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Smartphone camera comparison: iPhone X vs the rest

HDR


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HDR or High Dynamic Range is a camera feature that’s pretty important in smartphone cameras. A phone’s HDR capabilities refer to its ability to capture multiple exposures in a challenging lighting scene (high contrast between shadows and highlights) to produce a final image that’s evenly lit. A smartphone with good HDR capabilities should not lose details in the shadows or the highlights.

In this test scene, the lighting outside and from the window is very bright while the left of the image is fairly dark and hidden in shadows. As far as HDR performance goes, I think the Huawei Mate 10 Pro did the best here without losing much details in the highlights or the shadows. It did not produce the brightest image, but it is the most evenly lit of the bunch.

Both iPhones over exposed the right half of the image where the details from the clouds in the sky were all lost in the highlights. You do get the brightest exposure in the middle (which is where we tapped to expose for all devices) but at the cost of the clouds outside.

One interesting thing to note on the iPhone images is how unnatural the gradient of the shadows are compared to their Android rivals:

Personally though, I like the look of the Samsung’s Note8 image the most. Sure, it doesn’t have the best demonstration of HDR but I like the slightly more vivid colours, cooler temperature and more pleasing textures.

But that, I think, is more down to personal taste.

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