The Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Review) and the Google Pixel (Review) are two of the best smartphones you can buy right now if a great camera is what you’re after in a phone. We saw this during our flagship camera shootout, and during our camera comparison against the OnePlus 5 (Review). The cameras from both phones have also gotten very scores from DXOMark – the industry standard for benchmarking cameras and lenses. However, the U11, HTC’s flagship for 2017 beats the S8+ and Pixel, ranking the highest in DXOMarks camera ratings.
Naturally, it’s time to see if this translates just as well in real world performance too, something we discovered for ourselves during our review of the HTC U11. Let’s see if the HTC U11 can actually beat the Google Pixel and the Galaxy S8+ in our camera shootout.
HTC U11 vs Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Google Pixel: Daylight landscape
In our first landscape test in daylight, we check to see how the phones handle HDR, colour accuracy, level of detail, and white balance. All three cameras capture very good detail and none have any glaring issues like chromatic aberration. However, the image taken from the HTC U11 stands out here thanks to the accurate white balance and accurate colour tone. We’re also able to easily distinguish the different shades of green in the trees in the background.
The Google Pixel comes in at a close second, with equally good detail and accurate colours. The colour temperature is a bit on the warmer side here and objects that appear towards the sides of the frame isn’t very clearest. The Galaxy S8+ exhibits better highlights and shadow areas are more legible but the picture has a very warm tone to it and greens are a bit overblown, making the various shades of the trees appear as one.
Tap for full-sized image of HTC U11 sample
Other samples – Samsung Galaxy S8+, Google Pixel
HTC U11 vs Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Google Pixel: Daylight close-up
In our first macro shot, we check to see how the camera sensors handle high contrasting colours and also smoothness of the bokeh.
The HTC U11 manages to nudge past the others with accurate white balance and punchy colours, without going overboard. The reds are a tad brighter than they should but this does add a good dynamic to the image. The image from the Google Pixel dials down the colours a bit, which gives it a more natural look. Level of detail and bokeh is also very good. The Galaxy S8+ once again boosts the colours a bit too much, especially the greens, although it manages to maintain good level of detail.