Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 vs Apple iPhone XS: camera comparison

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 vs Apple iPhone XS: camera comparison
The Mi Mix 3 by quickly growing Chinese company Xiaomi is its finest: a true edge-to-edge display and a slide-out design, all-out performance and the best camera that Xiaomi makes.

So... how good really is that camera setup? We took our first sunny day opportunity to shoot some photos with the Mi Mix 3 and compare it against one of the popular phones around, the iPhone XS.

Before we dive in the photos, let's first take a look at what we have in terms of specs. The Mi Mix 3 features a dual rear camera with two 12-megapixel sensors with the secondary one being a 2X zoom, telephoto camera, while up front you have another dual camera setup with a 24-megapixel main shooter and an additional 2-megapixel depth sensor. The iPhone XS, on its part, sports a similar dual 12-megapixel camera with a secondary telephoto lens, while up front it has a single, 7-megapixel selfie shooter.

1. The Monument

During the day both phones do an excellent job capturing photos, but with some notable differences. First and foremost, the exposure level on the iPhone is much brighter and you can see more detail in the shadows, which is a good thing. The Xiaomi has a slightly more toned down exposure and as a result details in the darker parts of the image are somewhat lost.

2. The Sundial

The photo of the sundial shows the same trend repeating: you can see that the iPhone shoots the brighter picture, but in this case we might even say that the grass is a bit washed out and very slightly overexposed. Overall, though, the image is very balanced and rich in terms of color dynamics. The Xiaomi captures a good looking image too, but it is slightly darker.

3. Winter in the park

Exposure is once again the big difference between the two in this photo of a lonely bench in the park. We are also noticing that detail overall on the Xiaomi is a bit on the soft side that gives images a certain glow almost, while detail on the iPhone is sharper.

4. By the sea

Some big differences come up on this photo with a colder tonality on the Xiaomi, plus less color and a darker exposure. Here, we definitely prefer the result from the iPhone more: you have more color and the whole scene looks more animated.

5. Sunset Street

Shooting right against the sun, the Smart HDR mode on the iPhone kicks in big time to help resolve the bright light from the sun and prevent it from taking over the whole image. The photo from the Xiaomi has turned out a bit darker and moodier, but we like it also.

6. 2x zoom

On this shot, we are testing the 2X zoom with the telephoto cameras on both phones and here we have to give it to the iPhone: the Xiaomi burns the bright parts of the image and it does not look as detailed and as good.

7. Selfies

Finally, turning to the front cameras, the Xiaomi captures a photo with a soft detail that actually does not look that bad with selfies. The iPhone, on the other hand, even though it has a 7-megapixel camera (versus the higher-count, 24MP camera on the Xiaomi) has a lot more detail and a sharper one at that, and is one step ahead. Both fail to resolve the background where the bright light has burned.

Final Words

This round up our quick comparison between the cameras on the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and the Apple iPhone XS. The Xiaomi is a worthy contender that captures good-looking images during the day, with a few shortcomings: a slightly darker exposure that leaves out detail in the darker parts of the image, and a slightly soft overall detail that gives images from it an easily recognizable style.

The Xiaomi also supports artificial intelligence (AI), which we did not test for this article, and it has a bunch of cool effects, and portraits. These and some night shots are coming in the full review, so stay tuned!

Related phones

Mi Mix 3
  • Display 6.4 inches
    2340 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP (Dual camera)
    24 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
    8GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie
iPhone XS
  • Display 5.8 inches
    2436 x 1125 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12 Bionic
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2659 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x


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