Google Pixel 5 digicam examined vs one of the best Android digicam telephones

Google Pixel 5 vs Huawei P40 Pro vs Sony Xperia 5 II vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Google has a repute as among the finest cellphone digicam corporations within the enterprise, however can the search large maintain on to that repute in 2020? The Google Pixel 5 sticks makes use of the identical outdated important sensor as final yr’s Pixel 4, whereas additionally ditching telephoto capabilities for a wide-angle lens. It’s a really conservative strategy within the fashionable age of quad-lenses and experimental sensors. It’s going to be an uphill battle towards its rivals.

We’re endeavor a four-way shootout this time, pitting the Google Pixel 5 towards three of one of the best digicam telephones of the yr: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Huawei P40 Professional, and the Sony Xperia 5 II. With the Pixel 5 arriving at a way more inexpensive value level than its rivals, can it nonetheless provide a aggressive digicam expertise? Let’s discover out.

If you wish to look at the leads to nearer element, you’ll find the full-res photographs on this Google Drive folder.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 5 overview

Digital camera specs

  Google Pixel 5 Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Huawei P40 Professional Sony Xperia 5 II
Fundamental Digital camera 12.2 megapixels
f/1.7 aperture
half.55-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
12 megapixels
f/1.eight aperture
1/1.76-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
50 megapixels (12.5MP binned)
f/1.9 aperture
1/1.28-inch sensor
Omnidirectional PDAF, OIS, RYYB
12 megapixels
f/1.7 aperture
1/1.7-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF, OIS
Secondary digicam 107˚ wide-angle
16 megapixel
f/2.2 aperture
12 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
40 megapixels (10MP binned)
f/1.eight aperture
1/1.54-inch sensor
124˚ wide-angle
12 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
half.55-inch sensor
Twin Pixel PDAF
Third digicam 3x hybrid zoom
64 megapixels (16MP binned)
f/2.Zero aperture
1/1.72-inch sensor
5x telephoto zoom
12 megapixels
f/3.Four aperture
3x optical zoom
12 megapixels
f/2.Four aperture
1/3.4-inch sensor
Fourth digicam Depth (time-of-flight)
0.Three megapixels
Depth (time-of-flight)

Colour stability and publicity

Let’s begin with the quintessential facets of any good image. Colour, publicity, and white stability.

We all know what to anticipate from these corporations relating to colour processing. Samsung closely saturates for extra pop, however outcomes don’t look very sensible. Sony goals for pure, muted colours, though this may seem boring in locations. Google and Huawei sit someplace within the center, aiming for realism however generally including in a small enhance to intensify some scenes.

This actually is a case of private desire. I lean in direction of Sony’s strategy.

Colour temperature varies quite a bit between all 4 telephones. The Xperia 5 II prefers a cooler pallet, which performs to its sensible look, whereas the Galaxy S20 Plus is by far the warmest. The Pixel 5 sits extra conservatively within the center, as does the P40 Professional. Though Huawei has probably the most dynamic strategy, switching up its colour temperature primarily based on the scene’s contents — see the nice and cozy vs chilly hues above and under, respectively.

Publicity-wise, Google is certainly probably the most constant and effectively balanced. Samsung’s pictures typically have clipped highlights as a part of its saturated look, and Huawei’s digicam additionally sometimes overexposes to assist pump up its colours. Sony’s publicity is extra hit or miss, generally over, generally beneath. I ended up with plenty of snaps that weren’t fairly proper, as you’ll see in a while.

Images phrases defined: ISO, aperture, shutter velocity, and extra

Google Pixel 5: Glorious publicity and sensible colours. No complaints.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Oversaturated colours and clipped highlights, typical Samsung. Positively not sensible.

Huawei P40 Professional: Colours sometimes dial up a notch too far however in any other case nice with glorious white stability. Principally good publicity too.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Most sensible colours out of the 4, however far more hit or miss publicity. Coolest white stability.

Cropping in on particulars

Shifting on to particulars, all 4 cameras look nice at shut and medium vary. Though even right here we will see that Huawei produces the softest, most lifelike particulars. Nonetheless, the P40 Professional has the annoying behavior of robotically switching to the wide-angle digicam for macro photographs. This lens captures far much less detain than the primary sensor and I want this characteristic might be disabled.

Cropping into longer distances highlights the variations. Sony affords the least element however fortunately avoids heavy processing to compensate. Consequently, it nonetheless appears fairly good total. Samsung captures just a little extra element however pictures seem just a little oversharp in locations. Google’s particulars look like touched up too however there’s no denying that the extent of element in shiny daylight is phenomenal.

Huawei is the softest and most natural-looking of the 4, though the outcomes are maybe a bit too tender in locations. An ideal outcome could be someplace between Google’s and Huawei’s pictures. Nonetheless, in lower than preferrred lighting conditions, the Pixel 5’s venerable {hardware} begins to point out its age as noise shortly creeps in. This has a knock-on impact for positive particulars however definitely received’t destroy the final look of your photos.

The Pixel 5’s outcomes nonetheless look acceptable total, however Huawei and Samsung overtake within the final situation. Significantly relating to noise discount, which you’ll see on the wood floor. Huawei appears probably the most sensible — except for the nice and cozy tint — with Samsung resolving a fraction extra noise. The Xperia 5 II once more struggles probably the most with positive particulars in much less preferrred lighting. With regards to selecting one of the best for element, it’s a toss-up between the Pixel 5 and Huawei P40 Professional relying on the precise shot.

Google Pixel 5: Nice particulars in daylight, poorer in low mild.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Constantly good particulars, however 100% crops are a tad over-processed.

Huawei P40 Professional: Softest post-processing for glorious element that holds up greatest in low mild.

Sony Xperia 5 II: First rate element in good mild, however the weakest of the 4 total. Not unhealthy total, simply not distinctive.

HDR processing

Google helped pioneer fashionable smartphone HDR processing, so we’d count on good efficiency right here.

On this first instance, all 4 stability the image fairly effectively. The Xperia 5 II is just a little washed out and provides in just a little an excessive amount of blue into the overcast sky. Samsung once more overpumps the colours and injects much more faux blue sky, which simply wasn’t there. Huawei is just about spot on.

See additionally: The most effective Android digicam telephones you will get

The Pixel 5 is definitely the worst of the bunch. First, the sky clips, in contrast to Huawei and Sony’s efforts. You’ll be able to’t make out the clouds in any respect. Extra alarming is the noise current within the darker portion of the picture, comparable to the underside left. It’s a robust sufficient impact to note at full body.

This second instance is even worse. I don’t fairly know what’s gone on with Google’s HDR algorithm right here. It’s a very tough shot to stability the brilliant solar with the darkish barn inside, and each the Pixel 5 and Galaxy S20 Plus undergo from some bloom. However the sheer quantity of grain and noise on this daylight situation level to a processing difficulty with Google’s cellphone. Particularly as I’d taken a distinct shot moments earlier than that turned out positive.

Wanting on the different telephones, Huawei and Sony hand in probably the most sensible picture and effectively balanced dynamic vary. The latter really has the higher depth and shadows this time, suggesting some software program tweaks since I examined the Sony Xperia 1 II. The Galaxy S20 Plus appears tremendous vivid, however that is nothing like the true scene.

Subsequent, I wish to draw your consideration to one thing within the following two pattern units. The Google Pixel 5 suffers badly from chromatic aberration (the purple hue seen in between the tree leaves). The Huawei P40 Professional has the identical downside, however the impact is proscribed to the higher left nook of the lens. The Galaxy and Xperia handsets don’t have any such difficulty. As soon as once more, shadow noise rears its head within the Pixel 5’s photographs.

Total, it’s fairly onerous to select which is greatest for HDR. The Pixel 5 has main points I actually didn’t count on from a Google handset. Shadow noise and lens distortion detract from an in any other case effectively balanced HDR algorithm. Huawei balances highlights one of the best, however shadows can come out too darkish. A few of Sony’s HDR photographs look too washed out, whereas Samsung’s look synthetic.

Google Pixel 5: Good publicity, however very noisy shadows and noticeable lens distortion points with shiny highlights. Lengthy processing time.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Oversaturated colours and spotlight clipping maintain again an in any other case glorious HDR implementation.

Huawei P40 Professional: Typically stable HDR with very quick processing. Sadly, small indicators of lens distortion are noticeable.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Good HDR capabilities, however processing and settling occasions are longer than the competitors. Publicity is hit or miss.

Bokeh and portraits

The Huawei P40 Professional and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus characteristic devoted time-of-flight sensors to calculate depth info. So we’d assume these handsets have a built-in benefit, however let’s discover out.

For daring shapes, edge detection is fairly good throughout all 4 telephones. Nonetheless, notice how the Xperia 5 II is just a little confused with the advanced textures within the hole between the statue and the white field within the picture under and doesn’t blur the reflection on the left sufficient. The Pixel 5 additionally misses the sting of the white field and blends the background and foreground on the left incorrectly. Huawei blurs this space moderately oddly too, so reflections are clearly very tough.

When it comes to blur high quality, Samsung is just a little too harsh for my style, smearing moderately than softening in locations. Google, Huawei, and Sony produce a extra pure bokeh. Though I give the nod to Huawei and Sony who roll-off extra naturally, versus the Pixel 5’s tougher cut-off and stronger blur. Nonetheless, all three look fairly good.

Irritatingly, Sony doesn’t allow you to zoom in or out whereas utilizing the bokeh mode and in addition calls for that you simply stand 1.5m away out of your goal. Whereas all the different cameras default to a 2x zoom for nearer portraits and aren’t so choosy about topic distance.

Portraits are trickier to seize precisely, particularly should you’re rocking a lockdown haircut. Right here we see that the Pixel 5 and Xperia 5 II wrestle with stray hairs. The Xperia 5 II clearly misses the ToF sensor from the Xperia 1 II. The Galaxy S20 Plus grabs a lot of the stray edges, whereas the Huawei P40 Professional is just about flawless. Huawei additionally produces probably the most detailed portrait. The S20 Plus is smudged, Pixel 5 has good tones however is moderately grainy, whereas Sony’s is blown out.

Google Pixel 5: Cheap edge detection and good high quality blur. Struggles with free hairs and the portrait is grainy.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Strong edge detection however not the nicest wanting blur. Smudges portrait particulars for an excessively tender look.

Huawei P40 Professional: Finest total bokeh pictures. Provides one of the best edge detection, good wanting blur, and glorious portrait particulars.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Lack of zoom makes it tough to take portraits. Not nice edge detection however good blur high quality and OK portrait element.


All 4 telephones additionally characteristic ultra-wide cameras, albeit with various specs and viewing angles. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus supplies the widest subject of view to suit extra in, adopted by the Sony Xperia 5 II. Don’t let Huawei’s 16:9 side ratio idiot you, it’s nearly a match for the Pixel 5’s equally slim subject of view.

When it comes to high quality, the Huawei P40 Professional supplies the crispest, most color-accurate, and detailed pictures. Though cropping in on a wide-angle shot defeats the aim, there’s one thing to be stated for element retention and focus. Google’s Pixel 5 performs by far the worst on this regard, with a hard and fast focus that’s typically out-of-focus. The Xperia 5 II and Galaxy S20 Plus are comparable for element within the body’s heart, however Sony’s cellphone suffers from extra edge distortion.

Sadly, Google’s often glorious colours don’t carry over to the wide-angle lens. The outcomes are extra washed out than the primary sensor. There are additionally just a few indicators of chromatic aberration (purple halos) as soon as once more, and the lens is extra distorted than its rivals that provide wider fields of view. Not excellent.

Associated: The most effective price range digicam telephones you should buy

The Xperia 5 II’s colours are sensible sufficient, though the second image is certainly underexposed. This leaves us with the Galaxy S20 Plus and Huawei P40 Professional as probably the most appetizing to take a look at.

Total, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus supplies one of the best wide-angle expertise. Not solely does it provide the widest subject of view, however its element retention and colours (bar the standard oversaturation) are cheap too. The Huawei P40 Professional is by far one of the best when it comes to picture high quality, however the lens isn’t fairly extensive sufficient. The Xperia 5 II is practical, whereas Google’s wide-angle digicam is primary at greatest.

Google Pixel 5: Out of focus, washed-out colours, and relatively slim field-of-view. Decidedly lower-end capabilities.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Widest subject of view and first rate particulars make it one of the best wide-angle lens total.

Huawei P40 Professional: By far one of the best particulars and focus, with good colours and no distortion. Only a disgrace the lens isn’t wider.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Vast subject of view with good colours. However focus and particulars aren’t sharp, particularly away from the body’s heart.

Zooming in

At full-frame, all the cameras look excellent as much as 3x, and the Huawei P40 Professional, with its periscope digicam, affords the very best quality at excessive ranges past 5x. Sadly, the Pixel 5’s lack of zoom {hardware} begins to inform at about 3x, rendering it fairly ineffective past that. Samsung retains first rate high quality out to 5x. The Xperia 5 II arms in a great efficiency between 3x and 4x. Sadly, the 2x pattern is a reasonably poor high quality upscale from the primary sensor on shut inspection.

Digital camera zoom defined: How optical, digital, and hybrid zoom work

Colour, white stability, and publicity are good when zooming in with all 4 of those telephones. Nonetheless, there’s a noticeable bump in high quality and alter in lighting when the Huawei P40 Professional’s 5x periscope digicam kicks in. The samples under additionally showcase the inconsistent high quality under 5x for this setup in comparison with the telephoto lenses from Samsung and Sony. Though to seize such a shot you’d clearly zoom in additional to activate the periscope digicam, moderately than crop in like I’ve to showcase the post-processing.

At quick distances, the Samsung Galaxy S20+ produces one of the best wanting and most constant outcomes, adopted by the Sony Xperia 5 II (which struggles at 2x). Nearer inspection of the Google Pixel 5 doesn’t look excellent, though it manages to retain extra element than Huawei within the instance above. So chalk that up as a win for Google’s Tremendous Res Zoom expertise.

In the meantime, solely Huawei affords first rate picture high quality when stretched proper the best way out at 7x. Samsung appears satisfactory right here, albeit with a closely processed look. Softer processing from the Xperia 5 II appears just a little extra pleasing to the attention on the expense of element. Sony’s cellphone would have exceeded expectations, if not for the poor high quality at 2x. None of those telephones contact the Huawei P40 Professional at ultra-long vary.

Google Pixel 5: Tremendous Res Zoom appears OK out to 3x, however the absence of telephoto {hardware} holds again high quality and distance.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Fairly constant zoom high quality with full-frame pictures that maintain up effectively to about 5x. Crops look closely processed, nonetheless.

Huawei P40 Professional: Hit or miss efficiency and heavy processing round 3x as a consequence of longer vary {hardware}. By far the very best quality at 5x and past.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Minimal processing appears very pure. Particulars are hit or miss, particularly at 2x and past 4x, however full-frame holds up effectively. Pinch zoom doesn’t toggle the telephoto lens robotically.

Low mild and evening mode

In contrast to the opposite three handsets, Sony’s Xperia 5 II doesn’t provide a devoted low mild taking pictures mode. As a substitute, it should robotically improve the shutter time for you in low mild conditions. As I’ve famous prior to now, you seldom want the Huawei P40 Professional’s evening mode. The default mode takes photos a lot quicker and tends to supply sharper-looking outcomes.

In low mild, all 4 telephones carry out very effectively. Though the Pixel 5 and P40 Professional are the brightest. So long as your arms are regular, there’s no noticeable blur, loads of publicity, and even some cheap colours from all the telephones. Google’s white stability is just a little too cool for the primary scene’s heat mild. Nonetheless, the cellphone captures the sharpest picture and most dynamic colours, in alternate for just a little extra noise on the body’s edges.

Out within the pitch black, there’s an even bigger distinction between the handsets. The Xperia 5 II struggled to focus however ultimately produced a shot with first rate colours and stability. Though the sensor struggles to select significant particulars and is sort of noisy in such low mild. It’s clear that Google’s Evening Sight algorithm produces one of the best white stability and colours, and the noise isn’t as unhealthy as Sony’s sensor. The P40 Professional affords one of the best element with out utilizing Evening mode and has OK dynamic vary, however the inexperienced tint is fallacious. Likewise, Samsung’s colour stability is just a bit too heat (the sunshine is yellow moderately than orange) nevertheless it captures marginally extra element than the Pixel 5.

Google Pixel 5: Glorious colours and white stability consistency. The small sensor punches above its weight, however noise is clear.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Works effectively to brighten scenes whereas preserving particulars. White stability isn’t nearly as good as Google or Sony.

Huawei P40 Professional: Evening mode leads to much less element than a normal shot. Publicity is sweet, particulars maintain up OK, however the white stability is extra hit or miss.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Glorious white stability and good colours, however the sensor struggles for element and focus in very low mild.

Google Pixel 5 vs one of the best Android cameras: The decision

Google Pixel 5 vs Huawei P40 Pro vs Sony Xperia 5 II vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Testing 4 of the business’s most coveted smartphone digicam packages has yielded some surprises and some insights into the best way the cell images business has moved over the course of 2020. All 4 handsets are able to taking some glorious photos, however all of them have their very own points as effectively. It’s these issues that can possible assist nail down which handset is greatest for you.

If I needed to decide a winner, my preferences fall between the Huawei P40 Professional and the Sony Xperia 5 II. However your decide will rely in your images necessities. That will help you determine I’ve put collectively a fast recap for every cellphone, in no explicit order.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: We all know what to anticipate from Samsung as of late — a usually stable digicam bundle with an excessive colour pallet. For those who can dwell with the punchiness, the Galaxy S20 Plus is probably the most constant digicam bundle right here. It affords one of the best wide-angle expertise and first rate zoom, albeit with a touch an excessive amount of processing for my tastes. Nonetheless, there isn’t a situation this cellphone can’t deal with, even when it’s not the very best relating to picture high quality.

Huawei P40 Professional: Huawei has the repute to beat, however the P40 Professional just isn’t a hands-down winner. It affords one of the best wanting wide-angle photographs, however the lens is sort of slim. Equally, the periscope zoom is nice at lengthy vary, however much less so nearer up. With regards to high quality, the Huawei P40 Professional can hand in one of the best pictures of any smartphone. Significantly relating to sensible particulars, portraits, and tender bokeh. Nonetheless, some photographs nonetheless undergo from crimson tint or under-exposure. It’s a really excellent digicam bundle, however not flawless.

Sony Xperia 5 II: Sony’s Xperia 5 ii produces one of the best colours, affords stable HDR, and takes a tender strategy to post-processing for pleasingly sensible outcomes. However its sensor is just a little behind the curve for positive particulars and messes up publicity way over its rivals. The wide-angle and telephoto outcomes look equally good at full-frame however have points on nearer inspection. Sony has put extra effort into options (like 20fps steady shot) on the expense of some picture high quality. However I’m fairly enthusiastic about the place Sony can take its cameras subsequent technology.

Google Pixel 5: I’m much more combined on the Pixel 5. It nonetheless takes some nice snaps and stands out at midnight, however flaws within the older {hardware} have gotten extra apparent. Colours and publicity stay on the prime of the pack, and element is sweet in daylight. However the {hardware} is exhibiting its age relating to HDR noise, zoom capabilities, and lens high quality. Equally, the wide-angle digicam falls far wanting what we count on from Google. The Pixel 5 is the most cost effective of the bunch and is a succesful shooter for its value, however Google clearly isn’t combating for first place this yr. That stated, I’m itching to see what Google may accomplish with newer digicam sensors.

That’s it for our in-depth have a look at the Pixel 5 vs one of the best Android digicam telephones. Which do you assume got here out on prime?

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