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

Goal: the Camera HW’s 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 score (image-quality), our Camera HW score boils down 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 Uber HW Camera 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 strenght 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 Camera module 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 (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 predicts that the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra would yield comparable results, despite having a 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 do iPhone and Google Pixel phones hardware score 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 Camera IQ tests show that the strategy works to a point, but also highlights some image-quality shortcomings of their choice. You can read our iPhone 11 Pro Camera IQ 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
Wide
UWide
Zoom
Year
246Huawei Mate 40 Pro9.5/1010/107.9/102020
238Huawei P40 Pro+9.6/108.6/109.4/102020
236Huawei P40 Pro9.6/108.6/108.2/102020
211Huawei Mate 30 Pro8.3/108.6/105.9/102019
202Honor 30 Pro+9.3/105/109.5/102020
202Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra9.7/104.4/109.2/102020
201Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro9.8/104.3/108.6/102020
201Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra9.7/104.4/109.2/102020
198Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro (CC9 Pro)9.8/104.3/106.9/102019
198Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (CC9)9.8/104.3/106.9/102019
197Huawei P409.3/105/107.2/102020
186Sony Xperia 1 II8.3/105.7/105.8/102020
185OnePlus 8 Pro9.1/104.3/105.6/102020
182Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra9.5/102.4/1010/102020
181Sony Xperia 5 II8.3/105.1/105.8/102020
165Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro10/101.9/102020
164Samsung Galaxy Note 208.5/104.4/102020
162Samsung Galaxy S20+8.3/104.4/102020
161Samsung Galaxy S208.3/104.3/102020
161Huawei P30 Pro7.9/102.9/108.2/102019
160Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (SD)8.1/103.1/106/102020
159Huawei P307.4/104.2/106.1/102019
157Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 28.1/103.1/104.8/102020
157Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max8.3/102.4/105.7/102020
151Honor 20 Pro7.2/103.7/106/102019
149Nokia 8 V 5G UW6.6/105.7/102020
149LG V407/104.1/104.1/102018
149Nokia 8.3 5G6.6/105.7/102020
149Huawei Mate 20 Pro7.4/103/106.7/102018
145Samsung Galaxy A71 5G (SD765G)8.6/101.9/102020
144LG Wing7.7/103.4/102020
143LG V50 ThinQ6.8/103.8/104.6/102019
142OnePlus 7T6.6/103.8/104.9/102019
140Samsung Galaxy Note 107.1/102.9/104.9/102019
140LG G8 ThinQ7/104.1/102019
140Samsung Galaxy S107.1/102.9/104.7/102019
140Samsung Galaxy S10 5G7.1/102.9/104.7/102019
140Samsung Galaxy Fold7.1/102.9/104.7/102019
140Samsung Galaxy Note 10+7.1/102.9/104.9/102019
140Samsung Galaxy S10+7.1/102.9/104.7/102019
139Motorola One Zoom6.4/103.7/106/102019
138OnePlus Nord N10 5G7.8/102.5/102020
137LG V60 ThinQ7.5/103/102020
137Lenovo Legion Phone Duel7/103.7/102020
136ZTE Axon 10 Pro6.4/103.2/106.4/102019
136Huawei nova 5 Pro6.2/105/102019
136TCL 10 Pro7.3/103.2/102020
136Huawei nova 56.2/105/102019
136Realme 6 Pro7.4/101.8/104.9/102020
135Realme X50 Pro 5G7.4/101.8/104.7/102020
132OnePlus 7 Pro6.6/102.4/105.7/102019
131Vivo X51 5G6.9/102.4/103.6/102020
130Samsung Galaxy S10e7.1/102.9/102019
128POCO F2 Pro6.7/103.3/102020
127POCO X3 NFC7/102.6/102020
127Xiaomi Mi 10T7.2/102.3/102020
127Huawei Mate 206.2/102.9/104.3/102018
126Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)6.4/103.6/102018
126Realme 7 Pro7.4/101.9/102020
124LG G7 ThinQ5.7/104.5/102018
122Infinix Zero 87/102/102020
121Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro7/101.9/102019
121Vivo V207/102/102020
121Google Pixel 4a 5G6.2/103.2/102020
121Google Pixel 56.2/103.2/102020
121Motorola Moto G Stylus6.4/103/102020
120OnePlus 86.1/103.3/102020
120Apple iPhone 11 Pro6/102.4/104.9/102019
120Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max6/102.4/104.9/102019
119ZTE nubia Red Magic 5S7.2/101.4/102020
119Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite7.2/101.5/102020
119OnePlus 8T6.1/103.1/102020
118Apple iPhone 126.5/102.4/102020
116Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6.2/102.6/102020
115Samsung Galaxy Note 97.1/104.7/102018
115Samsung Galaxy S9+7.1/104.7/102018
114LG Velvet 5G (SD 765G)6.2/102.4/102020
114OnePlus 7 Pro 5G6.6/107.7/102019
114Apple iPhone 12 mini6.7/101.7/102020
111Oppo Reno 2Z6.4/101.9/102019
110LG G8X ThinQ5.9/102.6/102019
110Apple iPhone 116/102.4/102019
108Realme 6i6.5/101.4/102020
108TCL 10 5G6.4/101.5/102020
107Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro6.6/104.8/102019
106Samsung Galaxy Note 86.5/104.7/102017
105Realme 7 5G6/101.8/102020
105HTC U12+6.4/104.8/102018
105Samsung Galaxy S97.1/102018
105Xiaomi Black Shark 26.4/104.8/102019
104LG G65.2/103/102017
104LG V305.2/103/102017
103Samsung Galaxy A51 5G5.4/102.6/102020
102Honor Honor Magic 25.5/102.4/102018
102Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro6.2/104.4/102019
101Xiaomi Redmi K206.2/104.4/102019
101Google Pixel 4 XL6.2/104.3/102019
101Xiaomi Mi 96.1/104.8/102019
101Google Pixel 46.2/104.3/102019
101Xiaomi Mi 9T6.2/104.4/102019
99Micromax IN Note 16.2/100.8/102020
98LG K626/101/102020
98Apple iPhone XS6/104.7/102018
98Huawei P20 Pro5.8/105.6/102018
98Apple iPhone XS Max6/104.7/102018
98LG K526/101/102020
96Samsung Galaxy S8+6.5/102017
96Samsung Galaxy S86.5/102017
96Nokia 6.25.5/101.6/102019
96OnePlus 6T6.5/102018
96Google Pixel 3 XL6.4/102018
95Motorola Moto Z46.4/102019
94Motorola Razr 5G (2020)6.3/102020
93Huawei P206.2/102018
93Google Pixel 4a6.2/102020
93Xiaomi Mi Mix 36.3/102018
92Samsung Galaxy A505.7/100.9/102019
92Sony Xperia XZ36.2/102018
92Sony Xperia XZ26.2/102018
90Apple iPhone X5.4/105/102017
90Realme Narzo 205.1/101.7/102020
90Sony Xperia XA2 Plus6.1/102018
89POCO M36/102020
89Huawei Mate 10 Pro6/102017
89Honor View 206/102018
88Google Pixel 3a XL6/102019
88Google Pixel 36/102018
88Apple iPhone 7 Plus5.3/104.8/102016
88Google Pixel 26/102017
88Apple iPhone XR6/102018
88Google Pixel 3a6/102019
88Apple iPhone 8 Plus5.3/104.8/102017
87Honor Honor 8x5.9/102018
86Huawei Mate 105.8/102017
84Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4s5.7/102019
83Huawei Mate 9 Pro5.6/102016
82Xiaomi Pocophone F15.6/102018
81Honor 105.5/102018
81Samsung Galaxy A114.6/101.3/102020
81Huawei nova 35.5/102018
80LG Stylo 65.1/100.6/102020
80Motorola One Action5.4/102019
79Apple iPhone SE (2020)5.3/102020
79Apple iPhone 75.3/102016
79Apple iPhone 85.3/102017
78Elephone U54/102.1/102020
77LG Aristo 54.7/100.8/102020
76Samsung Galaxy A214.2/101.6/102020
75Xiaomi Mi 5X4.4/104.5/102017
75LG K514.4/101/102020
74Motorola Moto G7 Power5/102019
70Nokia 5.34.8/102020
70Samsung Galaxy On64.7/102018
67Honor Honor Play4.5/102018
67Samsung Galaxy A10s4.5/102019
66Xiaomi Redmi 54.4/102018
65Samsung Galaxy A10e4.4/102019
64LG K423.7/101/102020
64Nokia 84.3/102017
62ASUS ZenFone Lite (L1)4.2/102018
62Motorola Moto G7 Play4.2/102019
62ASUS ZenFone Max (M1)4.2/102018
59LG Q64/102017
57Huawei Y9 (2018)3.8/102018
56Oppo A33 (2020)3.8/102020
56Samsung Galaxy A013.8/102019
56Oppo A1k3.8/102019
54Nokia 3 V3.7/102019
52Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J727U, 2017)3.5/102017
47Xiaomi Redmi 9C3.2/102020
40Xiaomi Redmi Go2.7/102019

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