Nokia N90 vs. Sony Ericsson W800: Camera test

D. Polesný, M. Sedlák, 09 August 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Which one of the current photo mobiles is the best one? We offer you a direct comparison between pictures taken with the two of the biggest competitors amongst the modern photo mobiles - two megapixel Nokia N90 and Sony Ericsson W800, respectively K750. In addition we have tested the external flash for the new Sony Ericsson.

Let these endless arguments stop! Today, at last you may convince yourself which of the two best contemporary photo mobiles on the market is better. Nokia N90 or Sony Ericsson W800 (K750)? We have aimed exclusively at photo quality; the comparable photos are taken at the same time and at the same lighting conditions.

Exactly the three best

In this article we compare the pictures taken by Nokia N90 with the pictures taken by Sony Ericsson W800. The W800's camera is just the same like the one of Sony Ericsson K750. So, the test is valid for comparison between Nokia N90 and Sony Ericsson K750 too, in case that you may hesitate between these two phones and you care about the photo quality.

Nokia N90 Sony Ericsson W800 Sony Ericsson K750

We haven't adjusted any of the image settings; we have always chosen the highest resolution and the highest quality (lowest compression). The automatics cared for the rest. You may judge between the two models in the article below. We express our opinion after every photo session and this could help you to make a choice.

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So, which of you is better?

Daily pictures

In the first line are always the pictures taken by Nokia N90. In the second - the ones taken by Sony Ericsson W800. When you click on the preview the photo will open in its full resolution. You may read our opinion after every photo session.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: Sony Ericsson has more authentic color rendition. The pictures of Nokia are slightly under-exposed in comparison to Sony Ericsson ones, this is well shown in the first picture. The sharpness is comparable.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: Nokia N90 had problems with the red color, the red car on the central photo had the same paint tint like the one that Sony Ericsson had caught. The Nokia pictures are again little darker and more contrast; while they might look more attractive, the Sony Ericsson W800 color rendition reflects reality more precisely.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: Nokia didn't' prosper well in the first picture; evidences are the purple fringing on the overexposed monument. In such cases the appropriate action is to take the picture again with some exposure compensation; the photo however looked good at the display. The barrel distortion of the central picture taken by Nokia hits in the eye and there's no place for excuses.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: On the first photo scene we have tested if the phones cameras exhibit color aberrations (purple fringing); no need to comment the result. The second and the third pictures are relatively well captured by the two cameras even though the color rendition is different. Sony Ericsson W800 is again closer to the reality and also shows wider dynamic range.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: At these pictures we can see well that every single camera sees the colors in its own way. We remind you that we have left the white color balance to automatic. You can also consider the photos a resolution test. On the rugged window ornamentation and on the statue stone structure is visible that Sony Ericsson is again on top.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: The picture talks itself clear and again in favor of Sony Ericsson W800. The two pictures are taken in macro mode. Nokia N90 didn't manage well with focusing on the flower; you can also note the stronger noise behind. The apparent better sharpness of Sony Ericsson can be seen in the second picture.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: the sky in the first picture taken by Nokia N90 looks like from a fairy tail, the color contrast is however unnaturally high. Nokia managed to take picture with the digital zoom not until the twelve try. The pictures are of a very low quality when zoomed so much, absolutely unusable. Sony Ericsson has only a 4x digital zoom, but keeps the original photo format even with the highest zoom. As always, we don't recommend using the digital zoom at all when taking pictures.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: again those "barrels"... but both phones passed the resolution test.

Nokia N90:
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Sony Ericsson W800:
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Editors' opinion: it would be well to fix the exposure of Nokia picture in order to be not so dark. Otherwise, the text shots are comparable. Nokia has a small problem with the auto color balance in mixed lighting conditions - the wall looks slightly blue.

Video recording

We have shot video clips with the two phones. At the same place and time simultaneously. The winner in this discipline is Nokia N90, because of its fluent record and its higher quality; in addition it has higher resolution. The Sony Ericsson video records are unusable in practice. They are good only for MMS sending.

Nokia's video N90 - trolley (MP4, 467 KB zip file)
Sony Ericsson's video - trolley (3GP, 76 KB)

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