Requirements for the camera test
Using each smartphone, we photographed different scenarios and prepared the pictures for you in the article below. The special thing about such a blind test is this: We won't tell you from which smartphone which photo was taken. This would force you to vote without having any prior information about the device concerning the picture which you like best in order to reduce any kind of potential bias. In exactly one week from now, we will present you with the results where you will then be able to find out which particular smartphone that has collected the most points overall from the readers based on their votes.
In order to ensure equal opportunity for all the photograph samples, we captured photos using all of the smartphones in the way where most users probably will: using the factory settings and with automatic settings turned on, unless explicitly noted for the respective subject. We photographed each subject three times with each smartphone and selected the best picture from each attempt in order to prevent downward outliers due to accidental shaking or an unreproducible bug.
To the specifications sheet buffs out there: We have cropped the images slightly in some places so that the identity of the smartphones will not be given away by slight differences in the focal length. With a click on a photo, you are able to view the image in maximum resolution.
1. Indoor shots under artificial light
Whether in trendy cafés or at home: Edison light bulbs are virtually everywhere. Offering enough warm light, however, these bulbs are guaranteed to put the white balance of any camera to the sword. It makes sense then that all smartphones had a pretty tough time in our blind test where light bulbs are concerned. By the way, when it involves the kitchen in the background, lamps with daylight temperature were used.
Comparison pictures: Indoor recording under artificial light
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2. Portrait under daylight, 2x zoom
Portrait photos are probably one of the most common uses for smartphones - and hence it should not be missing in our blind test. In addition to obtaining the correct reproduction of skin tones, the very bright background also proved to be a challenge with this environment.
Comparison pictures: Portrait under daylight, 2x zoom
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3. 10x zoom, daylight
"What, only 10x?" A hybrid zoom of at least 30x is already part of the standard repertoire of current flagships. But can smartphones even come close to fulfilling their bold promises? We are curious to see which particular photo you end up choosing for our 10x zoom test subject.
Comparison pictures: Blackberries under daylight, 10x zoom
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4. Night shots with Night Mode
As much as though it felt like magic on the first few Huawei smartphones that offered Night Mode, the Night Mode with hands-free multi-second exposures happen to be part of the standard repertoire of current flagships. We have selected dedicated Night Mode shots five times, picking on the same subject every single time for consistency.
Comparison pictures: Night shot with Night Mode
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5. night shot without night mode
Moving subjects are not suitable for dedicated night mode - and often you don't have the time or inclination to focus on any subject for ten seconds. That's why we shot a subject in the dark with the normal photo mode.
Comparison pictures: Night scene without Night Mode
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6. Ultra-wide-angle in daylight
While the ultra-wide-angle lens was once a unique selling point of LG smartphones, in 2020 it also happened to be part of a decent handset's camera collection. In comparison to the main cameras, however, the sensors installed here tend to be neglected by the manufacturers. Therefore we want to challenge the image quality of the ultra-wide-angle modules at this point.
One point to take note of here: The picture angles of the ultra-wide-angle modules differ significantly from one manufacturer to another manufacturer. In order not to give the game away on which particular smartphones participated in this test, we had to crop the photos down to the smallest common denominator.
Comparison pictures: Ultra-wide-angle in daylight
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7. Selfies in daylight
This one's for you, Instagram generation. The selfie cameras on smartphones should also have a place in our blind test. Unfortunately in this scenario, it was not easy to keep the same position for both the camera and myself. But I think that the results are still good enough for comparison.
What do you think of this blind test? Would you like more scenarios or situations? Or other types of smartphones apart from the ones listed here, although that would make voting more complicated? We look forward to your feedback in the comments and your vote in the following survey.