The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T

The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T
From being recognized as word of the year back in 2013 to becoming one of the main things we use our phones for, selfies have definitely come a long way. Phones these days are naturally very well-equipped to shoot a prize-worthy selfie for Instagram or what have you, but simply "good" is lo longer good enough.

We've rounded up a slew of recent flagships that are totally the creme of the crop these days, and just as you might imagine, we've pitted them one against the other to see which one shoots the very best selfies!

What devices did we choose? Our venerable round-up consists of the Samsung Galaxy S10+, Google Pixel 3, LG G8, Apple iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, and the OnePlus 6T. Truth is, these are among the very best phones you can buy at this moment, and a selfie comparison between all of these will be quite intriguing. 

Scene #1

Regular daytime selfie


Our first selfie is a regular one - no deliberate HDR, no portrait shenanigans, just our lad George Zarkov and six great flagships. A showdown for the ages!

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Crops

The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T

Google Pixel 3: 8/10 

The Pixel has produced a rather likable selfie in this scenario. As evident in the 100% crop, the Pixel is second only to the Galaxy S10+ in terms of details and their quality. This selfie is slightly on the underexposed side, making for a darker style, which is not bad, but a flatter look that would allow the user to further post-process the picture would have been a better choice. The background is well-exposed, but there's no bokeh.

Samsung Galaxy S10+: 9/10

Excellent selfie! As you can see in the crop above, there's an exorbitant amount of details here which are very clear and don't appear fuzzy. The exposure of the picture as a whole is excellent, and so are the colors - realistic and very true to real-life. There's a decent amount of shadows and highlights preserved on George's face, which greatly helps with the definition of his facial structure and features. The background is well-exposed and also has that appealing light bokeh effect that looks natural. Overall, the S10+ makes a rather strong case for its selfie performance from the get-go.

Apple iPhone XS Max: 8/10

The exposure here is spot-on, and so are most colors... with the exception of George's face. I like the selfie, but the iPhone has slightly skewed the color spectrum of the face towards the warmer part of the color spectrum and eliminated most of the highlights and shadows, ensuring for a flattened look that lacks depth. As seen in the crops above, the iPhone's "beautifying" algorithms have done away with some details, which is cool because George's skin looks extra snazzy. The bad thing here? The user has no say in whether the beatification is enabled or disabled. 

Huawei P30 Pro: 5/10

There's nothing inherently wrong with the Huawei P30 Pro's selfie, it simply doesn't pop up. Details are okay, but colors are a bit bleak and lackluster in terms of vividness. The face is too white, making George look like a porcelain figurine from a china shop. 

LG G8: 5.5/10

There's lots of detail in the LG G8 selfie, but most of it is a bit fuzzy - check out George's eyebrows in the crops above and compare it with the rest of the selfies. The color reproduction is great, and as a whole, this selfie is good and definitely shareable to social media.

OnePlus 6T: 5.5/10

Lackluster details and uninspiring color reproduction - those two are quite representative of the OnePlus 6T in this here scene. The phone doesn't do anything inherently bad, but doesn't shine in any aspect either, culminating in a rather forgettable selfie.



Scene #2

HDR selfie

In this particular scene, we wanted to test out the HDR capabilities of all devices in this scene with a rather diverse dynamic range. Ideally, we'd have my colleague Victor's face well-exposed whereas the background wouldn't be overblown and would keep its pastel sunset hues. 

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Google Pixel 3: 6/10

Right off the bat, the Google Pixel 3 has done the best job in terms of HDR, preserving both colors and the distinct shapes of clouds in the background. There's also lots of detail here, as well as a rather true-to-life color palette that's neither too yellow nor too blueish. However, there's just too much over-sharpening and contrast here, which I don't particularly like as it makes Victor's face overly dramatic and unnecessarily-grim.  It's a specific aesthetic that you might love, but that selfie is not that likable. Victor agrees.

Samsung Galaxy S10+: 8/10

The Samsung Galaxy S10+, on the other hand, hasn't gone overboard with the HDR here. Sure, the background might not be as well exposed as on the Pixel 3, but it has done a better job at what's important here - exposing the subject's face. Victor's face appears a bit more lively and warmer bordering with oversaturated. The overall sway towards warmer colors has also made the sea appear a bit greenish.

Apple iPhone XS Max: 7.5/10

Overall, this selfie is a bit flatter than the rest. The subject's face is slightly underexposed and could use some extra pop in terms of post-processing. Most of the highlights are burnt, especially in the upper-right area of the picture. Detail is okay, but there's a bit too much beautification going on here - zooming onto Victor's side reveals way less wrinkles than usual. 

Huawei P30 Pro: 7/10

From the looks of it, the Huawei has a rather similar color-processing to the Galaxy S10+, with both devices producing similar-looking selfies. However, there's a bit more detail in the Huawei P30 Pro selfie.

LG G8: 4/10

Overblown skies, but a well-exposed face - the G8 failed this HDR test, yet it exposed the face correctly. On the upside, detail is aplenty, and the colors of Victor's face are not half-bad.

OnePlus 6T: 2/10

An awful selfie that looks like a sloppy Photoshop job. Victor truly is a saint, but we don't need to see the sacred halo around his head. Also notice the artifacts in the right portion of his head - just plain bad! The phone does get a few points for accurate representation of the background.

Scene #3

Group selfie

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Google Pixel 3: 7.5/10

A lovely pic with tons of details and nice color reproduction. Wrinkles, moles, you can see it all. I don't like that it's a bit too under-exposed and the excessive contrast rubs me the wrong way.

Samsung Galaxy S10+: 8/10

I like this one the best. It has the most accurate colors - neither too blue nor too yellow, great overall exposure that maintains lots of visible details in the shadows, and finally, excellent skin colors. We could have used some more detail though.

Apple iPhone XS Max: 5/10

The iPhone has once again rendered our faces too flat and boring thanks to a beautification process that has smudged most of the details alongside with the highlights and shadows that define our facial features. We promise we don't look that yellow in real life. 

Huawei P30 Pro: 5/10

Similar to the iPhone, the P30 Pro comes forth with an overly-warm photo. Details, especially on my face, appear quite smudged, whereas Victor's face is okay. He is smiling, therefore he probably likes what he's seeing in the viewfinder. I don't. 

LG G8: 3/10

Great detail, awful colors. The purple tinge is inexcusable and rather horrible. Keep this out of my social media!

OnePlus 6T: 5/10

Our faces look a bit lifeless and two-dimensional here. There's hardly any detail across our porcelain-skin faces - not good!

Scene #4

Portrait selfie

Victor, a shark, and portrait mode. What could go wrong? Turns out, a pair of rimless glasses could end up being the proverbial

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Crops


The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T

Google Pixel 3: 7.5/10

This would have been another exceptional portrait by the Pixel 3 if it hadn't botched Victor's glasses like that. The color reproduction and details are exceptional, the background separation is good, the bokeh is pleasing to look at, and if we abstain from the botched frame of the glasses, this one would have easily taken the cake. However, we can't. 

Samsung Galaxy S10+: 8/10

We get lots of details here, as well as that signature Samsung face pop-up, which makes portrait shots that much more likable. The overall exposure is a bit on the overly-bright side, which is not necessarily bad, and Victor's eyes look extra green today! Notice how the glasses' frame on the right is not botched by the faux bokeh. 

Apple iPhone XS Max: 6.5/10

The iPhone has produced a selfie very similar to the Galaxy S10+ one, with comparable colors and exposure. The dynamic range of the face is a bit flatter, with the highlights on Victor's nose and left cheek slightly toned down and on the warmer side. The glasses' frame has been botched here as well, which deduces one point from the XS Max' total tally. Details are acceptable, but disappointing - look at the eyebrows and the five o'clock shadow. 

Huawei P30 Pro: 6.5/10

The Huawei P30 Pro has done a good job at capturing facial details here, while simultaneously messing up the notorious frame of the glasses. Tsk tsk. Still, the background is pleasantly-blurred with just the right amount of bokeh, and the colors are quite appealing. Still, detail is not as crispy as on the Pixel, and the colors could have been more vivid.

LG G8: 7/10

The LG G8 has taken a rather good selfie portrait here. The overall color palette is on the warmer side, with some of Victor's facial features being a bit too red. Details are okay; background bokeh isn't as pronounced as on the other phones.

OnePlus 6T: 4/10

This one has some issues, namely Victor's leather jacket which turned from brown to nearly black, as well as the overly cold colors.

Scene #5

Low-light selfie

I deliberately took this selfie under an incandescent red light, and the results will shock you! Okay, maybe not.

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Crops


The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T

Google Pixel 3: 7/10

Good job by the Pixel 3.  Despite the intrusive red cast, the phone has tried hard to mitigate the crimson tinge. My features are well-defined and my face is well-exposed, however detail appears a bit blurred. Meanwhile, the background is sharp and colorful. A very good low-light selfie.

Samsung Galaxy S10+: 3.5/10

The Galaxy S10+ has overexposed my face, making me look like a bedsheet ghost. Details are non-existent, my facial features are somewhat smudged and separated harshly. Not good.

Apple iPhone XS Max: 1/10

Not a selfie I'd share on social media.

Huawei P30 Pro: 5.5/10

The P30 Pro has done a good job here, adequately capturing the ambient lighting in the background. The details are a bit muddy and my face is slightly under-exposed, thus earning it a score of 5 out of 10.

LG G8: 4.5/10

Despite being well-exposed, I am not really a fan of the colder colors in this selfie. Still, it does a good job at conveying the overall atmosphere.

OnePlus 6T: 7.5/10

The OnePlus 6T has decided not to downplay the strong red tinge over my face, and has actually embraced it! I like this one a lot. There's lots of detail and great casts in the background. Definitely an Instagram-worthy picture, and my personal favorite among the six entrants here.

Scene #6

Low-light selfie with flash

The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T
The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T
The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T
The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T
The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T
The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T

Google Pixel 3: 7.5/10

My face is well-exposed and we can see superb detail in this Pixel 3 selfie. However, the cast of the flash is a bit on the colder side. 

Samsung Galaxy S10+: 2/10

The overly-strong flash of the Galaxy has not only washed out the selfie, but also given an unnatural reddish cast to my face. I don't like that. 

Apple iPhone XS Max: 7/10

The iPhone's True Tone flash has done a great job here: my face looks well-exposed and very natural in this particular selfie. However, detail is a bit fuzzy.

Huawei P30 Pro: 6/10

Huawei's yellow flash did a good job at lighting my whole face. However, lots of my facial imperfections have been smudged out, and my face as a whole looks a bit blurred.

LG G8: 4/10

Just like the Pixel, the LG G8 has produced a very cold-looking selfie, making me look quite pale and the polar opposite of handsome. Not a fan of that "Nivea cream all over my face" look.

OnePlus 6T: 9/10

A very pleasant surprise from the OnePlus 6T! I have to admit I didn't expect it to actually ace this test, but that's the truth - the OnePlus 6T selfie with flash is the best one I took that night. Excellent skin colors, good exposure, and tons of detail. Overall, a lovely selfie that beckons to be shared on the Gram

Final score



The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T

Google Pixel 3:  -  43.5/60
Samsung Galaxy S10+:  -  38.5/60
Huawei P30 Pro:  -  36/60
Apple iPhone XS Max:  -  35/60
OnePlus 6T:  -  33/60
LG G8:  -  28/60



Conclusion


You saw the pictures, you read the mini-reviews for each one, you saw the final score, and it's now time to wrap it all up.

The Pixel 3 aces this test, and despite its hiccups in a couple of scenes, it easily bested all other phones. The immense amount of detail and great color rendition, as well as the excellent HDR capabilities of the selfie camera make this one the selfie taker's best bet right now. Still, there's some spare room for improvement, namely in the portrait and selfie flash aspects of the selfie camera. If Google addresses those, the Pixel 4 generation will make a very strong case for itself right from the get-go.

The Galaxy S10+ is once again a bridesmaid and not a bride. There's lots of room for improvement here. The same applies to the P30 Pro - despite its intriguing rear-camera capabilities, the front-facing camera has been left on the backburner, and despite its laudable performance in some situations, the phone didn't impress much. The iPhone XS Max did a good job on its own, but couldn't best the Android crowd this time around. The OnePlus 6T couldn't win me over with its questionable color science and HDR capabilities, but it bested the low-light challenges, which is something! Finally, the LG G8 disappointed me with its lackluster performance.

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38 Comments

1. LFCRodrigues

Posts: 54; Member since: May 09, 2014

That scores at the final was only to make Pixel 3 top on This one.

25. Rager722

Posts: 617; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

Did I miss another test where pixel wasn't number 1? Let me guess they chose iPhOnE as number 1?

2. User123456789

Posts: 386; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Should have used u12 instead of iphone. Selfie is far better. Why LG phones? Even Moto G does better.

3. libra89

Posts: 2219; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Thank you for this! This is very helpful. It was interesting to see how the Pixel and S10+ alternated between being the top result in daylight but the OnePlus 6T was the best in low light, which was very unexpected. This goes to show that choosing the best selfie camera is difficult and it will depend on the kind of situations you find yourself in more often.

39. nique0201

Posts: 60; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

The pixel and S10 didn't alternate in the daylight pics, the S10+ won in every one except night.

4. shield

Posts: 808; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Stupid test LG G8 looks better than Oneplus, iPhone or Chuawei.

5. shield

Posts: 808; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

8 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/3.6", 1.22µm, AF LG G8 rly fail in selfie?

7. User123456789

Posts: 386; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

LG os queen of noise reduction. Impossible to achieve great pics this way.

36. HarysViewty

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 04, 2015

As an LG user, I can say that the 2nd and 3rd pics were taken with HDR off LG also provides options for blur slider, flash temperature, and bright mode lowlight selfie,

6. Mehtar

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 19, 2018

How can the photos taken with the G8 be like this !? YouTube videos say something else. Thank you for this test but I think LG G8 is better than these things

11. blingblingthing

Posts: 840; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

I think they were Abit harsh on the g8 also.

12. User123456789

Posts: 386; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Forget youtubers ... No crops, no exif data ... and also depends on quality of screen you see that.

8. ijuanp03

Posts: 489; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Thanks PA for pointing out that Huawei phones (even their previous flagships) have BAD front camera. I've been using Huawei since the P10 (now using Mate 20 Pro) and front camera is almost always too artificial. It just wants to beautify and make your skin whiter and the background is washed out. Thank you again because most reviewers "praise" Huawei because of its megapixel count

28. Aruminiumaian

Posts: 209; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

Fortunately P30 is completely free from any of the skin whitening issue P20 Pro suffered from so it's actually a great selfie shooter. It's good that a company makes changes to their products according to criticisms they have received.

9. blingblingthing

Posts: 840; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Please correct your portrait comparison article. Someone graded the iPhone as best when it was the only phone with edge issues/night issues.

35. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

They should fire that "someone".

10. blingblingthing

Posts: 840; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Damn pixel. In about every shot, you can almost try and count the facial hair. Very sharp and high dynamic range.

13. taz_chaz

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

i thought the iphone xs max fixed the beautification with an update....pixel 3 well done good job

22. User123456789

Posts: 386; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Beautification is important for many costumer in China. That is why they dont fix it ...

14. iloveapps

Posts: 401; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

How come 2018 phones come on top?

15. TBomb

Posts: 1114; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

The grading on Scene #2 is the only scene where I super disagree. The huawei photo got praised for similar output but more detail than Galaxy, but then a lower score. The iPhone can't even get the top left corner of the picture clear (the sky - and admittedly LG fared far worse) but ended up with a better score than huawei. and OP has the weird halo ring, but still got way worse than the LG score where you barely even know where you took the selfie.

16. dnomadic

Posts: 372; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Result was correct, but I would have had a wider margin. I preferred the sharpness, colors, contrast, and overall balance of the Pixel shots more so than the S10 and others. Makes me miss my pixel everytime I see a comparison. (Until we meet again my friend during your fourth iteration)

17. iczer

Posts: 146; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

Pixel 3 BY FAR!!

18. miarfeus

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 24, 2019

Pleeeeease do some action-photo comparisons. A very small percentage of my photos are of static objects and I've had some top-rated phone cams perform horribly if there is any movement while taking pictures.

23. User123456789

Posts: 386; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

All of them will fail. Because none can even do burst with autofocus. Pixel 3 Top Shot is ridiculous, no AF and only 1 MP photos

19. Poptart2828

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

The best selfie phones on the market were not even included on this comparison.

20. MrMalignance

Posts: 96; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Ugh...some of those pictures came out rough, but the one thing I took away from this is that the iPhone has a horrible front facing camera. Other phones have occasional issues, but iPhone was universally bad, with the beautifying and horrible orange tinge. Also, I agree the LG hate was way overblown. The iPhone shouldn't have even been in the top 4

21. User123456789

Posts: 386; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

I liked Pixel and Galaxy ... Rest is garbage

24. jjface

Posts: 209; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

A good comparison here. There were a few I would have switched places slightly but nothing major and I can chalk that up to slight differences in preferences. Final podium standings were spot on. The oneplus deserved.to be ahead of the iphone though since it won rounds. Good job!

26. Rager722

Posts: 617; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

If I download Google camera apk on a S10 will it improve the camera software?

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