OnePlus 8 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro camera comparison. Is it an even match?

Camera comparison: OnePlus 8 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro is a very ambitious device — not only is it the company’s first flagship to cost actual flagship money, but it also set out to improve its camera performance to a point where it can combat the big boys on the market.

And here, we can see that it can definitely trade blows with the iPhone 11 Pro, which is absolutely no small feat. When it comes to photos, the OnePlus 8 Pro delivers pretty much the same quality of image, sometimes being slightly better, sometimes being ever so slightly worse at it. And when the sun goes down, the OnePlus 8 Pro blows us away even with its Nightscape mode turned off.

The iPhone 11 Pro still has an advantage when it comes to video, with better detail, definition, contrast, and colors.

Here are the samples:

Scene 1: The quick brown fox that blocked the road

As soon as we jump in this comparison, we see we will have trouble choosing a winner. Both photos look fantastic and so, so similar. There is a very slight yellowish cast on the OnePlus 8 Pro photo, but nothing to really fret over. When we zoom in, we can also catch sharper details on the iPhone 11 Pro photo. But overall, both phones did fantastic, with accurate color, good detail, and amazing HDR performance.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 2: Easter is over party

The OnePlus 8 Pro came up with the more colorful shot here. It’s a more vibrant image without going into the realms of the unnatural. Both pictures are sharp and detailed.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 3: Graffiti wall

While we have a fantastic performance from both sides again, the iPhone image here does seem slightly more detailed and pops out with better contrast. The OnePlus 8 Pro kind of went off balance with the teal color on the closest drawing, but otherwise it’s a pretty solid photo.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 4: A matter of time

Both images here have their pros and cons. I definitely like the sky color on the OnePlus 8 Pro photo more. The sun-lit bricks look more defined on the iPhone shot, but the bricks in the shade look more detailed on the OnePlus picture. Again — blow for blow.

That’s a draw on that scene, so we have to go into elimination:

Enhance that — let’s go wide!

I switched to the ultra-wide-angle lenses in that same scene to see if both phones will keep their color calibration. The iPhone 11 Pro gave us the same colors with its secondary lens, while the OnePlus 8 Pro’s ultra-wide shot came out colder than the main one.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 5: Peaceful museum

Ah, that’s a tough one. The pink-ish petals on the right look a bit more vibrant and a bit sharper on the OnePlus 8 Pro shot. However, the leaves of the tree on the left went a bit on the unnatural green side. Still, the OnePlus 8 Pro came up with more contrast and a slightly more dramatic picture of what’s a pretty dull scene otherwise. So I am compelled to give this one to the OnePlus!

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 6: Flower X marks the spot

Another hard fight. The OnePlus came up with a slightly yellow-ish cast again here and the iPhone 11 Pro gave us a bit more realism and sharpness — the clouds behind the building on the left are more clearly visible and the tree on the right looks much better on the iPhone shot.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 7: Wait, zoom in on that!

The OnePlus 8 Pro is capable of 30x zoom, while the iPhone 11 Pro only goes up to 10x for photos. So, I compared the 10x performance on both. The OnePlus 8 Pro photo came out sharper and more pleasing to the eye for sure.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 8: What’s so funny?

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 3x telephoto lens, while the iPhone 11 Pro only has a 2x optical zoom. So, I set both phones at 3x — this means that the iPhone is doing a digital crop on top of its 2x optics.

Still, the iPhone photo here came out decisively better, with sharper detail (although becoming jagged in spots), better contrast, and better colors.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 9: Monuments in the park

This scene came out differently with each phone, but it’s not really easy to discern which one is the “better” one. The OnePlus 8 Pro shot is definitely warmer and more yellow-ish, but the iPhone 11 Pro picture came out maybe just a bit colder than it needed to be? I’m calling it a draw.

Winner: draw

Scene 10: What is that thing?

The OnePlus 8 Pro definitely did a better job at pulling detail from the shaded part of the statue here. The trees on the left and right look a bit better on the iPhone 11 Pro picture, but since our subject is better-portrayed in the OnePlus picture, I’m giving this one to the 8 Pro

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 11: Doggo portrait

Both phones did a fantastic job of separating the fur from the flowers and trees in the background. The OnePlus went with a bit more contrast, while the iPhone kept things brighter but didn’t burn any highlights. I’m going to have to call another draw.

Winner: draw

Scene 12: No, I am not getting a tattoo done

Again, Portrait Mode! The OnePlus 8 Pro went all dramatic with deeper blacks, while the iPhone kept things brighter. None of the phones were tricked into meshing the black t-shirt with the black metal bards in the background. The OnePlus 8 Pro did just a bit worse at separating the gray metal pole from its respective background. The iPhone 11 Pro managed to capture a lot more detail in the face — the gray hairs in my beard are clearly visible, while they are almost gone on the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Two things — first, thanks for that, OnePlus! But second — I am going to have to give this one to the iPhone by just a… hair!

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scenes 13 and 14: selfie time

I spun around here, to get two shots — with the sun behind the phones and then off to the side. Both phones did a great job, but the OnePlus 8 Pro selfies are decisively brighter, sharper, and more detailed.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro (2 points)

Scene 15: All night and no play

The Night Mode was kept off on both phones on purpose here (the iPhone’s Night Mode kicks in automatically otherwise). Here, we can see that the OnePlus 8 Pro can do a better job even if you don’t set it for long exposures.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 16: Wanna go for a ride?

Again, with Night Mode off, the OnePlus comes up with a brighter, sharper, and more vibrant picture.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 17: Open up, please, I want a cheesecake

Still, we can see that the iPhone 11 Pro can definitely do good under artificial light. In this scene, the iPhone introduced less burnout around light sources and better detail in the wall and those sweet, sweet cookies.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 18: That’s a lot of lights

Again, with Night Modes off on both phones, the OnePlus 8 Pro managed to give us a pretty balanced shot with a lot of visible details in the shadows, while the iPhone came up with a darker image all around.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 19: Get me home already

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s bright pictures so far are not all sunshine and rainbows. They pretty much talk of slow shutter speed and this can be a problem when shooting moving objects. The doggo here wasn’t exactly staying still and you can see that the iPhone 11 Pro managed to capture a better picture, while the OnePlus 8 Pro introduced some blurriness (both pictures were taken at the very same moment).

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Gloves are off, Night Modes are on!

Scene 20: Still no one?

Revisiting the playground with Nightscape and Night Mode on, we have a real challenge on our hands. Both photos look fantastic, well-lit, and colorful. But zooming in reveals sharper details from the OnePlus 8 Pro photo. So…

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 21: Horses really do sleep standing up

Night modes on, the OnePlus 8 Pro here was tricked into layering a weird blu-ish cast over the photo and its dynamics are just a smidgen duller. The iPhone 11 Pro photo pops out more with more drama, better-looking highlights, and a bit more accurate colors.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 22: All the lights

Both photos look bright and colorful. But the OnePlus 8 Pro definitely came out with sharper details all around. Especially when it comes to the LED signs — they look blurry on the iPhone, but are very well represented by the OnePlus.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 23: Cut! Go wide!

Going to ultra-wide with both phones, no Night Mode, we can see that the OnePlus’ longer exposure time gives us a better-visible image again here.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 24: Portrait at night

OK, the doggo is not really visible in both photos. Yet it does make for a pretty cool image, no? We get some sharper detail on the iPhone side here. Also, the OnePlus 8 Pro really, really struggled at activating the bokeh effect here, since it was having a hard time to detect the subject. So…

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Scene 25: I am darkness

Taking a selfie in what was nearly pitch-black darkness, the OnePlus 8 Pro managed to come out with a brighter picture, even though the skin is super-flat by all the noise reduction. The iPhone 11 Pro decided to not make this sacrifice. Still, the background also looks sharper and brighter on the OnePlus shot.

Winner: OnePlus 8 Pro

Scene 26: Night walk

Now that we have some street lights in, the results are slightly different. The OnePlus 8 Pro, again, went with extra noise-reduction, making me look like an alien hybrid with rubberized skin. The iPhone 11 Pro photo is noisier, yes, but at least more accurate.

Winner: iPhone 11 Pro

Video test

When it comes to video, the iPhone 11 Pro is still a clear winner. As you can see in the samples below, the greenery looks a lot more natural on the iPhone footage, while it’s a bit neon-like on the OnePlus 8 Pro. The stabilization on the iPhone is also phenomenal as the footage looks buttery smooth. The OnePlus 8 Pro, on the other hand, can get a bit jittery, which distracts or even makes for an unpleasant viewing experience when there’s a lot of movement.

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The ultra-wide-angle cameras can also be used for epic landscape shots or action shots. Again, the stabilization plays a huge role here, with the iPhone being a bit smoother and more pleasant to view.

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The OnePlus microphones are definitely great. They give us loud and clear audio, with a good chunk of bass in there. In contrast, the iPhone’s microphones have a bigger mid-frequency peak, giving us this slight tin-can-like sound.

In terms of autofocus and auto exposure, both perform fantastically, keeping their adjustments fast yet smooth, so they don’t become a distraction.

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When it comes to zooming for video, the iPhone caps off at 6x, while the OnePlus 8 Pro allows for 10x. This is all digital, though, so there isn't much difference in quality. In fact, the OnePlus' 10x zoom is a very obvious crop, so you probably won't be using that much. Both phones will also boost the gain as you focus in on an object, to achieve that "sound zoom" effect. To... varying results.

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On the selfie camera front, the iPhone 11 Pro manages to capture more detail and keep its contrast high without burning as many highlights as the OnePlus 8 Pro does.

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At night, footage can get fuzzy with both phones, as is normal. The OnePlus 8 Pro does give us a slightly sharper video, but its noise reduction sometimes goes over the top — just try to follow the bricks of the pavement while we move around. It’s also more prone to burning highlights.

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Let’s call it like this: 3 points for the iPhone for more consistent footage in all tests, 1 point for the OnePlus because of its microphone and its sharpness in night time.

Final score:

  • OnePlus 8 Pro - 14
  • iPhone 11 Pro - 14

Yep, as I said — the OnePlus 8 Pro can certainly hold its own. While it’s on its back foot during the daytime, it can definitely fend for itself once the sun goes down. The iPhone is still the undisputed king when it comes to video footage, but it has a lot of competitors breathing down its neck. So, needless to say, the iPhone 12 has its work cut out for itself!

A camera does not a phone make. It is a part of a whole — an important part, nonetheless. But hey, good news — the OnePlus 8 Pro also happens to have an amazing display, blazing fast performance, and insanely fast charging. Not bad, eh?

Check out our full review of the OnePlus 8 Pro here

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