Nothing quite gets a budding photographer’s heart racing like a Google Pixel smartphone. We say this, as the company’s Pixel range has been the benchmark to beat in the mobile photography scene for a hot minute now. The Google Pixel 7, for instance, is among the best shoot-it-and-forget-it camera phones you can buy at the moment.
That said, the scenery could soon change as OnePlus recently announced its VFM flagship as well. We are, of course, talking about the OnePlus 11, which gets a solid camera array to boot, among other things.
So, if you are looking for a new Android and want to see which device clicks better photos, then you’re in luck. We have spent some time with the phones and here is how their cameras fare.
First and foremost, let’s take a closer look at the camera specs of our two contenders. Starting with the Google Pixel 7, the device gets a 50MP primary sensor with f/1.85 aperture and an 84-degree FoV. The primary camera works alongside an ultrawide snapper with a 114-degree FoV and a 10.8MP selfie camera.
The OnePlus 11, on the other hand, ships with a 50MP, Sony IMX890 imaging sensor which works alongside a 32MP Tele-Portrait sensor and a 48MP ultrawide snapper. For selfies, the device gets a 16MP shooter up front.
With the camera specs out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some images shot with the phones under broad daylight. Now, first and foremost, you should know that the OnePlus 11 clicks photos with a warmer tone. Further, while the handset clicks slightly sharper images than the Pixel 7 from the word go, you can click an even more detailed snap by using the built-in high-res mode.
In doing so, the smartphone will click a 50MP image, which is ideal for when you’re clicking landscapes.
The Pixel 7 also ships with a 50MP sensor but only allows users to click pixel-binned images. Consequently, for the purpose of this article, we’ve snagged pixel-binned snaps from the two phones.
Now, as prefaced previously, the photos from the phones have a stark color temperature disparity. As an example, if you look at the shot attached above, you’ll notice that OnePlus’ output is swaying in the favor of warmer tones. The red fire sign, for instance, looks quite vibrant in the snap.
At the same time, the smartphone brings out information from the shadows better too. In contrast, the Pixel 7 tends to darken the shadows in a bid to make the scene more dramatic.
The same is evident if you zoom into the grey sedan towards the back of the fire sign. Here, you’ll notice that the front two tires appear sharper and offer more details in the OnePlus photo.
Another thing to note is that OnePlus’ Hasselblad tuning tends to turn foliage yellow, which isn’t ideal. The tree towards the back of the building, for instance, has a yellowish tinge which looks odd, to say the least.
The same is evident in this next sample shot too. Here, the OnePlus 11 has once again clicked a warmer photo which is evident if you look at the redder-than-usual flower pots. What’s more, the grass appears yellow in the snap too.
On the plus side, the image’s corner sharpness is slightly better than what you’d get with the Pixel 7. In fact, at a 100 percent crop, the AC units positioned on the building to the right appear a tad sharper in OnePlus 11’s composition.
Similarly, in this next comparison shot, you’ll observe that the OnePlus 11 has, once again, spruced up the colors. The same is evident if you look at the taillights of the now defunct hatchback parked near the building, or the color of the leaves.
But, at a closer crop, the OnePlus 11’s composition is sharper and more detailed too. In fact, at a 100 percent crop, you can clearly make out the green generator towards the back in OnePlus’ snap.
The Pixel’s snap, on the other hand, has fallen prey to some weird artefacting. To sum up, the Pixel 7 takes more color-accurate photos, whereas the OnePlus 11 brings more detailed snaps to the mix.
The scenery remains unchanged when clicking close-ups with the phones as well. To that end, you’ll notice that while both phones click snaps with plenty of details, the OnePlus 11 tends to jazz up the hues a bit. The same is evident in the shot of the orange flower, which looks particularly punchy through OnePlus’ lens.
What’s more, at a 100 percent crop, you’ll notice that the petals of the flower seemingly merge into one another. The Pixel 7’s output, on the other hand, has exposed the peppy orange color well and the composition is void of any color-blotching.
The same goes for this next snap of a maroon flower too. Here, the petals appear distinctive and structured in Pixel’s snap, whereas OnePlus’ over-the-top post-processing has glossed over some finer detailing. Don’t get us wrong – both images appear equally pleasing and will glam up your IG feed quite well. That said, pixel-peepers will find Pixel’s composition slightly better here.
The OnePlus 11 has a slight edge as far as ultrawide images are concerned. We say this, as the device can click 48MP UW images that offer better sharpness at a closer crop. That said, if you are going to limit yourself to the pixel-binned samples, then you can go with one, or the other.
As an example, in the sample shot attached above, both phones have churned out commendable details around the center of the frame. The images don’t exhibit any noticeable fringing either, and the snaps have oodles of details around the edges of the composition too. If anything, OnePlus’ photo has more vivid hues and a slightly larger FoV. In other words, you can see more of the scene in OnePlus 11’s snap.
Both phones click gorgeous photos of human subjects too. That said, each device introduces its own flavor to the snaps to make them stand out that much more.
The OnePlus 11, for instance, tends to brighten the subject’s face. It also clicks photos with a slightly warmer color tone, so you’ll notice that the objects in the periphery tend to have rich and vibrant hues.
On the other hand, the Pixel 7 clicks photos with a slightly cooler color tone. The smartphone also adds distinct structuring around the subject’s face to make them pop more. Further, we liked how the smartphone snapped photos in particularly bright environments too.
To that end, if you look at the camera sample attached above then you’ll notice that both shots offer tremendous detailing around the subject’s face. That said, the sun rays falling on the subject have been exposed slightly better on Pixel’s snap.
In OnePlus’ case, the top-right corner of the subject’s face exhibits minor highlight clipping. You’ll also notice that the leaves in the background appear edited in OnePlus’ photo. However, the scene retains its naturalness in Pixel’s shot.
Similarly, in the shot attached above, you’ll notice that the photo from the OnePlus 11 exhibits some lens flaring too. While the photo is slightly sharper than the Pixel 7’s snap, it looks worse off – at least at face value.
That said, under ideal lighting conditions, the output from the phones is neck and neck. Now, sure enough, OnePlus’ image is a tad brighter. Further, as is evident by the colors of the subject’s hoodie, the smartphone has jazzed up the hues a bit too. As such, you’ll notice that the braids of the hoodie appear oddly peppy and blazing.
The Google Pixel 7 has edges in front of the OnePlus 11 in the selfie department. Now, both phones click equally detailed snaps under the sun from their front-facing cameras. In fact, in the shot attached below, you’ll notice that both phones have captured the facial blemishes of the subject rather well.
If anything, the shot from the OnePlus 11 appears a tad beautified and the subject’s lips appear pinkish in the photo. Further, there are white blotches around the subject’s cheeks and nose as well. Other than that, the photos are at level pegging.
The same goes for the portrait images too, mind you. In fact, from the efficacy of the blur effect to the sharpness and the detailing in the images, you’d be hard-pressed to find a difference in the photos.
With that said, the scenery takes a turn for the worse for OnePlus when you try and click images against the source of light. To that end, the smartphone struggles to expose the scene properly and you’ll often find the subject’s skin tone overtly beautified as well. What’s more, unlike the Pixel 7, the OnePlus 11 can only record 1080p clips from the front-facing camera.
Google’s offering, on the other hand, can shoot at up to 4K resolution at 60FPS, which is great. All said and done, the Pixel 7 would be our pick of the bunch for selfie enthusiasts.
Contrary to popular belief, the Google Pixel 7 can, in fact, click stellar telephoto photos too. In fact, the smartphone takes a crop of its main sensor to output a photo that is on par with what you’d get if you used a dedicated 2x Tele lens. The OnePlus 11, on the other hand, ships with a dedicated Tele sensor that can also click photos at 2x zoom.
Unsurprisingly, both devices click admirable photos at 2x as well. Now, the OnePlus 11 overturns a slightly sharper snap, which is evident by the shot of the maroon flower attached above.
Here, the petals of the flower appear more structured in OnePlus’ photo. What’s more, we noticed that the OnePlus 11 could latch on to the subject a lot quicker too.
Be that as it may, the device tends to blotch particularly bright hues as well. The same is evident from this shot of the yellow flower wherein, the petals seemingly merge into one another in OnePlus’ photo. Rest assured, you could go with either of the two phones if you wanted to click zoomed shots.
Lowlight With Night Mode
The OnePlus 11 takes a commanding lead in lowlight scenarios. To that end, the smartphone clicked more detail-laden shots with lesser lens flaring after the sun had set. As an example, if you look at the shot attached below, you’ll notice that OnePlus’ offering has resolved the light emanating from the bulbs much better.
Similarly, in this next sample shot, you can tell that the scene appears brighter and offers better visibility in OnePlus’ photo. Further, the handset has once again resolved the light exuding from lamps better.
The Shutter Game
OnePlus is bringing its A-game with the OnePlus 11. Don’t get us wrong, the handset still has ways to go. In fact, we preferred the color science of the Pixel 7 much more.
However, the OnePlus 11 gets a number of things right too. For one, the device clicks more information-dense images in lowlight scenarios. Further, the smartphone’s primary camera is quick to focus and snags a good-looking photo the majority of times as well.
The smartphone is more than adept at clicking high-quality telephoto images. As such, while Google’s offering is still our pick of the bunch, the OnePlus 11 is just a couple updates away from dethroning the Pixel 7.
Last updated on 08 February, 2023
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