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The Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 Pro Have the Best Smartphone Cameras of 2022, According to Blind Test
December 22, 2022

The Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 Pro Have the Best Smartphone Cameras of 2022, According to Blind Test

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A massive blind camera test with more than 20 million votes picked Google’s Pixel 6a as the best overall smartphone camera of the year.

In what is surely the most comprehensive blind test of smartphone cameras ever, the Pixel 6a has been named the best overall camera of 2022.

The test, carried out by YouTube’s biggest tech reviewer Marques Brownlee, compared 16 devices released in 2022 and took in votes from over 600,000 users. Best for portraits was the Pixel 7 Pro, the Oppo Find X5 Pro was best for daylight photos, and the Vivo X80 Pro+ best in low light.

The Best Smartphone Camera of 2022

The test looked at 16 smartphones from 2022, including the obvious flagships, camera-centric devices, some mid-rangers, and a few random choices. Three identical pictures were shot on each device—a standard daylight photo, a low-light photo, and a portrait—and all identifying data was removed from the images.

Users were then asked to vote on their favorites from a series of random comparisons, and an ELO rating system was used to sort the more than 21 million votes to find the winners.

The phones included in the test were:

  • Huawei Mate 50 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • Moto Edge 2022
  • Nothing Phone 1
  • OnePlus 10 Pro
  • Oppo Find X5
  • Google Pixel 6A
  • Realme 10 Pro+
  • ROG Phone 6
  • iPhone SE
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Sony Xperia 1 IV
  • Xiaomi 12s Ultra
  • Asus Zenfone 9
  • Vivo X80 Pro+

The Winners

The best overall winner was the Pixel 6a, with the Pixel 7 Pro and Asus Zenfone 9 in second and third. The iPhone 14 Pro was down in 7th place. And what finished bottom? The Sony Xperia I IV took last place on the list, with the Moto Edge 30 Ultra just above it.

The winners for each type of shot were the Oppo Find X5 Pro for the best standard photo, the Vivo X80 Pro+ for best low-light photos, and the Pixel 7 Pro for the best portraits.

All the cameras were tested on Auto mode, so the voting was as much a judgment on the software as the hardware, which goes a long way to explain why Google’s phones did so well (and why Sony’s excellent hardware did so poorly).

Pixels have rarely had the best camera specs, but have always been among the best camera phones—although it’s looking like the Pixel 8 series could get a big upgrade.

The Pixel Phones Are Camera Champions

Although sensor sizes are slowly growing, software remains as important as ever in helping to overcome the hardware limitations of camera phones. Google’s Pixel phones are incredibly strong in this area.

They take great HDR, portrait, or low-light shots, and also have bags of unique features like Real Tone for shooting accurate skin colors, Face Unblur, and the ever-popular Magic Eraser.


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