Camera comparison: OnePlus 8 vs iPhone 11 Pro vs Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Pixel 4

Camera comparison: OnePlus 8 vs iPhone 11 Pro vs Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Pixel 4
UPDATE: Our full OnePlus 8 Review has been published.

The new OnePlus 8 will set you back $700 and the 8 Pro — $900. OnePlus was always the bargain offering — top-tier hardware at midrange prices. Its cameras have always left something to be desired, but now that the company has crept up to flagship money territory, people would probably be less inclined to let that slide.

Well, in all fairness, the OnePlus 8 can take some amazing photos. It still has a few kinks and sore spots that need rectifying, but these only become obvious when you are comparing its pictures to the heavy-hitters in the market. And that's precisely what we did!

Out of these four, the iPhone 11 Pro and the Galaxy S20 Ultra were in a constant struggle for the top spot, trading blow for blow and leaving the competition behind. Not far behind, though, and you will be happy to hear that the OnePlus 8 is actually comparable to the Pixel 4 XL in a lot of these shots. Which is a commendable feat — Google's Goliath of a phone is not easy to fight against. But the OnePlus 8 took a few rounds!

Final score:


  • OnePlus 8 — 7.6
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 8.4
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 8.1
  • Pixel 4 XL — 7.9

Scene 1: The Cathedral


In the very first scene, we can see some a good amount of differences between all devices.



The OnePlus 8 lags slightly behind the competition. Its HDR did a good job of keeping everything in the shot visible and the sky blue, and its colors are vibrant, albeit slightly unnatural. Where it struggles is with dynamics — the shadows seem to be boosted a bit too much, so the picture looks “flatter” or “less dramatic” than the others.

The iPhone 11 Pro and the Galaxy S20 Ultra did a much better job at bringing out the drama in the shot. The shadows are deeper, without going to black, the highlights are bright without burning out.

The iPhone 11 Pro gave us the most natural sky color, but also the hardest case of HDR glow (see the white aura above the tree tops). It did the best job at capturing the different shades of the building’s bricks, adding to the drama in the shot. However, there is a slight yellow cast over the highlights.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s HDR did the best job, and its picture looks like the most balanced out of all. Its sky is a bit too saturated and small strokes like the different shades of the building’s bricks are almost lost.

The Pixel 4 XL gave us the second-best sky color and but also flattened the dynamics just a bit. The HDR stitching here is commendable, with a minimum amount of HDR aura visible. There’s also a slight pinkish cast over the building, but it did a fantastic job at keeping details sharp and capturing the different hues of the bricks.

  • OnePlus 8 — 7 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 8 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 8 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 8 / 10

Scene 2: The Theater


A more challenging scene, with the sun hitting the viewfinder from the left.



The OnePlus 8 did good work subduing the highlights and pulling details from the shadows. When compared to the competition, its image does — again — look “flatter” but I’d still like to note that it did an impressive job nonetheless. The sky color is a bit dull, but believable, and there’s a minimum amount of HDR glow.

The iPhone 11 and S20 Ultra were very similar here. Great handling of the dynamics and good performance by their HDR. The iPhone kept the building a bit brighter, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra comes up with sharper details when we zoom in. Both have the most true-to-life colors in this scene.

The Pixel 4 XL’s picture came out a bit dull — it’s darker than the rest and its pink cast gives the sky a certain stormy look. Still the rest of the colors are quite natural and the details are as sharp as ever.

  • OnePlus 8 — 7 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 8 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 9 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 6 / 10

Scene 3: Statue and Garden


Another challenging scene — not only do the phones need to juggle contrasts and dynamics, but also there are a lot of colors to throw them off. Let’s see how they did.



The OnePlus 8 came out with the softest detail and went overkill on the colors. Everything looks unnaturally saturated, especially the red building in the far right, effectively distracting from the rest of the image. Credit given where credit is due — it handled dynamics great and the image is not flat nor dull.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s photo came out sharp, clear, and dynamic. The iPhone did an overall fantastic job with this picture, keeping everything visible without making the image look unnatural.

Galaxy S20 Ultra sample is as sharp and clear as the iPhone’s, with the same super-accurate color reproduction. The S20 Ultra handled the shadows a bit differently, adding a pinch of drama to the image. A fantastic take on this scene, but some might be irritated by the lack of visibility on the statue’s left side, which is why I knocked a point off.

Once again, the Pixel 4 XL came up with a photo that’s slightly darker than the rest. Its colors are also a weeny bit off — in the leaves, the building’s facade, and the sky on the right. But definitely not as off as the OnePlus 8 threw them. Those nitpicks aside, the picture is still sharp, detailed, and pleasant to look at.

  • OnePlus 8 — 6 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 10 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 9 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 8 / 10

Scene 4: The Old Hotel


Another challenge — the sun is behind us, illuminating the building in front with full force. However, the streets are cast in shade. How will the phones handle it?



The OnePlus 8 did an overally fantastic job. Its details are sharp and the sky looks natural. The building’s color is just a tad faded, but that’s nitpicking. The shadows on the street are a huge challenge here, but the OnePlus handled them adequately. Admittedly, few cameras can handle dynamics this drastic and it’s good that they didn’t throw the phone off.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max provides a more accurate shade of the building’s facade, including the smudges that time has rubbed into it. Apple’s phone also managed to pull the most detail out of the shaded area, which is quite impressive. On the flipside, the picture is a bit soft when you zoom in.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra went for a more contrasty, dramatic look yet again. This can make for a more wowing image, but certainly conceals details in the shadows. The skyline here looks a bit unnatural, too, though the rest of the colors are very accurate. It did come up with the sharpest details of all competitors.

Google’s Pixel 4 XL’s pinkish cast rears its ugly head again, throwing the building’s color off by a bit. That aside, it handled the dynamics great, pulling as much detail from the shadows as possible, similarly to how the iPhone 11 Pro did. It sacrifices some contrast in the process, though.

  • OnePlus 8 — 8 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 9 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 9 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 7 / 10

Scene 5: Portrait


Tricky! We have a fence, trees, and a subject wearing glasses. How will our phones’ fake bokeh do?



The OnePlus 8 struggled with this challenge — if you look at the fence closely, you will see the blur is all over the place. It also boosted colors a bit too unnaturally, making our subject’s face a bit too vibrant.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max does look very impressive at first glance, but we did manage to trick it — the bokeh on the building to the left is inaccurate, as the phone struggled to separate it from the fence that our model is leaning against. Still, accurate colors and sharp detail make for a great picture.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra did a slightly better job than the iPhone at discerning that the building is behind the fence. It still failed at spots and there’s some smoothing effect applied to the subject’s face at the cost of detail.

The Pixel 4 XL also struggled with some spots in the fence, but in general came up with the most dynamic, dramatic, sharp, and pleasant image.

  • OnePlus 8 — 6 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 8 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 7 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 9 / 10

Scene 6: Night falls


Flagships have done great strides with nighttime photography in recent years, with impressive results. We kept the iPhone’s Night Mode off for this one, since all the Android phones were on Auto as well.



The OnePlus 8 did great — its details may be just a bit soft, but there’s no noise and the colors came out natural, though a bit saturated. A very dynamic image, handled with finesse.

As previously stated, we turned the iPhone’s Night Mode off manually here (it goes off automatically) and we got the worst image as a result. It’s the darkest of the four, though it does pull out a good amount of detail and accurate colors. Still, it also introduced the most noise.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s shot is dynamic, with accurate colors, and sharp details. Still, there’s a noticeable yellowish cast.

The Pixel 4 XL gave us the sharpest image of all. It handled dynamics fantastically but slightly oversaturated the colors. The OnePlus and the Pixel here did the best job, with the latter being slightly cooler than the former.

  • OnePlus 8 — 9 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 6 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 8 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 9 / 10

Scene 7: Night Mode On!


All of these phones have some type of Night Mode. So, for this scene, we unleashed it. Lots of pretty lights, reflections, and a dark sky. How did they do?



The OnePlus 8 did a great job! The image might look a bit dark and — on closer inspection — flat, but no details were sacrificed. The LED outlines of the words and the crown are visible and the shapes are not smudged a bit. The details are a bit too soft, though. Understandable, under the circumstances, but still softer than the competition in this scene.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max gave us a brighter image with better definition in the finer details. However, there’s an aura around some of the LED lights, blurring out their shapes.

Like the OnePlus, the Galaxy S20 Ultra chose to make a darker image but retain the shapes of the highlights. That’s cool and all, but… well, the image came out a bit too cool. Also, there’s still an unnatural aura glow around the LED elements. Definition is good, but the Galaxy’s tendency to oversharpen gives us a halo around some of the finer details. Though, again, it’s the most dramatic-looking image.

The Pixel 4 XL came up with an image as bright as the iPhone’s but it did a better job at capturing the shapes of the LEDs around the letters. It still burned out the center of the crown up there, but that’s the price for getting a better-exposed image we guess. It also managed to give us somewhat sharp details without the side effects of the Galaxy S20’s work.

  • OnePlus 8 — 9 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 8 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 7 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 9 / 10

Scene 8: Well… time for a selfie



The OnePlus’ selfie camera gave us a balanced image with sharp details and great dynamics. The only criticism here would be that the skin tone is just a bit cold and unnatural.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max selfie is warmer and just a bit too saturated. Also, no details were spared, no matter how unflattering.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s saturation is more under control, while the colors remain close to reality. However, it did soften some details, despite there being no beautify filter on.

The Pixel 4 XL continues to cast a cold hue making for a slightly weird skintone. While its details are sharp, it also glazed over some nuances of the skin, despite there being no beautify activated.

  • OnePlus 8 — 9 / 10
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max — 10 / 10
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — 8 / 10
  • Pixel 4 XL — 7 / 10

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