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

Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei P30 Pro: Camera shootout

2019’s early flagship Androids

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Now that Samsung and Huawei have released their respective flagships for the early part of 2019, it’s time to compare them in the funnest way we know how: a blind camera shootout.

Both brands make it clear that they’re proud of what their premium phones can achieve in the imaging department. While the Galaxy S10+ is incredibly versatile with its triple-camera setup and host of software tricks ranging from Live Focus to intelligent scene detection, the P30 Pro boosts its hybrid zoom and night mode game with a total of four rear cameras.


They rightfully deserve their scores at the top of DxOMark’s rankings, but what does the general public think about their camera output? With this shootout, you have your chance to analyze each photo and pick the better of the two without bias.

As always, every photo is shot in auto mode with default settings unless a category needs specific options applied. No post-processing was done except for resizing to keep the file sizes down. You may find the answer sheet at the end of this comparison.

#1 — Architecture

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#2 — Building facade

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#3 — Flower macro

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#4 — Low-light indoor

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#5 — Food close-up

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#6 — Landscape

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#7 — Ultra-wide landscape

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#8 — Portrait

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#9 — Colors

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#10 — Food

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#11 — Selfie

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#12 — Dynamic range

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#13 — Details

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#14 — Nighttime outdoor

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#15 — Nighttime indoor

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Results

Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14A, 15B

P30 Pro: 1A, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14B, 15A

Like past premium shootouts, the results here can often go either way. The Galaxy S10+ seems to shoot a little wider with its ultra-wide lens and tends to raise exposure more in certain situations; the P30 Pro, meanwhile, is slightly better at retaining detail in daytime and controlling light in dark areas.

What matters more, however, is how you feel about these results. Connect with us on our social media channels and join our growing community of fellow Matchketeers to let your opinions be heard!

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Camera Shootouts

Redmi Note 7 vs Realme 3: Camera shootout

A true budget battle!

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We love pitting premium phones against one another to see which ones rule the mobile camera space, but every now and then, we need to see how well the budget options perform with their entry-level shooters.

For this installment of our long-running series, we’re comparing the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3, which are undeniably the most popular phones in the sub-US$ 200 segment. Being affordable doesn’t mean performing cheap, however; they have surprisingly good image sensors on them as proven in our reviews.


To make this interesting, we’re presenting yet another blind shootout so you can play along with us. Everything is shot on auto mode and no post-processing was applied except for resizing to keep the file sizes bearable.

You can find the results at the end of this article. Let’s begin:

#1 — Detail

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#2 — Moving animals

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#3 — Macro

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#4 — Portrait mode

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#5 — Selfie

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#6 — Food

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#7 — Landscape

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Results

Redmi Note 7: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A

Realme 3: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B

There’s no doubt that both phones shoot well at their price points, and some of the rounds could go either way depending on individual taste.

If we were to nitpick, we’d say that the Realme 3 provides more detail and produces better dynamic range, while the Redmi Note 7 is smarter when it comes to background blur and has more realistic colors on subjects.

What do you think? Connect with us on our social media channels and let us know which phones you’d like us to compare next.

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Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Camera shootout

Wide, regular, and zoom!

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We’ve come to a point wherein three rear cameras on a smartphone are becoming the norm and all three must serve an individual purpose.

That’s the case with the Galaxy S10+ and Mate 20 Pro, which are Samsung and Huawei’s most versatile camera phones to date. They both have the ability to go wide and zoomed in, on top of their regular high-resolution shooters.


Before more worthy flagships come out this year, let’s see how 2018’s best smartphone shooter matches up against Samsung’s top phone for the first half of 2019.

As always, we’re turning this into a blind shootout so you can play along. The order of each round is random, and everything has been shot using auto settings to give both phones a fair chance to shine. The results are found at the end of this article.

#1 — Flower

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#2 — Building

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#3 — Graffiti

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#4 — Ultra-wide

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#5 — Regular

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#6 — Zoom

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#7 — Background blur

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#8 — Backlit

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#9 — Bright sky

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#10 — Moving subject

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#11 — Macro

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#12 — Landscape

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#13 — Dynamic range

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#14 — Portrait

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#15 — Sunset

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#16 — Artwork

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#17 — Twilight

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#18 — Food

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#19 — Vegetation

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#20 — Nighttime

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#21 — Total darkness

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Results:

Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18A, 19B, 20A, 21B

Mate 20 Pro: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18B, 19A, 20B, 21A

How do you feel about the results?

Truth be told, it’s as close as you’d expect from the two top mobile camera performers on DxOMark (for now, of course). Each round could go either way, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference — like if you prefer warmer tones or greater contrast in your photos.

Let us know which smartphone you think won in the comments section below.

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