If you languish to find out how well a camera phone performs, you know that it’s hard to find reliable mobile camera reviews on models that are not making the headlines.

That’s because Image Quality (IQ) based reviews take a lot of time and are very expensive to make – we know because we have our Uber-G Camera IQ score as well, which is the driving force behind our Mobile Camera Reviews going forward.

But there is another way to have a great notion of how a mobile camera “should” perform: by analyzing the camera hardware. It makes a lot of sense: great camera hardware should yield great photos, right?

Our logo shows the hardware score, the device name and market category (high-end, premium, high-mid-range, low-mid-range, etc.) and its launch year. We will use color codes to differentiate between market categories.

The Uber-G Camera HW score uses a proprietary algorithm that takes camera hardware data as an input to compute a score that ranks a camera against its peers. It essentially reveals the “potential” of the camera hardware.

As with any algorithm, we plan to update it from time to time, so expect the Uber-G HW score to fluctuate every now and then.

"GREAT CAMERA HARDWARE SHOULD YIELD GREAT PHOTOS"
Phone Brand & ModelUber-G Camera HW Score
Huawei Mate 20 Pro156
Samsung Galaxy Note 9144
Samsung Galaxy S9+144
LG V40139
Samsung Galaxy S9136
Huawei P20 Pro134
Samsung Galaxy Note 8113
HTC U12+110
Google Pixel 2 XL104
Google Pixel 2104
Google Pixel 3104
OnePlus 6T104
Sony Xperia XZ3102
Sony Xperia XZ2102
Samsung Galaxy S8+101
Samsung Galaxy S8101
Apple iPhone XS100
LG V3097
OnePlus OnePlus 687
Huawei P2087
LG G7 ThinQ75
OnePlus OnePlus 5T73
Apple iPhone X71
Huawei Mate 1067
Honor Honor Magic 266
Vivo V1166
Xiaomi Pocophone F165
Honor 1063
Honor View 1063
LG G659
Honor Honor 8x56
Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro50
Huawei Mate SE48
Honor Honor Play39
Xiaomi Mi 5X38
Xiaomi Redmi 538
Nokia 836
LG Q630
Huawei Y9 (2018)26
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)15

The best way to check if a model works is to look at the correlation with observed image quality. For that, we can check for correlations between our Uber-G Camera IQ (image quality) score and the Uber-G Camera HW score.

The charts don’t exactly correlate for a few of reasons:

  1. Both scores don’t measure the same thing and aren’t expected to be on the same scale
  2. The general IQ score contains situations in which the camera hardware isn’t stressed, such as daylight photography where it is more about camera exposure settings and high-dynamic range, which involves a lot of software
  3. Software. The IQ gap between different phone makers can be significant even though they may use the same type of camera modules.

As you can see, there’s a strong correlation between theoretical HW performance and real-world image quality (IQ).

Looking at a more hardware-challenging situation such as Night photography, the correlation is more pronounced, just as one would expect. It is logical that better camera lenses and sensors would yield visibly better results here.

With a great hardware score, we will be able to rate many more of the ~1000 phones that come out yearly. And in cases where we have scarce data, we will publish an “Estimated Uber-G Camera HW” score (more on that soon) which is still robust enough to be very meaningful.

With this algorithm, we can provide consumers with unmatched mobile camera hardware guidance that will help people choose the best mobile camera experience for their money and/or save a lot of time during their initial phone research.

However, it is important to keep in mind that a hardware store, isn’t as reliable as an image-analysis score because software image processing also plays a large role in building the final photo. That’s why we created the Uber-G Camera IQ score.

Keep an eye out for new scores!

Thanks for your interest in our Mobile Camera scores. We want to provide insightful and useful information that will help you get the best camera for your needs and money. Keep in touch via Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for updates.

Happy Photography!

Filed in Cellphones >Photo-Video. Read more about Photography Concepts and Smartphone Reviews.

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