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Which smartphone takes the best photos – the LG G6, Huawei P10 or Sony Xperia XZs? Our photo editor’s verdict

Photographer Antony Dickson puts three phone cameras through their paces in daylight and low light, and gives his professional verdict on which one produces the best images

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 April, 2017, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 April, 2017, 4:17pm

A big selling point of mid- to high-end smartphones is the camera. It is no surprise, then, that three recently released handsets – the Huawei P10 (HK$4,480), LG G6 (HK$5,998) and Sony Xperia XZs (HK$5,298) – sport cameras with high specs.

The Huawei P10 has dual camera and lenses “co-engineered” with Leica:

The LG G6 also has dual camera and capability in taking wide (125-degree) angle shots:

The Sony Xperia XZs has a 19 megapixel sensor:

But which takes better images? We asked South China Morning Post photo editor for Culture and Lifestyle Antony Dickson to give the three loan units a quick test: to shoot in broad daylight, in auto mode with resolution set to the highest, as well as in low light conditions with no flash. These are his findings.

Huawei P10

Specs: f2.2 1/1100s, ISO 50, 4mm. Leica Summarit-H lenses, 20 megapixel (black and white) camera + 12 megapixel (colour) camera

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Daytime image:

With the aspherical lens, there is less distortion and sharper [image] edge to edge. Images are sharp, with natural colour and good balance, and the camera captures a good dynamic range (highlights and the shadows) with minimal distortion at infinity.

Low light image:

Again, good dynamic range with details in both highlights, especially in the shadows.

LG G6

Specs: f1.8 1/2000s, ISO 50, 4.1mm (standard) and f2.4 1/1150s ISO 50, 2.1mm;13 megapixel camera (71-degree angle field of view) + 13 megapixel camera (125-degree angle)

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Daylight image:

Sharp, a touch blue/cyan; the camera captures a good dynamic range with minimal distortion at infinity.

Super wide angle (below): again a tint of blue/cyan, similar colour cast as the standard camera. Resolution is atrocious, though, looks like a bad watercolour painting when the image is enlarged.

Low light image:

Image has good grain structure and decent dynamic range.

Sony Xperia XZs

Specs: f2 1/1000, ISO 40, 4.4mm

Daylight image:

Slightly overexposed, good shadow detail but slightly washed out highlights. A touch unrealistic. Good colour balance but the resolution made the image look like a watercolour painting, texturised especially when viewed over 100 per cent.

Low light image:

Images look sharp but lacking in detail, especially in the shadows. Poor dynamic range.

Overall verdict

All three cameras have good edge to edge sharpness and minimal distortion. The LG screen was too dark on a bright day to see much onscreen, while the other two camera screens were far superior.

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Out of the box, I would go for the Huawei P10, as it presented the image in a normal way, with good colour balance, good edge to edge sharpness. It doesn’t seem to allow users to change its auto mode settings (though it has a “pro” mode” which allows users to change the settings manually). Even though the P10 (colour) camera is only 12 megapixels, it has superior image quality to the other two.

So we have a winner: the Huawei P10 clearly comes out top in our testing. But with Samsung launching the S8 and S8+ in Hong Kong on April 26, the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus could be facing some tough competition.