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iPhone 5s tops our blind camera comparison, Xperia Z1 Compact takes last place

Posted: , by Nick T.

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iPhone 5s tops our blind camera comparison, Xperia Z1 Compact takes last place
Did you know that back in 1995, Apple presented a prototype of a PDA with a built-in digital camera? This conceptual device known as the Apple Videophone was developed to allow video calls to be made over a data connection. Today, some 19 years later, we have the iPhone – a versatile smartphone that can be used for not just FaceTime chats, but for taking high quality photos as well. Its 8MP main snapper is liked by many, including a considerable fraction of our readers, as it turns out. In fact, Apple's iPhone 5s was ranked first in our latest blind camera comparison.

For those who missed it, last week we took a bunch of photos using six of today's most popular high-end smartphones. (You can see all of the original images here.) Then we posted the images side by side without revealing which phones we had used and asked people to vote for the photos that they liked best. The results? Over a third of those who participated in the poll chose the photos taken with the iPhone 5s. With half as many votes, the Sony Xperia Z1 took the silver prize, and the LG G2 came third having collected some 16% of the votes. In fourth and fifth place respectively we have the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Trailing behind all of them, to our surprise, is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. For some reason, Sony's masterpiece of a smartphone didn't get much of our readers' love even though its 20.7MP cam is actually a very potent shooter.

So how are you, guys, finding the results? Surprised to see the iPhone 5s taking the first spot? And do you think that the Z1 Compact deserved to be last? Tell us down in the comments!

Phonearena polls
sort by
Which phone's photos do you like the most?
34.77%
1236 votes
(1236 votes) iPhone 5s (Phone 1)
17.78%
632 votes
(632 votes) Sony Xperia Z1 (Phone 5)
16.06%
571 votes
(571 votes) LG G2 (Phone 2)
12.29%
437 votes
(437 votes) HTC One (Phone 3)
12.18%
433 votes
(433 votes) Samsung Galaxy S4 (Phone 4)
6.92%
246 votes
(246 votes) Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (Phone 6)

3555 votes






123 Comments
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posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:24 1

1. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Oh, my G2 sits in the middle. Good.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:30 2

52. Finalflash (Posts: 1588; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Results aside, can we get a tripod and a fixed angle/distance to take these pictures. The first two vary a lot between the different cameras and the only real good one is the last one. Given this is a better test than the one preceding it with blurry pictures and what not, yet just a bit more finesse and we can finally have a very controlled and equal experiment for once.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 16:33

88. james004 (Posts: 471; Member since: 15 May 2013)


man!!!!!!!!!!!
was really hoping xperia z1 comes in first.
that xperia camera app still needs some improvement for the noise reduction and high vibrant colours(fake wam colours that poeple really like)

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:53 8

78. apexKBC (Posts: 92; Member since: 10 Dec 2012)


I dont believe PA!!!!

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 19:48 4

91. sennarose88 (Posts: 53; Member since: 18 Jun 2009)


Butthurt much?

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 13:50 1

108. Lboogey6 (Posts: 264; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


Lol no remember then iPhone cane in like 3rd last time and all of a sudden it's the best... hmm kinda funny how the votes changed

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:24 14

2. LAFN (Posts: 43; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)


Nokia Lumia 1020 is in a league of its own?

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:31 12

7. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Yes. BB Z30 as well.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:41 2

8. tech2 (Posts: 1906; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


lol........ouch +1

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:47 3

9. Jobayer (Posts: 92; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


Nice one +1, but the 1020 is epic anyways.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:58 1

32. raunak (Posts: 502; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


Even more so after gdr3. And I knew 1020 couldn't be in there.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 07:11 2

37. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7724; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Yup. Everyone chose photo #1 because of the bench photo.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 10:51 2

70. domfonusr (Posts: 339; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


I chose phone 1 because it seemed to do better in all three frames. Now I am mortified that I voted for the stinkin' iPhone.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:24 13

3. papss (unregistered)


Good for apple. They do consistently good in the camera dept

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:52 6

14. hung2900 (Posts: 779; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


The f*cking stupid thing in any PhoneArena blind camera contest is people trying to guess which photo belongs to which phone, and giving bias decision. But more stupidly, many people believe in initial comments with their guessing.

Next time no comment available please

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:08 15

19. boosook (Posts: 939; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Well, I'm no Apple fan, but I have to say that, in this test at least, the iphone pics do actually look better.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:05 1

45. Finalflash (Posts: 1588; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


They do and he is also right people are looking for their favorites, for that matter some people called it out in the comments fairly accurately. Still, more competition never hurt and as long as we have equally good looking shots at least you can't go wrong picking any one of those phones.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 01:11

110. XperiaShubhi (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Feb 2014)


Well
apples got camera from SONY!!!
google it!!

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:14 9

47. androiphone20 (Posts: 1400; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


That wtf moment when you vote for the phone you hate with a passion

posted on 02 Feb 2014, 03:31

111. monkeytown (Posts: 107; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


just shows how stupid one can be...
how can you 'hate a PHONE (lol) with a passion'??

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:17 3

48. __0__ (banned) (Posts: 242; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Yeah , if people know phone 1 is the iPhone. It will be ranked last. This is how bias this site's users have become .

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:24 1

51. Finalflash (Posts: 1588; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


lol not really, it usually is the WP and iPhone people that vote only for one phone. The Android crowd is at least diverse in their own ecosystem of usually 3+ phones. Even in the last one there was a good spread of votes between the droids.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 12:24

80. KillgoreTroutTime (Posts: 217; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


Agree. Are most people on this site under 21? I don't understand why adults would hate Apple with a passion. Every time I read articles on this site, there are so many immature people who love nothing more than to hate something. As a mature adult, I just don't get it.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 16:52

90. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 360; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)


I don't get it either. I mean, can we just appreicate what technology brings to us?

Hate is such an offensive word

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:42

54. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6249; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


you're right. cause every other picture i see in every phone the image looks the same. typical of them to show their favortism.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:26 3

4. ezMoney (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Dec 2013)


I thought the Z1C has the same camera as the Z1? So why the difference?

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:30 3

6. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Probably caused by bad software optimization on Z1 compact.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:49 2

12. pwnarena (Posts: 843; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


of course not. it's based on votes. if you look at 5 and 6 they're very much alike. they just didn't have the punch of an iphone 5s and sony fans were lost on where to cast their votes.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:42

55. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6249; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


How is that possible when they both have the same technology

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 09:48

62. pwnarena (Posts: 843; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


superior auto is a hit and miss affair.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:32 2

28. Feanor (Posts: 295; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Well, hmm.... I think this is bad journalism by Phone Arena; the Z1 and Z1 Compact share the same camera (the results prove it), so the votes that this camera takes was simply split in two random percentages. I think the correct think would be to include only one of the two.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:08 1

46. Commentator (Posts: 2340; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Yeah... I wonder why the Note 3 wasn't there to steal votes from the S4, or the One max wasn't there to steal the One's votes, or the 5c from the 5s...

Good for Sony, they came in second with about 24% of the total. I ended up voting for the G2.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 09:50 1

63. pwnarena (Posts: 843; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


it's not about stealing votes. nobody expected two xperia z's to be there.

just admit it. the 5s photos have the punch so people went for number 1.

also, bear in mind that nokia fans are quite a dedicated bunch. they saw oversaturation so they thought that was it.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 10:56 1

71. bustervic (Posts: 22; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


I somewhat agree, although really you could bump up the Z1 a little further due to losing some votes with the compact there.

The bigger problem is that at a superficial glance so many voted for the 5s. Years of taking photos of a hobby, (I am not a pro by any means) and not on one photo did I think #1 was the top of the heap.

I flipped between #2, #4, and #5 for the combo of detail , colour, etc.

I had them ranked #4, #2, and #5 for the top three.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 10:58

72. Feanor (Posts: 295; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Actually the cameras of the Note and the S4 are not entirely the same, as the camera of the One Max is not the same as the one of the One. So, if they were included, it would make sense. But the cameras of the two Z1s are the same, so this really only splits the votes.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:03

73. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


The phone PA was using is pre-release, that's why. The Z1 camera software has had 3 overhauls since release. Very glad that this shootout proves what I already knew: Z1 is king camera phone on Android.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:27 1

5. teja171 (unregistered)


:P Iphones

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:48

10. venomania (Posts: 14; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)


I guess phone 1 is lumia 1020, but i`m wrong :(

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:49 13

11. Reality_Check (Posts: 262; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Next time how about a reference pic with a DSLR, so that we know what to see in a pic !!

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 07:07 6

35. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


How about nokia lumia 1020 pic as a reference picture.............. ;-)

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 10:13 5

66. Sauce (unregistered)


DSLR > Toy Lumia

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:51 2

13. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)


It's sort of weird that so many people can look at the same photo and come to different conclusions. All six phones were chosen by someone as having the best camera. I choose #5.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:56 12

15. limporgyuk (Posts: 137; Member since: 06 Nov 2013)


I guess ultrapixels aren't that bad afterall sammy fanboys

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:13 1

23. Hyperreal (Posts: 126; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


They are actually preety good. They just lack resolution to zoom in.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:28

75. 2oozoo (Posts: 11; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


hahahaaaaa still having fun with my note 3 and enjoying every little piece of it , including it's great camera , ( hard luck with your toy with the super duper camera shots and the !phonearena test )

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:43

76. Hyperreal (Posts: 126; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


troll

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 11:50

77. 2oozoo (Posts: 11; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


truth

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:56

16. Vanster (Posts: 124; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


haha i choose #1 cz has a sharp and darker picture

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 05:59 6

17. buba05 (Posts: 6; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


So everyone was so dissapointed witch HTC One's ultrapixel camera and now in this test it isn't the worst, it had more votes Samsug Galaxy S4. I think that this is the proof that HTC shouldn't ditch Ultrapixel technology they just need it improve it because with 4 ultrapixels it's still one of the better cameras out there. So One's followup should have a great camera with 6 or 8 ultrapixels.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 08:20 2

49. newbey123 (Posts: 396; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)


Exactly! Just up it to 6 or 8 and it will be stellar, although it is great now.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 14:11

109. Lboogey6 (Posts: 264; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


Dude ultrapixel Is rated one of the biggest disappointments this it's weird how the same phones a few months ago had much different results HTC is still garbage in the camera department and the iPhone was boosted some how

posted on 04 Feb 2014, 11:26

115. buba05 (Posts: 6; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


Then define my garbage, because a camera that captures very decent photos surely isn't garbage. I'm not saying it is the best but for those 4 ultrapixels(which really aren't a dissapointment and we will see that on the One's followup)pictures are very good. I personally didn't buy this device because of the camera but I wouldn't have bought it if I thought it had a crappy camera. HTC doesn't have the best camera but it surely isn't the worst and hopefully with some improvements it will be as good as iPhones camera or the Z1's camera. And by the end of the day it is surely better rounded than the iPhone 5S.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:02

18. pwnarena (Posts: 843; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


i really thought 5 and 6 had the best low light shots. you can clearly see the distinction among colors. they're not blanketed by a red/orange tint. i thought they were from galaxy s4 and lg.

but the iphone 5s photo really looked more appealing. if you want something more realistic, go for the androids except htc 1.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:09 2

20. shadez10 (Posts: 398; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


why is it that nokia is not included?..

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:10 1

21. Bishop_99 (Posts: 63; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)


I think Phone 5 (Xperia z1) took the best pictures. I'm an S4 owner, but the pictures produce by the Sony phone are much better. I really didn't like the pics produced by phone 1 much and phone 3 looked the worse.

Although taking pics with these phones are good for a quick shot. If you have a better camera at hand, they will easily beat cell phone pics.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 07:13 2

38. Amir1 (Posts: 257; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


nice to know someone feels like me! i voted for phone 5 but phone 4 was close second. i had no idea which photo belong to which phone. this makes me happy cause i'm planning to buy h2 sony flagship. the natural colors and sharpness in the z1 photos really caught my eyes! i really didn't like the over saturated iphone photos unlike others here! it looks unnatural overall!

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:12 1

22. Vitabis (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


Iphone has the most appealing pics because they boost the colors, which also makes it look fake sometimes.
I chose the 5th phone (Z1) (2nd phone - LG G2 - was my second choice) because they had the most realistic pics

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:16 4

24. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Interesting, guess my favorite camera quality comes from the Samsung Galaxy S4. I think it's an agreeable decision too.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:24 6

25. mokhtar (Posts: 205; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


Phone arena kill your serlf, people kill yourserlf too
Scenes 2 and 3 are unnatural for the apple, so a photographe would like an unnatural camera ? Wich is the best natural result or unnatural ? Z1 best camera here clearly

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 06:47 9

30. darkkjedii (Posts: 10536; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Oh hush

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