Blind camera comparison: Galaxy Note 10+ vs Pixel 3, iPhone XS Max, OnePlus 7 Pro

Phones today take better photos than ever. Even mid-rangers do. 

Actually, the differences between two seemingly different devices are often so minuscule that most people out there would probably be fooled by a blind camera comparison test. Guess what, this is exactly what we are doing today.

We took the Galaxy Note 10+, the OnePlus 7 Pro, Google Pixel 3, and the iPhone XS Max for a photographic spin, took some photos, and you, I repeat, you will be the ones choosing the best photo in a total of eight different scenes. You will find a voting poll beneath each scene where you'll have to cast a vote and select your favorite photo. 

Have in mind that the photos have been randomized, so the first picture in one scene isn't necessarily taken by the same phone as the first photo in another scene. The polls will be open until September 2, so 

Your turn now. Scroll down, choose your favorite photos, and tell us which ones you voted for in the comments!

Scene #1 - No Netflix, just chilling

Which photo do you prefer?

A - Google Pixel 3
B - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
C - Apple iPhone XS Max
D - OnePlus 7 Pro

Scene #2 - Urban architecture

Which photo do you prefer?

A1 - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
B1 - OnePlus 7 Pro
C1 - Google Pixel 3
D1 - Apple iPhone XS Max

Scene #3 - My Cute Creatures

Which photo do you prefer?

E - Apple iPhone XS Max
F - OnePlus 7 Pro
G - Google Pixel 3
H - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Scene #4 - A red rose

Which photo do you prefer?

E1 - Apple iPhone XS Max
F1 - OnePlus 7 Pro
G1 - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
H1 - Google Pixel 3

Scene #5 - Art gallery

Which photo do you prefer?

I - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
J - OnePlus 7 Pro
K - Google Pixel 3
L - Apple iPhone XS Max

Scene #6 - Night Mode on!

Which photo do you prefer?

M - OnePlus 7 Pro
N - Google Pixel 3
O - Apple iPhone XS Max
P - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Scene #7 - The Black Rose

Which photo do you prefer?

Q - Apple iPhone XS Max
R - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
S - OnePlus 7 Pro
T - Google Pixel 3

Scene #8 - Late evening ice cream

Which photo do you prefer?

U - Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
V - Google Pixel 3
W - Apple iPhone XS Max
X - OnePlus 7 Pro



1. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2482; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think there should be a standard photo taken by a midrange compact camera for a “baseline” comparison. Something like a Canon SX740.

6. oldskool50 unregistered

Why? A dedicated camera has to many advantages over a phone. Why not have a mid-ranger as a base line instead? At least it the same category of device.

7. User123456789

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

At least people can see right exposure and white balance.

21. oldskool50 unregistered

I get that. But a dedicated camera has advantage in that the lens and hardware is completely different, as it's total focus is taking photos. The processing is different, the optics are completely different. I mean, would you race a Ferrari Enzo against a Lexus RX? The greta thiongs about Android phone sis, you can go into the settings and if you know a slight bit about photography, you can adjust them to your liking. But since the majority just use the presets, comparing to a DSLR of any kind is completely unfair to me. Not saying we can't, but the quality is gonna be completely different and its gonna be totally unfair because the smartphone optics are smaller, less detailed, balances are completely different, photo speed and more.

28. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

From your numerous typos I’d say one of the bad things about android devices are their keyboards

10. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2482; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

As the person before me mentioned: it’s to serve as a baseline for what the image should look like. How are you supposed to judge whether the colors are overblown or the lighting is off if you don’t have a reference to go off of?

16. splus

Posts: 166; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Exactly this! Any comparison without an accurate reference photo is meaningless. Like a good quality DSLR camera.

19. PartTimePhoner

Posts: 35; Member since: Jun 03, 2019

Blind camera conparision is for seeing which cameta is loved more not which is more realistic

22. oldskool50 unregistered

I know why you said, but it doesn't change the fact that a dedicated camera is gonna be more closer to perfect, because the camera is designed just for that. Yes I do get using it as a point of reference. But most smartphone cameras are always gonna be tilted one way or the other. Samsung use to saturate photos with color, everyone claimed they didn't like it. They preferred the more natural photos of the iPhone. Then both OEM's switched and Samsung went more natural and Apple got more saturated with the iPhone X. Then all of a sudden, the saturated photos were better. In general we can tell which photos are from an iPhone or Samsung device. Apple's white balnce over-brightens photos while Samsung tend to be slightly darker in appeal and tends to be poor with shadows. The blue sky is also always a dead giveaway too. if you want a real reference that beats ANY camera? Go outside and look at something similar with your own eyes, because that is what cameras are trying to mimic. And if you have decent eye-sight with or without glasses/contacts, you can see natural color tones and you can easily compare that with a photo. There is no better reference than that. When I look at all these daytime shots, I simply looked out my window for similar colors ranges. And based on the photos, the Galaxy appears to be more what I would see with my own eyes, but I prefer a bit of saturation. I don't care about realism, I care more about punchy and vibrant. if you use a reference photo, then it takes away the point of it being a blind comparison, which is why I questioned that. It makes it unfair. fair is seeing what the camera see, based on your own eye-sight. How you see, and how a camera see is totally different and its best to use your own eyes as reference, because you are judging based on what you see.

41. midan

Posts: 3100; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

" Apple got more saturated with the iPhone X. Then all of a sudden, the saturated photos were better." Again subject which you don't clearly understand. iPhone X photos aren't oversatured candy colours, that was the thing people didn't like, Apple had those candy colours years ago. I didn't own any of those iPhones. I take lot of photos and been using iPhone X for almost two years and i can say it takes very natural looking photos.

44. Marcwand3l

Posts: 456; Member since: May 08, 2017

"iPhone X photos aren't oversatured candy colours" Incorrect. The iphone X often produces photos with oversaturated candy colors

43. Marcwand3l

Posts: 456; Member since: May 08, 2017

It also has disadvantages. In this particular comparison a dedicated DSLR would have lost.

24. Kloak

Posts: 82; Member since: May 27, 2018

Like someone said this should be taken as which one takes the most appealing photos, not the better ones, if you want to know which one takes better photos this is useless without a reference like you said.

33. Cambapo

Posts: 24; Member since: Dec 24, 2015

I agree. That would show an "ideal" photo to compare the smartphone photos to, and would be useful to know how to objectively measure their performance.

39. m00kie

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 23, 2019

Yes, completely agree. Cameras are one of the most used features of the smartphones and consumers are looking to buy smartphones with good camera.

2. User123456789

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

I am sure B will win almost all just because it is the brightest.

3. DFranch

Posts: 558; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Did you read the part that said the phone positions were randomized in each test?

8. User123456789

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

When I say B, I mean photo number 2. Not same device. Most of the second photos of each set is the brightest. People have fetish for this, no matter if it has captured scene correctly or wrongly

4. redmd

Posts: 1948; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I'm excited on the results.

5. oldskool50 unregistered

What language is the McDonald's sign? I want to use my phone to hear how that is pronounced.

9. User123456789

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

It is just written in cyrillic. Phone Arena office is in Bulgaria. GSMArena too, I dont know if both are in same city.

35. oldskool50 unregistered


11. Vancetastic

Posts: 1710; Member since: May 17, 2017

I tried to pick quickly the most appealing photo, sort of like how I'd imagine a "regular" consumer might do.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4313; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

All very similar in quality. Just personal preference more than anything with exception of the night shots. I picked by avoiding the yellow unnatural hue the Hauwei, Apple and even Samsung exhibit at times.

13. Knownhost

Posts: 111; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

The photographer in this article did a good job catching the same object/place at the same distance and angle. I look forward to the results.

26. cmdacos

Posts: 4313; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Much better than usual. I agree

14. lepra87

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

And the Xiaomi 9T Pro??

17. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They all looked good enough for me.

42. DFranch

Posts: 558; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I think that is a point a lot of people forget. All these phones are good, it is only in the most challenging nighttime conditions where any of them become unacceptable. More than good enough for my needs.

20. Rellaghs

Posts: 6; Member since: Jun 19, 2019

Not the best photo selection, but I'm curious nonetheless. Missing some highcontrast photos and portraits as well.

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