2019 is a pretty interesting year for smartphones, especially when it comes to their camera capabilities. And that is why we are going to compare three different smartphones with different resolution. That includes a 12MP main camera smartphone, there’s also a 64MP main camera smartphone and last but not least there’s the 108MP smartphone that everyone has been talking about these days.
So before we get into the camera comparison, let’s talk about the camera hardware on each phone that we are about to compare today. First up, we have the iPhone 11 Pro Max. It has triple camera setup that consists of a 12MP wide camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 12MP telephoto camera.
Then moving on to our next phone we have the Realme X2 Pro, which is one of the most anticipated smartphones this year. This smartphone has 4 cameras in total — a 64MP main camera, a 13MP telephoto lens, an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera and last but not least, a 2MP depth sensor for all your nice bokeh shots.
And finally we have the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 that has a total of 5 cameras at the rear. This is the first time we’ve seen so many cameras on a Xiaomi phone and it is also the first in the world to be equipped with a whopping 108MP main camera. There is also a 20MP ultra wide angle camera, a 5MP camera with 5X zoom, a 12MP camera with 2X zoom and a 2MP macro lens for you to take pictures up close.
In this comparison we tried to cover as many scenes as possible. That includes a bunch of different test categories such as regular shots, macro shots, there’s also videos and pretty much everything you need to know about these three cameras.
SCENE 1: Full resolution
Alright, so first things first, of course we have to try the main camera on these smartphones — I mean that’s our goal right? To see if a 12MP camera can stack up to a 108MP camera. So these pictures were taken on each smartphone’s highest res mode with the iPhone at 12MP, the Realme X2 Pro at 64MP and the Mi Note 10 at 108MP. And yes, the photo from the 108MP camera did look more detailed.
When it comes to their colours, I have to say that the X2 Pro’s picture looks overly saturated to me while the other two are more true to life. The sky is also overly exposed , so you lose detail in the highlights and this can be seen when you compare 3 images side by side.
SCENE 2: Portrait
Okay now moving on to the next category and we have a set of portrait mode shots using the rear facing cameras. Three of these smartphones shoot at different focal lengths with the X2 Pro using its wide camera while the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Mi Note 10 use their telephoto cameras. So that is why we reposition the subject closer to the camera to match the framing.
I personally prefer the ones taken on the iPhone and the Mi Note 10 because it has a more flattering angle. That said, I think all three images have really good edge detection, because they all did a good job at separating me from the background.
But, I noticed that the colour temperature for the photos are quite different. The Realme X2 Pro is a little warmer, while the Mi Note 10 has a bit of a magenta hue to it. The iPhone looks the closest to my skin tone, so it did a good job.
SCENE 3: Portrait selfies
Moving on to the portrait selfie test which is also probably one of the more subjective categories of this comparison. Some of you guys might prefer beautification while others might prefer a more natural looking photo.
But what I could tell is that the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the most true life colours and even through Portrait Mode the detail captured in the background is clear as day. You can see the colours of the sky clearly on the iPhone while the other 2 smartphones completely blew out the highlights.
Because of that, I have to pick the iPhone as my winner.
SCENE 4: Normal (Default settings)
Now this shot was absolutely crazy with the huge difference in terms of colours, contrast and saturation. The colours produced by the iPhone 11 Pro Max is a little dull and pictures seems to be lacking in saturation. That said, the phone still manages to retain a lot of detail, which is nice to see.
The other end of the spectrum lies the X2 Pro because unlike the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the X2 Pro is overly saturated and the HDR is so intense that you can see there’s a rainbow-y effect on the edge of the tree branches.
But, for me the winner for this test is the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 because it strikes a good balance in terms of its colours while retaining a great amount of detail and clarity.
SCENE 5: Zoom
And now it’s time for the zoom test. All three cameras come with a dedicated telephoto lens and we will be testing images at ultra-wide, 1X, 2X and Max zoom.
For the ultra-wide angle test, it is obvious that the iPhone offers a wider field of view, while Realme and Xiaomi have a slightly narrower range.
There are also some subtle differences in terms of their colours. If you take a look at the skies, you will notice that the blues are much more concentrated on the iPhone while the X2 Pro and Mi Note 10 has a wider dynamic range. The group of trees are brighter and sharper compared to the ones on the iPhone.
At 1X, consistent results were shown on three of the smartphones, with the iPhone having a cooler tone while the other 2 are slightly warmer.
We then can zoom in using the 2X telephoto lens, and to my surprise the difference between three phones are very minor. The only difference that I can see is its white balance.
This is where things are about to get interesting. The Mi Note 10 can zoom the furthest with a 50X digital zoom, while the X2 Pro and the iPhone has 20X and 10X digital zoom respectively.
When it comes to clarity, I think the X2 Pro and the 11 Pro Max are pretty much the same. But I’d still give the win to the Mi Noe 10 because it can reach even further with its 50X digital zoom and you can definitely still see the details of the lines on the building.
SCENE 6: Macro
Next up we have the Macro test. I’m genuinely impressed by the iPhone 11 Pro Max because it doesn’t have a specific macro camera like the Realme X2 Pro and the Mi Note 10. But the picture turns out to be pretty awesome, I mean the details are there and the subject separation from the background is really good.
That said, I have to give my win to the Mi Note 10 for this category, because it has the closest macro without sacrificing its clarity.
SCENE 7: Night Mode
Last but not least we have the night mode test, which is a camera feature that everyone will expect on a 2019 smartphone.
Let’s take a look at the first picture we took during the night. The Realme X2 Pro is my winner for this set of pictures. It successfully captures the lightest and darkest areas of the image without losing detail. You can see this when you punch in to the building’s parking lot. You will see a significant difference when you compare it to the Mi Note 10.
The results of the second picture is a little different. This picture was taken under a challenging lighting environment and it is pretty obvious who’s the winner.
The iPhone’s image is noticeably brighter with better details and colour saturation. The Realme X2 Pro has the worst image quality– especially when you punch in to the trees at the side, while the Mi Note 10 is slightly better than the X2 Pro, but it is not as detailed as the iPhone. My winner here is definitely the iPhone.
So here’s my takeaway. Apple’s iPhones have always been among the best smartphones when it comes to its camera, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max is no different. To me it takes the most natural and it takes consistently good pictures, and now with the addition of an ultra-wide angle camera, it is better than ever.
However, it is worth noting that each of these devices are priced very differently. The price of the iPhones are significantly higher than the X2 Pro as well as the Mi Note 10. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is priced around RM5,000 while the X2 Pro and Mi Note 10 is only around RM2,000.
Yes, the results on the Realme X2 Pro and Xiaomi Mi Note 10 not be as consistent as the iPhones but considering the price that you are paying, they are actually pretty capable devices. Especially the 108MP camera on the Mi Note 10.
In optimal lighting, the pictures taken are way more detailed than the iPhone and you can even zoom in without losing much detail.
But what do you guys think? Which phone do you like best ? Let me know in the comments below.