At Gadget2Buy, we really cannot have enough of smartphone cameras especially when they are getting better and better with each passing day. And it is not just the flagship phones that are being equipped with drool-worthy specifications, the mid-range phones are getting some extremely competitive camera hardware as well.
So what we have this time are two mid-range devices from Huawei – Honor 6X and Honor 7X – to see which one is better at photography. Now, the Honor 6X is already available in India for a starting price of Rs 11,999 while the Honor 7X is expected to launch in the near future.
We believe that this camera comparison will help our viewers in narrowing down to which handset to go for as far as the photography is concerned once the Honor 7X is launched here.
– Dual camera with 12 MP primary lens and 2 MP secondary lens
– Phase Detection Autofocus, Wide Aperture mode
– 8 MP front camera
– Dual camera with 16 MP primary lens and 2 MP secondary lens
– Phase Detection Autofocus, Wide Aperture and Portrait mode
– 8 MP front camera
Both cameras have a number of similarities in terms of architecture (dual camera setup, similar 2 MP secondary lenses as well as the 8 MP front camera). However, the Honor 7X’s dual camera is arranged horizontally while the one in the Honor 6X is arranged vertically. We are excited to see how their respective physical alignment and the difference in the primary lens effect the outcome of the images.
On to the image quality.
Daylight and Good Light Images
Both cameras offer manual control over the aperture which ranges from f0.95 to f16, however, the default setting of the aperture is f2.2 in both cameras irrespective of the lighting conditions. It would be interesting to compare the image quality with the same default settings but with the difference in the primary lenses.
Here are some daylight samples.
In the above samples, images from the Honor 6X (on the left) have slightly warmer colours whereas the images from the Honor 7X have better sharpness overall. If we have to choose between the two cameras, we would say that the Honor 6X produced better daylight images as the warmer colours are closer to how they look in real. Also, the level of sharpness is acceptable as well.
Winner: Honor 6X
Mixed and Indoor Light Images
Mixed lighting conditions offer some of the most interesting perspective to a scene that is to be captured. There is a fine balance of light and darkness which allows even a casual photographer to be creative with the shot. Below are some samples under the mixed or indoor lighting conditions.
So far, the Honor 6X (on the left) continues to produce marginally better images than the Honor 7X. In the above samples, the Honor 6X produced warmer red and green colours in the first image. Even though the colours, in reality, were even warmer, the 6X was closer in achieving the required warmth compared to the 7X. This advantage continues in the second image as well but by a smaller margin. In the third image though, the Honor 7X came out with slightly warmer colours (and more realistic colours given the particular lighting condition).
Winner: Honor 6X. The handset produced more realistic colours overall compared to its sibling. Additionally, the details in the images from both handsets have been more or less equal.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
The HDR option is usually a photographers delight as it has the ability to generate very interesting images in terms of light, colour and detail. But it entirely depends on how well the software has been programmed to handle the dynamic range especially when the HDR feature is enabled.
In the above samples, both the normal and the HDR images from the Honor 6X has a minor red lighting effect (due to the sunlight) which appears diagonally across the stairs. And, although the colours are relatively warmer from the Honor 6X, we believe that the Honor 7X produced the better HDR version in the above example.
The samples above are quite interesting. While it is clear that the Honor 6X produced considerably warmer colours in general, it also produced a wider difference between the normal image and its HDR version. In comparison, the difference between the normal and the HDR images from the Honor 7X are minor, and the biggest difference is noticeable in the colour and the detail of the bricks. In the end, the more natural reproduction of colours in the images from the Honor 6X makes them better.
In the above samples, we particularly like the images (normal and its HDR version) from the Honor 7X. The 7X produced warmer and more natural looking colours compared to its smaller sibling while also maintaining the detail in the various objects.
Winner: Honor 7X. In 2 out of 3 HDR samples, the Honor 7X came out as a better camera by a small margin.
This is a condition not many photographers would like to get into especially when the tool to shoot pictures are a couple of mid-range smartphones. Yet, the night time (or low light) situation is rather interesting and offers a unique opportunity to play with the available light smartly. Let’s see a few samples from the two smartphones shot during the night.
In the above example, while there might be only minor differences in the colours and the details in things like the surface, trees and the passage way, we would rate the Honor 7X’s camera (on the right) slightly better specifically because it maintained the naturality of the red colour on the name board “Karim’s” in the first sample.
Winner: Honor 7X by the tiniest margin. Although we prefer the 7X in this particular scenario, both cameras are far from satisfying.
Bokeh or Depth-of-field
Any person who enjoys photography would probably love to shoot Bokeh or images with depth-of-field effect. Even today, with all the ongoing advancement, no smartphone in existence has mastered the art of shooting Bokeh.
Having said that, both cameras have manual controls to set the aperture to as low as f0.95 to as high as f16 while the default aperture stays at f2.2. We would like to point out here that the blur effect created by changing the aperture settings is not an actual depth-of-field effect (as it is done only by the software in this case). Let’s find out how the two cameras performed in this aspect.
Both images in the above sample have been shot with the default aperture of f2.2. The Honor 6X (on the left) maintained the Exposure (in the background around the top right portion) slightly better than what we can see in the image from the Honor 7X (which is slightly overexposed). Also, the 6X managed to keep the colour of the cup closer to how it looks in real.
Winner: Honor 6X.
This is going to be a tricky one as both smartphones get exactly the same front camera with 8 MP lens. Below is a Selfie image each from the Honor 6X and the Honor 7X.
Along with the same lens, both images are shot with the default aperture of f2.0 and the result is strikingly similar. There is hardly any discernible difference between the two images. Both cameras maintain the respective colours on the jacket, grass, plants, pathway and the face. We do notice a minor difference in the sky where it is slightly lighter in the image from the Honor 7X, but we believe it is hardly a big deal in this case.
Winner: Honor 6X. We have declared the 6X as the winner in this category only because we like the marginally bluer sky in its image.
The two cameras in the Honor 6X and the Honor 7X are closely matched in terms of the hardware and the resultant specifications, and they also produce largely similar images as well. While the Honor 6X maintained its edge in terms of the colour warmth, the Honor 7X was considered better when it came to the HDR images. At the same time, both cameras are similarly matched when it comes to the detail.
Having said that, to our own surprise we would declare the Honor 6X as the winner in this camera shootout. Furthermore, we would like to add that the outcome of this test has been largely affected by our personal preference of how the 6X produced warmer colours in general. The Honor 7X appeared better in the HDR category and in Nightlight conditions, still, the overall differences between the two made us swing our opinion in the favour of the Honor 6X towards the end of this comparison.
Let us know in the comment section below which smartphone would you prefer for still photography.