Smartphone cameras have become incredibly good over the past few years, to the point that it’s quite difficult to find one that is. not at least decent. As has been done over the past two years, popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee performed a blind camera test with 2020 smartphones, crowning an unexpected winner.
While these annual tests are far from “scientific” they do give a general picture of what people like about smartphone photos and, therefore, who takes some of the most enjoyable photos when directly and blindly. compared to the competition.
MKBHD performs this test by taking the same photo with each phone and dividing everything into groups of two. From there, the bracket style contest takes votes from users blind and determines a winner. It’s a fairly fair system, but it often ends in big surprises. For example, the OnePlus 8T which has an acceptable, but not particularly great camera, managed to immediately and brutally beat Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max, a phone touted for its camera prowess. OnePlus was then completely destroyed by Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in the second round. Not much of a surprise considering how much we liked this camera.
Beyond that surprise, the second round saw Google’s Pixel 5, another device known for its excellent camera, to be beaten by the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro. With this particular photo, the Pixel 5 kept things crisp, but to its detriment, as the Zenfone brightened up the dark photo and gave the colors a bit more pop. It wasn’t a landslide victory for Asus, but it was interesting to see the Pixel drop on a phone most people don’t think about when it comes to the camera.
In the last lap, Asus Zenfone 7 Pro ended up beating the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. It’s a surprising victory, and shows how much we privilege certain things in a photo. Brownlee also pointed out that the white balance and where he actually shared the photo also made a huge difference in how people voted.
This 2020 smartphone camera test shouldn’t really influence your buying decisions, but it’s an interesting look at how smartphone cameras perform as a whole these days.
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