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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!