Google Pixel 6A Crowned Best Smartphone Camera Of 2022

Google Pixel 6A Crowned Best Smartphone Camera Of 2022

When someone asks “what is the best smartphone camera of 2022,” various brand loyalists will step into the picture to put in their votes. Usually it’s either the Apple iPhone 14 lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, or the vivo flagships garnering the most votes. We’d even understand the Google Pixel 7/Pro as a fine contender to the throne. More or less, people mention the latest and greatest every brand has to offer. So when the Google Pixel 6A, a midrange device launched early in 2022 won MKBHD’s best smartphone camera test of 2022, it came as a shock to a lot of people. What exactly happened?

Before you throw sticks and stones in revolt, let us break down this famous tech YouTuber’s methodology first. As mentioned in the video, he was as fair as possible to all devices involved in this test. He and his team took the same shots with all devices: three in particular. A regular photo in good lighting, one in dark lighting conditions, and a portrait photo. They then created a site where users had to pick between two photos from random devices for a grand total of 10-15 times. This selection created some sort of algorithmic “elo” ranking which used the times a device was selected to put it within a percentile. Keep in mind that the photos were completely stripped of any identifiers to remove brand bias.

The voting populace was not small in the slightest. By the end of it all, they had gathered over 21 million votes from 600,000+ users in three days of voting.

And after the voting period came to a close and the number-crunching was completed, MKBHD presented the results before the crowd.

Shockingly, the Google Pixel 6A scored the highest among all devices over three categories of photos. Yes, the $449 USD device trumped over others as much as triple its price or even more. What’s even more surprising is that it managed to outperform the Google Pixel 7 Pro, which we assume uses the same camera software but upgraded and with superior hardware.

The Pixel 7 Pro came in second, while one of 2022’s most underrated flagships you can fit in one hand, the ASUS Zenfone 9, came in third. If this test was conducted earlier in the year then the Samsung would have scored higher but we have to admit it’s getting a bit long in the tooth relative to its competition. It’s a little worrying that the S23 Ultra’s camera could be the same as before which could keep the once class-leading company in a stagnant position.

Apple boys, put down the pitchforks. This is an unbiased test so the Apple iPhone 14 Pro coming in at seventh overall is also a shocking revelation. It’s generally regarded to be the best smartphone camera for any kind of scenario, but it seems a blind test was all it took to dethrone the king of optics.

MKBHD also states that the OPPO Find X5 Pro, while faring amazingly in the first two tests, scored fifteenth of sixteen devices in the portrait test. So it’s up to user preference which they find to be the most important quality. Sadly, no tests were conducted using the selfie camera.

Here, meanwhile, are the lowest scores. Perhaps it’s a little shocking to find the renowned Sony Xperia 1 IV at the bottom of the barrel here, especially after all the camera-centric marketing the brand does for this smartphone. One thing to note is that all these tests were performed in Auto shooting modes. Should an experienced photographer been at the helm of controlling the professional toggles, then we infer that the Sony would have ranked much higher.

Despite these low scores, it’s certain that these devices can still take stellar photos in any condition. It’s just that the upper-midrange/flagship space has grown frighteningly competitive within the past few years that just being “good” isn’t enough to reign supreme anymore. Regardless, the Google Pixel 6A surely overachieved in this battle against the goliaths.

So what do you think? Are these ratings legit? How would you improve the testing process if you could? Let us know!

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