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kamamam

Solid camera-centered smartphone for around 400 euro?

I just my Motorola One Zoom that someone suggested and oh my goodness it trashed Xiaomi Note Pro 8.

The 64MP are so much more blurred than "mere" 21MP, which I could've predicted, it's not GHz that decides the speed of CPU, its the optimization.

I'll get back to you guys with general review once I'll test it's battery and other faculties and the camera interface is much more straightforward.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm looking for a smartphone below 400 euro's, which is solely centered around making photos, video, storage and battery (to sustain the stream of videos and photos).

 

I could look-up highest pixel count, but that's obviously not how it works, there's more to a camera than pixels, just like there's more to screen than just resolution. I'm here for an "educated" opinion. There's more such variables I could look-up but they're static variables, they do not represent reality. In some smartphones despite camera having lower resolution, the processing is done in a better manner or maybe the quality of sensors is better, which results in better overall image quality.

 

- Must be Android.

- At least 128GB of built-in memory, preferably with possible SD card expansion.

- Preferably powerful battery (4500 mAh worked great in my last device).

- Preferably ability to record 4K at 60 FPS (or 30 FPS, or 1080p at 60 FPS). I don't care much about pixels, I care more about factual quality of recording and photos (and reaction to drastic changes is light, contrast and color).

- Capability to record high-quality with an ultra-wide would be great too.

Everything afterwards I entirely optional, 99% of my interest involving my new purchase revolves around camera, battery to support hours-long recordings and storage so I don't have to plug into computer to drop off 60 GB at HDD. Of course an OLED screen, with minimal bezels would be nice, but that's also optional (if not outright necessary to keep it under price point).

 

Excluded: Xiaomi Mi Note 8 Pro. I had chance to interact with it, and there are certain things that I can't reconcile.

 

If there's someone who is knowledgable around the topic of medium-range camera smartphones, could you give me a hint or recommendation?

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Pixel 3/3a come to mind, though I'm not sure what they go for nowadays new, and they don't feature SD card expansion and also don't have the biggest batteries in the world.

Maybe an S9 or S10 could work too, as @kokakolia mentioned. I personally don't like the overaggressive post processing Samsung does with their photos though, but it might not be as bad as it used to be in the S5 days, as I haven't used a Samsung phone since then, so I can't say for certain.


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Having owned both the S9+ and the Pixel 3a XL I can say they both have excellent cameras. Although idk what a used S9 would go for it might be a bit out of your price range.

 

Like @Mateyyy said, the Pixel 3a (or the xl) are options as well, I currently use a 3a XL as my daily phone. The Pixel 3a has the best low light pictures I have ever seen, and overall its a super easy to use camera for great pictures (and it does do 4k 30fps). I can't speak for the non-xl model, but the battery on mine will easily go a full day of heavy use. The main issue with the pixel for you is it does not use multiple lens so you can't get the benefits of an ultrawide lens or a lens with 2x zoom like the S9+ would have. The other issue is the Pixel 3a only has 64gb storage available with no option for expansion. 

 

I really enjoyed my S9+, it had tons of great features (really fast slow-mo, low-light almost as good as the 3a, expandable storage, 2x zoom, etc.), but the phone was ludicrously expensive (I think I paid almost $900 for it). And mine had tons of issues. It completely failed after probably 8-10 months of ownership (the charging port completely died after about 5 months leaving me to only wireless charge until the phone started boot looping a couple months later). I really enjoyed the S9+ and wanted to love the phone, but I can never go back to a Samsung after spending so damn much on a phone that was a complete lemon, especially with their less than stellar warranty (it's only 1.5 years, and although I was fairly certain I owned the phone for less than that they wouldn't honor it). 

 

The only other phone I could think of that might be good is the Moto Z family of phones. I've had a couple of their budget G phones and those phones are great values. I can't speak to the quality of the Z series in any way. But I do know they support their moto mods which always fascinated me. And they do offer a mod for the phone that's a add-on camera to the back of your phone that gives you 10x optical zoom, a real flash, and some other great features. The only issue again is price. I think the newest Moto z4 goes for around $500 USD, and the camera mod is another $199. And like I said I've never personally used one so I don't know what kind of photo experience they actually provide, I just know it's probably the closest a phone will ever get to a real camera. 

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15 hours ago, kamamam said:

 

You are asking for too much out of $400...

 

Probably the closest to fulfilling as many of your wants and price as close as possible, is the Moto One Zoom

It has OIS and ultrawide and can record at 4k, but only at 30fps. If you want 4k60 you are looking at flagship phones

Battery is 4,000mAh which is already good, considering the OLED screen

 

The Redmi Note 8 Pro already offers a trememdous amount of hardware for its price that no other manufacturer can match. Yet it still does not have OIS, 4k60 recording, or OLED screen.

 

If this is still not good enough, just save everyone the trouble and go buy a discrete camera


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, huilun02 said:

You are asking for too much out of $400...

 

Probably the closest to fulfilling as many of your wants and price as close as possible, is the Moto One Zoom

It has OIS and ultrawide and can record at 4k, but only at 30fps. If you want 4k60 you are looking at flagship phones

Battery is 4,000mAh which is already good, considering the OLED screen

 

The Redmi Note 8 Pro already offers a trememdous amount of hardware for its price that no other manufacturer can match. Yet it still does not have OIS, 4k60 recording, or OLED screen.

 

If this is still not good enough, just save everyone the trouble and go buy a discrete camera

 

Whilst looking for Motorola One Zoom, I've found out that it's nephew Motorola One Vision is on the cheap for some time now. How would you guess they stack up, just as a reference.

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25 minutes ago, kamamam said:

Whilst looking for Motorola One Zoom, I've found out that it's nephew Motorola One Vision is on the cheap for some time now. How would you guess they stack up, just as a reference.

In the camera department it has less features (obviously, due to less cameras) and does not have an ultrawide camera. The main shooter is about as good. No optical zoom.

The screen is IPS and battery is 3,500mAh. As a result, it has poor battery life.

Also, the camera cutout interferes with how some apps are displayed.

 

I have not used either phone.


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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On 2/21/2020 at 1:00 PM, kamamam said:

I'm looking for a smartphone below 400 euro's, which is solely centered around making photos, video, storage and battery (to sustain the stream of videos and photos).

 

I could look-up highest pixel count, but that's obviously not how it works, there's more to a camera than pixels, just like there's more to screen than just resolution. I'm here for an "educated" opinion. There's more such variables I could look-up but they're static variables, they do not represent reality. In some smartphones despite camera having lower resolution, the processing is done in a better manner or maybe the quality of sensors is better, which results in better overall image quality.

 

- Must be Android.

- At least 128GB of built-in memory, preferably with possible SD card expansion.

- Preferably powerful battery (4500 mAh worked great in my last device).

- Preferably ability to record 4K at 60 FPS (or 30 FPS, or 1080p at 60 FPS). I don't care much about pixels, I care more about factual quality of recording and photos (and reaction to drastic changes is light, contrast and color).

- Capability to record high-quality with an ultra-wide would be great too.

Everything afterwards I entirely optional, 99% of my interest involving my new purchase revolves around camera, battery to support hours-long recordings and storage so I don't have to plug into computer to drop off 60 GB at HDD. Of course an OLED screen, with minimal bezels would be nice, but that's also optional (if not outright necessary to keep it under price point).

 

Excluded: Xiaomi Mi Note 8 Pro. I had chance to interact with it, and there are certain things that I can't reconcile.

 

If there's someone who is knowledgable around the topic of medium-range camera smartphones, could you give me a hint or recommendation?

Lol "must be android", the only android phones with good cameras are flagships.

 

Look at the Sony Xperia 5, goes for around £600 new but you can get it on a good contract and used goes for £400 or less.


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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On 2/22/2020 at 1:51 PM, kamamam said:

 

Whilst looking for Motorola One Zoom, I've found out that it's nephew Motorola One Vision is on the cheap for some time now. How would you guess they stack up, just as a reference.

Heck no! That's a run-of-the-mill midrange phone that's not worth a glance. Get this instead (used or refurbished under $300):

 

- LG G8

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4 hours ago, kokakolia said:

Heck no! That's a run-of-the-mill midrange phone that's not worth a glance. Get this instead (used or refurbished under $300):

 

- LG G8

Does that really have a good camera though? And older phones don't have the same OS support.


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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2 hours ago, Lord Vile said:

Does that really have a good camera though? And older phones don't have the same OS support.

DXO mark has a lengthy review of the camera. Check out the website. 
 

The LG G8 is not even 1 year old. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, kokakolia said:

DXO mark has a lengthy review of the camera. Check out the website. 
 

The LG G8 is not even 1 year old. 
 

 

1 year is half the official support length for android.

 

Can you link it? 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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Posted · Original PosterOP · Best Answer

I just my Motorola One Zoom that someone suggested and oh my goodness it trashed Xiaomi Note Pro 8.

The 64MP are so much more blurred than "mere" 21MP, which I could've predicted, it's not GHz that decides the speed of CPU, its the optimization.

I'll get back to you guys with general review once I'll test it's battery and other faculties and the camera interface is much more straightforward.

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23 minutes ago, kokakolia said:

Not a fan, the pictures look blurry when there's a lot going on, see the rails in the river photo and the blossom here:

 

Girafe_LGG8_DxOMark_05-00-e1556115837987#

 

Vs the iPhone:

 

Girafe_AppleiPhoneXSMax_DxOMark_05-00-e1

 

In the bottom left there seems to be more plant that there actually is on the LG like a kinda bloom thing and the whole photo is very saturated and orangey/pink


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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@Lord VileIt’s still really effin’ good on the G8. And it’s like half the price of the iPhone. For $300~$400, you’re gonna feel dumb buying a midrange phone over the G8. 

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4 minutes ago, kokakolia said:

@Lord VileIt’s still really effin’ good on the G8. And it’s like half the price of the iPhone. For $300~$400, you’re gonna feel dumb buying a midrange phone over the G8. 

Would take the Sony for what is, in my opinion, a better camera, screen and the fact it's newer. Plus they were offering a PS4 last time I was in a shop so you can always flog or do whatever you want with that if they still do it. 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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20 hours ago, kamamam said:

I just my Motorola One Zoom that someone suggested and oh my goodness it trashed Xiaomi Note Pro 8.

The 64MP are so much more blurred than "mere" 21MP, which I could've predicted, it's not GHz that decides the speed of CPU, its the optimization.

I'll get back to you guys with general review once I'll test it's battery and other faculties and the camera interface is much more straightforward.

Glad you like it.

How did you compare it to the Note 8 Pro though? You bought both phones?


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
38 minutes ago, huilun02 said:

Glad you like it.

How did you compare it to the Note 8 Pro though? You bought both phones?

 

Yes, I have both, but I have a lawful right to return within short grace period, and I'll return Note 8 Pro.

I think Note 8 Pro has the same advantage as incorrectly comparing numbers.

The same way that 4-core 4.0GHz processor 20 years ago, compares to 2-core 3.0GHz processor today.

Numbers and pure relations don't tell you the entire story.

The numbers are indeed bigger and Motorola doesn't even give you 48MP picture (it's a 9MP picture with "quad pixel").

So instead I get a 4K image, but its much sharper than Xiaomi, even when you zoom in post-shot, you see more details and less noise.

 

Annoyance with Note 8 Pro was how vague and untelling the settings were, you couldn't set the megapixel count to save, instead "Quality: Low/Medium/High".

With Motorola you can additionally go overkill and record 1080p120 for a prolonged time (10 mins?).

Camera also allows saving raw image format, which I couldn't do with Xiaomi, which is pretty important to me.

The battery lasted about as long as Xiaomi.

 

The difference between SAMOLED and LCD off and black screen really stunned me.

I was sometimes surprised to find out that volume control pops up when the entire screen appears entirely off.

While I made no night photos, I did make photos in darker environments, whilst there are other smartphones that do better, this nightmode will suffice me. Note 8 Pro photos without night mode appear already brighter, whilst Motorola's have a weird occlusion. For text you see a blurred mess for Xiaomi, in Motorola you see that something is written but it's not quite distinguishable. For nightmode, the Xiaomi reached Motorola's non-night mode, but Motorola made the text almost readable, if you give it to forensics they'd be able to figure out the sentences. Both of them need to be held still approximately same length to take a full shot.

I noticed no actual improvement in ultra wide angle, but I sure as heck found stunning differences between optical zoom.

With support of image stabilization I can make fairly sharp photos of something fairly far without any crazy blur,

something that I cannot tell about Xiaomi.

Xiaomi wins in light differences which is weird considering Motorola has two more functional camera's.

If you move your smartphone's camera away from outside, into your room and onto a bright computer screen, Xiaomi updates instantly,

whilst Motorola takes its 2012 time to realize there's update in light. Little problem to me.

 

I have a major complaint about lack of screen protectors that fit perfectly (either too big or too small), and also the through-the-screen fingerprint reader takes multiple focused attempts to work, if it works at all. Also, no dark theme in apps like Files, Music or even Settings. There's a way to set it to Dark Mode, but it affects only a handful of UI objects.

Gestures are a very fun thing in Motorola, you can shake twice to enable flashlight, or twist your hand twice to get the camera.

I could do the same in Xiaomi with mere fingerprint scanner (which is mounted on the back) way faster.

I've found Motorola supports 512GB of SD memory, so that's that.

 

I didn't like Note 8 Pro for the fact that you can't actually remove icons, they're there permanently, Note 8 Pro doesn't have a "menu",

all the applications that are installed are right there in your face.

Speakers of Motorola are great, there's a full bass, I even have a JBL headset which doesn't represent bass as well, especially noticeable in vocals, unfortunately the general quality of audio is collectively degraded (compared to headset, but not to Xiaomi) and the sound is noticibly softer (even compared to Xiaomi).

 

Whilst I wouldn't recommend Motorola to everybody.

I can think of good handful of people who would need Xiaomi more than Motorola.

You also additionally have to take into the account that from my perspective Xiaomi cost 250e, Motorola 400e.

If you're into mid-range Android camera-focused smartphones, Motorola is definitely a good option.

But if you're not into a camera as much as I am, the value/price of Motorola drops severely below Xiaomi.

Camera of Xiaomi is very good, but Motorola's even better.

Personally, I believe that Xiaomi doesn't excel above Motorola in anything that I personally care about, which isn't true vice-versa.

If you need a solid phone for a fantastic price, Xiaomi Note Pro 8 is your choice.

If you wish to dish out extra money for even better camera and a SAMOLED screen, I would go for Motorola One Zoom.

 

That's my general review. Good luck.

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