Camera Comparison: iPhone 5s vs LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, HTC One, Motorola Moto X, DROID Ultra
- 1 Introduction and Details
- 2 Color Representation
- 3 Macro and Close-ups
- 4 Indoor
- 5 Night
- 6 Video
- 7 Interface and ease of use
- 8 Conclusion and overall score
- Apple iPhone 5s specifications
- LG G2 specifications
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S4 specifications
- HTC One specifications
- Motorola Moto X specifications
- Motorola DROID Ultra specifications
Conclusion and overall score
While the camera on the iPhone 5s is not drastically better than the one found on its predecessor, it is still capable enough to rank Apple's smartphone among the best cameraphones out today. Throughout our testing, it constantly delivered outstanding results regardless of the shooting conditions, so it definitely deserves to hold the top spot in this comparison.
However, the iPhone 5s shares the gold with LG's flagship – the LG G2 – which proved that it is also a force to be reckoned with, beating Apple's smartphone in some tests, yet lagging slightly behind in others.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 gets the bronze, which is still a notable achievement given the fact that it has been on the market for about six months now. Even its compadre – the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – couldn't outpace it, even though the latter demonstrated that its camera is definitely not to be underestimated.
The HTC One, Motorola MOTO X, and Motorola DROID Ultra all come with cameras that promise more than they can deliver. Sure, HTC's Ultrapixel technology and the Clear Pixel sensors used by Motorola's handsets may seem pretty cool on paper, but the results are a tad underwhelming, although still good enough for the needs of the casual photographer.
Disclaimer: The overall score for each phone represents its average rating. All categories have been taken into account with equal weight on the overall score.
46. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)
Actually, the first iPhone picture is about as blurry as swamp water - I can't make out anything under Christoper Columbus. Galaxy Note 3 and Lumix GH2 are clearest. But, go ahead and keep fantasizing.
73. JunitoNH (Posts: 1801; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)
Well, no disrespect, you either need glasses or a new monitor, cause I can see every single letter and detail.
84. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
you need to tell the last sentence to yourself. go ahead... do it now...
113. MartyK (Posts: 819; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
Hell, I'm glad someone else thought it was blurry, I clean my monitor and my glasses...lol thanks for confirming this for me....lol
47. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1173; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
I think they should redo the night test with the iPhone 5S. There is clearly some sort of backlight in the photo (most likely from a car's headlights as evident by the shadow you see). This could give results that are different than if that car wasn't there.
70. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)
So, if they car weren't there shining a light you really wouldn't be able to see anything in the pic - isn't that called CHEATING Dr. Phil?
29. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
Just another sponsored article by LG, nothing to see here.
36. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Why the hate? Camera comparisons aren't sponsored, it's just a comparison. I'm pretty sure that you won't say that if the Note 3 wins this comparison.
66. robcar (Posts: 109; Member since: 18 Jan 2011)
And you have this argument every time your team loses?...
79. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1236; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
I agree. PA made this so LG would look good and pay them more. And I only say this because we all saw the G2 get destroyed yesterday in the blind comparison.
83. eli577 (Posts: 84; Member since: 29 Jun 2010)
Yeah, like that blind comparison was really blind....on the first day everybody knew, which picture belonged to the selected phones, so it really was unbiased....LOL.
If there were only crops, and not full pictures, then it would had been a fair fight
2. MrTzr (unregistered)
You forgot to include the Z1.
81. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1236; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
They wouldn't want anyone beating the G2! LG is Phonearena's biggest sponsor.
8. eli577 (Posts: 84; Member since: 29 Jun 2010)
I think the 1020 is out of question, because it performes so much better than the others that it wouldn't be a fair comparison. The Z1 is a more interesting one, wondering why they left it out of the article.
20. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I would definitely add the z1 but not the Nokia 1020. The 1020 is a year old phone with a great camera attached to it. No different if Sammy was to add a great camera to a year old S3. Plus where do you draw the line? What if you add the perfect camera to a 2 year old Galaxy S2?
59. Immolate (Posts: 310; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)
So you're saying that the 1020 isn't qualified to compete with the other cameras, even though it's better than all of them by an impassable gulf, because it's an old phone? The tech may not be impressive, but neither is the Moto X or the iPhone, and they do just fine. Also, the 1020 was release in the US in late July 2013, so less than three months old here. Sounds like you just don't like getting smacked around.
65. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)
1020 is a good backup camera and good call quality, it ends there.
100. Johann (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Oct 2013)
Well wouldn't it be quite a fair comparison because the iPhone 5S is basically a year-old phone with a fingerprint sensor added onto it?
You have to include the best phone camera into a comparison of phone cameras.
88. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
I agree. But I heard that Note 3 has a toggle "Smart stabilization"used for taking low light photo, and we have to toggle in unlike built in as G2. PA can you check it?
5. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)
An excellent and well balanced camera comparison by PA!
Butthurt sammities attacking in 3..2..1..
22. PorkyBurger (Posts: 585; Member since: 18 May 2013)
I think well done. :) Don't be so...idk lol.
40. nerdylish (Posts: 51; Member since: 13 Apr 2013)
Well, have a look at the butthurts then, comment #31 for instance.
76. darkkjedii (Posts: 21353; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Quad what phone you rockin now, and are you getting a new iPad?
90. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)
An iPhone 5 on iOS 7. I really like the iPhone 5S, but I think I'll wait another year for the iPhone 6. And nope, no plans to buy a new iPad 'cause I'm pretty satisfied with my iPad mini. And another huge reason is that I'm out of money 'cause I also bought the MacBook Air 2013 not so long ago, lol.
95. darkkjedii (Posts: 21353; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I feel you bro, good luck with what you have. 2014 is gonna be huge for apple, stay tuned. +1
96. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)
Yeah, dark. iWatch and iPhone 6 are already on my list!
39. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Because both of them are boss, if PA include them in this camera comparison, both of them will be on top.
7. _PHug_ (Posts: 444; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)
Before anyone asks why there aren't any Lumia (enter random #s here) in the test.
The answer is NO ONE BUYS THOSE.
Thats why Blackberry and Palm wasn't included also.
11. chandancherry (Posts: 32; Member since: 25 Jun 2013)
"NO ONE BUYS THOSE."
Are you from Mars?!?!
15. amats69 (Posts: 1445; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
The title says "Camera Comparison" not "Sales Comparison"
55. GoogleSafariFox (banned) (Posts: 100; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)
_PHug_ i agreed with you! Hahaha You nailed it! Here in New jersey, CA nobody likes any Windows Nokia Phones LOL!
63. Immolate (Posts: 310; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)
I bought one yesterday. The reason the 1020 isn't here is because it overshadows all of the phones that are here, as does the Z1 to a lesser degree. None of these phones can compete with either. This is a shoot out of the second tier smartphone cameras of late 2013.
114. MartyK (Posts: 819; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
You're so wrong for that!...lol
Adding Palm, Sanyo in with blackberry and ex Nokia..lol
16. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)
Because the Z1 isn't available yet in the US and since there is a droid ultra in this comparison, this comparison has been made in the states
32. tomn1ce (Posts: 212; Member since: 12 Mar 2012)
I hope that the Droid Ultra and the Maxx get the Moto X camera update to make those cameras better. This way the owners of said device can enjoy their pics.
14. moronman66 (Posts: 162; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)
All of them are good cameras, I mean, compare these cameras to any camera two years ago and you have clear winners! Good job all manufacturers, although I do wish the Z1 were a part of this. The 1020 has been tried and proven but the Z1's camera hasn't been tested yet as extensively
17. darkkjedii (Posts: 21353; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Lumix, note 3, moto x, g4, g2, 5S, One, and the ultra. As good as the 5S camera is, it took a weak photo here. As far those Christopher Columbus pics go.
18. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
Looks to be pretty unbiased. Nice comparison.
23. syedej123 (banned) (Posts: 71; Member since: 08 Jan 2013)
Hehe its not from JOhn VVvVVVVvVV ;-)
21. nxl2610 (Posts: 49; Member since: 14 Aug 2013)
i think that the overall score is strange ,because in recent blind camera test ,the S4 had more vote than the 5S and G2
24. bustervic (Posts: 26; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)
Everything seems fine until you get to the "Night" Photos. Giving the S4 and Note3 a rating of 3 is ridiculous. In the sample photos the difference between the 5S and S4 is minimal and how there is a 5 point spread is beyond me. That difference alone take the S4 from even to the 5s to 3rd place.
Provide us with photos that show the "unusable" shots and I'll be inclined to agree with the final ranking, but otherwise this is an glaring discrepancy in your review.
25. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Moto X before or after the recent camera software update?
106. darylzero (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)
This is my question as well. I am really perplexed as I really like the Moto X except the camera. Also, I have seen other comparisons on the web (YouTube videos) which conclude that the Moto X has a better camera than others. I'm not sure who to believe.
26. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 987; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)
Moto X fans not going to be happy about this, but it really doesn't compare to other Android flagships anyway, it's a mid ranger.
27. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
With so many articles sponsored by LG in PA, why is it so difficult to see that LG sponsored this contest? iPhone is clearly better.
LG is basically the sponsor of PA articles now.