The best camera phones tested

2020 has produced quite a few nice smartphones, a lot of which boast superb digital camera packages too. We’ve grabbed a few of our favourite digital camera telephones launched over the previous 12 months and put them by their paces to determine which comes out on high. For right now’s shootout, we’re evaluating the Apple iPhone 12 Professional, the Google Pixel 5, the Huawei Mate 40 Professional, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, and the Sony Xperia 1 II.

To be clear, this isn’t a definitive record of nice telephones for images you can purchase proper now, nor are these the one top-tier digital camera telephones launched in 2020. For instance, the superb Oppo Discover X2 Professional additionally ranks as certainly one of our favourite 2020 digital camera telephones, as do among the higher-end however not precisely mass-market handsets just like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely. As a substitute, we’re specializing in 5 of the preferred main digital camera telephones that many shoppers should still be contemplating shopping for as 2020 attracts to a detailed.

If you wish to look at the leads to nearer element your self, you will discover the full-res photographs on this Google Drive folder.

See additionally: 2019 vs 2020 digital camera telephone shootout: Is cell images stagnating?


Digicam specs

  Apple iPhone 12 Professional Google Pixel 5 Huawei Mate 40 Professional Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Sony Xperia 5 II
Important
digital camera
12 megapixels
f/1.7 aperture
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
12.2 megapixels
f/1.7 aperture
1/2.55-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
50 megapixels (12.5MP binned)
f/1.9 aperture
1/1.28-inch sensor
Omnidirectional PDAF, RYYB
12 megapixels
f/1.8 aperture
1/1.76-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
12 megapixels
f/1.7 aperture
1/1.7-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
Secondary
digital camera
120˚ wide-angle
12 megapixels
f/2.4 aperture
107˚ wide-angle
16 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
Large-angle
20 megapixels
f/1.8 aperture
PDAF
Large-angle
12 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
124˚ wide-angle
12 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
1/2.55-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF
Third
digital camera
2x telephoto zoom
12 megapixels
f/2.0 aperture
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
5x periscope zoom
12 megapixels
f/3.4 aperture
PDAF, OIS, RYYB
3x hybrid zoom
64 megapixels (16MP binned)
f/2.0 aperture
1/1.72-inch sensor
PDAF, OIS
3x optical zoom
12 megapixels
f/2.4 aperture
1/3.4-inch sensor
PDAF, OIS
Fourth
digital camera
Depth (time-of-flight 3D LiDAR) Depth (time-of-flight) Depth (time-of-flight)
0.3 megapixels

Coloration steadiness and publicity

We’ll begin with the quintessential features of any good image. Coloration, publicity, and white steadiness.

The primary shot alternatives showcase colours and exposures with loads of outside and indoor mild. All 5 telephones take completely handsome footage which can be extra alike than they’re completely different. That being mentioned, there are some refined variations that we will select even from these very related pictures.

Images phrases defined: ISO, aperture, shutter pace, and extra

Sony’s Xperia 1 II, as an illustration, barely underexposes indoors and has deeper shadows than its rivals. It’s additionally a fraction too heat in our indoor lit shot however is far more lifelike outside. In the identical plant pic, Huawei’s Mate 40 Professional tints all the scene a little bit too inexperienced based mostly on the topic, but it surely does very properly indoors. Samsung’s outside coloration pallet is the liveliest, however there’s a little bit black crush within the indoor shot.

The second batch of pictures tells us a little bit extra about how every telephone approaches coloration processing and publicity. For starters, we will clearly see that the iPhone 12 Professional leans in the direction of a brighter publicity, on the expense of coloration saturation. It’s a really pleasing look, however not totally correct for these dynamic scenes. The church image is healthier, however the purple halos across the foreground fur tree are a nasty blemish from both the lens or demosaic algorithm.

The Sony Xperia 1 II is equally vivid within the woodland image. Nevertheless, it’s extra lifelike than the iPhone 12 by way of shadow depth. This method doesn’t work so properly within the church image, which is extra washed out than its rivals. Samsung and Google go for darker shadows, which is appropriate for the afternoon time of day. The Pixel 5’s coloration steadiness and brown tones are just about spot on within the woodland shot. The Galaxy S20 Plus overpumps the colours, notably the greens, which seems very unrealistic for these winter scenes.

Huawei’s Mate 40 Professional sits between the 2 teams. It’s a little bit too saturated within the woodland image however nails the proper publicity. It’s the very best of the bunch in the case of the church image, with a clearly superior dynamic vary.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Prefers a brighter publicity to offer pictures added pop. Fairly correct general however colours and dynamic vary is usually a little flat.

Google Pixel 5: Tends to provide deeper blacks than its rivals. Very correct colours and strong white steadiness.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Greatest dynamic vary and most versatile publicity. Typically a little bit too heavy on colours and white steadiness processing.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Oversaturated colours and shadow distinction is usually a tad darkish. In any other case superb white steadiness.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Usually correct colours and good white level outside. Tends to underexpose pictures in darker environments.


Cropping in on particulars

To take a better have a look at element seize from the primary sensor, I’ve 100% cropped into pictures in a mixture of vivid, overcast, and low mild eventualities.

In glorious lighting circumstances, there’s not lots to inform between any of those digital camera telephones. A really shut examination of those 100% crops reveals little or no discernable distinction between the Huawei Mate 40 Professional, the iPhone 12 Professional, and the Galaxy S20 Plus. All three are very detailed. The Xperia 1 II can be superb however just a bit much less clear.

The Google Pixel 5 is unquestionably the noisiest of the 5, even in vivid mild. There’s element smudging on the woodwork and hints of noise cleanup alongside the brickwork too. However, it’s nonetheless an excellent image. You may solely discover these blemishes on very shut inspection.

Transferring to the overcast state of affairs sees some extra noticeable variations intimately and noise. The Sony Xperia 1 II clearly struggles a little bit on this scene, with noticeable smudging of positive particulars on the leaves. Nonetheless, Sony refrains from heavy processing no less than, and the full-frame picture is greater than satisfactory.

Google’s Pixel 5 once more suffers from extra grain than the others, akin to alongside the stone paving and the plant pot. The presentation is a bit tough, however the smaller picture sensor nonetheless punches above its weight.

See additionally: The perfect Android digital camera telephones you will get

So it’s all the way down to Apple, Huawei, and Samsung on this shot. It’s a little bit of a toss-up that boils all the way down to your preferences for processing.

Samsung depends on a heavy processing move right here. There may be notable oversharpening on the tree branches. Nevertheless, the general foreground element holds up very properly. Apple’s iPhone additionally exhibits some indicators of sharpening with harsh highlights, however the black crush is worse. It masks the small print within the shadows. This leaves the Huawei Mate 40 Professional, which is softer, relying much less on sharpening, and nonetheless providing up good dynamic vary. I believe Huawei comes out on high, however solely simply.

The final shot is in a lot decrease mild to essentially take a look at the sunshine seize limits of those picture sensors. Though lengthy exposures and night time modes kicked in to assist out some handsets. Sony slips into the final place right here, with a mushy and somewhat unfocused picture that’s mild on element. Google’s handset additionally struggles, with a darker publicity and huge quantities of noise.

Apple’s iPhone 12 Professional is kind of noisy in low mild too, but it surely retains sharper particulars than the Mate 40 Professional. Huawei’s flagship is a little bit too reliant on denoise right here, however just a few might desire it to Apple’s grainier look. I personally desire Apple’s extra hands-off method.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is a little bit heavy on the sharpening. Nevertheless, it offers the very best steadiness of noise and element on this troublesome low mild shot. This night time mode kicked in to seize all of the little scratches and dents on this coaster, making it my high choose for element right here. General although, the telephones from Apple, Huawei, and Samsung take fairly detailed footage even in low mild eventualities.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Good to nice element in vivid mild with affordable processing. A lot noisier in low mild however retains good element.

Google Pixel 5: The older, smaller picture sensor is noisy even in vivid mild and solely turns into worse at midnight.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Wonderful element in average to good lighting, with minimal processing. Denoise is heavier in low mild, lowering element seize.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Nice particulars in daylight, however with larger quantities of processing with lowering mild ranges. Night time mode helps out lots.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Respectable particulars in vivid mild, which worsens in overcast eventualities. Element seize actually struggles in low mild, owing to lengthy exposures.


HDR processing

HDR is a real take a look at of any digital camera’s processing capabilities, so we’ve picked out just a few photographs with robust backlights to place these telephones by their paces.

These outside HDR pictures are largely a continuation of themes we’ve seen earlier than. Google’s algorithm obtains the deepest blacks a usually lifelike method to paint and white steadiness. However, the Pixel 5’s outcomes above are too darkish and boring for my tastes. Sony’s first HDR picture is kind of lifelike for a crisp winter’s afternoon. The handset does an excellent job of lowering the solar bloom and extracting particulars from the foreground and background shadows. A pinch extra coloration and this may very well be a wonderful picture. The identical can’t be mentioned for the second instance, which is overexposed and struggles to reign within the vivid background.

The iPhone is familiarly vivid, with an additional splash of coloration that helps the photographs pop. Nevertheless, the HDR impact isn’t essentially the most highly effective. The shadows are a tad too darkish within the first and highlights are closely clipped within the second pattern. Huawei pushes colours much like the iPhone however prefers pink hues over pumping up the greens. The dynamic vary is much more spectacular, with a greater steadiness of shadow particulars and fewer clipping within the highlights. Nevertheless, Huawei’s lens suffers from a bit extra flare than Apple’s. So once more, professionals and cons.

Samsung pumps the colour even additional however its samples are too closely saturated for my tastes. Even so, the Galaxy S20 Plus gives a really robust HDR impact that just about rivals Huawei’s shadow depth and restricted spotlight clipping. But, there may be some noticeable lens flare right here too.

Transferring to indoor, the Huawei Mate 40 Professional clearly comes into its personal. It’s the one telephone that captures any blue sky by the brilliant window whereas additionally retaining the Swap brand within the foreground shadow. The Xperia 1 II earns second place, limiting the bloom from the window and exposing just a few branches. Samsung isn’t far behind in third.

In the meantime the iPhone 12 Professional and Pixel 5 make little try to appropriate for the brilliant background. Each provide good colours, as we’d anticipate in such a vivid scene, and the iPhone 12 gives up the brighter publicity. General it’s a little bit of a nasty outing for Google, who pioneered superior HDR applied sciences with the unique Pixel.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Pumps up the colours and brightness for vivid HDR photographs. Strong HDR know-how however not the very best steadiness of shadows and highlights.

Google Pixel 5: Respectable HDR, however has minor points with underexposure and boring colours in contrast with its rivals.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Offers the very best HDR steadiness for highlights and shadows out of the 5. Colours are additionally good and vibrant with out going overboard.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Highly effective HDR know-how to reign in clipping. Oversaturated colours and really heavy distinction.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Hit or miss HDR that may be nice however equally struggles with publicity. Colours err on the aspect of realism however might use a little bit extra pump.


Bokeh and portraits

Earlier than diving into some precise portraits, let’s take a fast have a look at the accuracy and high quality of the bokeh blur provided by these 5 flagships. What we’re searching for is strong edge detection and a naturally rolling blur from the foreground into the background.

Beginning with the iPhone 12 Professional, it’s strong. The primary shot targets a really huge aperture, with some blur creeping into the foreground and a robust background impact. The Huawei Mate 40 Professional and Xperia 1 II goal a narrower aperture for a weaker blur however provide extra natural-looking roll-offs into the background in consequence. Though Huawei’s telephone struggles a bit with the highest of the cranium.

Samsung has a barely extra noticeable start-stop to its blur, which might be noticed on the appropriate of the chessboard. The standard of its blur can be not fairly as good because the others, however edge detection is excellent. The Pixel 5 has the same situation with a really jarring line the place blur is utilized. However, the Pixel 5’s bokeh seems a little bit nicer than Samsung’s.

Edge detection is extra hit or miss as soon as we throw untamed hair into the combo. The Pixel 5 and Xperia 1 II wrestle essentially the most right here, however all 5 have their blemishes. I’m not fairly proud of the Mate 40 Professional’s blur to the appropriate of my face both. So, we’ll give the iPhone and Galaxy handsets a few early factors.

Associated: The perfect funds digital camera telephones you should purchase

Turning to pores and skin coloration and texture, all telephones hand in a decent-looking end result. Though the Mate 40 Professional, iPhone 12 Professional, and Galaxy S20 Plus look the very best and most pure. Samsung is a little bit cooler than the opposite two, however that’s not a nasty match for this chilly day. The Pixel 5’s pores and skin tone is a little bit darkish, but it surely’s the extent of noise and roughness to the pores and skin and hair textures seems a lot much less pure. Sony’s pores and skin tone is nice, however texture particulars are missing within the hair and eyebrows. That is seemingly as a result of the telephone is caught with a wider area of view for portraits.

Transferring to an indoor portrait with much less pure lighting reveals greater variations. The Galaxy S20 Plus handles this scene fairly poorly, underexposing the face to steadiness out the background. The cool tint additionally stays underneath this heat mild, and there’s a definite lack of element. The Pixel 5 additionally gala’s much less properly indoors, with an underwhelming darkish portrait and an excessive amount of noise. It’s a disgrace as a result of the shot is in any other case properly balanced. Sony’s publicity is far brighter, which is ok for portraits, but it surely additionally struggles to seize a lot significant element on this extra harshly lit state of affairs.

The iPhone 12 Professional gala’s a lot better, with strong bokeh blur, affordable particulars, and good colours. The background highlights are a little bit vivid and the face texture too orange even for the nice and cozy scene lights, but it surely’s a strong effort. But, the Huawei Mate 40 Professional is by far the winner on this final shot. It’s the one telephone with ample HDR prowess to sort out the backlight and foreground publicity. Bokeh is good and mushy with solely minor errors, whereas particulars and pores and skin tone stay spot on.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Excellent edge detection and nice-looking bokeh blur. Strong particulars and pores and skin tones each indoor and outside.

Google Pixel 5: Noisy and harsh particulars detract from in any other case good pores and skin tones. Bokeh blur edge detection is so-so and lacks a pure roll-off. Portraits are a little bit darkish.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Good edge detection and really pure trying bokeh. High of the category for pores and skin tones, publicity, and particulars with indoor lighting.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Excellent edge detection and however a decrease high quality blur. Good portraits outside however a lot poorer outcomes with indoor lighting and hard backlighting.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Large area of view means portrait particulars aren’t the very best. Bokeh blur seems nice however can wrestle with advanced edges. Prefers a brighter publicity and gives good pores and skin tone outside.


Extremely-wide

All of our take a look at handsets right now characteristic devoted wide-angle lenses. The iPhone 12 Professional and Galaxy S20 Plus provide the widest area of view, adopted by the Xperia 1 II, Google Pixel 5, and the Huawei Mate 40 Professional. The latter additionally takes footage in a 16:9 facet ratio, not like the acquainted 4:3.

We’re going to kickstart our have a look at wide-angle lenses with a brand new kind of shot. It should assist us simply select lens and perspective distortion. Regulate these straight traces as they method the corners.

For instance, the very huge lenses on the iPhone and Galaxy handset warp and lengthen the looks of the chess items. These handsets do an affordable job at correcting for lens distortion however we spot noticeable curvature on the lens edges. It’s much less of a problem for the Galaxy mannequin. Both means, these are truthful and anticipated trade-offs for such a large area of view.

The Pixel 5 and Xperia 1 II have barely narrower lenses and fewer apparent distortion in consequence. The Pixel 5 has some odd perspective adjustments on the underside left aspect, which seems like an over-correction error. Likewise for the Mate 40 Professional, as straight traces warp and wobble a little bit an excessive amount of as we method the corners. Sony’s lens correction seems a little bit cleaner, however there’s nonetheless some anticipated curvature, notably within the backside left nook.

In the case of advanced scenes, this distortion is a little bit tougher to note. It stays most blatant on the broader lenses utilized by Apple and to a lesser extent Samsung. The Huawei Mate 40 Professional is unquestionably the very best wide-angle lens for element. Comparatively, the opposite telephones look extra closely processed when cropping in. However, that is much less essential for wide-angle photographs until you’re planning to blow these pictures up.

Large-angle publicity is nice throughout all 5 telephones and colours intently observe the identical processing as their fundamental sensors. The Pixel 5 once more goals for deeper shadows and a extra conservative lifelike coloration pallet, very like the Sony Xperia 1 II. But, the previous suffers from some chromatic aberration (purple halos within the highlights) in our photographs. So does Huawei’s lens however to a lesser extent. The iPhone 12 Professional is once more brighter than its rivals, however with restricted dynamic vary and a cooler white steadiness. The mud ought to look brown not blue. Samsung and Huawei provide the widest saturation and most vivid HDR with their wide-angle lenses.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Noticeable high quality deterioration on the lens edges, but it surely’s acceptable given the very huge area of view. Has a cool coloration pallet, similar to the primary sensor.

Google Pixel 5: Notable lens distortion and haloing towards vivid backlights. Fairly a loud sensor, however lifelike colours and good HDR capabilities.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Greatest at school element. Extra saturated colours than the primary sensor. Narrowest area of view out of the group.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Very huge area of view with superb distortion correction. Good dynamic vary however overly saturated colours.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Very shut publicity and coloration mapping with the primary sensor. Minimal lens distortion with lifelike colours, however once more publicity isn’t excellent.


Zooming in

With every digital camera boasting completely different optical zoom factors and applied sciences, these handsets have a candy spot for taking long-range footage. To keep away from any desire, our first couple of photographs had been pre-picked at 2x for a fairly frequent shot vary zoom and 5x as a typical longer-range requirement.

Digicam zoom defined: How optical, digital, and hybrid zoom work

At full-frame, there’s not lots in it between any of those 5 telephones at 2x in good lighting. Particulars, coloration, and publicity are all good and observe the themes we’ve mentioned earlier for every telephone. Even software program zooms are fairly good at this brief crop-in. There are extra noticeable variations at 5x, the place the Apple iPhone 12 Professional and notably the Google Pixel 5 tackle a way more processed look. It’s fairly clear that the dearth of a telephoto digital camera hinders the Pixel 5 essentially the most at longer vary.

However in the case of the opposite three, which all by the way boast longer vary telephoto lenses, it’s robust to make out too many main variations even at 5x in good daylight, particularly on small telephone screens. Essentially the most noticeable variations are in coloration and publicity somewhat than element. To essentially take a look at these zoom cameras, let’s flip to 100% crops in some fairly unforgiving overcast circumstances.

At brief distances as much as 4x, harsher circumstances take their toll on telephones depending on software program zoom. The Pixel 5 and Xperia 1 II wrestle with positive particulars at 2x, though the Xperia 1 II performs a lot better as soon as its 3x telephoto lens kicks in. It holds up properly at 4x too. The iPhone’s 2x telephoto lens hangs in there as much as 4x earlier than taking a extra notable dive in high quality.

The Galaxy S20 Plus handles its publicity higher than the competitors at 2x and 3x on this scene. In contrast with the Mate 40 Professional, the 2 are a really shut match for element. The Samsung ekes out a small benefit at 2x, nonetheless. This intermediate zoom vary was a earlier weak spot for Huawei telephones, which depend on hybrid zoom to fill within the hole between the 1x and 5x lenses. The Mate 40 Professional has made main enhancements right here, capturing far more element from its software program answer than the P40 Professional. By the point we attain 4x, Huawei clearly pulls out in entrance. Sony’s digital camera shouldn’t be far behind both. Though making certain you’re utilizing the very best lens stays a software program bugbear.

Over brief distances, Huawei, Samsung, and to a lesser extent Apple and Sony, all have you ever fairly properly coated. Particularly in first rate lighting. Nevertheless, at 5x and past this actually is a one-horse race. Regardless of a little bit of an publicity situation on this overcast scene, the Mate 40 Professional’s 5x periscope digital camera delivers unmatched element at lengthy vary. Samsung deserves a nod right here too, as its digital camera know-how holds up higher than the remaining at 5x and 6x in these unforgiving circumstances.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Respectable zoom efficiency in vivid mild however struggles in lower than excellent circumstances. 2x telephoto {hardware} can’t sustain with different options at longer zooms.

Google Pixel 5: OK short-range zoom in excellent circumstances, however Google’s software-based zoom fails to maintain tempo at lengthy ranges and in low-light environments. Worst of the bunch.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Not excellent by way of publicity, however gives glorious element at brief ranges by way of hybrid zoom and unmatched high quality past 5x.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Excellent {hardware}/software program hybrid zoom that holds up properly to 4x. Performs very properly at a brief vary even in harsh circumstances.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Software program zoom at 2x falls brief in low mild, however the telephoto lens does properly at 3x and 4x. Lengthy-range zoom high quality holds up even higher in good lighting.


Low mild and night time mode

To kickstart our night time shot eventualities, let’s return to certainly one of our first picture samples to see how restricted mild impacts colours and dynamic vary. We’ve additionally in contrast the outcomes with night time modes enabled and disabled. Or in Sony’s case, switched to professional mode to disable the lengthy publicity.

As you’d anticipate, low mild leads to worse coloration seize than good lighting however multi-exposure night time modes assist out considerably. Apparently, Huawei’s RYYB sensor setup takes nice footage with out the necessity for Night time Mode. In reality, Huawei’s lengthy publicity Night time Mode usually lacks element and takes on an unpleasant yellow tint in comparison with a fast snap.

The extent of software program enhancement seen within the iPhone can be considerably shocking. Its single shot darkish picture may be very dim and washed out in comparison with even the a lot older Pixel 5. All these telephones look fairly first rate with night time modes enabled, particularly given how darkish the scene is. Nevertheless, Sony’s answer is the weakest by way of publicity and colours.

Transferring to a extra lifelike low mild scene, we see related tendencies from our earlier HDR comparability come again into play. The Xperia 1 II struggles with highlights and is simply too mushy on this picture. The Apple iPhone 12 handles particulars and highlights higher, however the mild supply is kind of closely clipped. The Google Pixel 5 handles spotlight publicity higher, as you can also make out the candles. You actually should crop into the small print to see the place the Pixel falls down right here.

This leaves the Huawei Mate 40 Professional and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus as the very best two photographs. Whereas Huawei’s digital camera collects a splash extra coloration and a brighter publicity, the marginally purple hue within the shadows is off. The Galaxy S20 Plus does simply pretty much as good of a job at balancing highlights and shadows. Moreover, it maintains a sensible coloration steadiness and glorious particulars. It’s a toss-up, however I believe the Samsung is extra true to life.

A second low mild shot, this time outside, reveals the same pecking order. Whereas all 5 cameras deal with the scene fairly properly, Sony’s low mild capabilities once more fall into final place. Each it and the Pixel 5 additionally provide a white steadiness that’s a little bit too cool for this scene. The lights must be hotter somewhat than white. The opposite 4 provide good colours and particulars at full-frame, however cropping in on the highlights once more reveals the strengths of Huawei’s and Samsung’s dynamic vary at midnight.

Whereas the Pixel’s full-frame shot is excellent, the crop exhibits that the digital camera doesn’t fairly seize the vivid colours and particulars across the scene’s highlights so properly. The iPhone 12 Professional does a little bit higher, but it surely nonetheless clips and doesn’t seize as a lot element at midnight shadows both. The Huawei Mate 40 Professional and Galaxy S20 Plus seize these small lights in full coloration, with minimal clipping, and nonetheless pull out particulars from the darkish background too. Samsung’s shot is a little bit noisier and depends on heavier processing, but it surely does provide up a bit extra coloration. General although, Huawei takes the gold medal for this scene.

Usually, all 5 cameras take higher low-light photographs than most, however there are two clear winners right here. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Huawei Mate 40 Professional are the very best low mild shooters of the bunch.


Apple iPhone 12 Professional: Excellent low mild efficiency, with robust colours and element. Comes off barely worse than its rivals in the case of dynamic vary and noise.

Google Pixel 5: Wonderful dynamic vary seize in low mild. Nevertheless, it’s notably noisier and infrequently darker than the opposite 4. Nonetheless superb, however not the very best.

Huawei Mate 40 Professional: Nice low mild photographs that don’t depend on a sluggish Night time mode. High-notch colours, particulars, and dynamic vary at midnight.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Exceptionally highly effective night time mode that produces glorious colours, white steadiness, dynamic vary, and element at midnight.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Lacks sufficient publicity for vivid low mild photographs. Has a notably worse dynamic vary than its rivals.


2020 smartphone mega shootout: The decision

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Every of those digital camera packages has its professionals and cons, however I believe that two telephones are positively weaker than the others. The Google Pixel 5 and Sony Xperia 1 II are some methods behind the competitors this 12 months.

Sony’s Xperia 1 II is simply too inconsistent to make the lower. Whereas it will probably produce very lifelike photographs, you’re without end preventing its publicity issues. It’s additionally not an excellent digital camera at midnight. Affected person images fans might get a little bit extra out of the telephone’s professional software program choices, however I nonetheless suppose the telephone is hamstrung by basic points with mild seize and the dearth of multi-exposure night time taking pictures.

Google’s Pixel 5 is a less expensive handset than the remaining, so maybe we shouldn’t decide it too harshly. It nonetheless takes some nice trying footage, in spite of everything, and is probably extra constant than the Xperia. Even so, the small sensor is displaying its age. The dearth of telephoto zoom additionally hinders its flexibility, and Google’s glorious software program can’t shut the hole. Even HDR, Night time, and portrait processing, three of Google’s historic accolades, have been surpassed by its rivals.

Every of those digital camera packages has its professionals and cons, however just one ranks persistently close to the highest.

Handing out medals to the opposite three boils all the way down to some stage of desire. All three present glorious particulars, colours, and publicity when taking pictures in all kinds of eventualities. They gained’t disappoint most customers.

Those that love wide-angle images will wish to choose between the iPhone 12 Professional and the Galaxy S20 Plus. Personally, I nonetheless can’t get on with Samsung’s oversaturated coloration pallet, so I lean in the direction of the iPhone 12 Professional and its strong portraits. Nevertheless, Samsung’s flagship is extra versatile, with a slight edge in the case of picture high quality from its wide-angle and zoom lenses. It’s additionally marginally higher in difficult HDR backlit photographs, and the 2 are extraordinarily shut in low mild too.

In the event you’re searching for essentially the most constant shooter general, then it’s the Huawei Mate 40 Professional that comes out on high general. The telephone doesn’t at all times take the very best photographs, but it surely ranks persistently close to the highest of the pack. It excels at fast low night time snaps, portraits, unmatched zoom high quality, and has by far essentially the most highly effective HDR implementation of the 5. Wonderful HDR means it seldom takes a nasty image. In fact, you’d should sacrifice Google help in the event you’re planning to choose up Huawei’s flagship, which is an entire different dialogue, however that doesn’t cease the Huawei Mate 40 Professional from claiming the title of our 2020 mega shootout champion.


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However let’s hear from you. What do you consider the images produced by 5 of the very best smartphone cameras you should purchase in 2020?