This page answers the most frequently asked questions about our CAMERA HW  (hardware) score, which is driven by technical data and our proprietary algorithm.

Goal: the CAMERA HW score assesses how strong a mobile camera system is in the following contexts: Day, Night, Ultrawide, and Zoom photography. We call these the “pillars of mobile photography”.

What is a CAMERA HW (hardware) score?

A camera hardware score is an objective rating that is computed by an algorithm based on the technical data (specifications) of the rear camera system of a mobile phone with one or multiple cameras. The goal is to quantify how “powerful” the camera hardware is (sensors + optics).

Why do we need a CAMERA HW score?

There are 1000 new phones on the market every year. Most of them will never have their cameras thoroughly tested and rated. Our camera hardware score has been created to accurately rate more mobile cameras, faster. Ubergizmo’s CAMERA HW score saves time for both experts and novices alike.

When experts look at a mobile camera system, they use their knowledge and experience to gauge how powerful (“good”) they expect it to be. Similarly, people evaluating a car might look at Horsepower or Torque, or check the BTUs for a gas burner or furnace. They could influence whether or not you consider a product.

How do you compare different camera hardware?

Just like our CAMERA IQ scores (image-quality), our CAMERA HW score boils down to the hardware strength for typical use cases: Day+Night, Ultrawide, and Zoom photography. Day/Night photos are using the “Wide” primary camera.

Ubergizmo’s proprietary algorithm looks at the technical data we have gathered for all available cameras and computes how each contributes to the overall score.

Who created this algorithm?

Ubergizmo’s founders Hubert Nguyen and Eliane Fiolet have previously worked in the video-games industry. Hubert does the engineering of the CAMERA HW score.

He is a former computer graphics engineer who has worked at NVIDIA and 3Dfx. He was also the editor of GPU Gems 3, a best-selling graphics programming book.

Including Ultrawide and Zoom seems unfair to single-lens cameras

Dedicated Ultrawide and Zoom camera modules have been integrated for years, and their usable model is well understood. That’s how we know that both should be considered in any modern camera score.

Ultrawide in particular greatly extends the versatility of a camera system and has been proven to be very popular with users.

As a result, missing dedicated capabilities will result in a lower overall score. People can still look at the individual sub-scores to focus on one particular hardware strength they are interested in.

  • Wide camera: most important for Day/Night
  • Ultrawide camera: second most important
  • Zoom: least important

How do you compute Ubergizmo’s CAMERA HW overall score?

The overall score is built using a weighted aggregate of the sub-scores, and ALL listed camera systems go through the same algorithm. Each sub-score (wide, ultrawide, zoom) is built based on a technical analysis of the camera’s specifications.

But, isn’t software crucial in mobile photography?

Absolutely! Software is an essential component of mobile photography and photography in general. However, Software outcomes also depend on the quality of the underlying data, and better camera hardware will yield better data.

One cannot beat vastly superior camera hardware with software, but one can have a slight image-quality edge within the same category of hardware.

That’s why there is a camera hardware arms race. Hardware is, by far, the most important quality indicator.

Can you give us an example of a camera modules comparison?

Let’s compare the Zoom Camera of the Huawei P40 Pro (score: 8.6/10) against the zoom camera of the iPhone 11 Pro (score: 5.2/10).

  • iPhone 11 Pro (5.2/10): 51mm focal, f/2.0, 12 mm² sensor, OIS
  • P40 Pro (8.6/10): 135mm focal, f/3.4, 17.8 mm² sensor, OIS

Based on the above specifications (and more data points), a camera expert could easily assert that P40 Pro should be better at high-powered zoom. For non-experts, our algorithm instantly comes to the same conclusion.

How do you know if the model works?

The CAMERA HW algorithmic model is based on data gathered by our CAMERA IQ benchmark (image quality). As such, we continually verify and refine the algorithm. To illustrate the previous question, here is a crop of a 10X zoom image:

comparison image Acomparison image B

Our algorithm did correctly predict that the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra would yield comparable results, despite having very different zoom camera hardware. The Note 20 Ultra Camera IQ Review image analysis did confirm the algorithm’s prediction.

  • S20 Ultra (9.6/10): 103mm focal, 48MP sensor (~30 mm²), f/3.5 aperture
  • Note 20 Ultra (9.6/10): 123mm focal, 12MP sensor (~12 mm²), f/3 aperture
comparison image Acomparison image B

How accurate is this when compared to Ubergizmo’s image-quality test?

Our  CAMERA IQ benchmark remains the most accurate way to gauge a camera’s quality, there’s no question about that.

However, little data or no reliable IQ test is available for most cameras (~1000 new phones launched per year). For these, our Camera HW score becomes the second-best indicator of a camera’s potential and can save people a lot of time, or highlights new options.

Why are iPhone and Google Pixel phones’ hardware scores so low?

Both Apple and Google seem to rely on better software to remain sufficiently competitive instead of investing more in hardware. Historically, they also have been neglecting Ultrawide or Long-Zoom camera hardware.

Our Uber IQ Camera tests show that the strategy works to a point, but also highlights some image-quality shortcomings of their choice. You can read our CAMERA IQ iPhone 11 Pro review and Google Pixel 5 review for example. The older Pixel 3 camera review is also interesting as a reference.

If anything, the gap between the CAMERA HW and CAMERA IQ scores could be considered as the unofficial “software quality” score.

Can the scores change over time? Yes, and here’s why

All scores can change if we update the algorithm or if the camera data is updated/corrected.

The x/10 scores will change as the technology gets better. The iPhone 7 wide camera was once a 10/10 when launched, but today, it is a mere 5.4/10. (Internally, we keep a higher-precision version of these scores).

How to read the numbers in the table below?

  • The “Camera Hardware score” is an absolute number, which means that it has no preset upper limit.
  • The sub-scores for Wide, Ultrawide and Zoom are in the x/10 format.
Score
Smartphone
Year
246Huawei Mate 40 Pro2020
238Huawei P40 Pro+2020
236Huawei P40 Pro2020
220Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra2021
211Huawei Mate 30 Pro2019
203OnePlus 9 Pro2021
202Honor 30 Pro+2020
202Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra2020
201Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra2020
201Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (SD888)2021
201Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro2020
198Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (CC9)2019
198Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro (CC9 Pro)2019
197Huawei P402020
189Oppo Find X3 Pro2021
189OnePlus 92021
186Sony Xperia 1 II2020
185OnePlus 8 Pro2020
182Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra2020
181Sony Xperia 5 II2020
168Xiaomi Mi 112020
165Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro2020
164Samsung Galaxy Note 202020
162Samsung Galaxy S20+2020
161Samsung Galaxy S202020
161Huawei P30 Pro2019
160Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (SD)2020
159Huawei P302019
157Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 22020
157Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max2020
151Honor 20 Pro2019
149Nokia 8.3 5G2020
149Huawei Mate 20 Pro2018
149Nokia 8 V 5G UW2020
149LG V402018
144LG Wing2020
143LG V50 ThinQ2019
142OnePlus 7T2019
140Samsung Galaxy S10+2019
140Samsung Galaxy S102019
140LG G8 ThinQ2019
140Samsung Galaxy Fold2019
140Samsung Galaxy S10 5G2019
140Samsung Galaxy Note 102019
140Samsung Galaxy Note 10+2019
139Motorola One Zoom2019
137Lenovo Legion Phone Duel2020
137LG V60 ThinQ2020
136ZTE Axon 10 Pro2019
136Huawei nova 5 Pro2019
136Huawei nova 52019
136Realme 6 Pro2020
136TCL 10 Pro2020
135Realme X50 Pro 5G2020
132OnePlus 7 Pro2019
131Vivo X51 5G2020
130Samsung Galaxy S10e2019
128POCO F2 Pro2020
128Oppo Find X3 Neo2021
127Asus ROG Phone 52021
127Samsung Galaxy A71 5G (SD765G)2020
127POCO X3 NFC2020
127Huawei Mate 202018
127Xiaomi Mi 10T2020
126Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)2018
126Realme 7 Pro2020
124Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G2021
124LG G7 ThinQ2018
122Infinix Zero 82020
121Google Pixel 4a 5G2020
121Motorola Moto G Stylus2020
121Vivo V202020
121Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro2019
121Google Pixel 52020
120Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max2019
120Apple iPhone 11 Pro2019
120OnePlus Nord N10 5G2020
120OnePlus 82020
119Oppo Find X3 Lite2021
119OnePlus 8T2020
119ZTE nubia Red Magic 5S2020
119Oppo Reno5 4G2020
119Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite2020
118Samsung Galaxy M312020
118Apple iPhone 122020
116Samsung Galaxy Z Flip2020
115Samsung Galaxy Note 92018
115Samsung Galaxy S9+2018
114Apple iPhone 12 mini2020
114LG Velvet 5G (SD 765G)2020
114Xiaomi Redmi Note 102021
114OnePlus 7 Pro 5G2019
111Oppo Reno 2Z2019
110Apple iPhone 112019
110LG G8X ThinQ2019
109Samsung Galaxy A51 5G2020
108Realme 6i2020
108TCL 10 5G2020
107Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro2019
106Xiaomi Redmi 9T2021
106Samsung Galaxy Note 82017
105Samsung Galaxy S92018
105Xiaomi Black Shark 22019
105HTC U12+2018
105Realme 7 5G2020
104Motorola Moto One 5G Ace2021
104LG G62017
104LG V302017
103Samsung Galaxy A51 5G2020
102Honor Honor Magic 22018
102Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro2019
101Samsung Galaxy A322021
101Xiaomi Mi 9T2019
101Google Pixel 42019
101Google Pixel 4 XL2019
101Xiaomi Redmi K202019
101Xiaomi Mi 92019
100Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021)2021
100Samsung Galaxy A32 5G2021
99Micromax IN Note 12020
98Huawei P20 Pro2018
98Apple iPhone XS Max2018
98LG K522020
98Apple iPhone XS2018
98LG K622020
96Motorola Moto G Power (2021)2021
96Nokia 6.22019
96Samsung Galaxy S8+2017
96Samsung Galaxy S82017
96Google Pixel 3 XL2018
96OnePlus 6T2018
95Motorola Moto Z42019
94Motorola Razr 5G (2020)2020
93Google Pixel 4a2020
93Huawei P202018
93Xiaomi Mi Mix 32018
92Sony Xperia XZ22018
92Samsung Galaxy A502019
92Sony Xperia XZ32018
90Sony Xperia XA2 Plus2018
90Realme Narzo 202020
90Apple iPhone X2017
89Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T2021
89Huawei Mate 10 Pro2017
89POCO M32020
89Honor View 202018
88Apple iPhone 7 Plus2016
88Google Pixel 3a2019
88Google Pixel 3a XL2019
88Google Pixel 32018
88Apple iPhone 8 Plus2017
88Google Pixel 22017
88Apple iPhone XR2018
87Samsung Galaxy A122020
87Honor Honor 8x2018
86Huawei Mate 102017
84Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4s2019
83Huawei Mate 9 Pro2016
82Xiaomi Pocophone F12018
81Honor 102018
81Huawei nova 32018
81Samsung Galaxy A112020
80Motorola One Action2019
80LG Stylo 62020
79Apple iPhone 72016
79Apple iPhone SE (2020)2020
79Apple iPhone 82017
78Elephone U52020
77LG Aristo 52020
76Samsung Galaxy A212020
75LG K512020
75Xiaomi Mi 5X2017
74Motorola Moto G7 Power2019
70Samsung Galaxy On62018
70Nokia 5.32020
69Motorola Moto G Play (2021)2021
67Samsung Galaxy A10s2019
67Honor Honor Play2018
66Xiaomi Redmi 52018
65Samsung Galaxy A10e2019
64Nokia 82017
64Samsung Galaxy A02s2020
64LG K422020
62Motorola Moto G7 Play2019
62ASUS ZenFone Lite (L1)2018
62ASUS ZenFone Max (M1)2018
59LG Q62017
57Huawei Y9 (2018)2018
57Realme Narzo 30A2021
56Oppo A532020
56Oppo A33 (2020)2020
56Samsung Galaxy A012019
56Oppo A1k2019
54Nokia 3 V2019
52Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J727U, 2017)2017
47Xiaomi Redmi 9C2020
41Vivo Y20s2020
40Xiaomi Redmi Go2019

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