Night shots battle: The iPhone XS has no chance against the Google Pixel 3
When choosing a smartphone for mobile photography tasks, the raw hardware specs should never be taken into account before checking out the photo-related software capabilities of the handset. Since even affordable mid-rangers that come with dual cameras can take amazing shots in good lighting conditions, the difference between amazing and average handsets for those into mobile photography is made by their performance in low light.
Those wondering about the winner between the Apple iPhone XS and the Google Pixel 3 in a night photography battle should know that, at least until the iPhone gets a special night mode as well, the Pixel gets the first place without breaking a sweat. Obviously, we should also keep in mind that Apple has no special night mode available for its handsets yet.
As you can see in the full image below, the photo taken using the iPhone XS (disregard the big "Phone X" text, because there is a small-font watermark that mentions the iPhone XS as well) is much darker overall, and the woman in the middle of the image is nothing more than a dark shape. While the image processed by the Google Pixel 3's night mode might seem a bit blown-out here and there, the overall result is much better.
Do you think that Apple can improve the night photography results of its handsets with the help of a software night mode? Would you use the iPhone and do some post-work on the night shots yourself instead of relying on Google's algorithms? Maybe even go as far as using full manual mode where possible with a tripod for your mobile night shots?
Marvin Chow (on Twitter)