How does Google Pixel’s Night Sight feature match up to rivals?

Gadgets, Google, Smartphones

This week Google began rolling out the highly-anticipated Night Sight feature to its Pixel smartphones.  The company claims the facility will enable people to take bright photos in dim-lit settings without using flash. But just how good is it? Jamie Harris reports

Night Sight  is said to reveal the true beauty of photos by adapting to you and the environment using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The best way to see how it performs is by comparing it to smartphone rivals in a very low-lit corridor.

This brief test was carried out using the latest smartphones on the market – the Google Pixel 3, iPhone XS Max, OnePlus 6T and Huawei Mate Pro 20 – utilising any low-lighting modes available and taken by hand without a tripod.

So, how did they perform?

Comparison of photos
Comparison of photos taken on the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and OnePlus 6T (Jamie Harris/PA)

Despite the low lighting, the Pixel 3 XL’s Night Mode appears to expose the most amount of natural colour and brightness compared to the other three.

Google Pixel 3 XL photo
Example of a photo taken on the Google Pixel 3 XL (Jamie Harris/PA)

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which has its own dedicated Night mode, doesn’t look as bright but is the sharpest photo taken.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro photo
Example of a photo taken on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro (Jamie Harris/PA)

Meanwhile, the OnePlus 6T picks up a reasonable amount of light but has a yellow tinge and struggles with the finer detail.

OnePlus 6T photo
Example of a photo taken on the OnePlus 6T (Jamie Harris/PA)

And finally, the iPhone XS Max captures a decent amount of sharpness but looks very dark and washed out.

iPhone XS Max photo
Example of a photo taken on the iPhone XS Max (Jamie Harris/PA)


From this small sample, Google’s Night Sight mode clearly makes a noticeable difference to photos in low-lighting environments, which helps make the Pixel 3’s camera one of the best on the market.

The fact it will roll out to older Pixel handsets makes it all the more compelling.

Chris Price
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