The great selfie camera comparison: Galaxy S8+ vs LG G6 vs iPhone 7 vs Google Pixel

The great selfie camera comparison: Galaxy S8+ vs LG G6 vs iPhone 7 vs Google Pixel


People still do selfies, right? I imagine they do, seeing as manufacturers insist on including a selfie camera in pretty much every smartphone nowadays. Flagships, however, often promise better-than-average image quality, and thus constantly one-up each other. So I decided to put four of the biggest devices out there, the Samsung Galaxy S8+, LG G6, Apple iPhone 7, and Google Pixel, to the test.

But to make things a tad more interesting, I decided to take the quartet out for a spin in the Real World™. So without further ado, here's how I spent my weekend:

Ready to hit the city




I decided to spare you the nitty-gritty details of my waking up and getting dressed, so here's a few shots of me just about to go out. At the time I thought I'd covered up what a mess my living space really is, but judging from the background, that doesn't really seem to be the case, unfortunately.

Anyway, right off the bat we have some very apparent differences: my apartment doesn't get that much direct sunlight, meaning all four phones had to compensate for the bad lighting conditions, which they did with varying degrees of success. The S8 shot is a tad too overexposed and saturated, as a result of which my face has lost some detail, giving the impression of the picture being airbrushed. The G6's colors are more realistic but blander, lacking contrast while also being too noisy. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, is way oversaturated and looks as if I've applied a bad Instagram filter. The Pixel did the best of the bunch here, with about the same amount of detail as the iPhone, but with a better color profile, though still a bit too reddish.

Take me to church




Unsurprisingly, the phones had some difficulty coping with a bright background / dark foreground combo. The Pixel chose to darken the whole scene, revealing details in the clouds but making everything else drab and lifeless. The other three devices, on the other hand, turned up the brightness, resulting in an almost-white background. One thing to point out here is the visible benefit of the iPhone's narrower field of view, which helps keep head proportions nice and natural, also leading to more perceivable depth.

Overall, the iPhone is better than the rest with its more natural-looking colors, despite the loss of detail in the clouds, though the G6 is a close second. In any case, however, all four pictures are pretty awful since they were taken from below (a major no-no in the selfie world; look it up if you don't trust me).

I got tired so I sat on a random bench




The G6’s pic seems like the best one here, since it’s the only one with realistic colors. The S8 and the Pixel are both too red, with the S8 also turning up the brightness and thus losing some detail, while the iPhone’s photo is just horribly yellow.

Later I met with a couple of bros




It’s good to have friends you rely on being there for you night and day, even when they’re made of metal and are also dolphins.

The sky really wasn’t as dark and cloudy as it appears in these shots, though it did rain for a bit later on. It looks that way because of the direct sunlight hitting my face, though the S8 doesn’t appear to have gotten the memo – thus, the horrible overexposure. The iPhone would have gotten the crown here if only it weren’t for the yellow tint (spoiler alert: this is a recurring theme throughout this shootout). The Pixel’s contrast is just way too high, while its tint goes hard on the magenta, which leaves us with the G6, whose colors are once again the most realistic, though the picture itself is just a bit too bright.

Then I went to the beach




The weather really wasn’t ideal for any sort of water activities, but that didn’t seem to stop all the people at the beach, whom I conveniently left out of the frame. It also didn’t stop the crazy guy taking selfies with four different flagships in a very public place, either. Also, just for the record, this is my favorite set of pics from the day.

It’s hard to mess up a beach scene, particularly one as perfectly set up as this one. And, really, neither device did – all the results here are spectacularly good, though the iPhone and Pixel shots both carry the burden of their device’s quirks: a yellow and red/magenta tint, respectively. This is perhaps the first time the S8 actually did the best, with the G6 being a very close second, but also noticeably grainier.

A very pretty flowerbed




Primary colors are hard to take good photos of, and this rule is in full force here: while the tulips were quite bright and colorful in real life, only the G6 manages to capture their actual looks without oversaturating the picture. The Pixel gets close, but its affinity for deeper reds ultimately betrays it. The iPhone is, once again, too yellow, while the S8 just turns up the saturation like there’s no tomorrow (my eye color isn’t nearly as bright as in this photo).

The G6’s photo is also the least lively of the bunch, despite offering the most accurate color representation. The moral? Real life kind of sucks.

Finally, I had some pasta




It was absolutely delicious, by the way. I found that out a bit later than I’d have liked to, however, as I was too busy taking selfies to begin eating it. And even though I took extra time to make better shots here, it didn’t seem to work out regardless: the seat I was given in this restaurant was just too dark, it seems.

All of the shots here suffer from some slight blurriness, save for the S8. This is as much a testament to how they perform in a low-light environment as it is to how shaky my hands get when I’m hungry. In any case, not even the S8’s performance was satisfactory in this setting, despite it offering the best picture overall. The G6 is the worst performer here, though, which is in stark contrast with its daylight shot performance.

Bonus: I dyed my hair!



This article has already turned into a massive vanity fair, so I might as well share these, too. I’m now officially a (fake) ginger! It’s okay, though – I never had a soul in the first place.

Here the iPhone, again, makes everything way too yellow, but, surprisingly, the Pixel does even worse with its overexposed colors. The G6 and S8 photos are almost identical, though the S8’s is slightly more saturated, and thus a bit less realistic-looking than the G6.

And the winner is… no one?


I know, I know, this sounds like such a cop-out, particularly when you take a look at the final scores below, but it’s true – each of the devices had it own ups and downs, and thus saying one is ultimately better than the rest is just wrong. The iPhone 7 often had the most detailed photos, but its extremely yellowish color profile did it no favors. The G6 was often the best outdoors, thanks to its realistic colors, but even then photos were grainy, and its low-light performance was just not good. The S8 was mostly good, though it had a few slight problems that set it back. Finally, the Pixel was consistently adequate, though its pictures always had a kink or two which kept it from overtaking the rest.

Final score
LG G68.0
Galaxy S8+7.8
iPhone 77.5
Google Pixel7.3

So there you have it – the scores indicate that, despite some problems of its own, the LG G6 is the best selfie-taking flagship from the bunch, though the Galaxy S8 comes at a close second. Both the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel did somewhat worse, but this isn’t really that big of a deal: their pictures are by no means bad, and as I said, neither of the four devices is a clear-cut winner. So rest assured, if you own either of these phones, chances are your selfies will be completely fine. Well, if you take them in good lighting and strike a good pose – but I really can't help you with that, unfortunately.

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43 Comments

1. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

With all flagship cameras front and rear you are essentially splitting hairs

7. danny_a2005

Posts: 349; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

The pixel the lowest score? I suggest change your glasses bro! Your dyed hair left you blind. The pixel has best front and back camera out there. Even better than the g6 and s8

10. peace247 unregistered

For me... 1.S8 and pixel tie.(pleasing skin tones) 2. G6 3. Ip7(ugly yellow like sony a7 mirrorless)

16. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Got to agree the pixel picture looked the most pleasing. Still i would take realistic colors over thats so G6 win for me.

32. vincelongman

Posts: 5623; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The Pixel's dynamic range makes it an easy win IMO Its the only one that didn't horrible overexpose in the church scene In low light its dynamic range advantage is even more noticeable e.g.http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/articles/262974-image/iPhone-7.jpghttp://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/articles/262975-image/Google-Pixel.jpg

25. boinero

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

Hahahahaha.. I can't stop laughing, funny guy! well for me S8 - Winning and taking first all day Pixel - 2nd LG G6 - 3rd Iphone - Last, too much colour, useless of a phone Iphonearena would still pick iphone over almighty S8 anyday, useless site with useless staffs

2. kiko007

Posts: 7489; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

God I hate these camera showdowns. Why can't PA just do what MKBHD did witch a blind camera test? That way, biases toward a particular brand(S) can be somewhat eliminated.

4. parasshah100

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 01, 2016

+100000 Blind tests please phonearena!

9. sissy246

Posts: 6999; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I agree But then it may not come out the way PA wants it to. I do agree with what he said about each one having its ups and downs.

30. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Yeah, been asking for the same thing in every one of their useless 1 man opinion articles on photos. Prefer it in photos though, as video lives room for excuses along the lines of "YouTube compression 'caused..." or "didn't see the full photo side by side".

3. zebraman

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

I think the S8 had better pictures personally

5. seedorf

Posts: 44; Member since: Feb 16, 2015

same here it was s8,better camera than g6,!!!

6. Galen20K

Posts: 568; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Great Comparison, thank you. They all did Admirable really, but I think the GS8 photos look the best to me personally.

8. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

You have nice eyes... date me.

11. drazwy

Posts: 347; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

I pretty much disagree with all of your assessments.

12. pankaj88

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 22, 2017

galaxy s8 has better selfies than all. hated apples yellowish tan

13. twens

Posts: 1163; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Strange thing is I use an iPhone now but still prefer my old gs7 edge front and back facing camera

14. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

The Galaxy S8 Plus has the better selfie camera to me. The G6 is a close second.

15. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Pixel or S8 The rest follow

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

G6 and pixel for me.. I love realistic colors and i never photoshop or apply filter to my pictures so i dont want a camera thats do it for me.

18. Trex95

Posts: 2358; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

S8 beauty mode even with autofocus looks bad S7 with 5 mp looks better.

19. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Why not add the oppo f3 plus or the Vivo x9 plus. Those are considered the best selfie phones on the planet. I'm sure PA can afford to import these

24. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

considered by who? by some peoples that said "more pixel means better camera"?

20. DechyX

Posts: 155; Member since: May 16, 2011

1st. You're kind of hot so do all the selfie comparisons from now on.

26. boinero

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

Gay alert.. this is**ty of a guy u call hot?!

21. Mube007

Posts: 260; Member since: Sep 24, 2013

pixel and s8

22. cmdacos

Posts: 3870; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

S8 pixel g6 ip7 for me.

23. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"while the iPhone’s photo is just horribly yellow" isn't it always that way? :-/

27. boinero

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

Yes, and useless staffs on Iphonearena gave the useless phone 9.3 and gave S8 that was supposed to BE 9.8 , 9.0... IPHONEAREANA

28. FCB-Eto

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 17, 2013

Both Xperia XZ and XZs front cam is better than these phones here.

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