After a week of voting, it’s finally time to reveal the winning cell phone in our camera comparison Galaxy S21 UltraAnd Mi 11 UltraAnd Zenfone 8 NS iPhone 12 Pro Max. Can Asus and Xiaomi mobile phones compete with the more advanced phones from Samsung and Apple?
It’s good to remember that our comparison was shared by the audience as well as the TudoCelular team. The sounds were blind, i.e. no one knew which smartphone took each photo to ensure maximum neutrality.
|Mi 11 Ultra||Galaxy S21 Ultra||iPhone 12 Pro Max||Zenfone 8|
|Precision||50 MP + 48 MP + 48 MP||108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP||12MP + 12MP + 12MP||64MP + 12MP|
|Opening||f/1.8 + f/3 + f/2.2||f / 1.8 + f / 4.9 / f / 2.4 + f / 2.2||f / 1.6 + f / 2.4 + f / 2.2||f/1.8 + f/2.2|
|pixel size||1 / 1.12 m + 1 / 2.0 m + 1 / 2.0 m||1 / 1.33 µm + 1 / 3.24 µm + 1 / 3.24 µm + 1 / 2.55 µm||1.7 m + 1.0 m + 1.0 m||1 / 1.73 m + 1 / 2.55 m|
|front camera||20 MP, f / 2.2||40 MP, f / 2.2||12 MP, f / 2.2||12 MP, f / 2.5|
Photos were taken with smartphones using Auto mode, except for scene in HDR (where HDR is manually activated if it didn’t happen in Auto) and Night mode. All at the maximum allowable resolution in the aspect ratio 4: 3, in which we usually reach the full potential of the sensor. Voting can be checked by clicking here.
Now find out the order of the smartphones used in the test:
The results listed below are the result of the following methodology with the establishment of the individual and final classification. Each smartphone received a score in each individual comparison, with the sum of all points revealing the winner. The following weights were used:
- first place: 4 points
- second place: 3 points
- Third place: 2 points
- fourth place: 1 point
Explaining the registration method, we move on to the results!
Picture 1 – Portrait mode
On our first shoot, we took beautiful model Nah Monstans to pose for a photo with the background out of focus. Everyone is currently looking for cell phones that have a portrait effect to stand out from the scene. At this point, we had a good fight between Apple and Samsung, but the iPhone left our model with an artificial tone. In terms of colors, the Mi 11 Ultra was the closest to reality, except that its blur effect is weak. Zenfone finally comes out for having the worst portrait mode out of the four.
Picture 2 – Selfie
And a selfie? Here the choice becomes more difficult. iPhone and Galaxy almost tied in our vote. Both record more skin and hair detail, while Zenfone and Mi 11 Ultra significantly smooth out the image to hide imperfections. The difference is that the iPhone generates a more professional blur, but on the other hand it gives an unnatural tan. Since this can be more easily corrected in editing, it ends up taking our victory.
Photo 3 – HDR
Not every mobile phone can make up well for the difference between light and dark areas of a scene. That’s when having a good HDR algorithm is important and here comes the Zenfone 8 that does the best job. Not only does it help restore detail from shadows, but it can also achieve a better balance between brightness and color. Xiaomi scored a darker picture, but still had a more balanced score than the Galaxy. While the iPhone finally comes with the worst picture.
Picture 4 – Macro
Phones with macro cameras are very common these days, but it is still rare to see this type of camera on advanced devices. None of the four models in our comparison have a dedicated macro camera, so we had to use the flagship model for that. And which one recorded the largest picture? The S21 Ultra was the best, although it doesn’t blur the background like the others. If you like the blur effect to accentuate your macro, Zenfone 8 will be the best in this regard.
Photo 5 – Zoom 5x
Do you need to shoot from afar? That’s when the advanced optical zoom system makes a difference, and at this point, the Galaxy S21 Ultra sweeps out its rivals with the sharpest 5x zoom image. Since the iPhone and Zenfone don’t have such a long zoom, they ended up lagging behind in this comparison, leaving the silver medal for the Mi 11 Ultra that Samsung lost in the details of the scenario.
Picture 6 – Far details
And when distant details matter but no need to zoom in to get an extremely narrow frame? Again, it’s the Galaxy that scores the best photo overall. Everything is balanced in detail, color and contrast. The Zenfone 8 and Mi 11 Ultra are fighting over the difference between the tone of the photos, but it ended up choosing Asus. Finally, we have an iPhone with intense contrast and very cool colours.
Photo 7 – Too Wide
Do you enjoy photographing wide scenes of breathtaking landscapes? It’s important to have a high-quality ultra-wide camera, and at this point Samsung has always stood out, but the competition has been catching up. Our best comparison was the Mi 11 Ultra, both in the field of view and in the colors and vegetation details. Secondly, the Zenfone 8 comes with a narrower field of view and lower contrast, but it still dwarfs the iPhone by far. The Galaxy S21 Ultra scored a great picture, but it didn’t take as much of a scene as the others.
Picture 8 – Macro in contrast
In another macro dispute, we see that it’s not always the Galaxy S21 Ultra that scores the best close-up shot. Again, he was the only one who didn’t blur the background, but did capture less flower detail than the Zenfone 8, which ended up taking the gold in this comparison. The iPhone was less sharp, while the Mi 11 Ultra had more artificial colors. Since this can be easily fixed in the release, Xiaomi is in second place.
Picture 9 – Contrast
Not every mobile phone can get the right contrast when shooting. By excessive color control, details are destroyed especially in darker places. It was Zenfone 8 that scored the picture with the best balance of light, color and contrast. The iPhone was dull, but it’s sharper than the Mi 11 Ultra. The Galaxy S21 Ultra usually performs well in this type of photo, but it was the one that delivered the darkest.
Foto 10 – Simple Selfie Newspaper
Going further, you can get a good idea of what each cell phone with rear cameras can offer. But what about selfies? This time we disable portrait mode to avoid maximum processing. The Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max recorded the most accurate images, with Samsung showing the most natural colors. Zenfone 8 took a more natural photo compared to Mi 11 Ultra which abuses its cosmetic effect. Remember that in this scenario, the back set of Xiaomi was used with the help of the rear screen, but unfortunately it does not work with portrait mode or video mode.
Picture 11 – A simple night selfie
Night selfies are Xiaomi’s forte. Mi 11 Ultra scored the sharpest and least noisy image thanks to the use of the rear panel along with the small screen on the back. The Galaxy S21 Ultra scored a sharper picture, which may end up satisfying many, but when you zoom in you’ll see the flaws in selfies. The iPhone was restricted in voting to follow the opposite path: it recorded a darker image so that the quality loss would not appear. Finally, we have the Zenfone 8 with the worst selfie of the bunch. It is at these times that the Flip camera is missed.
Picture 12 – Night Mode
Taking pictures at night is quite a challenge even for the most expensive cell phone. There’s no point in being good at photography if everything comes out too dark. This is where having an efficient night mode is crucial and we have two distinct cases in this comparison. The iPhone was voted the most for displaying the brightest colors, while the Mi 11 Ultra comes in second for the clearest picture. what do you prefer? Galaxy comes in third place, leaving Zenfone with the picture with the worst colors.
Picture 13 – Night Portrait
Portrait mode doesn’t always do a good job in dark places. When trying to darken the background of photos, it is normal for the scene to appear darker than it should be, which is what happened with photos taken by Zenfone and Galaxy. The Mi 11 Ultra was almost the best in this comparison for the clearest picture, but it suffered the most from noise. Still, the iPhone wins another by having the most balanced image.
Picture 14 – Night selfie
And a selfie with portrait mode at night? This is also the kind of situation that makes a lot of advanced cameras suffer. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the one that offers the best front sensor and the one that captures the best selfie in terms of colour, brightness and sharpness. In second place is the Mi 11 Ultra, which despite its lack of sharpness, is still true in terms of brightness and colors. The iPhone comes in third with the worst brightness, but with better colors than the Zenfone 8.
Picture 15 – Night scene
And to finish our photo comparison, another night scene was captured. The iPhone closes off the latest controversy with another gold medal for getting the right colours, detail, and contrast. The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in second with a slightly darker picture, but still has great quality. The Mi 11 Ultra gives an initial impression that it was fine, but when zoomed in we see more flaws than the Samsung competitor, while the Zenfone 8 loses more sharpness.
In the first part of the comparison, we saw a good conflict with every device that stood out in certain situations. The Galaxy S21 Ultra was the most balanced, not only winning in many competitions, but rarely much less than its competitors. The iPhone 12 Pro Max almost came close to the Xiaomi competitor, but it still took second place, leaving the Zenfone 8 last in the comparison.
Ranking the most voted
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: 28.2% of the votes
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: 25.3% dos photos
- Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: 2 votes by 24%
- Asus Zenfone 8: 22.5% of the votes
Who gets the best videos? The iPhone is the only one that doesn’t record 8K video on the back, while the Mi 12 Ultra is the only one that doesn’t record 4K video on the front. Recording in 8K resolution may not be that important to many people, as not everyone has a TV with that resolution and files take up a lot of cell phone memory.
By comparing everyone who records 4K videos, we can conclude that the iPhone has the clearest picture and more graceful focus. They all feature an effective stabilization system to reduce vibration, but the S21 Ultra has small fluidity flaws. Mi 11 Ultra was the weakest to score and somewhat lost focus. Zenfone 8 features the best audio capture with clarity and bass that are superior to others.
When shooting at night, it is the Zenfone 8 that beats it with the clearest and sharpest video. The iPhone has a grainy picture due to the excessive noise, but it still captures more detail than is far away compared to Xiaomi and Samsung. On the other hand, the Galaxy has the most advanced zoom and can come in handy in some situations.
All four photos capture good videos from the front, Mi 11 Ultra offers the smoothest picture and the worst dynamic range, but nothing gets in the way too much. The problem is when recording in dark places. Zenfone 8 suffers the most from excessive noise to the point of ruining shots. Mi 11 Ultra also suffered from noise but still managed to record with good clarity. The S21 Ultra had the sharpest night shooting and cleaner picture record than the iPhone.
It was evident that the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s cameras have improved after several software updates and we achieved more balanced results than in previous comparisons. He may not outperform others at every moment, but he will not let you down. The iPhone is getting close to the back and despite its obsession with turning everything yellow, it still manages to work for newer versions.
Mi 11 Ultra stands out in pictures, but it could be better in videos. Zenfone 8 is the opposite and performs well in shots, except for the front end in dark places, and it offers the best audio capture. That’s not to say Asus’s bad for photos, but it has a more limited selection than the rest.
(Updated Sep 7, 2021 at 3:48 a.m.)
“Incurable thinker. Food aficionado. Subtly charming alcohol scholar. Pop culture advocate.”