The iPhone is one of the best smartphone cameras you can get, especially with this year’s upgraded megapixels and better zoom. But Google recently unveiled its new Pixel 8 lineup, with improvements to the camera hardware and AI smarts.
To find out which smartphone camera takes better photos, I took both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro out on the streets of New York City to capture photos and videos side-by-side. I posted the results to my Instagram account for a vote.
In this car wash shot, the iPhone’s brighter colors and saturation edged out the Pixel, which stayed truer to life.
(iPhone photos are on left, Pixel on right)
But for this regular street scene, the Pixel won out, likely because the iPhone seemed too saturated.
When it came to 5x zoom, the iPhone nailed this shot of the Edge attraction and won the vote. Both phones have a 5x optical zoom lens, but the iPhone’s hybrid zoom up to 25x worked better.
In this macro shot of a flower, people preferred the iPhone’s macro shot.
The Pixel 8 Pro also has a new Audio Magic Eraser feature to filter out background noise. It worked well in my test, removing sirens so my voice could be heard clearly.
For this colorful street art, the iPhone’s vibrancy won over the Pixel’s realism.
Same for my selfie, where the Pixel seemed to bump up the contrast.
But the Pixel took better ultrawide and 5x zoom shots of city scenes.
Finally, the Pixel captured better food pics of my burger and fries and even made a majority of voters hungry.
Overall, both smartphones take excellent photos but their results often differ. The iPhone seems to take brighter photos with more saturated colors while the Pixel is a bit more muted and stays truer to life.