iPhones were long believed to have the best cameras in smartphones. However, in recent years, that position has been challenged by the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC with their flagship smartphones sporting better hardware camera specs than the latest iPhone available at that time. And then Google absolutely ripped apart the competition with its Google Pixel last year and its computational photography tricks. This year, with the Google Pixel 2, the company seems to have taken things to a different level altogether.
Apple was also not sitting on its past laurels all this time and ships the iPhone X with an improved dual-camera setup compared to even the iPhone 8 Plus from this year. On paper, the key camera specifications of the iPhone X camera might seem the same as last year but there are key improvements which allow the handset to capture photos with better dynamic range and details. Plus, the secondary 12MP telephoto lens now has OIS and features a wider f/2.4 aperture which greatly improves its performance.
Nonetheless, despite these improvements and its hefty $999 price tag, the camera performance of the iPhone X lags behind that of the Google Pixel 2. Worse, its even behind that of HTC U11 if one goes by this comparison from The Verge. The Pixel 2 and the HTC U11 consistently managed to capture better photos than the iPhone X in low-light, with Apple’s $999 smartphone coming in at third position almost always.
It was only in daylight that the iPhone X managed to give some competition to the Pixel 2 and the HTC U11 but then, the primary difference between the photos taken from all phones boiled down to their color reproduction. As a solace for iPhone X owners, the handset did manage to outperform the Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30, both of which pack far superior camera hardware on paper.
In broad daylight, things are also close. The iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL capture about the same amount of fine detail, with the U11 at their heels, while the Note 8 and the V30 are a bit behind again.
Even in Portrait mode comparison, the Pixel 2 managed to beat the iPhone X and that is despite using only a single sensor at the rear. Portrait photos taken from the iPhone X do have better transitional blur thanks to the depth information captured by the dual-camera setup, but its edge detection falls behind that of the Pixel 2. The Galaxy Note 8, which has the same secondary telephoto lens at the rear as the iPhone X, does far worse in terms of detail and overall image quality.
The iPhone X also failed to beat the Pixel 2’s front camera in the comparison. The difference is not that staggering, but as per The Verge, the Pixel 2 “repeatedly produced the most crisp, most well-balanced photos from the selfie camera, with impressive dynamic range and accurate color reproduction.” As for the iPhone X, it captured great selfies in muted light and challenging situations with more details and better color reproduction.
The secondary telephoto lens on the iPhone X is more useful than given credit for, and this is the area where it edges out the Pixel 2 and its competitors. The 2x optical zoom will allow one to capture photos with a new angle and perspective which is simply not possible on the Pixel 2.
The iPhone X also falls behind in terms of camera app launching speed which can be crucial in many scenarios. While on the Pixel 2, Galaxy Note 8 and HTC U11, one can launch the camera app by double-pressing the power key, the iPhone X requires one to swipe open the camera app from the lock screen — a far slower process.
Overall, The Verge crowns the Google Pixel 2 XL as having the best camera thanks to its consistent performance, with the iPhone X coming in second. It managed to beat the HTC U11, which performed better in most of the scenarios, thanks to it being a better overall package. HTC’s camera app lags behind that of Apple and the lack of a secondary telephoto lens and a Portrait mode don’t help things either.
When you pay $999 for a smartphone, you’d expect it to be the absolute best in every department. Sure, the iPhone X did not perform below par in the camera comparison but then it did not win any awards either. This also shows that Apple has been far surpassed by Google and even HTC in the camera department and its time for the Cupertino company to put in some serious efforts to make sure iPhones are once again the king when it comes to smartphone cameras.
Do make sure to head over to the source link below to read the complete camera comparison between the iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30 and the HTC U11.
[Via The Verge]