Google Pixel dominates MKBHD's blind camera test: premium hardware matters?

Featured image for Google Pixel dominates MKBHD's blind camera test: premium hardware matters?

In the fiercely competitive world of smartphone photography, Google’s Pixel devices have once again emerged triumphant in MKBHD’s blind smartphone camera test for 2023. The popular YouTuber conducted a comprehensive evaluation of 20 smartphone models across three key categories: Daytime, Low Light, and Portrait mode. Additionally, a notable ‘average ELO rating’ category was introduced, and to the surprise of many, Google Pixel devices dominated this category.

In the daytime category of MKBHD’s blind camera test, the Google Pixel 7a secured the top spot, showcasing its stellar photography capabilities in ideal lighting conditions. The test also included a challenge to evaluate HDR handling with a window behind in full sun. The Pixel 7a outshone competitors like the Google Pixel Fold and the OnePlus Open in this category. To be fair, the budget-friendly offering from Google, or the Pixel 7a not only appears to be a great choice for camera enthusiasts but also fits someone perfectly who is looking for an all-rounder.


Interestingly, the price tag didn’t reflect in this blind test despite all the big 1″ sensors and premium lenses

Moving to the Low Light category of the blind camera test, the iPhone 15 Pro took the crown, demonstrating its ability to excel in challenging lighting conditions. Notably, two Pixel devices, the Google Pixel 8 Pro and the Google Pixel 7a, secured the second and third positions, highlighting Google’s continued success in the photography section.

In the Portrait mode category of the blind camera test, Google once again asserted its dominance, with the Pixel 8 Pro emerging as the fan favorite for this type of photography. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and iPhone 15 Pro secured the second and third positions, respectively.

The ‘average ELO rating’ category, dubbed the ‘People’s champ,’ saw Google smartphones clinching the top three positions. The Pixel 7a secured the highest average ELO rating, followed by the Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel Fold. This resounding victory for Google underscores its popularity among fans of mobile photography.

Focusing on value for money, the ‘Most votes per dollar,’ the Pixel 7a once again emerged as the winner, showcasing its exceptional photographic performance relative to its price. The Nothing Phone (2) and OnePlus 11 claimed the second and third positions, emphasizing the balance of quality and affordability in the smartphone market.

MKBHD's blind camera test
Highest overall average-ELO (Source: MKBHD)