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Camera shootout: 10 smart phones compared. Which is the best?

The Results as Voted by you

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Do the pixels matter? Yes and no.

Clearing up some questions before starting off, all images were taken on auto mode, so none had any fiddling with with the exception of the device’s own distinctive features but did it make a big difference?

Having posted details of which 10 phones we’d be using it seemed like this time around it’d definitely be tougher as more devices would mean it’ll be tougher for you guys to come to choose a clear winner, so giving three options for each photo scene. We tabulated based on how often a phone’s picture was mentioned, and scored them by giving a 3 for choice number 1, a 2 for choice number 2 and a 1 for choice number 3. As ranked by you, the LG G4 got the most points in total, followed by the Galaxy Note 5 in 2nd place and the honor 7 in 3rd. The Galaxy S6 edge and HTC One E9+ are tied for 4th place with the same number of points in total.

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For scene 1 it was clear that only a few of the photos made the cut. Based on your votes the one that stood out the most was none other than the LG G4, followed by the HTC One E9+ and the Mi Note. Surprisingly the Samsung duo only managed 14 and 1 vote – Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 edge, respectively. The first scene was to test how images would look like when zoomed in after taking a snap of a busy street. Placing first, the G4 received 115 points, while the latter two received 82 and 45 points.

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Unlike the first photo, the second was more to see the colour accuracy and what details could be captured by the list of 10 devices. In terms of details, you guys decided that the Note5 (84 points) came out tops, followed really closely by the 2016 flagship killer, the OnePlus 2 (65 points); third place on the other hand was the Galaxy S6 edge (37 points). So there may be some truth to the newer generation beating out the old guard, seen in the Samsung duo here. It’s worth noting that both Korean devices share the exact same sensor, could it be better image processing on the most recent phablet helping out?

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Scene 3 took a step backwards and looked at the cameras’ capabilities much like the first scene, how pixelated it would be once zoomed in; this time taking in the wonderful KLCC, even in less than ideal hazy conditions. This time around the Chinese manufactures ran away with a huge majority; 107 for the honor 7 and 99 for the Huawei P8. Their closest competitor was Taiwanese based HTC, as the One E9+ managed 32 points.

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Gradually catching up, scene 4 sees Samsung make a comeback with the close-up of the fire-hydrant earning the older Galaxy S6 edge 86 points, while the bigger Note5 managed 45 points; seen in the last camera shootout, the iPhone 6’s 8-megapixel camera struggled to keep up – a trend that was also seen here, as it only managed third place with 42 points, and didn’t place well in any of the other scenes.

So do pixels matter? Yes when you look at different scenarios, like how the iPhone 6 didn’t manage to place (based on your verdict and votes) so well in the zoomed shots. However, it did fare better when its point of focus was closer and Apple’s image processing makes up for the lower pixeled sensor. Sony’s Xperia M5 with its 21.5-megapixel Exmor RS sensor failed to live-up to its large sensor only receiving an average of 25.25 points across all testing, only peaking at 42 points on the last scene. It is interesting to point out that the Xperia M5’s IMX230 camera sensor is the same unit as the honor 7, that’s favoured the most on Scene 3.

At the end of the day, the phone’s image processing is what sets it apart but having a big sensor (plus aperture) would be definitely a great combo. Can you see yourself buying these flagships now? Tell us what you think about the result in the comments below.

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Alexander Wong