A few weeks ago, we offered you a dramatic standoff between the LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8, and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. We followed that up with a head-to-head between the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and HTC U11 cameras. Today, we pit the HTC U11 against the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the iPhone 7 Plus in another camera contest - and it's a three-horse race again.
The responses to our LG G6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Sony Xperia XZ Premium comparison were definitely "varied", for the lack of a better term. The usual bickering aside, it was really encouraging to see such an energetic and educated discussion by our readers.
There was a second theme that prevailed in the comment section - you wanted to see more. The U11 review unit was only available to us for a limited time and we hardly gave it any rest while it was at our disposal. But we managed to log some quality time with it working on the review so we decided to keep the shootout streak going and try to set up another camera comparison. This time around, the HTC U11 is running against the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the iPhone 7 Plus.
In keeping with tradition, we offer a summary of the key specs of all three devices. It should be enough for a quick reference, but you can also hit up the full-fledged comparison page for more detail.
|HTC U11||iPhone 7 Plus||Sony Xperia XZ Premium|
|Dimensions||153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm, 169g||158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm, 188g||156 x 77 x 7.9mm, 195g|
|Screen||5.5" Super LCD5 1,440 x 2,560px (534ppi)||5.5" LED-backlit IPS LCD 1,080 x 1,920px (401ppi)||5.46" IPS 2,160 x 3,840px (807ppi), HDR10|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 835 (10nm)||Apple A10 Fusion||Snapdragon 835 (10nm)|
|Memory||4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, microSD||3GB RAM, 32/128/256 GB||4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD|
|Still camera||12MP (f/1.7 DPAF), Sony IMX362 Exmor RS||Dual 12 MP (28mm, f/1.8, OIS & 56mm, f/2.8), Apple iSight Duo Camera||19MP (f/2.0, PDAF + Laser), Sony IMX400 Exmor RS|
|Video camera||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps/120fps||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps||2160p @ 30fps, 720p @ 960fps|
|Selfie camera||16MP (f/2.0), 1080p@30fps||7 MP, f/2.2, 32mm, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps||13MP (f/2.0), 1080p @ 30fps|
|Loudspeaker||Earpiece as tweeter, woofer on the bottom||Stereo||Stereo|
|Charging||Quick Charge 3.0||Around 10W (5V@2.1A max), no fast charging||Quick Charge 3.0 (wired)|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint||Fingerprint||Fingerprint (region depenent)|
Naturally, seeing how this is a camera shootout, we will mainly be focusing on that aspect of our flagship trio. The handsets of choice don't really have much in common in the camera department. The iPhone 7 Plus employs a dual setup - an Apple first. Both sensors share a resolution of 12MP and only differ in their focal lengths (28mm and 56mm) and aperture (f/1.8 and f/2.8). Its an ideal setup for achieving 2x optical zoom, as well as some impressive "bokeh" effects.
In contrast, the HTC U11 only has a single 12MP, f/1.7 shooter to work with. Sure, OIS, PDAF and a dual tone LED are all shared traits between the two but again, similarities are fewer than the differences. Take the Xperia XZ Premium. It has a much higher 19MP resolution sensor, but also a wider field of view, f/2.0 lens. Its autofocus and stabilization systems differ a bit as well. Sony's patented memory-stacked sensor allows for spectacular 960fps slow-mo video recording.
All that said, it's clear the playing field is far from level this time around, but that is the point. Every setup has its strengths and weaknesses and your personal favorite could easily depend on your typical shooting habits and needs. We will do our best to point out some of these specifics in what is otherwise a truly impressive trio of 2017 cameraphones.
Anyway, join us on the next page for a healthy dose of head-to-head pixel-peeping - just how we like it.