Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

We compare the iPhone 6S, Nexus 6P, HTC 10, Huawei P9, LG G5, Galaxy S7, Xperia Z5 and Xiaomi Mi 5.

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  • 1 iphone 6s panorama nohdr iPhone 6S
  • 2 nexus 6p outdoor hdr plus Nexus 6P
  • 3 htc 10 outdoor hdr HTC 10
  • 4 huawei p9 outdoor Huawei P9
  • 5 lg g5 portrait hdr standard LG G5
  • 5 lg g5 portrait hdr LG G5 (wide)
  • 6 samsung s7 outdoor Galaxy S7
  • 7 xiaomi mi 5 outdoor focus fail Xiaomi Mi 5
  • 8 sony z5 outdoor Xperia Z5
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Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

We've said it before, but the iPhone excels at outdoor portraits. It's not the best phone camera out there - details are a little soft and things start to look weird if you use the HDR mode - but in this shot (with HDR disabled) exposure is very good and colour balance is excellent.

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Next Prev 1 iphone 6s panorama nohdr

We've said it before, but the iPhone excels at outdoor portraits. It's not the best phone camera out there - details are a little soft and things start to look weird if you use the HDR mode - but in this shot (with HDR disabled) exposure is very good and colour balance is excellent.

Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

The Nexus 6P tended to underexpose photos in our test, but although we must present the original image here for comparison purposes, it's very easy to fix this in a photo editor. Details are crisp and sharp without being over-sharp. Dynamic range is also good (this was shot using the auto HDR mode).

Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

A natural looking photo from the HTC 10 here. Saturation is ideal, and the skin tone is spot on.

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Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

The P9 oversaturates photos by default, so it's no surprise that the skin tones here don't look very natural. The background is sharper than we'd like from a portrait (some phones have a narrower depth of field) but you can of course use the P9's shallow depth of field mode to create stunning looking portraits.

Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

The G5 has good dynasmic range, preserving the highlights while bringing out shadow detail here. White balance is good and skin tones are fairly realistic. Overall a pleasing portrait.

Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

Using the G5's wide-angle lens introduces the expected distortion but again shows great dynamic range, if slighly oversaturated colours.

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Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

The S7 captures a great portrait here, with good exposure and white balance. Detail is also good and the blurred background means it isn't a distraction from the focus of the photo.

Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

A good effort from the Mi 5 with decent exposure. However, a more limited dynamic range than its rivals means highlights are blown out. Colours are slightly oversaturated and details a little soft. (Note: we had to use a backup photo here as our model was blurry in the main portrait photo as the phone had decided to focus on the buildings in the background.)

Phone cameras comparison: outdoor portrait

Using the iAuto+ mode, we expected better from the Z5. The highlights are completely blown out and colours look washed out. However, focus is good.

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