Editor’s Note: We took each individual smartphones’ rank across all nine rounds and calculated the average to see which handset performed the best overall.
The iPhone 5 snapped crisper, cleaner and more accurate photos than its eight competitors. Although Apple’s device didn’t outright win more than one round, the camera performed the most consistently across the board, offering the most natural colors. Although its flash can be overpowering, the iPhone’s camera provides the most pleasing images in the widest range of conditions.
HTC’s Ultrapixel camera impressed in our shootout. The HTC One especially thrives when it comes to taking low-light photos, but we were also impressed with its indoor shots. It may not be the best choice for taking photos in bright light, but overall the One’s camera is one of the best around.
Nearly neck-and-neck with the HTC One, LG’s Optimus G Pro wowed us with its level of detail and color saturation when capturing outdoor photos. When snapping a portrait outside on a sunny day, the LG Optimus G Pro delivered the crispest color and most accurate skin tone of the bunch.
The Sony Xperia ZL performed well as a low-light camera, but its outdoor images during daylight were a little blown out.
The Samsung Galaxy S4’s 13-megapixel shooter captured accurate and vibrant daytime outdoor portrait and scenic shots, but couldn’t snap a clear image in low-light conditions in auto mode.
We were really impressed with the BlackBerry Z10’s fill flash when shooting indoors and its sharp detail in outdoor daylight conditions. However, it’s flash didn’t perform well when shooting outdoor images at night.
The Nexus 4 performed well when capturing indoor images without flash, but didn’t really stand out in any of the other categories.
We were impressed by the Lumia 920’s vibrant outdoor closeup shot and its incredible low-light capabilities. However, in most of the rounds the Lumia 920 rendered colors inaccurately and portrayed them too bright, blown-out and exaggerated.
More often than not, we found that the Motorola Droid RAZR HD’s exposure was consistently too dark and its color tone inaccurate. It’s flash, however, did impress us during Round 7.