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Huawei P30 Pro ruined our night camera blind test

Huawei P30 Pro ruined our night camera blind test

The Huawei P30 Pro is a hit with everyone thanks to its incredible photographic capabilities in all lighting conditions and its enormous versatility thanks to the 3 different focal lengths of the cameras. So, we decided to put it to the test in a photography contest in the dark with its main opponents to find out how it does in the worst possible situations! There's only one small problem: it was impossible to disguise its photos amongst of those of the iPhone XS Max, Galaxy S10+, Pixel 3 XL and Mi 9...

Huawei ruined our comparison

The initial idea behind this article was to take the best smartphones available on the market in terms of photographic capabilities, take pictures in dimly lit environments or at night, and then have you vote to choose the best shot. However, Huawei managed to ruin the comparison: P30 Pro in most scenes is unbeatable and too easily recognizable.

That's why we decided, for the first two scenes of this comparison in the dark, to ask you which smartphone takes the best photos when compared to the much better picture taken by P30 Pro used as a reference.

To prevent you from peeking through the data contained in the various photos we have removed all EXIF data, resized all images to the resolution of 2,667 x 2,000 and renamed all files. To observe the images at full resolution, I invite you to click on them, then a new browser tab will be opened to show you the photo so you can zoom in and view the details.

Scene 1: Urban panorama

blindtest april 2019 landscape P30Huawei P30 Pro (Reference)
blindtest april 2019 landscape 1aImage 1a blindtest april 2019 landscape 1bImage 1b
blindtest april 2019 landscape 1cImage 1c blindtest april 2019 landscape 1dImage 1d

As you can see, the 4 photos we ask you to vote on are very similar to each other, but are not comparable to the amount of light and detail captured by Huawei's P30 Pro. Before leaving you to vote on the first of the four comparison scenes, I want to point out that these images were taken with smartphones placed in the same position (as far as possible), fixed on a tripod, at the same time and without any specific mode for night photos or any help from the AI.

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Scene 2: Photos inside

blindtest april 2019 indoor P30Huawei P30 Pro (Reference)
blindtest april 2019 indoor 2aImage 2a blindtest april 2019 indoor 2bImage 2b
blindtest april 2019 indoor 2cImage 2c blindtest april 2019 indoor 2dImage 2d

The second scene was taken in our storage room. To allow you to better evaluate the results, we have placed an Android robot in the middle of all the clutter (you have no idea the amount of boxes and packages that we receive and must store), plus our often photographed "influencer plant" and a red box. The door of the closet was kept slightly open to allow the smartphones to capture at least some detail (closing the door, in complete darkness, you would have to choose between 4 completely black images).

Again, all smartphones were attached to a tripod and no night mode was used. See the colors and details captured by Sony's 40MP RYYB sensor on the P30 Pro. Unbelievable!

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Scene 3: Portrait

blindtest april 2019 portrait 3aImage 3a blindtest april 2019 portrait 3bImage 3b blindtest april 2019 portrait 3cImage 3c
blindtest april 2019 portrait 3eImage 3d blindtest april 2019 portrait 3eImage 3e  

In the third scene, the idea was to take a picture in portrait mode. However, three of the smartphones we used for the comparison were unable to shoot using this mode in such low light conditions or captured a completely black image. For these smartphones we have used the automatic mode again. The other two managed to capture an image but didn't apply the desired blur to it.

The 5 photos, however, are quite similar and represent perhaps the most balanced challenge of all this comparison.

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Scene 4: Night mode

blindtest april 2019 night mode 4aImage 4a blindtest april 2019 night mode 4bImage 4b blindtest april 2019 night mode 4cImage 4c

For the last scene you can only vote between three photos, this is because only 3 of the 5 smartphones in this comparison have a dedicated night mode. The images above were taken by Xiaomi Mi 9, Huawei P30 Pro and Google Pixel 3 XL, obviously not in this order. The photos were always taken with the three smartphones placed on a tripod, in the same lighting conditions.

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I must admit that the preparation for this comparison was difficult, not so much because of the choice of smartphones to compare and not even because of technical difficulties. Huawei P30 Pro simply destroyed the competition in virtually every scenario we had planned.

To give you an idea, I had to delete the photo taken in automatic mode from the Chinese flagship in scene 4 because it was too bright and not comparable with the other two competitors. The night mode of P30 Pro paradoxically takes worse pictures (in this kind of situation) than the manual mode and this is incredible!

Anyway, I think it's interesting for you AndroidPIT readers to really understand how advanced the photographic quality of modern smartphones is and also how wide the gap is (at least in case of low light) between the latest top of the Chinese range and all the other competitors.

What do you think of these results? Let's discuss it in the comments!

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8 comments

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  • I can say after having used all of these phones I am blown away with the low light quality on Huawei. In reply to those saying it was an unfair comparison, it's not. There's no way to cheat out these photos from the other phones without equipment or quality loss. It's not even close, and that's how and why im sure the author chose the title.


  • Nupur 5 months ago Link to comment

    If these photos are taken fairly then there is no doubt that Huawei has the best camera among its competitors.


  • On the 2nd photo, was that photo taken with the P30, with the flash off? The reflection on the tape, covering the box appears to be a light reflection.


    • Yes, all of the photos were taken without a flash. The reflection comes from the light source behind the camera. There is a door behind the camera. You can also see the reflection on the other photos.


  • where is the "sponsored by Huawei" info in the article? (PS: i don't own any of the phones, but setting up a comparison to highlight the strenghts ONLY of the P30 Pro compared to the others does look a bit, actually quite a lot like sponsored)
    Or take a landscape picture during the day compared to the Umidigi One Pro ... just for fun...


    • Hi,
      first of all, no, the article was not sponsored by Huawei. A lot of manufacturers are focussing on low light performance, as this is one of the areas where smartphone cameras really struggle. So, we decided to compare the cameras in this setting, turns out the P30 Pro is simply doing things differently :D


      • Yes you right there specified it! The P30 Pro does it differently and you focused on that and didn't use other phones choices on how to achieve the same result. So there's the specifically suited comparison in favour of the P30 Pro. Where was Night Sight used with the Pixel? Have you tried Night Sight with front camera? Nope...


      • Did you use a Pixel 3 at all?

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