Oct 17 AT 5:52 PM Sean Riley 52 Comments

Top Android phones beat iPhone 4S in camera test

android-vs-iphone-camera-2

If you ask the average iPhone fan why they prefer their device over an Android phone, chances are that the superior camera will be in their top 3 answers. You’d think the same would go for the iPhone 4S, as one of the few things actually updated this time around was the camera.

Well, PC World has put the iPhone 4S to the test against a few high-end Android phones. The results may surprise and dismay any iPhone-loving shutterbugs out there.

PC World pitted the iPhone 4S against the iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy S II (Sprint version), the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide, the Droid Bionic and the HTC Sensation 4G. The way they conducted the test was to take sample images and videos from the phones on the same tripod under the same lighting conditions. The photos were printed out and judged by the panel based on exposure quality, color accuracy, sharpness and distortion. The videos were judged based on the performance in normal lighting and low light with audio quality also factoring into the final scores.

In the still-image category, both the T-Mobile MyTouch Slide 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II bested the iPhone 4S by a slim margin. The HTC Sensation 4G, Apple iPhone 4 and Droid Bionic came in several points below that top group.

The video quality test saw the Samsung Galaxy S II come out significantly ahead of the other phones, and it even outperformed the point and shoot camera they were using as a control for the tests. Next in line was the HTC Sensation 4G, followed by the iPhone 4S finishing in 3rd again. The Droid Bionic just edged out the iPhone 4, and the T-Mobile MyTouch Slide 4G finished in last.

Obviously these are human beings judging the photos and videos, so you could call it a subjective test. But as far as a scientific and unbiased approach is concerned, this is the best I’ve seen so far.

Hit the source link to view the full scoring breakdowns for all the devices as well as the actual test photos and videos.

The moral is: if you’re looking to replace your point and shoot with your next smartphone, it looks like Samsung’s Galaxy S II (and perhaps whatever else Samsung may have coming) should be at the top of your list.

Source: PC World

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 4 years and covering mobile for the last 5. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • louis

    I am waiting iphone fans to comment on this one… :-)

    • Nick

      I am using an infuse 4g from at&t and I came from an iphone 3gs. I am very excited about the new Iphone 4s and its sub-par camera not to mention the fact that it completely destroys the esteemed samsung galaxy 2 in benchmark tests…lets not forget that android is all about specs not actual basic user needs. Sure it allows for alot of customization and thats great i have enjoyed my android experience however for overall reliability is a different story entirely. My iphone never crashed, I never once had an app force close on me, and I did not even have the option to have needless advertisements on the web “as its supposed to be seen”. Kinda dont care about that and never once did I have a glitch or a screen freeze or have to turn my phone off to get my ram back from needless backround process’s not to mention needless widgets sucking the battery life from my device… But hey different strokes for different folks call me a fanboy call me what ever they are both AWSOME in their own ways I just dont see the need to void my warranty by loading an aftermarket Rom on my phone just to get optimal performance out of it, Also this question comes to mind why if android is so great do the different manufacturers think they need to “better” it by adding stupid launchers like HTC Sense or Touchwiz? Vanilla seemed the best to me? And lets not forget that samsung is super great at pushing out updates…..still waiting on gingerbread for the device and its been released for almost 6 months now in Canada with gingerbread on it already but that may be the fault of AT&T who knows either way. IOS updates are pretty regular the Iphones may not be as customizable but as far as seemless user experience and ease of use with regular updates and loads of secure apps in their Store(something that seems to be a constant danger in the android market) I will gladly sell my android device back to best buy for an iphone 4s.

      • vanessa

        I have the iphone 4s and the camera aint as good as my blackberry 9700 the quality just aint there when the flash is on the photos are misty so overall not impressed!

  • Garar

    Just one more thing I can point to in an argument, thank you kindly.

  • Nider

    No matter how good or bad the Quality taken by i4S, they will still buy it without hesitation, im sure of that..

    • Justin

      It’s the same deal as when people still say “Macs are better for graphics.” when in reality the opposite is true. If the statement were ever true it would have been at least 15 years ago.

  • Jay

    People seem to live in modern society wearing blinders. Even if God himself were to come down and claim that Android phones are better iNerds would always say it’s still the best device on the planet. Even if you have a side by side breakdown of specs they would still say it’s better. Some people are like iSheep and live in a bubble of singular thought.

    • JoeD.

      Perhaps some people just prefer Apples products. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not all about tech specs.

    • Asadian25

      Now if only Fandroid users could get it through their thick skulls that “tech specs” that look good on paper dooe not always=optimal performance. You could throw a gazillion core processor in a trash android phone and still yeild the same pathetic results. A fragmented sluggish UI with constant overheating, battery pulls, random restarts, screen glitches, poorly coded apps, poor battery life, poor memory management, and all this = one shitty user exprience. No thanks, I’ll spend my $500+ on something that works correctly. With some it has to do with fanboism. But most Iphone users use the iphone while laughing as some dope just spent half a grand on a device in which he has to do a “battery pull” B4 getting out of the store doors Lol.

  • Phil

    Well if you really want to see the ultimate in fanboy foolishness look no further than Engadget. They have concocted their own test to let the iPhone come out on top. Its almost like they did it to kill off attention to the PC World test.

    • adam

      i just read that and couldn’t believe that absolute ignorance in that obviously biased and poorly explained and written rubbish. the backlash in their comments is fierce and identifies it as an EPIC FAIL of an article. N8 should win hands down…come on. But supposedly some “issues” were just now found. SGSII looks to be the winner on theirs but they ignore that too and just geek out on the apple toy.

  • mike j

    thought apple said their camera is the best this time around????

    • xallies

      Apples camera is the best since iPhone 4. Its not the megapixel, but rather the optical lenses quality and their software. I can speak on behalf of he HTC sensation mentioned above is a clear loser to the iPhones camera. I dunno about the galaxy s II for sprint,but manufacturers have to step up their game.

  • Louis

    That’s why I love this picture of Android
    http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg136/vr4real/Androidchick.jpg

  • ERic

    I just bought the 4S because I like the quality of Apple products. I was blown away by the picture quality when I posted it on FaceBook or looked at them on the camera. I am really bad about printing my photos so I haven’t tried that yet. I looked at the charts from the source linkes and it looks like the 4S tied the Galaxy S II and even beat it in some categories. The article made it look like the camera was far superior.

    • Eric

      I stand corrected, the article states that the Android phones bested the 4S by a “slim” margin and the Android’s video was higher quality. I can see that. I’ll still give that up for Apple’s iOS and customer service.

      • Tangent

        I’ve heard people frequently talk about Apple’s customer service as a reason they went with them over Android. Quite frankly, I still prefer how I’ve never had a reason to contact anybody’s customer service due to a problem on an Android device. Maybe it’s just me, but not needing service at all seems better than getting good service…

        • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jes

          Here here!

        • rob

          HAHAHA now thats rich,,, you have got to be kidding me! those pos fail all the time.

          • Paco

            U mad bro?

        • Eric

          Well, you are in another world if you think that the tens of millions Android devices never need a customer service call to figure something out or fix a warrantied device. I work at an elementary school and it is amazing what a kid can do to a computer and how Apple fixes it (even when they do not have to).

          • Asadian25

            What do you mean? They NEVER have to call customer service for their android LOL. They wouldn’t dare because over 50% of them “rooted” the device and applied a custom “rom” just to make the device remotely usable. Hence they voided their warranty. Ain’t that something when you spend that much money on a device just so you can “root” the device to make it work like it should have worked when you bought the damn thing

      • eric

        Ios is shit compared to android.

  • CJ84

    This is one more point that i can use to beat the crap out of people when i get into a heated debate of apple vs android. I have repeatedly beaten them but the suckers keep coming back. They’re like leeches!

    The one thing i have to give apple though is they have better update systems (with the exception of nexus devices) in response to the poster above.

    • rob

      You get in arguements over phone OS. Wow,, loser

  • CJ84

    Edit: i also cant understand why apple fans can still say their phones are better when their specs and software are so inferior. Even if you prove them wrong they have so much ignorance and such chauvanism that they dont believe it.

    • ERic

      I have used plenty of Windows machines that have better specs than Apples (RAM for example), but they run a lot slower. I will continue to buy the iPhone because of the quality and design of the phone. It may not be the fastest, but that is okay with me. I would rather have a BMW that handles well and has a nice design over a Camaro that is faster. I guess it comes down to what you want in a phone, I am really impressed with Apple’s customer service and their commitment to their operating system.

      • Jon

        Well, you do know what they say about the difference between a porcupine and a BMW is, right?

        A porcupine has it’s pricks on the outside. :P

        Seriously, I was reading your comments and you do exactly what other’s say about iPhone users — claim that the iPhone is better despite being shown the hardware specs and software is inferior to Android devices. You cannot say the iPhone is better when tests and hardware specs say otherwise. This is why you are called iSheep, you blindly spew out what Apple has told you and you listen to them.

        • Ralf

          He doesn´t claim anything. Read again:

          “It may not be the fastest, but that is okay with me.”

          And, wow, some people might prefer costumer service, steady upgrades and a less fragmentation over tech spechs. Big deal, isn´t it. They all must be plain idiots.

        • Dilshan

          Guys,guys,

          Its not the android way to gang up against others even if they are apple fanboys.

          I have to be honest though, just because a phone has better specs than another phone doesnt mean people shouldnt buy them. I have to admit that Apple products have shown unparalleled build quality in almost everything they make, they use very strong yet elegant materials. The specs may not be as good but they are still enough to play 3D games with no lag and do multitasking.

          This is all good but I like Android cus I have a Galaxy S2 :)

  • http://None CaribGrackle

    It doesn’t matter. iSheep will always believe their stuff is superior and I understand them, they went on a bliss and expended all that hard-earned money on some ware that is good but overall to expensive considering competitors out there, that offer more for the same price, or even less. Apple is good and quality, but their products just became a fashion symbol to the world. Let the kids have the McDonald’s, why we real men enjoy some Prime beef.

    • ERic

      You can call me what you want, but people that use the word iSheep (couldn’t you come up with anything original?) and use McDonald’s in their metaphors have little taste and probably eat at McDonald’s more than they would like to admit. My phone was not expensive compared to the competition. For $200, the phones are going to be about the same when it comes to speed and cameras. The quality of Apple’s hardware and software cannot be beat. Apple sold 20,000,000 last quarter; I guess we are all sheep?

      Check your post for grammar, spelling problems and comma issues. Thank you.

      • Dadzkizen

        47 million Android phones sold last quarter. Nokia sold 24 million smartphones with the Symbian OS. If you insist on playing a numbers game as a Fanboy, you will lose.

    • francomur99

      What are you talking about ?? I work into the smartphones industry I love android but the iPhone 4S is the best phone ever ….we have to get in consideration many other factors : the Apple’s ecosystem, The market, the graphics, iTunes, Siri, iCloud, the iOS5, the A5 processor, the camera , video 1080 in full HD and if we count the jailbreak with Cydia which is the parallel platform all the Android phones have not chance to get the first position. The iPhone just works. I’m not an iPhone sheep…..but my friends this is the reality…..very little android owners don’t know what they are talking about, they don’t don’t care to try an iPhone with jailbreak, the day they do they will understand as everybody else.

      • RubiksDube

        The iPhone 4S has the megabytes!

      • rovex

        All the reasons the iphones wins for you is why it fails for me. I HATE the Apple ecosystem, iTunes, and iCloud is part of it, Siri is making up for lack of an active homescreen, iOS is ugly (yes i said it, i find iOS UGLY), The A5 is up to date,, thats it.

        • Jon

          I’m gonna be honest here. Apple has a great product. the iPhone and iOS is fast and blah blah blah and android os can be slow and blah blah blah but that’s because apple is a CLOSED environment. It’s all proprietary. Android is OPEN, manufacturers take the os and put it in very amazing capable phones and some manufacturers put it in crappy, terrible phones. Google can’t control that. Google releases os updates just like apple, but manufacturers/wireless providers limit its release or take their sweet time to update their ui overlay. and you tend to run into a couple hiccups when your os is open and anyone can do whatever they want with their phones. iOS is just one big app drawer. siri is just Google Voice Search. hell, you have apple fans going nuts over the addition of a notification bar!!! the G1 had that! it’s been part of android from the beginning. Everyone here is comparing apples to oranges….no, people here are comparing apples to androids. they’re 2 entirely different types of phones that are for 2 entirely different types of people who have different wants, needs and expectations out of their mobile devices. both os have their high points and you can’t penalize android for hardware inefficiencies when it’s not a nexus device. So if anyone wants to do a phone battle, lets wait for the Nexus Galaxy and then we’ll start the hating

  • FJ99

    Haha, look at Samsung copying a screenshot on their ad like they copy almost everything else Apple: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/18/samsung_accused_of_lifting_iphone_screenshot_for_galaxy_player_promo.html

    This is why Samsung is losing lawsuits left and right against Apple. LOL.

    • Jon

      you’re a clown. did you forget that in europe, apple altered pics of the galaxy 10.1 to fool the courts into thinking that the galaxy 10.1 has the exact specifications as the iPad? and after, that was revealed that apple submitted falsified evidence, the galaxy 10.1 still got banned? (in Germany i believe) i’m just gonna keep it short. Appleheads are everywhere, and they always side with apple….oh and Google doesn’t play petty games like that, that’s why iPhone gets to be graced with the miracle of notification bars and Google Voice Search…i mean siri! maybe, apple will have an epiphany and allow you to set whatever you want as your ringtone or even maybe, just maybe have a magical place to put all your apps in so that you don’t just have page after page of icons all over your homescreen! and we’ll call it…wait for this….don’t go crazy yet isheep….we’ll call it an iDrawer!!!!….you can go crazy now and act like the iPhone has transcended god again btw

      • JonJon

        Look –

        Most of the google phones are junk, complete plastic junk. The Android OS does not work on all the phones. At least Apple enables three generations of phones to use their newest OS. Can you say that apple Android? You are a clown Jon. Is it a coincidence that the Galaxy tablet is also banned in Australia? Android is an OS that Google gives away for free.

        • Dilshan

          Look I’m not going to take sides here but the only reason that all three generations of phones can use the newest OS is because Apple only put the OS in their products. Google on the other hand let any phone company use their latest OS, then that OS can be put into ANY phone not only 3 generations.

      • FJ99

        I amy be a clown, but…’Samsung Lawyer Can’t Tell Rival Tablets Apart During Courtroom Face-Off’

        Here’s the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/14/ipad-vs-galaxy-tab-samsung-lawyer-cant-tell-rival-tablets-apart_n_1010944.html

        Fail, Freikin’ copy cats!

  • sap26

    Nice article. We need more tests and comparisons like this covering things like screen resolution among others. It may help people decide on future purchases with the use of one article rather than digging around multiple sites for vague reviews.

    • sap26

      I should have said “condensed reviews “

    • fenix64.sa

      What is the PC world Test? it’s rubbish!! Google fans and androidboys are just going mad due to the superiority of Apple products :MAC, iPOD, IPHONE and IPAD are the best inventions of the century….Simple as that!

  • Santi

    I tried lots of handset all these years and I found sometime the Android world a bit disorganised, fragmented, with many problems with their devices….especially Sony Ericsson and Samsung in general. To me iPhone 4S wins just for the quality.

  • Grant

    People like the iPhone for it’s simplicity and a more sturdy app store I have neither but, i’ve used droids & iPhones before. the iPhone was more interactive and made certain things that you’d notice when just picking it up at a bestbuy to stick out at you and make you think it’s better.

  • francomur99

    An iPhone 4 or 4S with Jailbreak which include Cydia customization + Backboard and Dreamboard interfaces is like a full HD Colours TV of 2011 while the android is like a1950′s Black and white TV. This is why so many people love the iPhone experience….And the Jailbreak community is getting bigger and bigger : 20% iphones have jailbreak now, is like having iOS, android and Windows Phone7 all in one device….cool isn’t it? Android has not chance

  • counsel dew

    … I’d just like honesty. The title could just as well have been, “iPhone 4s camera bests most Android cameras…” Do we need to have the best to feel good about us or our phones?

    My choice is Android due to the choices Android gives me. My choice is right for me even if it is wrong for everyone else-regardless of any reasoning…

    • Eric

      You said that very eloquently. There are more than specs that drive someone to purchase a certain product. I am very happy with the 4S’ camera. The iPhone does not even run on the 4Th generation network (not offered in my city anyway) and it seems fast.

  • Anthony

    Iphone 4s Camera a big let down.

    I have been with apple since the start, and almost moved to an htc hd but it was faulty so was back within a day.

    Wanting to move to android more and more, I was just waiting to see the new iphone to see if it offered anything.

    Well the camera sales pitch swung it for me, so we got two, I could not wait to try and replicate the images shown on apples web site, but a few days in now, and even though I’m a pretty good photographer, they dont come close, apart from the lighting improvements, I actually prefer the camera on the 3gs and iphone 4.

    The 4s in my opinion can not take photos like those shown, I even tried the hd video to try and take a still from that, nope.

    So I sort of believe apple, im conditioned to that, but I dont see the proof?

    And yes I have tested both to make sure its not faulty.

  • Nick

    again I post : I am using an infuse 4g from at&t and I came from an iphone 3gs. I am very excited about the new Iphone 4s and its sub-par camera not to mention the fact that it completely destroys the esteemed samsung galaxy 2 in benchmark tests…lets not forget that android is all about specs not actual basic user needs. Sure it allows for alot of customization and thats great i have enjoyed my android experience however for overall reliability is a different story entirely. My iphone never crashed, I never once had an app force close on me, and I did not even have the option to have needless advertisements on the web “as its supposed to be seen”. Kinda dont care about that and never once did I have a glitch or a screen freeze or have to turn my phone off to get my ram back from needless backround process’s not to mention needless widgets sucking the battery life from my device… But hey different strokes for different folks call me a fanboy call me what ever they are both AWSOME in their own ways I just dont see the need to void my warranty by loading an aftermarket Rom on my phone just to get optimal performance out of it, Also this question comes to mind why if android is so great do the different manufacturers think they need to “better” it by adding stupid launchers like HTC Sense or Touchwiz? Vanilla seemed the best to me? And lets not forget that samsung is super great at pushing out updates…..still waiting on gingerbread for the device and its been released for almost 6 months now in Canada with gingerbread on it already but that may be the fault of AT&T who knows either way. IOS updates are pretty regular the Iphones may not be as customizable but as far as seemless user experience and ease of use with regular updates and loads of secure apps in their Store(something that seems to be a constant danger in the android market) I will gladly sell my android device back to best buy for an iphone 4s.