If you languish to find out how well a camera phone performs, you know that it’s hard to find reliable mobile camera reviews on models that are not making the headlines.
That’s because Image Quality (IQ) based reviews take a lot of time and are very expensive to make – we know because we have our Uber-G Camera IQ score as well.
But there is another way to have a great notion of how a mobile camera “should” perform: by analyzing the camera hardware. It makes a lot of sense: great camera hardware should yield great photos, right?
Our logo shows the hardware score, the device name and market category (high-end, premium, high-mid-range, low-mid-range, etc.) and its launch year. We will use color codes to differentiate between market categories.
The Uber-G Camera HW score uses a proprietary algorithm that takes camera hardware data as an input to compute a score that ranks a camera against its peers. It essentially reveals the “potential” of the camera hardware.
“GREAT CAMERA HARDWARE SHOULD YIELD GREAT PHOTOS”
|Phone Brand & Model||Uber-G Camera HW Score|
|Huawei Mate 20 Pro||156|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 9||144|
|Samsung Galaxy S9+||144|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||136|
|Huawei P20 Pro||134|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 8||113|
|Google Pixel 2 XL||104|
|Google Pixel 2||104|
|Google Pixel 3||104|
|Sony Xperia XZ3||102|
|Sony Xperia XZ2||102|
|Samsung Galaxy S8+||101|
|Samsung Galaxy S8||101|
|Apple iPhone XS||100|
|Xiaomi Mi Mix 3||90|
|OnePlus OnePlus 6||87|
|LG G7 ThinQ||75|
|OnePlus OnePlus 5T||73|
|Apple iPhone X||71|
|Huawei Mate 10||67|
|Honor Honor Magic 2||66|
|Xiaomi Pocophone F1||65|
|Honor View 10||63|
|Honor Honor 8x||56|
|Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro||50|
|Huawei Mate SE||48|
|Honor Honor Play||39|
|Xiaomi Redmi 5||38|
|Xiaomi Mi 5X||38|
|Huawei Y9 (2018)||26|
|Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)||15|
The best way to check if a model works is to look at the correlation with observed image quality. For that, we can check for correlations between our Uber-G Camera IQ (image quality) score and the Uber-G Camera HW score.
The charts don’t exactly correlate for a couple of reasons:
- Both scores don’t measure the same thing and aren’t expected to be on the same scale
- The general IQ score contains situations in which the camera hardware isn’t stressed, such as daylight photography where it is more about camera exposure settings and high-dynamic range, which involves a lot of software
- Software. The IQ gap between different phone makers can be significant even though they may use the same type of camera modules.
As you can see, there’s a strong correlation between theoretical HW performance and real-world image quality (IQ).
Looking at a more hardware-challenging situation such as Night photography, the correlation is more pronounced, just as one would expect. It is logical that better camera lenses and sensors would yield visibly better results here.
With a great hardware score, we will be able to rate many more of the ~1000 phones that come out yearly. And in cases where we have scarce data, we will publish an “Estimated Uber-G Camera HW” score (more on that soon) which is still robust enough to be very meaningful.
With this algorithm, we can provide consumers with unmatched mobile camera hardware guidance that will help people choose the best mobile camera experience for their money and/or save a lot of time during their initial phone research.
However, it is important to keep in mind that a hardware store, isn’t as reliable as an image-analysis score because software image processing also plays a large role in building the final photo. That’s why we created the Uber-G Camera IQ score.
Keep an eye out for new scores!
Thanks for your interest in our Mobile Camera scores. We want to provide insightful and useful information that will help you get the best camera for your needs and money. Keep in touch via Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for updates.