Chinese phone maker OnePlus heeded the laments about the camera experience in last year’s OnePlus One. Thankfully, the camera in the company’s newest phone, the OnePlus 2, is a huge improvement.
Add that to the OnePlus 2’s incredibly low price tag for the base 16GB model (just $US320), and you might have yourself another true “flagship killer,” as OnePlus puts it.
But does a $US320 smartphone take better pictures than a $US740 smartphone — specifically, the new Galaxy Note 5 from Samsung?
Check it out for yourself.
The Galaxy Note 5's picture looks better because everything is brighter, but details in the clouds are lost due to some over-exposure. The OnePlus 2 presents a darker but more accurate picture. But unless you're specifically looking for cloud details, the Note 5's picture looks better than the OnePlus' photo. (There's also a rainbow in the OnePlus' picture, which isn't really a desired effect.)
The OnePlus 2 photo shows accurate colours while the Note 5's picture looks washed out by comparison. However, the Note 5's picture is more evenly lit and it looks like the better photo if you're simply looking to capture a moment without the intention to edit it later.
The OnePlus 2 wins this round hands down, as the sunlight bouncing off the leaves isn't overly bright like it is the Note 5's picture. You can also see more detail on the green leaves, and the colours are deeper and richer.
The Galaxy Note 5's picture is more accurate colour-wise, but the OnePlus 2 brightens up the picture and is generally the more appealing photo.
The Note 5 takes a much sharper shot of the banana here, but it doesn't deal that well with yellow indoor lighting: Even the floor has a yellow hue to it when it's meant to be closer to grey, which the OnePlus 2 captures more effectively.
The colours in the Note 5's picture are washed out compared to the OnePlus 2, which also does better than the Note 5 to subdue the yellow indoor lighting, which you can see on the wall on the right and on the Fresca boxes.
The Note 5 performs much better than the OnePlus 2 in low-light conditions. The OnePlus 2's picture is blurry and had trouble focusing on objects without tapping the screen to use manual focus.
The Note 5's flash is also better, as it doesn't over-illuminate the bag or the background. The OnePlus 2 still couldn't quite get the focus right, either.
This was a tough one.
When it comes to shooting pictures that look good without any tinkering, the Galaxy Note 5 wins. The Note 5 takes incredibly sharp pictures, which is great if you don't intend on editing your photos, even if the colours and exposure aren't entirely accurate.
However, the OnePlus 2 also takes excellent photos and it handles better with brighter indoor-lit situations, but you'll need to manually focus (simply tapping the subject on the screen) when taking pictures in situations when there isn't much light.
The OnePlus 2 also captures more accurate colours and exposure, and therefore is better for people who like to tinker with their photos with editing software on a computer or when using photography-based apps like Instagram of VSCO Cam.
So, technically, the OnePlus 2 is a better camera and offers more versatility if you plan to do some editing, so we'd recommend it as the better camera. But the Galaxy Note 5 is no slouch either, as proven by these photos above.
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