According to a report by the statistics portal Statista, 86 percent of smartphone buyers consider the camera to play an important role in their purchasing decision. In our camera blind test, we showed you photos from current flagship smartphones and let you vote which shots were best - without telling you beforehand which picture comes from which device. And the result blew our minds.
Expectations were relatively clear: the Google Pixel 4 XL, Apple iPhone 11 Pro, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, OnePlus 7T Pro and the Realme X2 Pro are in a close race with each other. The result of our smartphone camera blind test is was incredible in its lack of a clear advantage for the traditional champions of smartphone cameras.
- 1st place, 20 points: OnePlus 7T Pro
- 2nd place, 19 points: Realme X2 Pro
- 3rd place, 18 points: Apple iPhone 11 Pro
- 3rd place, 18 points: Google Pixel 4 XL
- 3rd place, 18 points: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
- 6th place, 15 points: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
"What the fuck?", you're certainly not the only one asking that question.
Are all smartphone cameras good enough these days?
What does this result mean now? Do AndroidPIT readers have tomatoes in their eyes? Or is Realme's budget flagship, which costs around 400 euros, taking the complex algorithms of Google & Co. to absurdity? I think the reason for this result lies elsewhere.
While our blind tests in recent years have mostly had very clear and predictable results, this time it was very close. In the autumn of 2019 there are fewer differences, the level is now simply very high across the board. The OnePlus smartphones, which have been notoriously weak in recent years (especially when it comes to night shots), have made noticeable progress during the jump from the 6-series to the 7-series.
A second aspect is the diversity of current camera smartphones: there are the special night and portrait modes and the ultrawide-angle and telephoto cameras. In each discipline you have chosen a different winner. In terms of hardware, the Pixel 4 XL with only two cameras is almost exotic.
And this is exactly how I interpret the result. Just like full-grown digital cameras, smartphone cameras are now so versatile with individual strengths and weaknesses that it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose a clear overall winner. Therefore I would like to encourage you to form your own judgment appropriate to your photographic preferences.
Below you can see all photos with the resolutions and the results of the voting.
Scenario 1: Portrait photo
Bokeh FTW? The Google Pixel 4 XL has clearly won here with clear contrasts, beautiful colors and a soft background. The Realme X2 Pro is in 2nd place, which can't zoom in portrait mode - did the actually more unfavorable picture angle possibly play a role in the vote here?
Comparative pictures: portrait
|Google Pixel 4 XL, 32%, 1st place||OnePlus 7T Pro, 19%, 3rd place|
|Huawei Mate 30 Pro, 11%, 4th place||Samsung Galaxy Note10+, 6%, Place 6|
|Realme X2 Pro, 22%, 2nd place||Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 10%, 5th place|
Scenario 2: High contrast image
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ clearly wins in backlight HDR - with the strongest HDR effect. No other smartphone gets more detail in the sky, and no other smartphone brightens the underground as much. Second and third place go to the Realme X2 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro, which also work strongly against the extreme contrast.
Comparative pictures: high contrast image
|Samsung Galaxy Note10+, 43%, 1st place||Realme X2 Pro, 16%, 2nd place|
|Huawei Mate 30 Pro, 7%, 6th place||Google Pixel 4 XL, 8%, 5th place|
|Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 16%, 2nd place||OnePlus 7T Pro, 9%, 4th place|
Scenario 3: Telezoom photo 5x
In the telephoto zoom shots, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro and Google Pixel 4 XL win. The detail rendition is very good, but the balanced exposure and the pleasant color rendition were probably more important. In general, however, the outcome of the vote on this motif was very close.
Comparative pictures: Telephoto zoom photo 5x
|Huawei Mate 30 Pro, 27%, 1st place||Google Pixel 4 XL, 19%, 2nd place|
|OnePlus 7T Pro, 15%, 3rd place||Realme X2 Pro, 15%, 3rd place|
|Samsung Galaxy Note10+, 11%, 6th place||Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 12%, 5th place|
Scenario 4: Night scene
Five smartphones deliver a detailed night photo, only the Realme X2 Pro drops significantly. The smartphone newcomer obviously has some catching up to do here. You scored the OnePlus 7T Pro, the Galaxy Note 10+ and the Pixel 4 XL with warm colors and clear contrasts. The detailed, but pale-looking photo of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro was clearly punished.
Comparative pictures: night shot
|OnePlus 7T Pro, 39%, 1st place||Huawei Mate 30 Pro, 4%, 5th place|
|Samsung Galaxy Note10+, 23%, 2nd place||Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 11%, 4th place|
|Google Pixel 4 XL, 19%, 3rd place||Realme X2 Pro, 3%, Place 6|
Scenario 5: Ultrawide-angle
Granted: the Pixel 4 XL was doomed to fail here. Therefore, we would like to explicitly point out again that without the fifth scenario, the Google smartphone would have been at the top of the podium with the OnePlus 7T Pro. The iPhone 11 Pro and the Galaxy Note 10+ can score points in the ultrawide-angle test, both of which clearly bring the most detail to the photo.
Comparative pictures: ultrawide-angle
|Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 43%, 1st place||Realme X2 Pro, 13%, 3rd place|
|Google Pixel 4 XL, 1%, 6th place||Samsung Galaxy Note10+, 27%, 2nd place|
|OnePlus 7T Pro, 8%, 4th place||Huawei Mate 30 Pro, 8%, 4th place|
For the sake of completeness: in the votes in this camera blind test article on the individual photos, 1st place always received six points, 2nd place five points, and so on until the last place with only one point. If two devices achieved the same percentage value in the vote and thus the same place, the next place in the evaluation was omitted in each case. Then we added the scores over the five scenarios and came to the above result. The time of the evaluation was November 5 at 10:15 am.
And how about for you?
What is your personal winner now that you know the assignments to the photos? Do you agree with the overall result or do you perhaps even have a completely different interpretation? I am looking forward to your comments!