Pixel 4, iPhone 11 Pro, Note 10 Plus, OnePlus 7T | Camera Shootout

by birtanpublished on May 21, 2021

With the pixel for announced now it's time to look again for the best smartphone camera so we put the pixel for excel against the oneplus 70 the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 pro max which one's gonna win let's take a look I'm not gonna go into the full specs of the phones but you can read the full story below for more information as well as a closer look at some of those pictures and I just wanted to say photography is subjective so a lot of the photos that I'm talking about that are my favorites are exactly that those are my favourite photos you might have different favorites and that's totally okay

Smartphone photography is so good now that we're sort of nitpicking at some of those details especially with these flagships from all these companies so again you might have different tastes to what photos you like more and so the outcomes might not exactly match up with what you like we're first starting an Astra place in New York City and looking at the cube also called the Alamo all these photos aren't drastically different the pixel four has far too much grain throughout and it's the one photo where you can see the underside of the cube the least I do like its sky the

Best though sadly the iPhone 11 pro photo isn't a great shot the sky is simply too overexposed and I'd take the pixels photo over it the oneplus 70 shot is quite good but look around the edges and you can notice a bit of distortion look at the windowpanes behind the cube where it says Astra Place and you'll see they're sitting at a slight angle unlike the frames on the other photo it's strange the photo is also a little too warm even the sky has a reddish hue which definitely wasn't the case in real life

That leaves the Samsung Galaxy Note templates in the top slot it has nice colors and although the sky isn't as good as the one on the pixel for photo it manages to keep it under control while keeping the rest of the shot well exposed now one of the key features of the pixel 4 is its ability to enhance digitally zoomed in photo it's a feature called super resume that debuted on the pixel 3 last year but it's getting even better on the pixel 4 so I decided why not do a little bit of digital zooming on all these phones to see how they measure up these pictures were all

Captured at around the 5 x digital zoom range what I like most about the pixel photo is how it looks the least sharpened or processed the I phone comes close but the leaves aren't as pleasing to look at and the colors are a little greenish overall the Samsung shot lags behind as its details look fuzzy if you zoom in close to the statues head that leaves us with the oneplus and the pixel photo but look at the leaves to the left of the statue on the bond plus shot and it looks heavily sharpened I also prefer the building's color in the pixel shot netting it the

Narrow wind here here's another look at testing that digital zoom you can see that pixel fours photo is the clearest not just with the pillars but also with the branches and leaves in the foreground all that looks like an afterthought on all the other phones the iPhone comes dead last as it's too pixelated and next is Samsung 4 lacking a lot of detail oneplus isn't far behind here but it lacks depth and the overall photo is a little on the overexposed side it's another win for the pixel 4 XL one thing that is common in all these phones is two times optical zoom it's a

New lens that Google added on the pixel 4 but it's something that all these other phones have had for some time so Google is catching up here let's see how it fares these photos are on the cafe in Astor Place and they're not too dissimilar across the board but we can firmly put the oneplus 70 dead last the photo is completely flat almost as though someone cranked black levels all the way to non-existent it's not visually pleasing at all I'm also next cutting the Samsung Note 10 Plus out of the competition because the two girls skin tones are far too

Bright as is the girls hoodie which almost looks like it's glowing the latter two will come down to personal preference I think the pixel photo delivers the most natural skin tones here over the iPhone 11 Pro and I prefer the darker more brown color of the structure instead of the warmer version zoom all the way in and you'll see less grain on the interior of the building in the pixel four shot giving it the narrow win on a technical level but I'd be more than happy if I use the iPhones photo for an Instagram post for example first

Huff you have no idea how hard it is to get a dog to sit still on a bench took me a while to take these shots but I think they came out pretty well right off the bat we can cross off the oneplus 70 again while it's a cute photo and it's not that bad at all my dog's face isn't quite sharp and the whole image looks a bit flat the iPhone does the best job of accurately outlining my dog's body and applying this bouquet effect Samsung's phone comes second and the pixel phone comes very close I really like this shot but it does mess up a part between my dog's right leg and

His body zoom in all the way though and the Samsung and iPhone photos are slightly sharper the iPhones photo is brighter warmer and has a natural blur effect that trails off towards the bottom of my dog's body it's almost perfect and the bouquet effect is surprisingly strong the note 10 plus comes very close here and I do think it does a better job with white balance but it just doesn't quite reach the level of the iPhone let's turn the camera around and snap a selfie but let's use portrait mode instead of the normal mode mostly because well let's give a bit of a

Challenge here there are two stand outs the iPhone 11 pro and the pixel for excel while I think the oneplus 70 does a wonderful job with HDR the colors are a little too bright and lack a lot of contrast look closely at my face and you can see it's not quite in focus either the note 10 + snaps a great shot with solid detail and great HDR but it's also lacking a bit of that contrast now take a look at the pixel and iPhone photos and the detail on my face looks fantastic I think the pixel wins out here for its better HDR though I still like the skies on the Samsung on oneplus

Photos but I also prefer my skin color on the pixel image as it looks a little more natural all these cameras will take great photos of food but I wanted to do something a little more challenging so I sat in a restaurant with a red light it was coming from a heat lamp and it was shining all over my food in real life it didn't look like what some of these photos do look like and there's a clear winner that's the iPhone 11 Pro max the iPhone manages to keep each food item looking distinct and even manages to maintain the color of the surrounding area look at all the other photos and

You'll see that everything is sort of just red all throughout the Samsung shot is so red the food looks as though it's blending into each other and the oneplus photo isn't detailed as the pixel for shot the latter is still a little to read throughout using nitesite mode on the pixel 4 I was able to achieve a look similar to the iPhone but that technically was just so that I could see what I could do and we're not counting that here all right let's turn down the lights but let's not use dedicated night modes

Just yet these are all photos taken with the normal camera in low-light conditions I like all these photos but I am partial to the pixel forest photo as it has the least grain especially compared to the iPhone and oneplus photos and it's also the most detailed I love the color of the rails as it's a much deeper red hue compared to the rails on the other shots the iPhone 11 pro's photo is my next favorite though there's a little too much of a yellow tone and while I think that the one flash shot is a little more detailed than the note 10 plusses photo the

Colors look muted and flat here's another test with the normal camera at night this one was a little bit of a tough one I initially awarded the wind to the oneplus 70 because it kind of lit up the whole photo really well but look closely at the brickwork of the building in the center the same applies to the pixel and the Samsung photos they're all a bit of a blotchy mess the only photo that has the most detail in this brickwork is from the iPhone 11 Pro but you can see that it is also the darkest photo and the lot that being said I think I would still take

The iPhones detail and maybe just brighten it up in post and use that instead of going with any of the other shots now let's flick that night mode on you can't go wrong with any of these photos all these were captured using each phone's dedicated night mode if you want the most natural look the iPhone delivers the most detailed though is from the pixel for look at the trees in the distance and even at the grass at the foot of the building on the left it's much clearer than on the other photos the oneplus doesn't perform the best here with the least detail and

Slightly off colors it's still a good shot though I have no qualms about the Samsung photo but it doesn't have as much detail as the pixel for photo I'm largely giving the win here into the pixel 4 because it does have the best detail but that's only something you'll notice you zoom all the way in I don't think most people are gonna do that so honestly all of these photos are pretty good interesting tidbit if you choose the optical lens on any of these phones only two will let you use the dedicated night mode the iPhone and the oneplus

Phones don't let you use night mode when you're choosing that telephoto lens the Samsung phone does let you use night mode with the telephoto and so does the pixel four except I'm not really sure if the pixel four is ultimately using that telephoto lens here's what they look like first off let's write off the oneplus 70 it produces an awful tone and it's blurry next is Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 the Google pixel force photo has significantly less grain than the iPhone 11 pros photo but these two are among the few that aren't actually blurry the

Bridge in real life wasn't as yellow as on the iPhone but it also wasn't as white as the pixels photo you can make an argument for ambiance here but based on the sharper details found on the pixel force photo and the fact that I think it looks a little more pleasing it gets the win again you can always edit it to make it a little more warmer if that's what you prefer let's go back to portrait mode but in low-light it often doesn't really work that well for a lot of these phones surprisingly the results here are pretty good I post these four photos on my Twitter account without

Telling people which phones they came from and I did a poll to see which one people liked the best well the pixel four won in a landslide and I agree why it does a fantastic job of capturing all the hairs of my dog and manages to apply the blur effect almost perfectly it also exposes him pretty well without looking too grainy the iPhone 11 pros photo comes next even though it's super dark and my dog is a little grainy that's because the blur effect is really good and my dog is still very much in focus it's easy to simply brighten this shot up and it'll

Looked excellent oneplus comes third because sadly my dog is out of focus and I'm not a fan of Samsung's photo at all sure my dog is the brightest here compared to any other shot but it completely loses the ambiance of the scene over exposes the back around and doesn't retain much detail in my dog's fur let's flip that camera once again to take a selfie this time in low light but let's still use that portrait mode honestly none of these phones fared that well here in this portrait mode low light test on the Williamsburg Bridge it's clear Apple is dead last it's a

Fuzzy mess with not-so-great colors though the blur effect is really strong and accurate the other three photos have similar levels of detail but I have to go with the Samsung photo because it delivers pleasing colors I do like one plusses photo I think my face has an ideal amount of contrast here but the blur effect is really weak the pixel for it goes a little too hard with the harsh yellow tones and it also completely messes up my hair when you're looking at the night mode version only Samsung and Google support it so comparing them both I ended up liking the Google one because

It has the most detail oh and one more thing I didn't include an ultra wide category in here but three of these phones do have an ultra wide lens and that is something definitely you should consider if you are looking for a phone with an ultra wide camera the pixel 4 does not have one which is a bit of a shame definitely makes the other phones a little more versatile and these are the types of photos that you can expect with these phones I didn't talk about video here that's a whole other category to talk about but in general I think if you're gonna buy a phone looking for the

Best video capabilities you should go with the iPhone 11 Pro it's pretty much the undisputed king in videography on a cell phone next is probably the Samsung Galaxy Note tempest but I'm actually liking some of the videos I've been taking with the pixel 4 specifically in 1080p I haven't really tested out the oneplus 70s video capabilities yet but if you guys really want a video let us know and we will try and do one if you tally up all the results the pixel 4 comes in first with the most wins then the iPhone and then Samsung and then oneplus but I think everything is a

Little more nuanced than that I think a lot of the photos that I like might not be ones that you liked and so for you the results might look different I think there's one thing you can say for sure though is that the iPhone and the pixel are definitely a step above the rest thanks for watching everyone which camera phone took your favorite photos let us know in the comments and I picked something that you didn't like please don't be mean about it as always like subscribe and head to Digital Trends calm for more

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