For the first time, we conducted an experiment in which we did not name the names of the models that we are comparing, which did not create intrigue, but, on the contrary, repelled some people – they were not interested in comparing unknown models (yes, a dozen people wrote to me about this, thank you very much, we will take into account your opinion for future materials of this kind).
The selection of models for comparison is not accidental, I was interested in comparing smartphones with flexible screens and their main cameras, and two devices were released at the end of the summer of 2022 (Fold4 and Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold2), two models are just appearing on the market – Mate X3 and Magic Vs.
Let’s look at a small table, it describes the resolution of the cameras and the modules used.
|Model||Permission, MP||The main module|
|Samsung Galaxy Fold4||50||Samsung GN3|
|Honor Magic Vs||54||Sony IMX800|
|Huawei Mate X3||50||Sony IMX766|
|Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold2||50||Sony IMX766|
The table perfectly demonstrates that comparison on paper will always suffer from inaccuracy, since the final result in the quality of images, their perception directly depends not only and not so much on hardware, but also on software, the ability to work with a picture.
For me, the Sony IMX800 module, which replaced the 766, remained a dark horse. On paper, it completely outperforms its predecessor, but in practice, we have not yet seen this happen. Even more interesting is that the engineers of both Huawei and Honor went through the same school, have the same tools, and the final result should be at least close. Add Xiaomi here, which has a sloppy approach to software, and we get a full range of approaches, although, of course, the module from Samsung is also important here, which provides an alternative to Sony solutions and acts as their direct competitor.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
1. Monument to Academician Prokhorov. We look at the foreground, the sky and the trees behind.
Very close estimates for such a simple shot, but there is also an outsider – this is a model from Xiaomi, the white balance has flown to incomprehensible edges, the monument looks dark. And the whole picture is clearly lower than on other devices.
2. Scooters on Sparrow Hills. Color rendition, background detail, fonts on scooters.
The detail of the image on the Mate X3 is much higher, it looks clean, the fonts are well read on a larger number of scooters. And this perfectly demonstrates the capabilities of the Mate X3 and how the module from Sony has been finalized. The picture from Fold4 looks darker, the details are worse – but in terms of perception they are close, the estimates also do not differ too much. This situation will be repeated in several shots later.
3. Bridge over the river. Working out the details and the mood of the picture.
Once again, we see the Mate X3 win, but let’s pay attention to Honor – poorly developed color reproduction of the sky and water. It’s understandable why the Magic Vs shot is rated so low.
4. Duck and background, river and buildings opposite.
A rather difficult shot for automation, it must understand that there is a duck in the foreground (it was moving), at the same time capture the background and draw it (water, sky, buildings on the other side of the river). Xiaomi is a complete failure here, just like Honor, these two manufacturers simply failed.
The Fold shot is noticeably touched up, less natural, which brought it to second place, while the voices went to the Mate X3 by a very small margin.
5. Buildings and the dome of the church.
The geometry of the building is preserved in the image from the Fold, the color rendition also looks advantageous. Other devices did much worse.
6. Under the bridge. As transferred to water, the texture of the stone.
Side light, paths on the water, stone texture. Difficult picture, automation should evaluate it correctly. And here the first place belongs to Fold, the second is Mate. The two remaining devices simply did not cope with the task.
7. River, clouds, greenery. The mood of the picture, distortion at the edges.
Again, the task is on the details of the picture, how it is perceived as a whole. Fold is inferior to Mate due to color reproduction, greater image brightness. But Mate looks good, balanced.
8. “Jump into the water”, sculpture. What does the foreground and background look like?
The sculpture is one-color, black color eats away the details. And here the tinting of the image from Fold plays into his hands, it turns out well-marked contours and details, plus the sky is worked out. But the same Mate is very close. The other two devices are noticeably behind.
9. Flowers in the park. Detail, mood, image processing.
Exactly the same situation as in the previous picture, Fold works well both foreground and background, makes the picture brighter (but not acidic, not flashy). The picture from Mate is very close to it, and the flowers here are just brightly colored, the emphasis on them is increased, which makes the picture a little unbalanced. The scores for these two shots are close.
10. Gingerbread houses. Color rendition, sky.
The Fold4 comes out with a huge lead, the shot is well balanced, it has a sufficient amount of detail. In general, the Fold does these kinds of shots well when there is a foreground and background, each of which needs to be worked on separately.
11. Posters in the park. Font readability.
Mate is the undisputed leader here, the small print on the poster is clearly visible, you can read it in its entirety. Other smartphones are far from being so good. This is what processing algorithms do when they break the frame correctly and find objects that are familiar to them.
12. Evening, majolica on the fence of the church. Glare, depth study
Very curious about this picture. The most natural is the Fold shot, as it’s evening and dark, but it also got the lowest scores. Most people want to see the details, lightening the picture. And here in the first place Mate.
13. Church through the fence. How plans are worked out.
The fence comes to the fore, the question is how exactly the grating is worked out, what the mood of the picture looks like. Best of all, he came out on Mate, all the rest look worse.
14. Clean ponds. Reflections in the water.
The Fold was the worst rated, the picture is darker than the rest (again, it is more natural, but, like above, I don’t like it). The other three devices gave approximately the same image quality – the scene itself does not look complicated.
15. House with animals, bright lights.
A rare case, but here the shot from Honor is much better, the signboard, ornament details, and lighting devices are well-designed. All the others are noticeably worse.
16. Shop window with TVs
The picture from Fold wins in terms of mood and detail. The rest are much easier.
17. “Central Children’s World”
The votes for Huawei and Honor were almost evenly distributed, they are really more interesting, pay attention to the backlighting of the store name and the lack of aggressive tinting of the walls.
18. Fountain at the Bolshoi. We look at the mood of the picture, color reproduction, highlights of individual pieces of the frame.
Water pouring in the dark – what could be worse for automation? But there is still a background, Mate wins here.
19. Photo without Portrait mode.
The picture of my beloved came out best on Mate: detail and general mood, no image compression defects.
20. Photo with Portrait mode.
In the “Portrait” mode, the Magic Vs gave a noticeably better result, while the Fold remained an outsider.
21. Flower close-up.
Here, the automation was supposed to limit the “tinting” of the flower, work out the background or blur it. Huawei and Honor coped best with the task.
22. Tulip in a flower bed from above.
For automation, this is a difficult shot – a bright flower, you need to colorize it, find the focus on it, leave the details. Both Honor and Xiaomi just couldn’t handle it, instead of a tulip, some kind of porridge. Mate did a good job, with Fold in second place.
Summing up and drawing conclusions
In addition to hardware, software skills are very important for a smartphone camera today, without them the quality of images leaves much to be desired. And in our story it happened, the IMX800 from Sony should, in theory, outperform its predecessor – but so far the software for this module is, to put it mildly, raw. Over time, the quality of the images will improve, but at the moment it is inferior to previous models. And therefore, exactly the same Honor engineers could not pull the quality to the level of the same Mate.
Xiaomi remains overboard, the company is a clear outsider in terms of photo quality, despite the fact that it uses exactly the same hardware, work with Leica is announced. This is not enough, you need to be able to work with image processing algorithms, invest in the development of this area. And the results clearly show that this was not done.
You need to keep in mind that two models from the comparison came out at the end of the summer of 2022 (Fold4, Mi Mix Fold2). New devices in 2023 will have advantages in the quality of photos on the main camera (the question is how much and how, but this is the subject of further study of the devices).
Let’s look at the table with the final results for all cameras.
|Model||1 place||2 place||3 place||4 place|
|Mi Mix Fold2||1||2||8||11|
A lot of people want an honest comparison, whatever that means. The problem is that on a different set of photos we will always get a different result. And the results will always depend on which shots you choose.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make a choice – the Mate X3 is the clear winner, and the photos from this smartphone almost always look better than the competition. Second place goes to Fold4, cameras are close in many scenes, Fold wins somewhere, somewhere Mate. The level of solutions is comparable, but the advantage is for Mate.
Honor Magic Vs stands apart, it falls short of Huawei and Samsung, but still gives more or less the expected quality, this is a good average level. But no more. But Xiaomi acts as one continuous disorder. I did not expect that this device would give such pictures (I even took a second device to exclude the possibility of marriage, but no – they shoot equally badly).
I hope that this comparison will give you an idea of a number of device capabilities, I’ll add on my own that while smartphones with flexible screens are inferior in terms of photos to ordinary flagships, for example, the same Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Source: Mobile-review.com — Все о мобильной технике и технологиях by mobile-review.com.
*The article has been translated based on the content of Mobile-review.com — Все о мобильной технике и технологиях by mobile-review.com. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!