture the right exposure, but the final image turned out pretty well. Yet, the Mi 6 takes the victory thanks to its brighter lens and image stabilization, both of which were invaluable for this sort of situation.

Again, the Mi 5X struggles to find the correct exposure, and doesn’t focus nearly as fast as the Mi 6. With that, the MI 6 wins with a superior photo overall.

Mi 6 (left), Mi 5X (right)

Mi 6 (left), Mi 5X (right)

Rounding up our shootout are samples shot in portrait mode. With the feature turned on, a combination of the zoom lens and software tricks create extra blur behind the subject, giving the impression that these were shot with dedicated professional-level cameras. Both phones did great here. We prefer how the Mi 6’s photo looks a little more realistic and less blown out with the lighting, although the Mi 5X didn’t do a bad job itself with the way it handled the colors.

And there you have it! If there’s one thing we learned from this shootout, it’s that paying for a more expensive dual-cam Xiaomi phone doesn’t necessarily give you a better imaging experience.

Sure, the Mi 6 would win every other comparison — battery life and playing graphics-intensive games, to name a few — but in terms of image quality, you can pick either one and be fully satisfied.

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

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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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Camera Shootouts

iPhone XS vs Pixel 2: Camera shootout

Which smartphone camera comes out on top?

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As the iPhone XS starts to roll out to more markets across the globe, we’re doing another camera comparison here at GadgetMatch to see whether Apple’s best offering has what it takes to compete against one of the best smartphone cameras today: Google’s Pixel 2.

This year’s upgrades are merely incremental. But, while reviewing the iPhone XS last week, we noticed how much better it already is compared to its predecessor, the iPhone X. It has a bigger image sensor that should help with low-light performance.

In terms of hardware, the iPhone XS has a slight advantage over the Pixel 2 as it has two main cameras — one wide angle and one telephoto — but in this comparison we only used the main cameras of both phones to level the playing field. The iPhone XS also uses both lenses when taking portraits, while the Pixel 2 uses computational photography, which is possible thanks to the amount of data Google has collected over the years.

This is 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!

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

#1
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#2
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#3
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#4
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#5
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#6
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#7
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#8
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#9
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#10
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#11
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#12
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#13
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#14
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#15
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#16
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

There’s no denying how close the performance of both smartphones are. Even at almost a year old, the Pixel 2’s photos look just as good compared to those of the new iPhone XS.

One new feature that Apple is not hyping so much, but everyone is raving about, is Smart HDR. In the comparison, we can see this at work in backlit photos featuring our Chief Content Creator Michael Josh, and in low light. Google has a similar technology called HDR+, although the iPhone XS’ Smart HDR works slightly better.

When it comes to the portrait mode, the Pixel 2 does cutouts much cleaner, although in the photo featuring our Her GadgetMatch editor Isa, it thinks that the pillows behind her are part of the subject. The iPhone XS also produced a warmer image here. In the selfie portrait, it’s the Pixel 2 that produced the warmer image, making the blue wall behind me look less blue than in real life.

What do you think of this comparison? Let us know in the comments section below.

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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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