You don't have to bleed or break your piggy bank to get a smart phone with a decent camera. Although investing between $ 800 to $ 1,000 dollars in a high-end cell phone ensures you receive a device with an excellent camera, there are other alternatives equally convenient and at a lower price. We are talking about cheap phones with good cameras, which are around $ 400 dollars, such as the Pixel 3a, Motorola One Vision, Sony Xperia 10 Plus and Honor 20. We compare them and tell you which is the best.
The Google Pixel 3a phone, $ 400 dollars, has the same single-lens 12.2MP camera as the Pixel 3, with optical and electronic stabilization, an f / 1.8 aperture and all artificial intelligence functions, including night vision. The camera for selfies It has 8MP.
Meanwhile, Motorola has put two lenses on the back of the One Vision ($ 310 dollars). The main camera has 48MP with f / 1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. It uses the technology of four pixels that combines them in a single 12-megapixel socket to achieve maximum light sensitivity. The software improves the low brightness photos with night vision mode, and there is a second 5MP camera to add depth to the images and achieve the effect bokeh. The camera selfie It has 25MP, but this phone is not available in the US
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus model, for $ 430 dollars, also has a dual lens camera. The main objective has 12MP and an aperture of f / 1.75, while the second objective has 8MP and an aperture of f / 2.4. Unlike the other phones, it has no night mode. It has a special feature to take photos in an aspect ratio of 21: 9 to match your screen.
And finally, the Honor 20 phone, of $ 520 dollars, has a camera with three lenses, and is the only one in our test that can take wide-angle photos. Like One Vision, the main camera has 48MP and an aperture f / 1.8. The wide-angle lens is 16 MP and the depth is 2MP. The Honor software package includes a night mode, several portrait modes and many artificial intelligence features for scene recognition and more. Like One Vision, it is not sold in the United States.
We have not submitted these photos to an in-depth scientific comparison. We have chosen the winners based on which images they look "better" and which are the most impressive from the technical point of view. Much of this selection is subjective, but our goal has been to find the shot that is best to share with our relatives, as it is one of the reasons we all take photos. All snapshots were taken in automatic mode, apart from touching on the screen to select a focus area in certain situations, or using low light mode or portrait mode. Nor did we make multiple shots: one with each camera, in each situation. That is often the only opportunity we have, especially on vacation, so each camera must work perfectly at all times.
This photo of a fisherman's house on the beach was taken near sunset, but without the night mode on any of the phones. The photo of the Xperia 10 Plus is the most accurate, in terms of lighting conditions of the moment, but this does not make it the best example. The image is too dull, with a tint too blue and less than natural colors. The Motorola One Vision is the next to fall. Although the photo is good, the color of the sand and stones is too gray, which makes the final result a bit inert. It is a difficult choice between the photos of Honor 20 and Pixel 3a, and we really like both examples. The Pixel 3 also shows the gray ground, compared to the most realistic color of the Honor 20 photo. However, the sky in the Pixel 3 photo is superb, adding a real and representative environment of the time of day. The brightness of Honor 20 reveals more details in certain areas, but the overexposure of the sky is a distraction.
Winner: tie between Pixel 3a and Honor 20
The sunny beach scene is a traditional take that almost all of us will have taken at some time, and all cameras should be able to handle it well. In this case, all four are great, and we would be happy to share any of them. However, there are subtle differences. The Xperia 10 Plus increases saturation with very bright greens and blues, at the expense of the color of the beach. There is a tie between the picture of Honor and Motorola, which have similar tones and color treatment, especially in trees and the beach, although the rocks, the sea and the sky are more varied. Each one is great, but they can't match the perfect balance of all these aspects of the Pixel 3a photo. This is how it looks in reality, plus the detail of the beach with stones and the beautiful texture of the rocks.
Winner: Pixel 3a
These photos were taken with a 2x zoom, or as close as possible with phones such as the Pixel 3a, which does not have an automatic hybrid zoom function. The incredible blue sky and stonework was overexposed by the Motorola One Vision. The photo of Honor 20 is the one that can be shared most immediately due to saturation and visual outburst, but it is Sony's photo that gives me a victory over that of Pixel 3a. The photo of the Xperia 10 Plus is very sharp, even enlarged and when you examine the seagull that was introduced in the shot, and the general brightness does not ruin the environment either.
Winner: Sony Xperia 10 Plus
It was around 10 pm, it was dark, with the only lighting coming from the street lamps and inside the game room itself. These are difficult conditions, and the lack of a night mode on the Xperia 10 Plus showed how a normal camera will capture the scene. The result is unbalanced and is not a photo you want to keep. The remaining three are very difficult to choose, their respective night modes capture great photos. However, it is the image of the One Vision that takes the victory, due to the white of the building and the color balance. The image of Pixel 3a is stronger inside the room, but the overall atmosphere is less attractive than that of One Vision. The Honor 20 is riding between the two.
Winner: Motorola One Vision
The portrait mode was used in the four phones, but the Xperia did not blur the background, and instead used a much more aggressive beauty effect to soften the skin. It also overexposes the background, but corrects the color of the shirt. One Vision also brightens the scene, and the blurry effect is messy around the top of the head. We like the selfie of the Honor 20. It is very clear, the background is blurry enough, and has not added any beauty effects on its own. However, there is a strange halo around the head, and the recognition of the edges is very sharp, which makes the photo seem unreal. That said, the color and contrast are excellent, and we like the overall look. The recognition of edges of the Pixel 3a is much more natural, and although the blur is much stronger, it does not seem unnatural. It is the photo that we will share after a bit of editing, although the photo of the Honor 20 stays very close in second place.
Winner: Pixel 3a
What phone have you won? The Honor 20 and the Motorola One Vision have good cameras, and we have taken photos that are visually stunning. The inability to match the Pixel 3a is surprisingly mild, given how good they can be. The One Vision should be praised for its performance, since it is substantially cheaper than the rest of the phones. Although the Sony Xperia 10 Plus camera is better than before, it still does not offer consistently good results. It is the most expensive phone, but it cannot match the others. In our tests, the Pixel 3a was the phone that took the best photos and therefore the one that takes the first prize.
* Updated by Rodrigo Orellana on January 5, 2020