Camera Comparison: iPhone 11 Pro vs Google Pixel 4 (XL)

Camera Comparison: iPhone 11 Pro vs Google Pixel 4 (XL)

The iPhone 11 Pro and Google Pixel 4 (XL) are at the pinnacle of smartphone technology, being the crown jewel of the biggest technological juggernauts in this field. 
The iPhone 11 Pro bears a triple-camera system with three 12 MP sensors. The wide camera is equivalent to a 26mm focal length with an ƒ/1.8 aperture. Its ultra-wide module is equipped with an ƒ/2.4 aperture, covering a 120-degree field of view. The telephoto camera with a larger ƒ/2.0 aperture is equivalent to a 52mm focal length, offering 2X optical zoom. 


The Pixel 4 by Google is one of the best android camera phone using a dual-camera system comprising two rear units boasting 16 MP and 12 MP sensors, the first Pixel phone with such a system. The main camera sports a 16 MP sensor with an ƒ/2.4 aperture, covering a 52-degree field of view. The second camera features a 12.2 MP with a large ƒ/1.7 aperture, covering a 77-degree field of view. Unlike other flagship phones, the ultra-wide module is still missing in the Pixel4.

This article we will compare each to see which is more worth the investment as a camera.

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SPECIFICATIONS COMPARISON


Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Google Pixel 4 (XL)
Size
iPhone 11 Pro - 5.8 inches/ iPhone11 Pro Max - 6.5 inches
4 - 5.7 inches  / 4 XL- 6.3 inches
Resolution
iPhone 11 Pro - 2436 X 1125 pixels/ iPhone 11 Pro Max - 2688 X1242 pixels
4 -1080 x 2280 pixels /4 XL- 1440 x 3040 pixels
Chipset
Apple A13 Bionic chip
Snapdragon 855
Memory
64/256/ 512 GB, 4 GB RAM
6GB+ 64GB/ 128GB
Battery
3969 mAh
4 -2800 mAh / 4 XL- 3700 mAh, 18w fast charging
Main camera
Triple
12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.0, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.4", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide), FOV 120°
Dual
2.2 MP, f/1.7, 28mm (wide), FOV 77°,1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
16 MP, f/2.4, 45mm (telephoto), FOV 52°, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
Main camera features
2X optical zoom in / 2X optical zoom out / Digital zoom up to 10x/ Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High-Key Mono) (f16 to f1.4)/ Dual optical image stabilization (Wide and Telephoto)/ Five‑element lens (Ultra Wide); six-element lens (Wide and Telephoto)/ Brighter True Tone flash with Slow Sync/ Panorama (up to 63MP)/ Sapphire crystal lens cover/ 100% Focus Pixels (Wide)/ Night mode/ Auto Adjustments/ Next‑generation Smart HDR for photos/ Wide color capture for photos and Live Photos/ Advanced red‑eye correction/ Photo geotagging/ Auto image stabilization/ Burst mode/ Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG
Motion/ Portrait/ Face retouching: Off, Natural, Soft/ Night Sight/ Photo Sphere/ Playground/ Gestures/ Raw+JPG/ Panorama
Selfie camera
12 MP, f/2.2, OIS
8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.22µm, FOV: 90°, fixed focus
Selfie camera features
Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control (f16 to f1.4)/ Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High‑Key Mono)/ Animoji and Memoji/ Next-generation Smart HDR for photos/ Wide color capture for photos and Live Photos/ Retina Flash/ Auto image stabilization/ Burst mode
Portrait/ Face retouching: Off, Natural, Soft/ Night Sight/ Gestures/ Raw+JPG
Video
Rear Camera
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps/ 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps/ 720p HD video recording at 30 fps/ Extended dynamic range for video up to 60 fps/ Optical image stabilization for video (Wide and Telephoto)/ 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 6x/ Audio zoom/ Brighter True Tone flash/ QuıckTake video with subject tracking/ Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps/ Time‑lapse video with stabilization/ Cinematic video stabilization (4K, 1080p, and 720p)/ Continuous autofocus video/ Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video/ Playback zoom/ Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264/ Stereo recording
Selfie Camera
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps/ 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps/ Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps/ Extended dynamic range for video at 30 fps/ Cinematic video stabilization (4K, 1080p, and 720p)
Rear camera
1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps/ 720p @ 240fps/ 4K @ 30fps
Front camera
1080p @ 30fps
Slow motion/ Timelapse

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Google Pixel 4 photos comparisons and analysis

 Color Test_iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 

Camera setting
• Auto

Both cameras have good color, but the Google Pixel 4 has slightly better saturation than the iPhone 11 Pro, providing more vivid and richer colors. This is further biased by the iPhone 11 Pro’s better lighting, making the color look less saturated. The difference isn’t very apparent on outdoor shots.

color test__iphone 11 pro color test_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4



color test_tree and sky_iphone 11 pro color test_tree and sky_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4

 Bokeh Test_iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 

Camera setting
• Bokeh/ Portrait mode: mid-range

The Google Pixel 4 does a better job of separating the subject from the background. The outline of the subject is isolated very well as separate from the background. The blur has a good definition of shapes and outlines. However, the texture of the subject isn’t as good as on the iPhone 11 pro. The iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t simulate the subject separation properly in their Portrait (Bokeh) mode so parts of the subject are included in the blur, which some people might consider undesirable. However, it displays excellent surface texture of the subject when compared to the Google Pixel 4.

bokeh test_statue_iphone 11 Pro Bokeh test_statue_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4


Bokeh test_statue_iPhone 11 Pro_crop Bokeh test_statue_Pixel 4_crop
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro, crop / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4, crop


Bokeh test_tree_iphone 11 pro bokeh test_tree_pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4


Bokeh test_tree_iphone 11 pro_crop Bokeh test_tree_Pixel 4_crop
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro, crop / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4, crop

 Night Mode Test_iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 

Camera setting
• Night Mode
• All auto


The iPhone 11 Pro has better lighting than the Pixel 4. Night mode uses artificial intelligence to render the best image by combining several shots taken at different exposures. The iPhone 11 Pro has the most powerful smartphone processor as of today, the A13 Bionic chip, which aids in the rendering process. As a result, objects in the dark are viewed more clearly. However, images tend to have grainy texture when zoomed. The Google Pixel 4 images have poor lighting so dark areas are difficult to make out despite the image being smoother. There is an occasional shift in white balance in dim lighting when using night mode, with slight hints of orange or blue visible in the test photographs.

Night mode_tokyo_iPhone 11 pro Night test_tokyo_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4

Night test_tokyo_iPhone 11 pro_crop Night test_tokyo_Pixel 4_crop
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro, crop / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4, crop

Night mode_taipei_iphone 11 pro Night mode_Taipei_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4

Night mode_Taipei_iPhone 11 pro, crop Night mode_Taipei_Pixel 4, crop
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro, crop / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4, crop

 Backlight Test_iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 

Camera setting
• Auto


The Pixel 4 provides better backlighting than the iPhone 11 Pro. The light source appears distinctly larger and brighter. This tends to better illuminate the subject. It also creates a characteristic glowing effect on the edges of the subject and the darker areas become well lit. There is also an increase in the depth of the subject. In contrast, the iPhone 11 Pro has poor backlighting and the effect on the subject isn’t clear. Light just appears as white spots reflected off dark surfaces.

backlight test_Sunset_iphone 11 pro backlight test_Sunset_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4

backlight test_Sunset_iphone 11 pro, crop backlight test_Sunset_Pixle 4, crop
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro, crop / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4, crop

 Texture and Noise Test_iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 

Camera setting
• Auto


The Pixel 4 images are more saturated and well defined. They have better sharpness and clarity so the edges of images are smooth and grainy textures are minimized. This effect is most desirable when there is sufficient light to make color tones as natural as possible.

The iPhone 11 pro captures well-lit images but doesn’t allow for deep color as does the Pixel 4. Because of the low shutter speed, the camera captures more light. However, this causes a bleaching effect where surfaces and colors appear whiter than they truly are. The increase in lighting is at the cost of occasional motion blur and grainy texture.

Texture and Noise Test_ flower_iphone 11 Pro Texture and Noise Test_ flower_Pixel 4
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4

Texture and Noise Test_ flower_iphone 11 Pro, crop Texture and Noise Test_ flower_Pixel 4, crop
Left(Up): Apple iPhone 11 Pro, crop / Right(Down): Google Pixel 4, crop


 Wide-angle Mode Samples_iPhone 11 Pro 

Wide-angle Mode Samples_iPhone 11 Pro
Wide-angle Mode: Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Pros & Cons

iPhone 11 Pro

Pros:
  1. It renders colors more naturally.
  2. Excellent night mode that provides good lighting and details.
  3. Its A13 Bionic chip incorporates an outstanding graphics processing algorithm to improve on image development and quality. 
  4. Triple-camera system caters for photos captured at a distance, a wide field of view and at close range. 
Cons:
  1. Grainy textures in zoomed images and night mode.
  2. Poor simulation of the subject isolation from the background blur when using Portrait (Bokeh) mode.

Google Pixel 4

Pros:
  1. Good saturation indoors and outdoors as well. 
  2. Excellent simulation when using the Bokeh mode, with background and subject well separated.
  3. Better backlighting in photos. 

Cons:
  1. It has poor exposure and loses details in night mode under very dim settings.
  2. The camera set lacks a wide-angle module.

Final Thoughts

If you compare mobile phone cameras, there is no doubt these phones’ cameras have amazing features. The iPhone 11 pro boasts an A13 Bionic chip with an integrated graphics processing unit. The Pixel 4 has better saturation and bokeh simulation, makes smoother images, and also well manages a balance with noise cancelation and details prevention when using its night sight mode. If you are looking for the best camera phone with a dual-camera system, Google Pixel 4 is definitely the best that you should go for. 

On the other hand, the iPhone 11 pro can be a very nice alternative if you prefer a more natural color rendering or wide-angle photography.

Do you feel struggling to decide which camera phone to buy?

👉Take a Blind Test at Phone & Photo 
Testing photos shot under controlled conditions in the lab.

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