We were lucky enough to be able to test with our hands and bring to your attention both the top of the range Xiaomi Mi 8 and the new POCOPHONE F1, the latter arrived on the market with a really attractive launch price despite the respectable hardware specifications. But many times we have said that the needle of the scale for the purchase of a device with respect to another, is determined precisely by the photographic performances that a device is able to give us.
And in the specific of Mi 8 and POCOPHONE F1, many have wondered if it is worthwhile to buy one or the other terminal, especially because of the price in certain cases to the advantage of the smartphone that replies to the hashtag #masterofspeed, and which shares most of the older brother's photographic sensors. In particular on Xiaomi Mi 8 on the back we find a dual camera composed by Sony IMX363 sensor from 12 megapixel, aperture f/ 1.8 and pixel dimensions of 1.25 nm with optical stabilization OIS to 4 axis, while the second telephoto type sensor appears to be the Samsung S5K3M3 from 12 megapixel with aperture f/ 2.4 and pixel dimensions of 1.4 nm all seasoned by a dual flash dual-tone LED flash. We are also offered the possibility of one optical zoom 2X, but also the possibility of the PRO modeso you can set the individual settings of a photo by choosing also from which optics to make the shot.
On the POCOPHONE F1 instead we find a dual rear camera that consists of a '12 megapixel optics, Sony IMX363 sensor, with pixel surface from 1,4 um and aperturef/ 1.9, equipped Dual Pixel autofocus quick, precise and soft in the changes to which a5 megapixel optic, Samsung S5K5E8 sensor, with pixel surface from 1,12 um and aperture f/ 2.0.
Therefore we don't find the difference only in the second sensor but also in the opening of the main optics, better in Mi 8 and that basically also offers us an OIS stabilization at 4 axes unlike the POCOPHONE F1 which instead provides a stabilization of the digital images. But let's see some shots together.
POCOPHONE F1 vs Xiaomi Mi 8: photo comparison
In these first shots we can see a substantial difference in the colors that in the case of POCOPHONE F1 show a slight yellowish dominant while Mi 8 seems to return colors more faithful to the scenario photographed.
Even in these shots we can see how Mi 8 manages to return the best shots respecting the younger brother. The smaller opening of the optics mounted on Mi 8 is noticeable by capturing more details in the shadow areas of a photo. It should also be noted a sort of "zoom" effect of the Mi 8 lens compared to that of POCOPHONE F1, which instead always gives photos with subjects more distant than the photographer. The brilliance of the colors is evident on the shots of the Mi 8 while the effect obtained with the portrait mode seems the same on both devices.
Both software-level smartphones provide the AI assistant, which uses artificial intelligence to determine the best parameters for taking a photo based on the scenario you are in. I tried with extreme situations such as a backlight, where we are given the opportunity to take shots in SILHOUETTE mode, that is with a "colored" background and subject in shadow or the BACKLIGHT mode that allows us not to lose the details of the subject. I also tested the optics of Mi 8 and POCOPHONE F1 with a macro. The results in this case seem to be better on the POCOPHONE F1 net of a not exactly optimized white balance.
Also in these two additional pages we can see a substantially better result in POCOPHONE F1 which apparently seems to suffer less from the control. In fact in Mi 8 we always find a slightly "faded" photo, perhaps due to too much light capture of the surrounding environment. Finally, all we have to do is tackle what is offered instead by the selfie camera from both devices, which in the specific case of Mi 8 adopts a lens with Samsung S5K3T1 sensor from 20 megapixel with aperture f/ 2.0, which turns out to be the same as POCOHONE F1.
In this case, the shots returned by smartphones seem to be virtually identical, but for both devices we find white balance errors: on Mi 8 tending to blue tone while for POCOPHONE F1 instead confirms the tendency of yellow. The portrait mode seems to do a good job on both top of the range, although in the details seems to win the Mi 8.
I will probably have thrown even more confusion towards those who are undecided about buying Mi 8 or POCOPHONE F1. I personally would opt for the top of the range Mi 8 but if you choose for the most economical solution you will certainly not have much to regret.