Asus ZenFone 6 vs. OnePlus 7 camera review: which phone takes better pictures?

ByGB Blog Official 2019-05-20 2317

In today's post we take a look at two of the latest, budget-friendly and promising camera phones: the Asus ZenFone 6 and the OnePlus 7. Which phone takes better photos? We are about to find out.

Asus ZenFone 6 vs OnePlus 7: camera specs

Both Asus ZenFone 6 and OnePlus 7 offer us rich camera features, but there are some differences. So let’s take a quick look at the main specs of the two phones’ camera first.


Product name
Asus ZenFone 6
OnePlus 7
Rear Camera
48MP SONY IMX586 + 13MP ultra wide
48MP Sony IMX 586 + 5MP
Front Camera
13MP + 48MP
16MP Sony IMX 471


Asus ZenFone 6 vs OnePlus 7: camera design

Asus ZenFone 6 camera design: rear camera = front camera

While Asus ZenFone has been around since 2016, there is a big chance you haven’t heard about them till right now. The Asus ZenFone 6 is the company’s first notable smartphone that, since its release, has been compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10. One of the things that makes the Asus ZenFone 6 interesting is its camera — and, especially, the way it is designed.

We have seen quite a few of design approaches when it comes to getting rid of the notch and getting a step closer to the full-screen mobile experience: punch hole displays, motorized selfie cameras, sliding panels, etc. What the Asus ZenFone 6 is quite different — it gets rid of the selfie camera altogether. That’s right — the phone comes with just its rear 48MP + 13MP camera. But don’t worry — it’s not because it’s launching the war on selfies. Quite the opposite, the Asus ZenFone 6 features one of the best (if not the best) selfie cameras on the market.

How does Asus ZenFone 6 offer the best selfie camera?

The phone’s rear camera sits on a motorized hinge that flips around every time you need to use the front camera. There are no notches or holes. Instead, there is just one camera that serves a double purpose. The selfie toggle becomes a slider that can be used to control the position of the selfie cam’s motor. This means that in addition to positioning your cameras as a rear cam or a selfie cam, you get all the options in between allowing shooting at a variety of angles. With that, the screen remains uninterrupted and you get to enjoy all the 6.4 inches of the phone’s IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen.


OnePlus 7 camera design: dual rear cam and a waterdrop notch

The OnePlus 7 takes the more "classic" approach to camera placement: the phone’s 6.4 inch screen is interrupted by a tiny notch housing the front camera. Thus, with the OnePlus 7 Pro, you do get a dedicated selfie camera in addition to the double rear camera placed vertically on the back.


Asus ZenFone 6 vs OnePlus 7: camera performance

Asus ZenFone 6 camera performance: 48MP on the back and front

The Asus ZenFone 5 scored 90 points on DxOMark — and while there are no scores for the improved Asus ZenFone 6, we expect the new model to rank higher than its predecessor.

The ZenFone 6 uses the Sony IMX586 48MP sensor — just like a number of other smartphones we have seen released these days. However, it’s best not to think of it as a 48MP phone as it is designed to take 12MP photos. Why does the downscaling happen? It’s a result of the process called pixel binning: the information collected by four pixels converts into one in the final photo.


Taking photos with the ZenFone 6 is fast and responsive and you get very decent photos on the other end. There may be a slight tendency towards underexpose but you get significantly more detail compared to the 8MP Zenfone 5. The phone performs especially well in good lighting but if there is less light, you may notice a bit of grain. Compared to the previous model, the Zenfone 6 features better colour reproduction and does a very good job of correcting color distortion.

Where the phone truly stands out is selfie performance. There are very few smartphones out there (and especially in this price range) that are capable of offering the same selfie camera performance as the Asus Zenfone 6, which uses its main 48MP IMX586 image sensor to capture selfies with extraordinary detail.

OnePlus 7 camera performance: a dedicated selfie cam and a 48MP main shooter

While the OnePlus 7 Pro is currently ranked as the  third best camera on the market (according to DxoMark), having scored an impressive 110 points, the OnePlus 7, understandably, sports more modest results. With that, the phone is is still a big improvement over the company's previous model, the 6T.

The phone packs a 48MP main sensor with f/1.7 aperture, PDAF and OIS. There is also a 5MP shooter for bokeh effects with f/2.4 aperture. The phone has been noted for good exposures in a variety of lighting situations and there is the option to take photos with a wide dynamic range allowing for impressive detail.

On the video front, you will be able to record 2160p videos at 30/60 frames per second and 1080p videos at 30/60/240fps.

On the front, the phone sports a 16MP camera with the  f/2.0 aperture. The same selfie cam on the OnePlus 7 Pro has received 86 points on Dxomark. The phone’s front camera has been noted for good skin tone rendering and quite a few reviewers have praised it as one of the best selfie cameras the have seen on the a phone in this price range.


Asus ZenFone 6 vs OnePlus 7: camera app and shooting modes

Asus ZenFone 6 camera app and shooting modes

The Asus ZenFone 6  comes with a rather handy camera app and you get all the standard shooting modes.

One of the interesting camera app features on the ZenFone 6 is that there are two different HDR modes: AutoHDR (this is the standard HDR mode used to capture a  wider dynamic range of certain scenes) and then there is the HDR+ Enhanced, which, according to the company, employs the same computing algorithm as the Google Pixel phones.

A nothing thing of note is the new Ultra Night mode. While this mode does have its limitations (taking pictures in complete darkness would not be an option), it does a very good job of being a night-time HDR. When in the Ultra Night mode, the camera will take several low-exposure RAW shots and then combine them to even out the exposure. The downside is that you won't be able to use the Ultra Night mode for the  ultra-wide angle camera.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera app and shooting modes

The OnePlus 7  comes with a rather neat camera app. You will find that the HDR mode is on by default and, in the viewfinder, you will see the expanded dynamic range.

To switch between the popular camera modes (Pro, Nightscape, Portrait, etc.), you should swipe left/right and you can swipe up for an even larger selection of shooting modes. You can also customize the camera app and bring forward the shooting modes that you plan to use most often.

The latest version of the OnePlus camera app also comes with offline Google Lens integration. This is a fun feature to have onboard and adds to the phone's overall functionality.

Asus ZenFone 6 vs OnePlus 7: which one is a better camera phone?

It's never an easy answer. And, in this case, both smartphones bring a lot to the table when it comes to camera performance. However, we do find the Asus ZenFone 6 a more interesting option between the two. With the truly innovative approach to design, enhanced camera capabilities and one of the best selfie shooters we've seen on a phone, the ZenFone 6 offers a lot of camera functionality by cleverly utilizing its assets and design.

The OnePlus 7, however, does not fall far behind. The phone is primarily an improved version of the OnePlus 6T, a lot of these improvements have been made in the camera department. True, you won't get to play around with the cool motorized camera like on the ZenFone 6 - but the OnePlus 7 gets lots of points for simplicity.



 You may also want to read:
 Asus Zenfone 6 features, specs and release date
  Compare OnePlus 7 vs Huawei P30 Pro: OnePlus has better screen and lower price
  OnePlus 7 vs. OnePlus 7 Pro: a first comparison


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