The BIG selfie comparison: Galaxy S10+ vs Pixel 3, LG G8, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 6T38
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!
Google Pixel 3: 8/10The 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+: 9/10Excellent 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: 8/10The 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: 5/10There'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: 5.5/10There'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: 5.5/10Lackluster 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.
Google Pixel 3: 6/10
Samsung Galaxy S10+: 8/10
Apple iPhone XS Max: 7.5/10Overall, 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: 7/10From 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: 4/10Overblown 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
Google Pixel 3: 7.5/10A 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
Apple iPhone XS Max: 5/10
Huawei P30 Pro: 5/10Similar 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: 3/10Great detail, awful colors. The purple tinge is inexcusable and rather horrible. Keep this out of my social media!
OnePlus 6T: 5/10Our faces look a bit lifeless and two-dimensional here. There's hardly any detail across our porcelain-skin faces - not good!
Victor, a shark, and portrait mode. What could go wrong? Turns out, a pair of rimless glasses could end up being the proverbial
Google Pixel 3: 7.5/10
Samsung Galaxy S10+: 8/10
Apple iPhone XS Max: 6.5/10The 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: 6.5/10The 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: 7/10The 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: 4/10This one has some issues, namely Victor's leather jacket which turned from brown to nearly black, as well as the overly cold colors.
I deliberately took this selfie under an incandescent red light, and the results will shock you! Okay, maybe not.
Google Pixel 3: 7/10
Samsung Galaxy S10+: 3.5/10
Apple iPhone XS Max: 1/10Not a selfie I'd share on social media.
Huawei P30 Pro: 5.5/10The 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: 4.5/10Despite 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: 7.5/10The 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.
Google Pixel 3: 7.5/10My 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+: 2/10The 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: 7/10The 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: 6/10Huawei'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: 4/10Just 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: 9/10A 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.
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
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.