The best smartphone for us is still Apple’s iPhone X. However, it is so expensive that for many the technically almost equivalent iPhone 8 Plus is at least the more sensible choice. The best Android smartphone for us, however, is the Samsung Galaxy S9+ . Those who do not necessarily need the latest and greatest, but not much worse with older models – and saves a lot of money.
UPDATE for 2019
Apple has introduced new iPhones. In addition to the new iPhone Xs and the larger variant Xs Max, there is a new slightly cheaper line called Xr. We will test the new devices as soon as possible.
Choosing a “best smartphone” is, from our point of view, less and less useful because both the quality of the workmanship and the technical performance of the flagships of the various manufacturers are getting closer together.
This also shows in the cameras: All top smartphones shoot very good photos. Differences only reveal themselves in details, the more or less comfortable integration into the respective ecosystem – and the price.
Short overview: Our recommendations for 2019 [January – June]
Apple iPhone X: Best iPhone
With the completely redesigned iPhone X , Apple has again managed to rekindle the somewhat hibernate hype about the iPhone and the Apple brand. That was also high time, because the design of the iPhone, which has remained unchanged for years, was looking a bit old-fashioned in comparison to the Android competition.
The most striking feature of the new iPhone is the huge display, which now almost completely covers the entire front. Only a small island still protrudes from above into the display, here is the speaker and the front camera, but even this dark area on the otherwise continuous display has disappeared in everyday use amazingly fast.
The large display has fallen victim to the home button and thus the fingerprint sensor. The smartphone is now unlocked by Face-ID, ie an automatic face recognition. On the one hand this is a real innovation, on the other hand unlocking does not work as well in all situations as it does with the extremely reliable fingerprint sensor.
Samsung Galaxy S9+: King of Android
The Samsung Galaxy S9 + has a slightly larger screen than the Galaxy without Plus. Nevertheless, the Koreans have despite large front cover on the so-called “notch”, so the protruding from above corner for camera and speakers omitted. But that’s just one way that Samsung’s flagship alternative to Apple treads.
This can be seen already on the bulging box, because in addition to the headset, which comes standard with the smartphone, there are still various adapters, which help to facilitate the communication of modern USB type-C interface with older peripherals. The headset is not only equipped with a classic jack cable, it also comes from the house of AKG, an audio specialist who now belongs to Samsung.
The S9 + is available in a version with 64 GB or 256 GB of internal memory. Both have in common that they have a hybrid slot, so either a second SIM card or can expand the memory.
With the G7 LG has again made the connection to the smart phone elite. The stirrups for this has kept the V30 , in contrast, the new flagship from the G-series has a further increased display-frame ratio and breaks with some typical LG conventions.
So while the fingerprint sensor is still on the back to make room for the front of the display, the power button has now moved to the page, just like the competition. Newly added and placed on the opposite side is the inevitable button for the Google Assistant, just below the two volume buttons.
Since there is more space in the front, the active display goes almost to the bottom edge, the three Android buttons can also be hidden if necessary and only the notch called “corner” projects into the display, which by the way can convince with the largest pixel density so far.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: A Reasonably Good Smartphone for 2019
The iPhone 8 Plus is still interesting for anyone who can not make friends with the new design of the iPhone X – or its exorbitant price, especially since the iPhone 8 Plus technically only slightly different from the iPhone X.
The differences between the 8 and the 8 Plus concern, in addition to the larger display and the larger battery especially the camera. Although both have an optical image stabilizer, which effectively helps to avoid wobble, especially in the telephoto, but the plus has in contrast to the small iPhone 8 two lenses, one for wide-angle and one for telephoto, and thus has the edge.
The design of the iPhone 8 was almost completely taken over by the predecessors, new is only a back of glass. Depending on your point of view, this can either be called classical or well-tried, or something dusted off as well. The display dissolves while high, but literally in the frame, because only with the iPhone X, the screen dominates the entire front.
OnePlus 6: The Ultimate Speed King
If you believe the relevant benchmarks, the OnePlus 6 is currently the fastest smartphone on the market – and you can tell.
With the OnePlus 6 there is no price increase compared to its predecessor, but OnePlus now drives a new sales strategy, because the smartphones are now also available on Amazon. Here, too, indulges in the ultimate display-frame ratio, the OnePlus also has a notch that protrudes from the top of the display and this at least increases in diagonal. The navigation bar below can be hidden if necessary, so that the active display almost fills the entire front.
The controls have undergone further changes: The slider for the alarm has now moved to the other side and sits above the on / off switch. The cameras on the back have wandered into the middle and now lie vertically above each other. Otherwise, one deviates from the mainstream in the design of the back – it is dull instead of glossy and therefore less susceptible to fingerprints.
A surprise boosted the performance measurement: The Antutu benchmark already reaches damn close to the 300,000 mark and can thus set itself apart significantly from the current competition.
More and more in common
The time of the big qualitative differences in smartphones is largely over, also and especially with the top models of the manufacturers, the so-called flagships. Sufficient computing power for all everyday tasks, they all offer. In addition to 3D games, only virtual or augmented reality applications can fully exploit the concentrated computing power of the top smartphones, but whether they will actually become the next big things , as the manufacturers say, is far from being settled.
Even with the battery life, there are no big differences. Ironically, mid-range smartphones usually last longer than flagships, where it’s more important to build them as thinly as possible, rather than equipping them with a powerful battery. Replaceable batteries can be found in the upper segment for a long time no longer and for the same reason dies here slowly but surely the classic headphone plug.
The camera is getting more important
The biggest differences between expensive models and cheaper midrange models are still the quality of the cameras. The latest achievement is the so-called bokeh effect, which leaves the background blurred when photographing with a large aperture and thus emphasizes the subject in the foreground. This works so far more times, sometimes less well, but it should only be a matter of time until you hardly recognize a difference between a smartphone portrait and a photograph taken with a single lens reflex camera.
Conversely, if photos are not important to you, there’s really no reason to spend a lot of money on an expensive flagship smartphone. Actually. Because, of course, the top models of the manufacturers are also about prestige. Therefore, not only must the processing be first class, but the design must also have a certain wow factor. And even for the market success does not help even if not the brand has a certain appeal, as many manufacturers of smart Android smartphones with envious views of the iPhone have to experience again and again.
How did we test the best Smartphones for 2019
With the Samsung Galaxy S9 + , the current generation of Android flagships was officially opened; Apart from the top dog of Samsung we had the LG G7 , as well as with the Huawei P20 Pro the big brother of the P20 , also the HTC U12 + and the Nokia 8 Sirocco , and finally the Oneplus 6 in the test. The BlackBerry KEY2 has the unique selling point of the Blackberry keyboard under the display. This is of course smaller, but can be typed ergonomically. The technique in the case is rather proven, to say the least.
Before that, the LG V30 , the Huawei Mate 10 Pro , the OnePlus 5T and the rather exotic KEYone from the Alcatel Blacksmith Branding forge were in the joint test. And before that, in addition to the iPhone 8 Plusand the iPhone X , we had the new Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL from Google in direct comparison.
We used all devices for several days in everyday life, measured the battery life when playing a video in continuous loop with a display brightness of 50 percent, determined the charging time and determined all important benchmarks.
To be able to judge the cameras, we made comparison photos of the same subject in daylight, with good interior lighting and in low light, and we also compared videos and sound recordings of the smartphones.
The winner: iPhone X
The best smartphones for us are currently the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 + . The question, which is better of both, is a little idle, because both are on a very high technical level with only minor qualitative differences in various details. On the other hand, most have already opted for either Android or iOS anyway. A reason to change the operating system stock, both phones do not offer.
Before we go on Samsung’s current flagship, we first devote ourselves to the noble phone with the distinctive apple in the logo.
In terms of price, the designated anniversary model iPhone X has just been put on top again: At just under $1,150 for the small, 64 gigabyte model and $1,320 for the 256 gigabyte version, the iPhone X was well above the $1,000 threshold at the start. Meanwhile, it is partly for about $1,00o to have – but that is still pretty juicy.
In terms of memory, the iPhone 8 Plus overcomes already in the Antutu benchmark test, the 200,000 mark and the iPhone X can once again put something on it – according to parameters are mainly responsible for the processor and the data throughput of the internal interfaces. The iPhone X also has three gigabytes of RAM instead of two like the iPhone 8. In terms of processor performance, Apple still maintains the philosophy that less can be more, at least in comparison to the Android competition. Fewer RAM and fewer processor cores are used to still felt and metrologically transfer the same power to the wheels.
There have already been spotted the first Apple users who painfully miss the usual home button. There is now a sliding blind; Wiped down in the middle of the frame, the display switches off, wiping from bottom to top it becomes active again. It’s a bit reminiscent of Android, but much more of Windows’ usual touch screen gestures. In addition, you actually have to swipe from the middle down, otherwise only the most important settings are displayed – this time really like Android. By the way, if you wipe from the lower right corner of the frame, the iPhone shows all recently opened windows.
Face-ID does not really convince
The home button has also eliminated the integrated fingerprint sensor. Does not hurt, you might think, there is now Face-ID, which works well – surprisingly in the dark. But you should refrain from unlocking the iPhone X, for example, in the car by Face ID, which can be expensive and also dangerous, after all, you must not take the phone while driving in the hand. But it can not be unlocked otherwise.
With the fingerprint sensor you can unlock the previous iPhones, however, without visual contact. Many scenarios are conceivable in which one does not want to be able to watch or unlock his smartphone to unlock. How much this is actually a problem in everyday life, will have to show yet. It is quite possible that you have to get used to the new handling, but it is just as possible that Face-ID proves to be a flop and in the next iPhone again a fingerprint sensor is installed.
Display: The thing with the “Notch”
The ultimate difference to the competition – even in-house – is the borderless display. Well, almost borderless, if you disregard the controversial design element »notch«, because effectively the display can not really be used there. However, Apple has a serious advantage because of its control over app development. It is up to programmers to take some consideration of the particular display design.
For all the others, you have the choice of either a notch or a pulled-down frame, which then only displays the notification and status icons, but otherwise no screen content.
In terms of power supply, the iPhone X is sparing with its capacity in favor of a design as slim as possible – a good 2,700 mAh are used. The running time in our video endurance test is a surprising 14 hours. Although there is a quick charge function for charging, the device still has to work for three hours on the supplied undersized power supply. Apple promises, however, that it should have 50 percent capacity again after 30 minutes. Incidentally, the sleek plug-in power supply of the iPhone gets quite warm during charging. From a swollen battery in the iPhone, as rumierten in the net, we did not recognize anything.
Like many smartphones in this price range, the iPhone X also has the option of charging the battery wirelessly using induction. Matching chargers with Qi standard already exist, Ikea also builds bedside tables for wireless charging and even in some new cars, the technology is already installed. The induction charge was probably the main reason that Apple has reintroduced the glass back on the iPhone, because the aluminum unibody shields too much.
The hardware of the iPhone X, there is little to suspend. You can complain about the weak battery life and the long charging time, but that’s it – but we have seen that it can come here to strong fluctuations, depending on the application profile.
For audio Apple relies on AirPlay
Anyone who wants to use the smartphone as a high-quality audio source, via Bluetooth, whereby Apple hereby relies on AirPlay, with which the iPhone can transmit lossless formats. Most hi-fi devices are capable of AirPlay, even if the transmission is slightly time-delayed. But this is only noticeable for video content with sound, because the sound is not transmitted lip-sync.
Apple’s voice assistant Siri sometimes has to brooding over questions for a while. Nevertheless, the control of the smart home or the streaming of the desired playlist works smoothly thanks to the extensive third-party licensing. In addition, Siri learns almost every hour, so that, for example, senseless questions or jokes are quickly recognized as such and sometimes answered with irony. In addition, thanks to its market power and skilful licensing policy, Siri is much better able to work with third party hardware, which is beneficial for media streaming and home automation.
The differences to cheaper top smartphones are not very big
The biggest disadvantage of the iPhone is the high price. Because as good as the iPhone X is, the differences to cheaper top smartphones are not very big. As expected, both the S9 + and the Huawei P20 will decline in price in the foreseeable future, which will not be the case at Apple.
The argument of the price explosion applies even more to the iPhone X, especially since the technical achievements, which one buys with it, are not necessarily to every taste. As the biggest disadvantage of the iPhone X can, as I said, the elimination of the fingerprint sensor prove, at least in some scenarios.
iPhone X Reviews
CHIP also tested the iPhone X and awarded an overall rating of 93.5 percent. In conclusion, it says:
The performance is outstanding, the workmanship top and the camera of the usual quality. The new display with OLED technology knows how to convince, but also shows a few previously unknown from Apple weaknesses. The battery is negative, however – the iPhone 8 Plus runs about two hours longer.
For Matthias Kremp of Spiegel Online, the iPhone X is currently the best mobile phone in the world. He praises the face recognition, which works smoothly, and has a lot of fun with the emojis. He criticises but the weak battery and slow charging. In conclusion, it says:
Much of the anniversary iPhone has succeeded Apple. The screen and the cameras are excellent, the new face recognition usually works without any problems. Performance has the new iPhones, even the 8 models, anyway in abundance. They are also protected against water and can be charged wirelessly. However, the fast charge function can only be used with expensive accessories. That’s annoying. For prices between 1149 and 1319 euros, a quick charger should be included.
Computer Bild rated the iPhone X with a grade of 1.9. The conclusion is similar to ours and other tests:
The new high-contrast XXL screen covers almost the entire front and is THE highlight of the X. The innovative face recognition works well and faster after some habituation than the iris scan of the competition. However, the handling is not quite as intuitive as with the fingerprint sensor in previous iPhone models. The processor is as turbo-fast as the iPhone 8, the tele zoom of the second camera lens hardly noticeably improved. The biggest disappointment: the battery does not even last ten hours when used intensively, which makes the iPhone 8, the 8 Plus and the competition better!
Golem praises on the iPhone X the new design, the great screen and the well-functioning Face-ID:
With the iPhone X, Apple shows what a modern iPhone looks like. Compared with the design of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple has arrived with its latest device in 2017. […] In addition, the iPhone X is an extremely powerful and well-processed smartphone – a clear top device.
For those who can afford it, the iPhone X is a great choice. But not everyone likes making friends with Apple. And not everyone wants to spend so much money. You do not have to, because there are many alternatives that are on par with our top favorite.
Samsung Galaxy S9+
If you prefer Android over iOS and still want to call a high-quality smartphone his own, gets the Samsung Galaxy S9 + from just 700 euros and thus drives much cheaper than with the competitor of Apple. It is also available in two variants with 64 gigabytes and 256 gigabytes, in addition, you can both upgrade the memory inexpensively with a microSD card – an option that has become a rarity especially in the higher price regions.
Anyone who manages with the integrated memory, which is likely to be the case for the 256-gigabyte version for a long time, can also use the hybrid slot for a second SIM card, for example, to separate the private from the business use.
In terms of memory, Samsung has significantly improved its performance with the Galaxy S9 +, clearly outperforming the brand presented by the iPhone, easily achieving 220,000 points with Antutu and even more than 240,000 points once. Samsung uses the new Exynos 9810 processor from its own development and it can be assumed that both the flash memory and the RAM components come from their own factories and development laboratories.
Even Samsung relies on the best possible display-to-edge ratio, but it does not go so far as to exploit the upper edge to the edge, and then with the »notch« recess for camera and speakers a supposed design accent to set or to conceal that the corresponding display strip is to use except for a few ads to nothing. The Galaxy S9 + has focused more on the bottom and sides: the side of the active display is around the edge; below you almost go to the edge.
Fingerprint sensor back on the back
The three Android buttons are displayed when needed, the fingerprint sensor was unceremoniously moved to the back. Especially the bent, sensitive sides of the display, however, are getting used to, because at first the tab with the icons for the quick access often unintentionally fades in. Incidentally, this is still freely configurable, which is extremely simple.
No issue with the Samsung: The display closes the top straight, so without “notch”, as the design corner is also called.
The Galaxy S9 still has a headphone jack and a USB Type-C interface.
The power button on the Samsung Galaxy S9 is located on the side of the device.
On the other side is the volume rocker and the switch for Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant.
No issue with the Samsung: The display closes the top straight, so without “notch”, as the design corner is also called.
The Galaxy S9 still has a headphone jack and a USB Type-C interface.
Android has a much harder time on the display – too many hardware cooks are at work here, too many variants on the market, and even more programmers, who ostensibly provide a full PlayStore, but also plenty of frustration over incompatibilities.
Samsung makes no exception with the new Galaxy , here too, the aspect ratio of the active display alone deviates from the mainstream and not infrequently the rounded edges of the display are simply kept black and inactive. On the credit side, however, is clearly the Samsung own interface “Experience” in the current version 9.0 to record: Everything that should harmonize directly with the Samsung hardware, so does.
After all, Samsung does not abandon the fingerprint sensor and the home button is also displayed in the screen when needed together with its two colleagues. He now reacts to taps in order to wake up the smartphone from standby. The fingerprint sensor is now cheaper than its predecessor below the also vertically arranged cameras, so that they are no longer covered by accident. So far, Samsung has dispensed with an invisible fingerprint sensor integrated in the display.
On another feature is held firmly at Samsung; Like its predecessors, the S9 + is also compatible with the ANT + protocol, allowing health-conscious users to connect to a range of wellness and health products. Thus, in addition to simple pulse knives, there are also scales that display the BMI in addition to the pure body weight. Clinically accurate sphygmomanometers are usually also on this special Bluetooth protocol, so who is dependent on such an infrastructure, is well served with the Galaxy in any case.
In just under two hours, the battery is fully recharged
The battery scores the Galaxy S9 + with 3,500 mAh, even in the smaller S9 are at least 3,000 mAh installed. Thanks to the considerable capacity, the running time in our video endurance test on the S9 + was a whopping 18 hours until it had to be plugged in – or to the wireless charging station, because like the S8, the S9 also handles inductive charging. On the cable, the device took just under two hours, until the battery indicator again reported 100 percent.
However, other testers have determined results with different signs: In the online endurance test of CHIP about the Galaxy S9 + was not 10 hours . Although this is still above the nine and a half hours of the competitor with the large X, but also shows the limits of such test scenarios: In practice, with all tested smartphones in normal use well over the day – but nothing more.
when it comes to audio, the S9+ has the edge
The Galaxy S9 + is clearly ahead in terms of high-quality Bluetooth audio transmission. In addition to the aptX, it also supports the aptX HD codec for transmission in at least CD quality. The new Android Oreo is also the high-quality LDAC codec implemented. Originally a development by Sony, they made their promise true and provided the codec for Android 8.
Thus, the S9 + and with it any other smartphone with Android Oreo or 8 would be able to transfer HiRes audio via Bluetooth. The condition is that also the opposite side understands the codec and can translate, what so far almost only with Sony devices is the case. Otherwise, there is still the aptX codec, which nevertheless delivers CD quality and is very widespread.
For all other cases, only Wi-Fi is left to sound good and, above all, comfortably high-resolution food from Tidal, Quobuz and other streaming services on the high-quality hi-fi system. In addition, the Galaxy S9 + is a very good headset from AKG – although classic with cable, but Samsung has also recognized the trend for high-quality, mobile audio streaming, and integrated an audio DAC, which can also decode HiRes audio and then without radio detours directly to the headphones via cable.
With the new pixel generation, Google has also introduced improved voice control for Android smartphones, namely the Google Assistant. He works so well that he can even learn the voice of his “master” and access his calendar. The new application Google Lens remains for the time being but the pixel smartphones reserved and although Samsung also sets the Galaxy S9 + on the in-house assistant Bixby, so can the corresponding button with just a few clicks on the Google Assistant and from a rather discreetly operating secretary a restless companion.
The G7 is the new flagship of LG and marks a turning point in many areas. The fingerprint sensor is still on the back, so that the smartphone can not be turned on and off, as was the case with the G6 and even the V30.
The corresponding switch has now moved to the page, as with most other androids as well. Newly added, and placed on the opposite side is the Google Assistant button, which also triggers when prompted.
Since only the camera and the tiny speaker are still in front, the LG G7has been able to significantly increase the active display area. This works through a selectively fade-in and fade-out notch, as well as a likewise expandable navigation bar, whereby the frame of the display can also be kept down nicely narrow.
The next, not so obvious innovation is the compatibility with Qi, so the inductive charging standard, so that the G7 can now be wirelessly grounded on corresponding surfaces wirelessly. However, the battery life is rather mediocre in comparison, although the G7 in our test for more than 15 hours of continuous operation and was fully loaded again within one and a quarter hours, but usually with cable.
We were amazed that the G7 did so well in our benchmark tests: The processor chip is indeed the latest Snapdragon, but has to do with comparatively scarce 4 GB of RAM. Although the 64 GB internal memory is not very generous, it also offers the option of retrofitting with a microSD card.
That’s a good thing, because the cameras give good results, so that additional memory for the 16 megapixel photo files is certainly beneficial. Only the sometimes slightly falsified color reproduction when shooting in the normal angle can still spoil the photo fun there, especially since the artificial re-sharpening occasionally stands out ugly visible. Praiseworthy is the quality at Low light to emphasize: Despite almost completely missing image noise, the images remained impressively rich in detail.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
Design is old and bigger, but can do almost everything the iPhone X – except for Face ID.
The also new iPhone 8 Plus follows the tradition of its direct predecessor and is thus very different from the iPhone X. Against the 8 Plus, the X model looks very petite and it is only on closer inspection, that the larger 8 Plus has a smaller display.
Among them is the usual combined with the fingerprint sensor home button and for the Apple user everything is fine, provided he can do without the new Face-ID. That is reserved for the time being the X-Modell.
On the back you can see the external similarity to the iPhone X, because even the iPhone 8 Plus has a dual camera, which, except for the aperture of the Telelinse, with the iPhone X is identical. Incidentally, this can also be easily understood using our test photos: both phones take pictures with outstanding detail and color fidelity.
The glass back also distinguishes the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus from its predecessors. This is necessary to enable inductive charging.
Between the display and the back, the two new models are again very similar. Both feature the new A11 Bionic chip, which requires 2 GB of RAM instead of 3 GB on the iPhone 8 Plus. And he does, after all, the benchmarks of both devices are at a similar high level.
The iPhone 8 Plus is thus the classic alternative to the iPhone X design with the same performance as the more expensive sister model.
If you believe the relevant benchmarks, the OnePlus 6 is currently the fastest smartphone on the market – and you can tell.
The OnePlus 6 can easily keep up with the established competition on the part of the hardware, with some performance measurements it can even outstrip them – still, because usually such a projection is limited in time. At the latest, when new hardware in the form of processors and chipsets are available, the cards are shuffled. However, because of the high degree of vertical integration, OnePlus is sure to be in the lead again, so that one actually deviates from the image of the underdog.
This is also clear from the relatively recent deal with Amazon, which means that the OnePlus smartphones can now be purchased on the same terms outside of their own marketing universe. Due to the still stable price structure – even after the introduction of the OnePlus 6, the price of the predecessor OnePlus 5 keeps on a good level – one can count OnePlus already anyway to the establishment and thus on a level with Apple and Google settle.
That’s not meant to be pejorative, on the contrary: to the equally stable and moderate prices, the OnePlus 6 has again to offer a lot of technical delicacies that are absolutely up to a smartphone from the premium class.
The Antutu benchmark shows an outstanding 288,000 points and with CF-Bench the smartphone is also in the upper range. In addition to the exorbitant performance there is nothing to complain about the processing or handling. Even though many colleagues refer to the OnePlus 6, at least externally, as an imitation of an iPhone, on closer examination the differences to the alleged role model prevail.
OnePlus still uses a conventional jack for the headset, although none is included, and the handy slider is still in use, although it has also changed sides. With the three positions, the notification mode of the smartphone can be adapted to the situation quickly and without wiping through the menu: Either the smartphone always gives the signal or it only vibrates and the media remain active on request or it can be completely muted – on request, up to the alarm clock.
Also on the loading mimic one holds. Thanks to Dash fast charging, the OnePlus 6 is fully charged within an hour and a half – that’s a record! In our endurance test, the permanent video with medium display brightness, it ended up with 16.5 hours at least in the upper third. Also on the part of the WLAN range, the OnePlus can not splash out and stands out together with the P20 Pro from Huawei clearly from the competition.
The camera resolves with 16 megapixels – and this not only applies to the two main cameras, but also to the front camera. If you go for it, the OnePlus 6 is one step ahead of all other devices in the test field. Apart from the rarely occurring effects of the automatic sharpness filters, the images are actually flawless. In Lowlight recordings, the otherwise very good noise filter is sometimes too overzealous and removes the finest picture details. However, despite all the grumbling on a very high level.
However, at least one downside clouded the good idea of the OnePlus 6: Although OnePlus certifies that the 6er model has a certain resistance to water penetration, the certificate of a clear protection class is not given. In addition, there is no headset included – a faux pas that can be safely bypassed at no great expense.
Camera comparison: Which cellphone takes better pictures?
The cameras of the top smartphones all take pictures at a very high level, as our camera comparison shows. The iPhone X benefits from an aperture with 2.4 (telephoto lens) over the 2.8er aperture in the iPhone 8. In addition, Apple has probably improved on the part of the firmware, so that the portrait mode works even more reliable and such failed attempts like mine with the iPhone 8 rare until should not occur at all.
Also our new favorite, the Galaxy S9 + , uses two cameras, which differ in the focal length and the aperture. One works with an innovative aperture with two openings, f1.5 and f2.4. The other one has the opening f2.4. The camera automatically switches on the larger aperture (f1.5) for low light shots, allowing it to capture more light, while in low light or backlit conditions, the smaller (f2.4) ensures that the photo is not overexposed.
Both cameras have optical image stabilisers that help prevent dreaded camera shake when shooting and taking photos. With Low light shots, the shutter speed can even be extended without blurring the picture.
However, the main focus here is on the light intensity. Thus, the normal lens has a aperture of 1.6, which is also noticeable in the Low light shots. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro uses a black and white and color sensor; Here is again a kind of portrait mode. You can enable a “large aperture” setting that works with a sharpness level that works even on a subject, not just in portraiture.
The OnePlus 5T now works with twice the same focal length. One of the sensors has particularly large pixels in order to improve the Low light quality here as well. The Blackberry KEY one finally has to get along with a camera and definitely falls short in special disciplines such as depth of field or Low light.
All cameras shoot photos at a very high level
The iPhone X also uses two cameras, respectively two lenses, one for the wide-angle and one for telephoto. Both wear plenty, partly due to the elaborate look, partly due to the generally very slim body of the iPhone. Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus, the X-model’s telephoto lens now has a 2.4 f/2.8 aperture with marginal effects on low-light shots.
In addition, the camera array is no longer horizontal as on the iPhone 8 Plus, but vertically. Finally, you should also recognize on the back that it is an iPhone X.
All we need is a camera« was Google’s succinct statement at the first presentation of Pixel 2 smartphones. The quality of the photos taken is the statement right, if only partially, because the digital zoom costs in the extreme telephoto resolution.
In the outdoor shots, we were initially able to use the optimal weather, the bright sunshine made for bright and high-contrast subjects. In the test of the iPhone X, however, there was rainy weather, so for the direct comparison, the recordings in the test setup must meet. The four new smartphones had to scan the same motif in cloudy winter weather, but all four under the same conditions, so that they can at least be directly compared again.
All test equipment had to prove their point of view of the world in automatic mode. You can view all test photos in full resolution by clicking on an image and then open it in the lightbox by right-clicking in a new tab.
The iPhone Plus 8 though and the two new pixel smartphones also benefit from bright sunshine, but that’s the autumn sun and not to be compared therefore readily with the other recordings. It is noticeable, however, that the iPhone sets the color accents slightly different than the Pixel 2 XL : While it reproduces the red of the hut very accurately, it takes the pixel a little bit closer to the green tones of the lawn.
The photo with the iPhone X was made again later than the iPhone 8, also there was plenty of backlight from the sun because of the earlier daytime and the gray clouds, which coped well with the camera. The tracing was also good under these conditions – it can make even a patch of blue sky.
In direct comparison of the iPhone X with the Galaxy S9 + , the difference almost borders on pixel counting; the color matching is quite similar. In terms of artificial edge sharpness, the S9 could again submit a pixel width and unlock in comparison with the Galaxy S8 on the iPhone. The same applies to the iPhone 8 Plus , there are no visible differences from the iPhone X .
Above all, it can be seen in this test, however, how far the image post-processing the sharpness impression on the jumps helps. This can be seen for example in the S8 at least on some edges.
Lowlight shots usually separate the wheat from the chaff. At an illumination of 30 lux, the lens, image sensor and image processing reach their limits. This is usually reflected in the compromise on how far the detail resolution in the reduction of image noise on the track remains.
Like the iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X sets new standards by reducing noise again and raising detail resolution and color saturation to a fairly high level. Our new favorite from the Android camp also delivers an excellent result, at best, the color saturation (just blue) should be a little higher. The blast brings but still the LG V30: It delivers an extremely low-noise photo, which hardly lacks detail and color saturation – Chapeau! Such a good shot in low light we have seen so far in any other smartphone.
What can not be seen on the photos: Both pixels usually come with a shot to the sharp picture, unless one photographs freehand – thanks to the well-functioning optical image stabilizer. But here Apple has apparently improved: If the iPhone 8 Plus has ever tried several times to avoid blurring, this sits on the iPhone X also the first shot, thanks to an update that also benefits the iPhone 8 Plus.
The iPhone makes a continuous shooting on request, to calculate the best photo, because then it is all the more: in the dark not photograph freehand! From a blurred series shot, even the fastest processor can not calculate a photo that is free of artifacts.
The portrait mode, both manufacturers are particularly proud, because in this mode, at least in portraits even without a large SLR camera can produce a nice bokeh. That is, the face is sharp and the background blurs gently into blur.
Since both Apple and Google put a lot of brainwash into the development to perfect the portrait mode, we made a direct comparison between the two.
The smartphones use different techniques. The iPhone uses both cameras to gain depth information, isolating the subject in the foreground from the background. Negative side effect: The zoom of the iPhone is therefore not active in portrait mode. Then the photographer has to move to the desired position.
With the Pixel Smartphones, the zoom also works in portrait mode, which makes things much easier. Google uses a facial recognition algorithm to recognize and isolate a person from the background. Amazingly, this worked better in our test than the iPhone, where the background was not always reliably detected, which has also been fixed since the last update.
We took a series of test photos in portrait mode with the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL. For comparison, we have added the subject additionally with a classic SLR camera, the Canon 70D. If you click on the pictures, you can then open the photos in a new window in original size.
In the interior shots everything looks good first; the background sinks in all cameras as desired beautiful in the blur. However, if you enlarge the pictures, you will see ugly artifacts on the skin – the Pixel 2 XL is much better. If you print these pictures, the difference becomes even clearer. For the Pixel 2 XL does not clean the face clean everywhere, left of the left eye, a piece of the background is still sharp.
In the outdoor shots we were this time eager to have no clear background and certainly not a single level. The result: none of the smartphones is able to simulate an optical sharpness level at the height of the subject. The writing on the sign is easy to read and even the buildings in the background are still quite sharp. Only the Canon manages it without fuss, to lift the subject from the background.
In contrast to the pixel, the iPhone offers four creative modes, with which also later lighting moods for the portraits can be defined. Also for this Apple uses according to own data the depth information of the two cameras. In fact, at least the modes studio light and contour light provide good results.
In the Stage Lights and Stage Mono modes, the background is removed. This does not always work well, in our example, the right shoulder of the model disappears in black. However, the function is still in beta-stage – well possible that Apple here still with a software update.
This is the advantage of both cameras: All image changes take place afterwards with software. Both Google’s Pixel and Apple’s iPhone will certainly learn a lot over time and slowly but surely make the SLR obsolete – at least for amateur photographers.
All smartphones didn’t show much difference about the quality of the recorded videos: in daylight they all produce very good videos, the light fades, and the video quality also dwindles.
All test devices can record videos in 4K resolution, iPhone X and Galaxy S9 thanks to optical image stabilizer even quiet. However, a 4K video needs around 400 megabytes of storage per minute. Since the memory on the phone is quickly full.
After all, you can save photos and videos both at Apple and Google in the cloud and keep memory-optimized versions on the smartphone. At Google, this is free, at Apple only 5 gigabytes are free, 50 gigabytes cost one euro a month, 200 gigabytes three euros and 1 terabyte ten euros.
Our new favorite is also clearly in the advantage here: With the Galaxy S9 , the internal memory with a microSD card can easily multiply and to save a large video file is no fast Internet access required, as is the case with the cloud storage mentioned the case.
While the iPhone can record 4K at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second, the LG V30 limits itself to 30 pictures. Even slow motion, the V30 can only record 120 frames per second in Full HD. After recording, these can be variably divided into a slow-motion and a normal-tempo range. The iPhone also offers the option of Super Slow Motion with 240 frames per second, but only in Full HD.