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Blind testing smartphone cameras: which is the best?

Blind testing smartphone cameras: which is the best?

It's the beginning of 2017, once again time for a blind test of smartphone cameras. The Sony Xperia X Performance, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the HTC 10, Google's Pixel and the Huawei Mate 9 are featured in this blind test. With all of these smartphones, we shot a whole range of pictures and now ask you which camera you think shot the best photos.

In the first two blind tests of cameras here on AndroidPIT, the Sony Xperia Z5 won you over, but in the last blind test from May 2016, the Z5 was knocked down from its top spot by the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Can the Galaxy S7 Edge remain at the top at the beginning of 2017? We took the four biggest rivals to the Galaxy S7 Edge out of our equipment cabinet and shot a set of nearly identical images for this blind test.

The following smartphones are included in this last blind test of 2016's top cameras:

All of the photos can be viewed here in the following galleries. Or, you can check them out in full resolution at the Google Drive links below. All EXIF data has been deleted, so that the chances are equal. Which smartphone is behind which images will not be revealed, because we do not want you to be influenced by this information.

Camera A

Here you can find the pictures from Camera A in full resolution

Camera B

Here you can find the pictures from Camera B in full resolution

Camera C

Here you can find the pictures from Camera C in full resolution

Camera D

Here you can find the pictures from Camera D in full resolution

Camera E

Here you can find the pictures from Camera E in full resolution

Well, have you looked at all the photos and decided which are the best pictures? Then you should complete the survey now. Note: The order in the survey has been changed. :)

Which smartphone camera from 2016 takes the best pictures?
View results

The results of the survey will be tallied in the second week of January 2017. So you should take time now to look at the pictures and form an opinion. Of course, we encourage you to also discuss the image quality of the various smartphone cameras in the comments.

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  • Do you think it possible that the test could be redone please but this time taking proper control photographs. This should include a proper test card which includes circles, straight lines, and curves which should be black on a white background. These should first be drawn on to an acetate sheet so that the control cannot be out of focus. The black circles of the test card would be used to check for barrel distortion and chromatic aberration. It should also include a test sheet of recognised ISO colours which should also be published so that a true comparison can be made. A simple shot of a building taken from exactly the same position at varying degrees of zoom would show up any flaws in the zoom quality, but the different amount of zoom must be, as near as possible, the same for all cameras. The exposure should be left to the phone's and the results should not have any post shoot manipulation. My personal test card I made up from when I was driving rally cars and one of the navigation aids used already has many of the features needed.

  • This is not a good test because I think alot of voters will read the article hastily and only look at the first picture. I after looking through each gallery I could rule out 3 cameras instantly and some of those have a really high percentage.

  • When are the results coming out...? Now it's been more than a week. Bring the results out ..

  • The main problem with any Android / ios mobile camera isn't the quality of the photo produced, it's still down to brand loyalty.
    I personally use a Z5 Premium (Sony) which really does take some awesome quality pics in 4K, but my daughters use iphone 5c's and claim that their photo's are the proverbial mutts nuts, even on an identical subject, they love to use the excuse "you're old so you're eyesight isn't that good any more"
    (I had the LG G4 before this Z5, and the quality of the pics taken was also very high)
    People will only see what they wish to see, and in today's age, people will believe that it's brands that take the better pics, not the actual camera module inside.
    As P. Manders states above in another post, most images are viewed on relatively low res pc/laptop/mobile device screens, so having an all singing, all dancing 4K camera won't do the pic any justice at all.

  • I hope that all your voters know what to look for in a good photo.

    • Do you Nichola. ? For example, what causes chromatic aberration or the moire effect. Without looking on the internet for the answer.I have to say that I get extremely angry with many of the, mainly youngsters, who have the nerve to call themselves photographers but don't have a clue about what they are doing. As an example, recently my nephew got married, the bride's farther knew somebody who was a professional photographer. He took 1,500 images and charged £4,000 for the job and all they ended up with was a dvd with all the images on, which they could only look at on a laptop/pc. I have ended up sorting the album out and making the, very mediocre images, into something resembling wedding pictures. These people have no right to call themselves photographers.

  • Who ever took the photos did a terrible job! some pics aren't even in focus properly..

  • Sorry to disagree with Dean L The colours are not washed neither are the highlight's burnt with camera "A" I think it's poor image reproduction that's causing the problem. I think the whole test should have been carried out with a proper test card which would have given a fairer result. Oh by the way I am a retired professional who still privately prefers film!

  • I'm not voting, as all of the pictures seem equally bad and also you have not included the OnePlus 3 in the test!

  • So I to carefully reviewed all of the pics and was surprised to see that A received so many votes when the highlights are blown and low light pics have less detail and colors seem washed out. But hey, everybody has their own opinion. Just saying.

  • D

  • How do you not include the LG4?

  • I would have liked to see the LG-V20 in the running. BTW I looked carefully at all 5 pix before voting.

    Deactivated Account

  • You definitely need to go through all the pictures. You can tell the focal points were different as well, which made it a bit difficult for comparison. The small changes in position and center of focus can really throw off the picture.

  • You appear to have left out the Motorola moto z play. there is a camera available for this which has been designed and made by Hasselblad, for those who don't know the Hass. this is without question one of the top, if not THE top manufacturer in the world. There latest digital starts at around £34,000.00 for the body only.

    • Hi Peter,
      obviously we didn't include the Hasselblad True Zoom as it would have been unfair. We really wanted to have a look at normal smartphone cameras, not a add-on camera for $300 extra ;)

    • Every review I've seen of the Hasselblad mod has said that it's pretty disappointing, especially when you take its price into consideration.

      • Yes, I agree the reviews are not great but that's mainly with personal preferences like over sensitive shutter. As yet no one has posted any images or real test results, those are the important things. I look forward to seeing those.

  • I guess ppl r voting for A option in haste and not watching the sample pictures to select phone.. So I think sample A is needlessly getting more votes... Buy the way I've voted but will wait till next week to see who is the winner & I'll notify my vote next week. . Thanks andriodPit

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