Former Google executive says Android phone cameras are “years behind” the iPhone

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Vic Gundotra, former Senior Vice President of Social at Google, doesn’t seem to be a big fan of Android smartphone cameras phones. What’s more, according to him, it’s not the OEMs’ fault, but Android’s.

In a Facebook post on his personal profile from the weekend, Gundotra claimed that “the end of DSLR for most people has already arrived.” To back his claims up, he posted a couple of photos, taken with his iPhone in portrait mode, “in a restaurant, … with no flash,” labelling them as “stunning.”

What prompted the former Google SVP to address Android phones and their cameras specifically was a reply from another user who said that the Samsung Galaxy S8 “does a better job” when compared to the iPhone.

Gundotra claims that Android is hindering photography innovation, because it’s “an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties.” According to him, this doesn’t allow manufacturers to innovate in the hardware department, since Google has to implement proper APIs in Android to support the new tech and “that can take years.”

“Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android,” wrote Gundotra.

Gundotra also claims that while hardware is important, “the greatest innovation isn’t even happening at the hardware level — it’s happening at the computational photography level.” In that regard, we can look no further than our portrait mode shootout with the Huawei P10, iPhone 7 Plus, and OnePlus 5, for an inspection of the computational photography capabilities of Android and Apple (close up shots with defocused backgrounds is one of the ways in which you can more clearly see the effects of computational photography).

In it, we crowned the OnePlus 5 the winner, with the iPhone 7 Plus in third place. While the iPhone 7 Plus performed well overall, there were some instances where the imagery was blurred, extensively cropped, or where the colors were muted. It definitely did not reveal the iPhone to be years ahead of Android in photography.

See also:
Best Android smartphone cameras (June 2017)

Best Android smartphone cameras (June 2017)

June 5, 2017

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and Gundotra raised some valid points — there’s no doubt Apple can benefit from its more uniform approach to software and hardware development. And there’s also no doubt that the iPhone 7 has a great camera. But, in our opinion, the idea that Android phones are lagging so far behind is just way off.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think Android is years behind Apple on camera quality? Let us know in the comments below.

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