Usually, any two things are compared when they appear to stand shoulder to shoulder against one another. After all, that is how a fair comparison can be done, right? Yes, this is generally true. However, there are certain situations that can put two similar objects, although belonging to different segments, at an equal platform.
For instance, consider OnePlus 6 and Nokia 7 Plus, two phones that clearly belong to different price and performance categories. The OnePlus 6 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 while the Nokia delivers softer punches through the Snapdragon 660 processor. There’s literally no point comparing the two. Yet, there’s one parameter on which the two phones seem to be on equal level – Camera.
We are intending to find out which of the two phones is better in terms of camera performance – the flagship OnePlus 6 or the mid-ranger Nokia 7 Plus.
OnePlus 6 Camera Specifications
Dual camera with 16 MP (f1.7) + 20 MP (f1.7) primary and secondary lenses. OIS for the primary lens only, PDAF, face detection, HDR. Front 16 MP (f2.0) with auto HDR.
Nokia 7 Plus Camera Specifications
Dual camera with 12 MP (f1.75) + 13 MP (f2.6 telephoto lens), Zeiss optics, HDR, Portrait. Front 16 MP (f2.0).
Both phones have dual cameras at their respective backsides and even though there’s a clear difference between the megapixels of the dual cameras, they are quite on par with each other when it comes to the front camera. Also, the aperture size of the primary lenses is pretty much the same.
Let’s start with the daylight images first.
Let’s start with the general observation, which is that the images taken from the two cameras are quite differentiable which can actually make choosing between the two simpler and confusing at the same time. Simpler in the sense that it could be easier to judge the color accuracy between the two, and confusing in the sense that despite which one is truer, you may prefer the outcome of the other.
Below are the daylight samples from the two cameras.
Starting with the Nokia 7 Plus, it consistently overexposes the sky which leads to almost complete loss of detail from that section of the images. Secondly, we found it to be less color-accurate than the OnePlus 6 (which in itself is nothing close to being spectacular). When it comes to detail, the two phones are a bit similar and they both tend to disappoint in this aspect. However, we have observed that in some instances Nokia 7 Plus very slightly outshines the OnePlus 6 in terms of sharpness (around various objects) while in some cases the OnePlus 6 clearly seems to produce better detail.
DAYLIGHT HDR (HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE) IMAGES
When it comes to HDR (High Dynamic Range), the observations are quite the same as in the case of the normal/non HDR images. OnePlus 6 tends to generate overall better detail while the Nokia 7 Plus has a hair-touch advantage in terms of sharpness. Color saturation is better in the OnePlus 6 as well and the Nokia 7 Plus continues to overexpose all those areas where the light is more.
Talking about the images taken at night (low light conditions), the Nokia 7 Plus continues with its reputation of overexposing the images a bit wherever there is more light. For example, notice the light around the text “A SIP OR A SHOT”, the Nokia clearly overexposes the whole text while the OnePlus 6 tends to have a better control over it. There’s clear lack of detail from the both the cameras.
NIGHT HDR IMAGES
The HDR versions tend to increase the detail in the images from both cameras, but the OnePlus 6 does ever so slightly better in this regard. Secondly, images from both cameras appear to be more or less equally noisy.
One thing remains same in all the camera samples from Nokia 7 Plus, it’s the tendency to overexpose the bright areas. This continues in the portrait samples as well – for instance, notice the background, the window area with white curtains is overexposed with the Nokia 7 Plus (especially when taking Portrait with default autofocus). Even though this doesn’t hurt the overall image too badly, it can really adversely affect when taking portraits in broad daylight. Secondly, the OnePlus 6 is slightly better in overall detail.
Front cameras in both the phones come with a beauty mode which tends to smoothen out the skin tone. Generally, it clearly looks quite fake and usually, it gives an unrealistic look to the person’s face.
Once again, the Nokia 7 Plus suffers from overexposure of the bright areas (including the window-facing side of the person’s face). At the same time, the OnePlus 6 appears to oversharpen the subject (both in normal and beauty modes). Overall still, the OnePlus 6 does a slightly better job.
CONCLUSION – WHICH IS THE BETTER CAMERA?
So, time to choose the winner of this camera comparison. If we are really given a number of choices, we would choose neither of these two handsets for their cameras. But we are here to choose only between the OnePlus 6 and the Nokia 7 Plus, and we will choose the OnePlus 6.
OnePlus 6’s camera leaves a lot to be desired – especially in terms of improving sharpness (selfies are a bit oversharpened though). In our experience, Optical Image Stabilization did not do enough to help produce better sharpness. We can only imagine what could have happened if the OIS wasn’t there at all. Dynamic range is another aspect where it needs drastic improvement as this will improvise both the normal and HDR performance. The problem with the Nokia 7 Plus is, it is usually even worse in all these aspects. On a side note, Honor 10, is a better handset than these two as far as camera is concerned.
Neither of the two cameras is as good as it is marketed by its manufacturer (in OnePlus 6, the camera is not worthy enough to be in a flagship-grade device, while in the Nokia 7 Plus, the Zeiss optics do nothing but add its name to the spec sheet). Yet, the OnePlus 6 is less bad of the two. Hence, OnePlus 6 comes out ahead in this camera comparison.