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15-Apr-2021
OnePlus 9 Pro vs iPhone 12

OnePlus may make Android phones, but with the OnePlus 9 Pro, you get the meaning that the phone company had some great rivals in mind. After all, in many ways, the OnePlus has now partnered with Hasselblad to hype up their camera to next level. Also now OnePlus 9 Pro seems geared to take on phones like Google Pixel 5, iPhone 12, Vivo X60and many more.


For years, cameras have been one of the best marketing points for Apple phones, so OnePlus made an extra attempt to modify the image-capturing capabilities of the OnePlus 9 series.


In this article we are comparing the cameras of the OnePlus 9 Pro with the iPhone 12 to see how they tackle each other in different lighting and situations. The main reason to choose these two phones is that many consumer do get confused whether they should go for a Android or iOS and also they buy a phone with price comparison not flagship vs flagship. So let’s see how the cameras of these two smartphones perform.


The OnePlus 9 Pro is available in two variants in India: one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage priced at Rs. 64,999, and the other with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage price at Rs. 69,999. And in comparison the iPhone 12 starts at 69,900 and maxes out and 79,900 at the max capacity. So we have the 12 GB with 256 GB variant of the OnePlus 9 Pro and the 128GB variant of the iPhone 12.


Hasselblad

Now before we get into comparing the cameras right since the time OnePlus started teasing the camera with the image of the Moon, and many people from the industry had a idea that they are tying up with Hasselblad for the cameras in the 9 series. Now this partnership with Hasselblad is for 3 years in which OnePlus will invest $150 million through its duration. But for this series as their statement says that Hasselblad has helped OnePlus 9 series with colour toning in the cameras.


But in many ways this was a very critical moment for OnePlus because lot of the other competitive brands like Vivo, Huawei, etc. have already tied up with other camera/lens brands and sometimes these things can play on the minds of the consumer. And honestly if you’ve been using a lot of OnePlus phones then you would know that the performance of their cameras was probably the weakest part of their phones. They’ve always had great overall phone specs and performance, but as good as the other things about the phone were, for some reason that same level of performance would never get translated to their cameras.



Camera Specs:


So let’s take a look at the specs of both the phones cameras.


OnePlus 9 Pro: It now features a Quad camera set up with the Main Camera featuring a 48-megapixel sensor with an aperture of F/1.8 featuring OIS. It uses the Sony IM789. There is also now a new 50-megapixel ultrawide camera which has a F/2.2 aperture using the Sony IM766, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with OIS and 3.3x optical zoom and a 2-megapixel monochrome camera as well.


On the front it has a 16-megapixel camera which uses f/2.4 aperture with the Sony IMX471.


iPhone 12: The iPhone 12 on the other hand feature only two cameras both of which are 12MP camera system featuring an Ultra-Wide and Wide cameras. The ultrawide is a f/2.4 aperture lens with a 120-degree angle view and the wide camera is f/1.6 aperture. There is optical image stabilization only in the Wide camera though.


The front facing camera is also a 12-megapixel camera which has an F/2.2 aperture and features what apple calls he true-depth camera.


Image Quality:


So lets look at the image quality from both the phones and compare.


Daylight:


Let’s take a look at the day light images first. In terms of the daylight image shot from the main camera both the cameras deliver good, sharp and crisp images. They both really shine here. As you can see from the images shot as well, both the phones have captured good details and the images are very sharp and well saturated. But the colour accuracy of the OnePlus was slightly off as compared to the iPhone here. You can see the Oneplus adding bluish tinge to the pants and also to the t-shirt which was much lighter than what we can find in this image.





Daylight Wide-Lens:


Looking at the images in daylight from the ultrawide lens, again the images are very sharp, they are pretty crisp again. But again, in this case as well the OnePlus tends over sharpens the image post clicking which tends to make it slightly underexposed. As you can see from the images here the image from the iPhone 12 is much better exposed while the image from the 9 Pro is slightly under. And I think this is something that can be fixed with a software update because the new ultrawide lens is pretty good as you will see in the video ahead.



Daylight Portrait Mode


In the day light portrait mode both the images again are good and sharp but the 9 Pro does benefit from that additional lens and the images on zooming in are much sharper than the iPhone 12. Although the image is still underexposed and over sharpened, which doesn’t make the picture look natural. But the iphone does master the edge detection which is much smoother in the 12 than the 9 Pro.




And when it comes to the front facing camera as well again the images are sharp and infact in the 9 pro they is a slightly cooler tone. They are over sharpened and look more natural but the portrait mode seems much better on the iPhone 12 as compared to the 9 Pro with the background blurring slightly more and also better edge detection.


Daylight landscape:


When it comes to shooting landscapes in daylight the images are good but again seem more natural in the iPhone 12 and properly exposed. Also this is where also the over sharpening of the OnePlus does tend to hurt slightly, because on zooming in the quality drops quite a bit as you can see from the zoomed in image here.



But while using the wide angle lens the 9 Pro can not only fit in more in the frame as you can see from this image but also has slightly better performance than the iPhone 12. And as the light drops in the evening with the slight sharpening of the image it tends to look much better to the naked eye as compared to the you can see from the image here. And even on zooming in there is less pixilation on the photo as compared to the 12.


Indoor Images:


We didn’t just take a lot of outdoor daylight images but we also tested the phones in an indoor environment since most users spend almost 50% of their time shooting images indoors. And in this as well we shot a variety of images.


Indoor Main Camera:


So first lets the images from the Main Camera. The images were sharp and well saturated and in this case the iPhone 12 seemed to again be more natural. But due to the compensation the OnePlus 9 Pro images look better exposed and pleasing to the eye. Although it did take us a few tries to get the images right and the colours right. On zooming in the image from the 9 Pro does look sharper, but also slightly grainy because of it. While the 12 has surely lost sharpness in that department.


Indoor Portrait Mode:


In terms of the portrait mode the images from the iPhone 12 seemed slightly more saturated than the 9 Pro, which means that again the 9 Pro made the images look more pleasing to the eye. However the iPhone continued to trump the edge detection in indoor conditions as well making the blur effect more natural and seamless.



Distortion:


We actually wanted to check the distortion in these cameras. And honestly the results were shocking at the level of distortion that the wide and telephoto shots that both the phones displayed. The images from the main camera seemed fine but the moment we went wide both the cameras made me much thinner and somewhat malnourished.



And on using the 3x zoom there were literally two of me in the frame. So that performance from the both the cameras was shocking honestly.



Lowlight Images:


Now usually when you use any phone camera then the lowlight images are not always that great. In this case as well the results are slightly mixed. When you see this image that we shot in a room from the main camera of both the phones then you can see a slight purple tinge in the picture from the OnePlus 9 Pro whereas the iPhone 12 seems to have captured the image as is. But on zooming in once again you can see that the 9 Pro has better sharpness in the image.



But when you use the Wide Lens then the purple tinge reduces slightly in the 9 Pro although its still there. So in this case the iPhone 12 is much better and more natural.



Lowlight Portrait:


We also shot some pics of plants as well to test the lowlight quality and both the phones in this case displayed good clarity, saturation and dept. The image in lowlight portrait is again much better in the iPhone 12 as compared to the 9 Pro. The iPhone 12 has correctly saturated the image capturing the true scene as compared to the 9 Pro which has made the image very light.



If you look at the pic of the plant then the over saturation of the 9 Pro again makes the image look more pleasing, but the iPhone 12 is more natural and truer to the scene.



Nightscape Images:


Now both the cameras use a completely different method to capture images in the Night Mode using AI. The 9 Pro will ask you hold the phone steady once clicked while it takes the pic whereas the iPhone 12 will map the different apertures before it captures the picture.



The images in both cases are average. Not great since these sensors aren’t really built to give you really good output. But the OnePlus 9 Pro maintains much better sharpness on zooming in this case.


Some New Things


Super Macro Mode:


There are some new things in the OnePlus 9 Pro cameras and the first is the Super Macro mode. And although the iPhone 12 doesn’t really have a macro mode it surely misses out in this case. The macro mode of the OnePlus is really good honestly and we enjoyed getting up close and personal to get some really good images. It captures the details sharply and is surely a treat to use.



Tilt Shift Mode:


Another new feature in the camera is the tilt shift mode, which is good and as a bonus is nice to have to shoot some unique and different perspectives. But we don’t really think you will spend a lot of time using this and you might forget that it’s there unless someone reminds you of it.


The Pro Mode:


Now the Pro Mode is where the famed Hasselblad logo comes in when you pull it up but honestly it didn’t seem to have enough juice to get the best out of it. But yes the colours are more natural when using the Pro Mode. You do have to admit that.


Video Performance:


In terms of video performance both the phones can shoot 4k upto 60 fps per second, but the 9 Pro can shoot 8k upto 5 mins. Now I don’t really think people will really shoot 8k with this honestly. In terms of Full HD both can shoot upto 60 fps as well and also slow-mo upto 240 fps. The 9 Pro can shoot upto 480 fps at 720p. They both have optical stabilization as well all the way upto 4k. But one of the things that I noticed is that in the Super Stable mode in the 9 Pro the flash doesn’t work? I really don’t know the reason for that. Which to me was slightly funny.


In terms of performance both the cameras have good video performance but the iPhone 12 just delivers a really good overall output which is really difficult to compete with honestly. So in video performance the 12 is much better in comparison and as you would go upwards to the 12 Pro then this gap would just increase further.


Conclusion:


So that was the camera comparison test between the OnePlus 9 Pro and the iPhone 12. We will let you decide which camera you like better since there is a lot of personal preference involved in this as well. But speaking about the 9 Pro cameras in my opinion this is definitely the best camera in any OnePlus phone yet. But does it really live up to the Hasselblad billing? Well honestly we don’t think so. And we are not sure how much Hasselblad helped with this camera, but as OnePlus said that the help was more with the color toning. And honestly we really didn’t find anything extraordinary when it came to this phones colour mapping or toning then the previous editions of the cameras honestly. Yes you can use the Pro Mode to try and get more juice out of the camera but there just isn’t enough there to make you feel in awe of it? But yes stand alone as a camera it is much better than any other OnePlus’ before.


But overall as a package the OnePlus 9 Pro is really good. With a slightly flatter design it now gives you a slightly taller and thinner experience. With the Oxygen 11, the Snapdragon 888 chipset the phone is super-fast, it feels buttery smooth and with its LTPO display and a 120 hz refresh rate and rarely you will find it lagging behind in anything that you would like it to do. Yes there are some small things that can improve but there’s no such thing as a perfect phone right.


To check the full video comparison click here

 
 
 
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