Camera Shootouts

$100 Phone vs $900 Phone: Camera Shootout

Does paying 9X more mean 9X better photos?

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Here’s something you don’t see us do very often: comparing one of the best smartphone cameras available in the market today with one of the cheapest but not necessarily worst.

The chosen contenders in this shootout are single-camera phones, namely the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. The former sells for around US$ 900 almost anywhere in the world except for the US where it’s much cheaper, and the latter is more or less US$ 100 in Asia and some parts of Europe.

In previous similar comparisons, we used phones that had US$ 200 to US$ 650 price gaps; this time we’re comparing phones with a huge US$ 800 difference. While it’s obvious that Samsung’s flagship has top-of-the-line specs and is one of the most feature-rich phones out there, we are curious to see if its camera is nine times better than Xiaomi’s budget offering, given its steep price tag.

Get your pen and paper ready because this is a blind test. All photos were taken in Auto Mode and were not edited. 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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#16

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And that’s it! Are you ready to see what phone you picked for each set? Here they are:

#1
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#2
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#3
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#4
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#5
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#6
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#7
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#8
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#9
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#10
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#11
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#12
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#13
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#14
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#15
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#16
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

After several other comparisons in the past, we know by now that when it comes to at least daytime scenes, any two smartphone cameras will be comparable, and the same can be said about this shootout. We just didn’t expect it would be a close fight between the Galaxy S9 and Redmi 5A even for indoor and low-light shots like numbers 8 to 12.

There are, of course, little things that a comparison cannot show by just putting two photos side by side. The Galaxy S9 focuses and shoots much faster than the Redmi 5A in all scenarios. It took several tries for the Redmi 5A to produce a good photo while the S9 more often than not would get it right the first time. It’s important to note, however, that the S9 sharpens and makes some photos warmer than in real life, as can be seen in the food and portrait shots.

Overall, the Galaxy S9 is still the better camera, no doubt. But if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that when it comes to still images, you no longer need to spend all of your hard-earned savings for capturing moments you want to remember. The Redmi 5A will give you comparable results as a smartphone camera worth nine times its price tag.

As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have in your pocket, and in this case, the one your pocket can afford.

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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