We asked, you told us: The Pixel 4a camera trounces the iPhone SE

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Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE 2020 displays 2

There was little doubt the Google Pixel 4a would square off against the iPhone SE in an epic camera battle: both are sub-$400 phones from companies renowned for their photographic prowess.

But how did that Pixel vs iPhone camera shootout… well, turn out? We asked you to provide the answer, and the winner was quite clear.

Which phone takes better photos: the Pixel 4a or the iPhone SE?

Results

We thought both phones performed well, with the Pixel 4a producing better-balanced shots while the iPhone SE offered better dynamic range. However, your votes and comments made it clear that only one smartphone captured your attention.

Out of nearly 7,300 votes cast, 66.1% of you said the Pixel 4a took superior photos. Both handsets have single rear 12MP cameras and comparable front cameras, but it’s evident that Google’s AI-assisted photography won out.

There was a common theme among comments. Many of you thought the Pixel 4a’s shots were not only more neutral, but produced detail that wasn’t always apparent in the iPhone pictures. Not that you were always down on the SE, which got 33.9% of the vote. Numerous people pointed out that the iPhone’s colors were more pleasing, even if they weren’t always true to life.

You added that the testing could have gone further to include low-light photography (the Pixel 4a’s likely strong suit) and video (the iPhone’s probable advantage). Still, it’s apparent that you like Google’s camera performance in typical outdoor shooting, and the Pixel 4a’s lower $349 price versus the $399 iPhone SE makes it that much more tempting if you value photo quality in an affordable smartphone. Based on this feedback, we won’t be surprised if the 4a thrashes the OnePlus Nord in a future showdown.

Here’s what you had to say

  • Rob Watkins: Apple has certainly upped its camera game, but, IMO, Apple tends to over ‘beautify’ shots where Google’s sensor is somewhat more natural, which I prefer. Both are excellent though.
  • Daftrok: iPhone SE sacrifices color accuracy and detail in well lit scenes for better dynamic range and detail in shadows. Pixel 4a sacrifices details in shadows for better color accuracy and detail in well lit scenes. But my vote is still Pixel 4a because I know it utterly destroys the iPhone SE in low light photography.
  • Delta Whiskey Hotel: I prefer the warmth of the SE’s photos, but I like how the 4a seems to capture more detail. I voted for the 4a, but honestly I don’t think I would be disappointed with the photos from either camera (except maybe the selfie from the SE, which is just soft enough to almost look out-of-focus).
  • Stadi: I like the SE colors much more.

That’s all for the results of our Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera poll. Thanks for your votes and comments! If you have more comments on the results of the shootout, please leave them below.

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