At the MWC in Barcelona a few weeks ago, the array of new smartphones for 2017 was magnificent! At the fair, some of the phones we were able to get a good look at were the LG G6 and the Huawei P10. We shot a few test photos with the two smartphones and compared the resulting photos against each other - for the sake of a decent and fair comparison, we also decided to throw some other devices into the ring: the LG G5, the Google Pixel XL and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
At this point, it should be noted that the LG G6 we used was still a pre-production device so it was not yet equipped with the final software. Until it hits the market, the camera software could still change and therefore the picture quality may be different from what we show you in this article. The same goes for the Huawei P10, for which the software was also not final.
In total, we snapped ten different subjects with the smartphones, but we'll just show you the four most interesting ones in this article. We used the standard settings to shoot three photos of each subject with each device. We then selected the best of the 3 photos from each device to compare them to each other.
A tripod was used in all cases for the comparison photos, however, slight differences in cropping were unavoidable due to the different camera resolutions, focal lengths and button placement.
Scenario 1: macro photos
This scenario is all about the reproduction of details. The image sections here are each at 100 percent magnification.
The Google Pixel XL gave the best reproduction of detail. The image from the Galaxy S7 Edge was slightly out of focus, but we weren't able to get any better result despite several refocused shots. The LG G6 and G5 showed quite a lot of detail on their pictures but also had a significant amount of graininess. The photo from the Huawei P10 lacked in detail and looks somewhat flat.
Scenario 2: photos in artificial light
This scenario focuses on how the smartphones handled taking photos in artificial light.
For me, the Pixel XL once again takes the lead. The contrast between the dark cat and the white wall in the background – which is actually a really nice white – is achieved quite well in the Pixel's photo. Also, the green tones in the plant have the most natural appearance. After the Pixel, I'd rank the the Galaxy S7 Edge in second place then the two LG smartphones. The three pictures taken of the subject using the Huawei P10 were all a bit too dark. But, as I mentioned before: perhaps the final device will show improvements.
Scenario 3: cityscape photos
For the third category, we photographed the late-Winter gray of Berlin from our office window. The contrast between the sky and the houses was certainly a challenge for the devices – an automatic HDR mode was really useful here.
The Google Pixel XL and the two LG smartphones did a really good job here and captured the high contrasts of the subject well, with the help of the automatic HDR. In the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge's photo, the lower half of the picture is far too dark. The Huawei P10 offers a good dynamic range, but ultimately the shots are a bit too dull.
Scenario 4: photos taken in low light
This category really put the smartphone cameras to the test: these photos were taken during the blue hour outside, with an extremely high color temperature. The interior lighting, however, was very warm and there were many colored elements in the image. In addition, it was generally relatively dark.
The most neutral photo was taken with the LG G6, although the image was still slightly bluish. The other smartphones delivered warm images up to the workout bench. With the Huawei P10, the exposure generally fell a little on the dark side, which means that details are lost in darker areas of the picture.
Overall, the impression remains that the Google Pixel offers a tremendously good camera performance. The two newcomers, the LG G6 and the Huawei P10, currently cant match the performance of the Pixel. The LG G6 made a better impression than the Huawei P10 in our comparison but both manufacturers still have the potential to optimize the camera with software updates – after all, this is not yet the final software. The race becomes all the more exciting when you add in the Sony Xperia XZs and the XZ Premium – which feature Sony’s new camera sensor.
So that’s our first impression of the cameras. We’ll continue to test the LG G6 and the Huawei P10 extensively over the coming days – and will diligently continue to take photos.
I would now like to know from you: What do you make of the results? And which camera produced the best results? I look forward to your feedback!