Even though mobile phones and all of their related technologies have progressed a lot over the past few years, probably the biggest advancement has come in the camera department. And thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of trends like selfies, camera quality continues to be one of the major deciding factors for most users when it comes to buying smartphones. By banking on this trend and using clever advertising, companies like Oppo and Vivo have managed to grab a considerable share in the competitive Indian mid-range smartphone market.
There’s no shortage of well-rounded smartphones in the lower to upper mid-range segment today. Two such smartphones are Moto X4 (starting price – Rs 20,999) and Lenovo K8 Note (starting price – Rs 11,999). Both of these come with dual rear-camera setups, but which one is better?
To find out, read our in-depth camera comparison between Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note. But before you get reading, take a quick look at the camera-related specs of the two smartphones:
|MOTO X4||LENOVO K8 NOTE|
|Rear||Dual 12MP (f/2.0, PDAF) + 8MP (f/2.2), Dual-LED Two-tone flash||Dual 13MP + 5MP (f/1.7, PDAF), Dual-LED two-tone flash|
|Front||16MP, f/2.0, LED flash||13MP, f/2.0, LED flash|
As it’s obvious from the above table, the cameras on Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note differ quite a bit. Another important point worth mentioning here is that the X4 has a ‘Manual’ camera mode, which can be tweaked to produce better-looking photos. This is something that the K8 Note lacks.
Note: As our review procedure is largely designed to mirror real-world usage patterns of end users, we don’t use tripods or any other stabilizing equipment to shoot photos and videos.
Starting with daylight images, we believe that it’s mostly a one-sided competition. Check out the comparative image below:
Taking a look at the photo, it’s clear that Moto X4 takes better photos in daylight conditions. In comparison, photos captured by Lenovo K8 Note aren’t sufficiently bright and appear to lack saturation. The latter doesn’t seem to accurately produce colors either. Taking a closer look at the images reveals that they look a bit dull.
Moto X4, on the other hand, produces amazing-looking daylight photos with ample amount of details and good colors. Even zooming-in reveals noticeable difference in the quality of images from Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note.
Depth Of Field (Bokeh)
Both Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note have a dedicated ‘Depth of Field’ feature, but the algorithm or technology utilized by the smartphones doesn’t appear to be efficient at all. This is especially in the case of Lenovo K8 Note, which isn’t able to focus on the objects easily. During our testing, it took a while for the smartphone to be able to differentiate between focused object and the background. Switching to automatic focus left us surprised. Here’s a comparative sample photo:
It seems that with automatic focus, both smartphones can easily focus on the primary object and blur everything else. Color reproduction and sharpness are fairly impressive as well.
Even though both smartphones are almost equally good when it comes to Depth Of Field, we believe that Moto X4 is a little better.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos
If you don’t know about it already, High Dynamic Range (HDR) allows details in both darker and brighter areas of photos to be exposed equally well. Like most of the smartphones, these days, Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note can shoot HDR images too. Check out a comparative photo sample:
We found that HDR photos captured by Lenovo K8 Note have a kind of whitish layer on them. Images turn out to be below average, and lack in color saturation and sharpness. Details appear to be missing as well.
On the other had, HDR photos from Moto X4 come out to be a lot better. They have good detail, vibrant colors and ample saturation.
Moto X4 is definitely better when it comes to HDR photos.
Nowadays, most of the phones come with a ‘Panorama’ mode, which allows a much larger area to be captured. The basic functionality is simple – the smartphone captures multiple photos as it’s moved in a direction, and then stitches these photos together. Check out the panorama samples from Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note:
Unexpectedly, Lenovo K8 Note came out to be better in this department during our test run. The smartphone is very good at stitching images together. There are some details that are a little messed up but they can’t be seen unless photos are zoomed to 100% levels. However, the handset doesn’t capture good details and colors.
As for Moto X4, it lacks when it comes to stitching images, leading to weird results. That said, it’s superior when it comes to capturing details and colors.
Even though some parts of the panoramas captured by Moto X4 are messed up, they can be corrected by using a tripod. Consequently, we believe that Moto X4 is overall better than Lenovo K8 Note.
After seeing the low-light photos captured by Lenovo K8 Note, the author was reminded of the Moto X4 vs Nokia 6 Camera Comparison. Here’s a side-by-side comparison photo:
As is visible, there’s quite a difference. Starting with Lenovo K8 Note, it produces low light images that are similar to those produced by Nokia 6. Photos come out to have dull colors and are full of noise. Zooming-in on the images reveals a lot of details missing. We couldn’t find any improvement in low light photos even after turning on HDR.
Talking about Moto X4, as we have noted in our previous Moto X4 comparisons, it is very good at low light photography. It shoots very good low light photos with ample amount of details, accurate colors and sharpness. And things look even better if the HDR mode is turned on.
Obviously, quality of the selfie camera(s) matters a lot to majority of smartphone users today. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the selfies taken from Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note. Note that this is without any ‘beautification’ features applied:
Seeing the selfies side-by-side doesn’t reveal much, but zooming-in at 100% levels reveals that Moto X4’s front-facing camera is arguably better than that of Lenovo K8 Note when it comes to capturing details. In case of Lenovo K8 Note, zoomed-in samples appear to be washed out.
Both Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note come with a ‘beauty’ mode, with the above comparative shot showing selfies captured by the two smartphones with the ‘beauty’ mode enabled. Zooming-in reveals some noise in selfies from Lenovo K8 Note. However, Moto X4’s selfies are better.
Both Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note come with a front-facing flash, so we decided to take some selfies in low light to see if the flash is worth it. Indeed, the flash helps in increasing the quality of the selfies a little bit. But again, samples from Lenovo K8 Note look washed out and have much noise. Moto X4, on the other hand, does a much better job with less noise and realistic colors.
Rear camera(s) of Moto X4 and Lenovo K8 Note are capable of shooting 4K UHD and Full-HD videos. However, none has OIS or EIS, so recorded videos turn out to be shaky.
Here are the samples:
As is visible above, videos from both smartphones have quite a bit of shakiness. Talking about the video quality, Moto X4 again came out better in our testing, with its videos having better colors and sharpness levels. Its autofocus also works better than that of Lenovo K8 Note, and the phone is quick to focus on objects.
In summation, Moto X4 is a better choice than Lenovo K8 Note when it comes to video recording.
If you have a maximum budget of Rs 15,000, Lenovo K8 Note is definitely a good option. It has decent camera quality and overall average performance. As for Moto X4, it’s a solid all-rounder. The camera experience and performance is certainly better than that of Lenovo K8 Note. Extra features like premium design and IP68 rating make it even better.
So which one should you choose? Our recommendation is certainly Moto X4. Compared to Lenovo K8 Note, it produces better photos with realistic colors, sharpness and good details.