Camera quality has always been a major differentiating factor when choosing between smartphones, but it seems like the competition has gotten more intense over the last few years. Some manufactures like OnePlus and Huawei use sensors with big megapixel counts to stand out from the crowd, while others like Apple and Google rely more on the marriage between hardware and software. With such a tight race for the winner of the camera crown, we're highlighting three recent YouTube comparisons worth a watch.
In the first video, YouTuber Danny Winget tests out the low-light capabilities of the Pixel 5, iPhone 12 Pro, and Galaxy Note20 Ultra. These phones represent the best that Apple, Google, and Samsung are giving us this year, and this is a great look at how each of these flagships handle nighttime video and photography. Google's Night Sight, so impressive two years ago, isn't that unique anymore, and Apple reigns supreme when it comes to shooting crispy video even in dim situations.
In this comparison from Ben's Gadget Reviews, the latest phones from Apple and Google go up against the Mate 40 Pro, Huawei's latest warrior in the camera wars. The Chinese manufacturer's smartphone cameras are known for producing some of the best results around, and the Mate 40 Pro comes equipped with a huge 50MP main sensor that lets an incredible amount of light in. Accompanied by a 20MP ultra-wide and a 12MP periscope lens, it can take shots impossible with Apple's and Google's hardware — now if only it had Google apps.
The final video, also from Danny Winget, pits the Pixel 5 against Samsung's S20 FE and the newest flagship from OnePlus, the 8T. While all of the phones produce great pics, this comparison gives a great look at how each company treats images differently. While Google goes for a more natural look, Samsung leans the opposite way and cranks the saturation sky-high. OnePlus, meanwhile, tends to strike a balance between the two directions.
Google took the still photography game by storm with the "best smartphone camera ever" in the OG Pixel released back in 2016, but the company is still using leaning on a nearly-identical 12MP sensor. Google can do a lot of heavy lifting on the software side, but it's clear that still photography, previously the Pixel's knockout punch, isn't hitting the way it used to — the competition has caught up.
In terms of video, Apple has enjoyed the advantage for years, and while it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon, competitors like OnePlus, Samsung, and even Google are improving. Taking photos at night is always going to be a struggle due to physics, but Samsung's night mode on the Note20 Ultra is impressive, making it one of the better choices for low light photography.
I think the moral of the story is that no matter which phone you keep in your pocket, you can't really do wrong with any modern flagship — but when it comes to capturing under certain conditions, some phones do a lot more right. If you're craving additional camera comparisons, check out some of our own shootouts here.