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Photo battle between the iPhone XS and Android flagships might surprise you

Published Apr 12th, 2019 8:40AM EDT
iPhone Vs Samsung
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Over the past few years, the gap between the iPhone and Android flagships has narrowed considerably. Whereas Android manufacturers used to scramble to copy any and every feature introduced by new iPhone models, the dynamic today has shifted quite a bit. These days, some Android devices boast features that are so compelling that it leaves Apple in the unfamiliar position of playing catch-up.

As a prime example, the ability for devices like the Google Pixel and the Huawei P30 Pro to capture photos in extremely low-light environments unequivocally puts the iPhone to shame. The P30 Pro in particular is so adept at capturing detail in dark environments that it seemingly borders on magic.

With that said, it’s far too early to be hoisting the mobile photography crown on the P30 Pro. After all, taking photographs in low-light environments is simply one of many metrics to compare smartphone cameras by. Arguably, the ability to capture stunning photos in decent to well-lit environments is a more instructive yardstick given that that’s where most photos tend to be taken.

In light of that, the folks over at PhoneArena recently decided to pit the iPhone XS against the P30 Pro and the Galaxy S10+ in an effort to see which flagship devices takes the best photos in regular daytime environments. The methodology was interesting insofar that PhoneArena took photos with the three aforementioned cameras and posted them online, without any identifying information of course, for users to vote on.

And when the dust settled, Apple’s iPhone XS emerged victorious. What’s particularly interesting about the results is that the Huawei P30 Pro got absolutely trounced by both the iPhone XS and Galaxy S10+. In fact, the Huawei P30 Pro didn’t win any single round of the contest.

PhoneArena notes:

The important takeaway is the very low score that the Huawei P30 Pro got: often, it got less than 10% of the votes, which really shows that pictures that it produces are not nearly as likable as the ones from the Galaxy and the iPhone. In other words, we do have a winner, but the bigger news is that the loser was so far behind.

While many analysts have called the Huawei P30 Pro the best camera ever, these results show that the reality is not quite as simple.

It’s an important point and certainly something to keep in mind when evaluating what a given smartphone camera can do.

You can check out a full overview of the photos used in the test over here. Suffice it to say, for as incredible as the P30 Pro camera is in dark environments, the device’s shortcomings during the daytime are hard to ignore.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.