The days when iPhones dominated as undisputed camera kings among all other smartphones are over. Apple smartphones have not only been pushed into the background, but in some situations, they are easily destroyed by the quality of the images achieved by the best competitors. There is still one area, however, where the iPhone camera is unrivaled…
You’ve read it a million times now, at least you should have if you read us regularly, that the smartphones with the best cameras in the world, according to tests carried out by DxOMark, are all Android smartphones. The top seven in the standings are Android, with a second iPhone appearing on the list in the twelfth position.
Even ignoring the DxOMark ranking (which I highly recommend doing), iPhones have proved they can’t live up to photographic monsters like the Huawei P30 Pro, the Google Pixel 3 XL or even some Xiaomi smartphones. No one disputes that images taken with iPhones can leave you breathless if captured at the right time in the right place, but it is much more difficult to get shots in difficult situations and creative freedom stops at portrait mode and a telephoto lens with a focal length twice as long as the main sensor.
Once, for Cupertino’s iPhones, the camera was a strong point. It was a feature that Apple’s marketing department could count on to sell units, and that was tearing apart every single Android smartphone on the market. Then came Google with its first Pixel phones in 2016, followed by HTC with its U11/U12 series smartphones and then Huawei with an unprecedented night mode launched on its P20 and P20 Pro.
The Chinese producer was then overtaken by Google and its new Night Sight, a shooting mode in which the search giant uses his “software magic” to get shots that before that moment were impossible with a smartphone in the dark. Huawei recently took back the crown of best smartphone for photos in the dark.
It’s not just low light pictures that are the problem
With the arrival of more and more advanced smartphones with more and more cameras, there are additional options missing on iPhones. Rightly, you might argue that the iPhone camera simply works, always, and smoothly.
If you are a fan and you love taking lots of photos with your smartphone, however, you have to lust over Android smartphones with these features:
- Wide angle camera for panoramas
- Wide angle camera for group selfies
- A telephoto lens with a zoom greater than 2x
- A macro lens for super close-ups
- A manual mode
- A great night mode
The most impressive thing about this list is that today even mid-range Android smartphones have almost all these features, making these smartphones more useful and fun to use for amateur photography. For now, iPhones are simply limited by hardware and software that, while fully functional, strangles creativity. Apple seems to be afraid to overdo it, for now…
Apple still has tricks up its sleeve
However, there is a peculiarity of iPhone cameras that still today Android smartphones, even the most expensive ones that cost almost $2,000, cannot match. I’m talking about the quality of the video recording.
Apple seems to have put a lot of emphasis on the cinematic capabilities (if you’ll excuse the term) of its smartphones, so much so that it spent entire minutes in its last keynote just to remind us. No Android smartphone can record as pleasant a video as an iPhone (especially the last two generations, the iPhone 8/8 Plus, the iPhone X and the iPhone XS/XS Max/XR) can.
Colors are faithful to reality, there’s excellent stabilization, unparalleled sound quality and the videos captured by the iPhone are especially stable in terms of the number of frames per second. The result of all of this? Video quality objectively unmatched by other smartphones and an unparalleled feeling of fluidity.
While many top-of-the-range Android cameras can record 4K video at 60fps, you don’t get the same fluidity and enjoyment as you do with an iPhone. Apple has focused its efforts on the end result rather than on technical specifications that ultimately do not bring real benefits in use.
Yes, the LG V40 ThinQ and its manual video mode allow you to have more fun when recording. Yes, Samsung Galaxy S10+, and many Sony flagships record videos in HDR. Yes, Google Pixel phones have an amazing electronic stabilization system. However, iPhones are able to objectively record the best possible videos to date with a smartphone.
And, don’t even let me get started on third-party apps. Have you ever tried composing Instagram stories on iOS? Another world of its own…