The iPhone 12 Pro and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have two of the best smartphone cameras out there. Let’s see which is better for landscape photos, portraits, selfies, night mode and video.
The cameras on Apple’s new iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra seem similar on paper. Both have a three-lens camera array with improved low-light performance, 4K HDR video capabilities and advanced autofocus systems. And while they both produce excellent results overall, they each have their strengths and weaknesses in different categories.
For zoom, it’s hard to compete with the Note 20 Ultra’s 5x telephoto camera, which can make any far-off subject look like it’s right in front of you, especially when you compare it to the 2x camera on the iPhone 12 Pro. For portraits, the iPhone generally produces the better result thanks to more natural bokeh (or blur) effects. But choosing an outright winner across every category is not so clear cut, given that both use a clever combination of hardware and computational photography tricks to get great-looking shots in almost all situations.
We put the cameras on two of this year’s best smartphones to the test to see how well they handle zoom photos, portraits, landscapes and video.The Note 20 Ultra produces fantastic shots in almost all lighting conditions and there’s no doubt that it has the best telephoto camera with its 5x optical zoom. A range of features like portrait video mode and 8K recording provide a lot of flexibility, but photographers will mainly appreciate the addition of pro (or manual) modes for both stills and video on the default camera app. Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.