The OnePlus 10 Pro has the second generation of Hasselblad’s special software for mobile cameras, and we’ve been impressed with some of the results already. However, the real test comes when we put it up against other very capable phones. Over the past week, I’ve carried both the OnePlus 10 Pro and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro around and snapped photos with both. Now we can see which one takes the best photos.
Before we address the photos, we should see how the two cameras differ when it comes to hardware. The iPhone 13 Pro has three 12-megapixel cameras for main, wide-angle, and telephoto duties. The main camera has an f/1.5 aperture, dual optical image stabilization (OIS), a seven-element lens, Smart
The OnePlus 10 Pro has a 48MP Sony IMX789 main camera with an f/1.8 aperture, a seven-element lens, OIS, and Hasselblad for Mobile software. It’s joined by a 50MP wide-angle camera capable of an up to 150-degree field-of-view, plus an 8MP telephoto camera with OIS and a 3.3 optical zoom. On the front of the iPhone is another 12MP camera, while the OnePlus 10 Pro has a 32MP selfie camera.
For reference, all the photos here were shot in auto mode, and without tapping to find a focal point. All photos have been viewed on a color-calibrated monitor, but have then been resized to make them more web-friendly.
I did get some strange looks when taking photos of flowers in the dark, but it was worth it. The photo was taken an hour after sunset using Night mode on the OnePlus 10 Pro and letting the iPhone automatically set the exposure time. The difference between the two is considerable.
The OnePlus 10 Pro’s photo captures colors accurately and certainly brightens the scene effectively considering it was actually quite dark at the time. It’s obvious what I’m taking a photo of, there’s a nice depth of field, and it’s an entirely functional representation of what daffodils look like in the dark.
This photo shows the depth of field when shooting close-up, how the OnePlus 10 Pro deals with color accuracy, and how it’s affected by the lack of a macro mode. The
Hasselblad’s involvement on the OnePlus 10 Pro’s camera is pitched around reproducing natural colors, but there’s nothing natural about the radioactive green it has given certain pieces here. The
The OnePlus 10 Pro gets the gray brake disc piece right and there’s a good level of detail too, but the green is so striking it’s almost all that grabs your attention. The balance of the iPhone’s photo means you examine it as a whole, and it makes the photo better.
This is an interesting one. It was a beautiful day when I took the photo, and the
The OnePlus 10 Pro goes in the other direction. The yellow and green of the daffodils is much brighter, as are the trees and foliage in the background. But the photo then washes out the sky, preferring to expose based on the foreground. This gives the tree trunks a slightly yellow tint, unlike the obvious brown on the iPhone’s photo.
It’s when you zoom in that the differences become obvious. The
The main camera on the OnePlus 10 Pro can take some great photos. However, when you put the shots next to the
The first shows where the OnePlus 10 Pro can shine. The
Looking at them briefly and with sharing in mind, the OnePlus 10 Pro’s photo is probably the one I would pick. But examined critically, the
On a technical level, the
This photo was taken in the late afternoon with the sun behind me, and the
The OnePlus 10 Pro — with Hasselblad’s color tuning, remember — turns the green crop more yellow, while showing a slightly more accurate sky with its high white cloud. However, I can assure you the crop is a wonderful fresh green color and not the yellowy green shown in the OnePlus 10 Pro’s photo.
Here’s another example. Shot around midday, the OnePlus again insists on turning the green grass more yellow, and in the process overexposes the house and the trees. The
These photos were all taken on different days and at different times, so it’s impossible to blame environmental aspects for the unusual performance. It’s more likely the OnePlus 10 Pro’s software — I’m using the phone prerelease — still requires tuning. However, the first two images were taken after a software update had arrived on the phone toward the end of my initial review period.
Both cameras have a similar level of optical zoom, but the megapixel count is dramatically different, and in some situations, it really shows. Early on in my tests, the OnePlus 10 Pro’s telephoto camera took bad photos, but they seem to have improved after one software update. For this reason, I won’t compare the early photos I took.
Instead take a look at this indoor photo, which still illustrates how much better the higher megapixel photos from the iPhone look compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro. The iPhone takes a brighter image with a lot of extra detail. For comparison, a OnePlus 10 Pro telephoto image is 3264 x 2448 pixels, while an
Between the two, it’s an easy win for the
Using the front camera on both phones with Portrait mode active, neither camera did a great job with edge recognition. The iPhone’s default blur effect is stronger than that of the OnePlus, but neither gets my glasses right at all. Not only is the lens not identified correctly, but sections around it also confuse the software. The iPhone fails around my cheek too.
I prefer the iPhone’s skin tone visually, but admit the OnePlus is probably more accurate as it was quite cold at the time. The iPhone is also far better at reproducing the black of my fleece, while the OnePlus’ picture gives it an almost blue tint.
The poor edge recognition means I wouldn’t share either photo, but the level of detail in each is impressive. Choosing a winner is difficult as neither photo is ideal, and although I personally prefer the coloration, this is going to be a draw.
Ouch. There’s not much point in totaling up the wins and losses here, as the
What these photos do show, along with the ones in our review, is that the OnePlus and Hasselblad partnership still hasn’t produced stellar results. The software is supposed to enhance colors, with the word “natural” being used on multiple occasions, but so far there isn’t much evidence of this in action. This is the second generation of Hasselblad’s software, and we’ve yet to see how it’s adding value.
The iPhone 13 Pro’s camera has clearly been improving since the phone’s release, having also not impressed early on in its life when put up against the iPhone 12 Pro or the Google Pixel 6 Pro. OnePlus has a history of releasing phones with cameras that aren’t quite finalized, having done so with the OnePlus 9 Pro, and then steadily releasing software updates to improve things. It’s likely this is the case with the OnePlus 10 Pro too, but for now, the camera performance is some distance behind the
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