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44,000 Votes Have Spoken: This Smartphone Has the Best Camera

nextpit Camera Comparison iPhone 15 Pro Max Galaxy S23 Ultra Pixel 8 Pro Xiaomi 13 Ultra Winner
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Which smartphone has the best camera? We asked you this very question, with a total of 52 sample photos for you to choose from. Divided into 13 scenes, you voted on which smartphone camera captured the best-looking photos: is it the Google Pixel 8 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Galaxy S23 Ultra, or Xiaomi 13 Ultra? After exactly 43,519 votes, we had a winner, and the result was very close!

First: How did the blind test work in the first place? We photographed 13 scenes using four different smartphones. We then presented all the images to you in our poll and asked you which photos you liked best. Since this was a blind test, we didn't tell you which photo was captured using which smartphone. After all, we wanted you to vote without bias!

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Xiaomi 13 Ultra, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Google Pixel 8 Pro
In the nextpit camera blind test, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Xiaomi 13 Ultra, iPhone 15 Pro Max and Google Pixel 8 Pro competed against each other! / © nextpit

We then awarded points across all 13 scenes. If a smartphone takes first place in a certain scene, it gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place one point, and last place, zero points.

Further down in the article, we also present you with two alternative evaluation options that might even tilt the result! Of course, we'll also show you all the photos used in the votes, and this time we'll reveal which photo came from which smartphone.

Note that this vote was not only on, but also on our French and German domains. It is here you can see all four candidates with their technical specifications at a glance:

All four blind test candidates in the camera comparison
Image Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Product Image Google Pixel 8 Pro Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Product Image Xiaomi 13 Ultra Product Image
Not yet reviewed
iPhone 15 Pro Max hands-on
Pixel 8 Pro review
Galaxy S23 Ultra review
Xiaomi 13 Ultra review
Main camera
  • 48 MP
    24 mm
    f/1.78 aperture
    1/1.28'' sensor
  • 50 MP
    23 mm
    f/1.68 aperture
    1/1.31'' sensor
  • 200 MP
    24 mm
    f/1.7 aperture
    1/1.3'' sensor
  • 50 MP
    23 mm
    f/1.9~4.0 aperture
    1/1'' sensor
Ultra-wide angle camera
  • 12 MP
    13 mm (0.54x)
    f/2.2 aperture
    120° field of view
  • 48 MP
    f/1.95 aperture
    125.5° field of view
  • 12 MP
    13 mm (0.54x)
    f/2.2 aperture
    120° field of view
  • 50 MP
    12 mm
    f/1.8 aperture
    122° field of view
Telephoto lens camera
  • 12 MP
    120 mm (5x)
    f/2.8 aperture
    1/3.06'' sensor
  • 48 MP
    113 mm (5x)
    f/2.8 aperture
  • 10 MP
    70 mm (3x)
    f/2.4 aperture
    1/3.52'' sensor
  • 10 MP
    230 mm (10x)
    f/4.9 aperture
    1/3.52'' sensor
  • 50 MP
    75 mm (3.2x)
    f/1.8 aperture
  • 50 MP
    120 mm (5.2x)
    f/3.0 aperture
Selfie camera
  • 12 MP
    23 mm
    f/1.9 aperture
  • 10.5 MP
    20 mm
    f/2.2 aperture
  • 12 MP
    26 mm
    f/2.2 aperture '
  • 32 MP
    22 mm
    f/2.0 aperture
Price comparison

The final result from the camera blind test:

  • 1st place: Google Pixel 8 Pro (27 points)
  • 2nd place: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (24 points)
  • 3rd place: Xiaomi 13 Ultra (14 points)
  • 4th place: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max (13 points)

A few more notes at this point: We reset all smartphones and their camera apps to factory settings for the blind test. We activated the default color profile "Leica Vivid" in the Xiaomi 13 Ultra. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was already running the beta version of One UI 6 based on Android 14.

Another picture of the Google Pixel 8 Pro camera module.
Google can convince everyone with its triple camera in the Pro model this year. / © nextpit

Alternative evaluation method: Samsung wins!

We opted for the points system in the standard evaluation, as this compensates for individual outliers. Thus, a smartphone that scored extremely poorly or extremely well in a single scene is not overly favored or disadvantaged. Of course, we don't want to deprive you of another evaluation method.

For example, if we were to count all the votes cast, the result looks like this, and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra suddenly takes first place with a razor-thin 108 majority.

  • 1st place: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 13,222 votes
  • 2nd place: Google Pixel 8 Pro: 13,114 votes
  • 3rd place: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: 9,325 votes
  • 4th place: Xiaomi 13 Ultra: 7,858 votes

The iPhone 15 Pro also ended up significantly further ahead according to this evaluation method, namely in third place. The main reason for this change of place is the Xiaomi 13 Ultra's extremely aggressive portrait mode with the factory settings enabled, which met very little approval from the nextpit community.

Resolution: All sample photos at a glance

As promised, here is finally the resolution, where you can take another look at all the sample photos from the four smartphones.

Scene 1: artificial light, main camera (1x)

Our first scene directly reflects the final result in terms of points: Google wins with 50% of the votes, ahead of Samsung (36%). Xiaomi and Apple are clearly behind with just over 7 percent.

Scene  2: Artificial light, 2x zoom

Similar order, different result: Google and Samsung are also ahead in the artificial light photo with 2x zoom with 41 and 37 percent, respectively, followed by some distance by Apple and then Xiaomi with 17 and 6 percent, respectively.

Scene 3: Portrait in daylight, 3x zoom

Almost half of all nextpit users (48 percent) found the Samsung portrait to be the best of the lot. It is followed by the iPhone 15 Pro Max and then the Pixel 8 Pro with 26 and 22 percent, respectively. The softly drawn look of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, on the other hand, is downright punished with only 4 percent.

Scene 4: Portrait in dim light, 3x zoom

Samsung once again wins the portrait comparison in poor light conditions, this time even more clearly, with 57 percent. It is followed by the Pixel and then the iPhone with 25 and 17 percent, respectively. Xiaomi gets a 1 percent hit here, with just 43 nextpit users enthusiastic about the softly rendered picture.

Scene 5: Night, ultra-wide angle

Night scenes? Apple can do that. 51 percent of nextpit users chose the photo from the iPhone 15 Pro Max as their favorite here. The Pixel 8 Pro garnered just half as many votes (26 percent), while the S23 Ultra and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra clearly lagged behind with 17 and 5 percent, respectively.

Scene 6: Night, main camera (1x)

It's really close in this night scene: All four smartphones scored between 21 and 30 percent of the votes. The order stands like this: Xiaomi 13 Ultra, Galaxy S23 Ultra, Pixel 8 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Scene 7: Night, 2x zoom

When it comes to 2x zoom at night, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra apparently wins with its huge 1-inch sensor: Exactly half of all nextpit readers choose the China smartphone here. Google and Samsung are almost on par with 19 percent each, while Apple was left empty-handed with 12 percent.

Scene 8: Night, 5x zoom

All smartphones except the Galaxy S23 Ultra have a native 5x zoom on board, but is that also reflected in the result? Yes: Samsung landed in last place with 7 percent of the votes. On the podium here is Google (44 percent), followed by Xiaomi and Apple with 38 and 11 percent, respectively.

Scene 9: Daylight, ultra-wide angle

Apple came out on top with this atmospheric scene: 43 percent of the votes here were for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Samsung followed with 22 percent, while Google and Xiaomi shared honors at 17 percent each, whereby the Pixel 8 Pro has a razor-thin advantage with exactly 20 votes more.

Scene 10: Daylight, 1x zoom

Daylight and main camera: All smartphones performed well here, and the result was quite balanced. The S23 Ultra is in first place with 33 percent, followed by the Pixel 8 Pro (29 percent), iPhone 15 Pro Max (19 percent) and Xiaomi 13 Ultra (18 percent).

Scene 11: Daylight, 3x zoom

The 3x zoom should favor Samsung, which it actually did! 32 percent of readers voted for the S23 Ultra. The rest of the podium finish went to the Xiaomi 13 Ultra (armed with a 3x zoom as well) followed by the Pixel 8 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. With 24, 23, and 20 percent of the votes respectively, the race is very tight here.

Subject 12: Daylight, 5x zoom

When it comes to 5x zoom, the Pixel 8 Pro and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra split gold and silver between them with 29 and 28 percent, respectively. 22 percent of nextpit readers voted for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, while Samsung landed in last place with 20 percent of the votes. The South Koreans were also disadvantaged here due to the lack of an optical 5x zoom.

Scene 13: Daylight, 10x zoom

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the only smartphone with a 10x optical zoom, and it still only managed to take second place with 32 percent. 39 percent of nextpit readers were convinced by the Pixel 8 Pro with its photo of the TV tower. Bronze goes to Xiaomi with 21 percent of the votes, while Apple took home nothing with 15 percent of the votes.

How would you have voted? Does the opinion of the general nextpit readership reflect your opinion? I look forward to your opinion in the comments!

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Image Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Product Image Apple iPhone 15 Pro Product Image Google Pixel 8 Pro Product Image Google Pixel 7a Product Image OnePlus Open product image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Review: Apple iPhone 15 Pro
Review: Google Pixel 8 Pro
Review: Google Pixel 7a
Review: OnePlus Open
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
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Go to comment (3)
Stefan Möllenhoff

Stefan Möllenhoff
Head of Content Production

I have been writing about technology since 2004 with a strong passion for smartphones, photography, and IoT, especially in the world of smart homes and AI ever since they debuted. I'm also an avid cook and bake pizza at least three times a week using my Ooni Koda 16. In order to compensate for all the consumed calories, I indulge in sporting activities on a daily basis while strapping on at least two fitness trackers. I am strongly convinced that you can DIY a lot of things if you put your mind to it - including a photovoltaic system and power station.

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  • Roberta Graves 1
    Roberta Graves 5 months ago Link to comment

    What do you think about Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Apple iPhone 15 Pro

  • Douglas Charles Cunha 41
    Douglas Charles Cunha 5 months ago Link to comment

    Iphone is just propaganda.
    Iphone é só propaganda mesmo.

    Damian LesiukCamila Rinaldi

    • Jade Bryan 14
      Jade Bryan 5 months ago Link to comment

      Looking at those shots and the results, I think Apple has substantially improved the cameras on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, particularly on portrait and HDR. But in practice, preferences in camera phones are mostly subjective though.

      Camila Rinaldi

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