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Samsung Galaxy S10+ camera test vs iPhone XS, Pixel 3, and Nokia 9

In the previous episode of Last Cam Standing we saw the iPhone XS’ camera win its second straight victory over Huawei, Xiaomi, and Sony. In this matchup, Samsung steps into the ring with its S10+, Nokia pushes boundaries with the Nokia 9 Pureview, and Google’s Pixel 3 is back for a rematch. Let’s start this epic photo fight!

Samsung Galaxy S10+ Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Last Cam Standing is PCWorld’s video series that determines the best phone camera for still images in a King-of-the-hill style battle. Whichever phone wins moves on to face the next contender—so subscribe to PCWorld’s YouTube for future shootouts!

The competition

First up, let’s meet the competitors. Apple’s iPhone XS has held the top spot for two rounds now, thanks to its computational photography chops. But now it’s up against some stiff competition, so we’ll see if it can stay on top.

The first challenger is Samsung and its Galaxy S10+. It features a triple-camera system, with the main lens maintaining that ‘dual aperture’ gimmick. Samsung has never done well in Last Cam Standing thanks to aggressive processing, so we hope it’s toned back some.

Next in line for the title is Nokia. The Nokia 9 Pureview and its five camera lenses could be a game changer for smartphone photography. Nokia has partnered with Zeiss and Light to push the boundaries of what’s possible, so let’s see if it works out well in our testing.

Last but not least is Google. The Pixel 3 lost to the iPhone XS a couple of rounds ago, but since then it’s gotten patched up and upgraded, so it’s looking for a rematch!

As always, I’ll be focusing mainly on the standard camera of each phone, using them in auto mode as they were configured out of the box. This allows for consistent testing and shows just how each company puts its own flavor on camera processing.

The tests will be broken into four categories: Color, Clarity, Exposure, and Extra Features. Extra features is where I dive into supplementary tests for things like portrait mode, extra lenses, and low light modes. We hired the fabulous Natalie to model for us—be sure to check out her Instagram page.

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