MKBHD's 2019 blind smartphone camera test throws up a few surprises
Last year, popular YouTube tech channel Marques Brownlee hosted a blind smartphone camera test. The major smartphone releases of the year were paired off against each other in two brackets, with the public getting to choose which shots they preferred without knowing what phone took which. The results last year were shocking, as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro came out on top—the Pocophone F1 being an unexpected runner-up.
This year, MKBHD has repeated the same test. Most of the major smartphone releases of the year competed, six million votes were submitted across Twitter and Instagram, and the results were just as surprising as last year's.
While the Mate 20 Pro came out on top last year, the Mate 30 Pro got knocked out at the semis against the Galaxy Note 10+, the Samsung flagship which went on to win. The runner-up here? The Galaxy S10e, yet another Samsung device. It makes sense, since the S10e and Note 10+ feature identical camera hardware.
The S10e beat the Mi Note 10, OnePlus 7T Pro, and Pixel 4 on its way to the finals. All three of those phones are great camera devices, and the Pixel 4 and Mi Note 10 are considered to be some of the best camera phones in the world right now.
Rather amusingly, the iPhone 11 Pro lost right off the bat to the OnePlus 7T Pro. For some reason, the Apple flagship produced a ridiculously cool-toned image that evidently didn't appeal to the voting crowd.
It's no surprise that Samsung dominated, really. The company's image processing has gained a reputation for leaning towards a punchier color profile, when compared to most of the competition. As we saw with the Poco F1 last year, most of the voting audience tends to prefer brighter, punchier shots.
Samsung's cameras have received flak for their poor performance in dynamic shooting conditions, with the company opting for lower shutter speeds. That's valid criticism, but it shouldn't detract from the excellence of the company's cameras in most other shooting situations.