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OnePlus 3 vs Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 camera comparison

OnePlus 3 vs Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 camera comparison: £300 nabs you an impressive amount of smartphone nowadays and we wanted to pit two similarly styled handsets against one another to see how their cameras stack up - the OnePlus 3 and Vodafone’s Smart Platinum 7.

Hardware

  OnePlus 3 Plantimum 7
Resolution (rear) 16-megapixels 16-megapixels
Resolution (front) 8-megapixels 8-megapixels
Aperture (rear) f/2.0 f/2.0
Flash (rear) Single LED Dual (tone) LED
Flash (front) None Single LED
Image stabilisation Optical & digital Digital
Max video resolution 4K (3840x2160) 4K (3840x2160)
Still modes HD, HDR, Manual, Panorama, Timer, Beauty Night, HDR, Manual, Panorama, Timer, Beauty
Video modes Time lapse, slow motion Slow motion
Extras RAW image support, Smile-controlled shutter Gesture-controlled shutter

Interface

As neither phone sports stock Android their respective creators have tweaked the camera interfaces to better suit each phone's functionality. The OnePlus 3's Oxygen OS-based UI is notably cleaner than the Platinum 7 with access to HD and HDR shooting, flash control, camera switching and capture settings, with additional options like mode switching and resolution control tucked away behind a pair of sub menus.

OnePlus 3 camera UI vs Vodafone Platinum 7 camera UI

By comparison, the Platinum 7 places more features at your fingertips, with access to multiple modes right from the viewfinder. The additional on-screen features paired to the fact that the UI doesn't hide the standard Android buttons does mean that it's a more crowded experience than on the OnePlus, so it may fall to preference over which UI is more your style.

Still quality

Both phones' primary cameras performed exceptionally well in bright sunlight, with excellent management of high contrast regions, plenty of definition and attractive, balanced (for the most part) colour reproduction that rendered HDR mode almost redundant in the test scenario. Look a little closer and at 100 per cent crop you'll notice less noise and greater detail on elements like the brickwork from the OnePlus 3, most likely as a result of its OIS system and dynamic de-noise image processing. The Platinum 7 also appears to shoot at a cooler colour temperature, perhaps resulting in slightly less true to life images than on the OnePlus 3, at least in scenarios such as the ones we were shooting in.

Despite doling out great macro shots, the Platinum 7 again produces what appears to be a comparable image to the OnePlus 3, but falls down when it comes to capturing fine details on closer inspection.

There are more notable differences when switching to artificial lighting, with the OnePlus 3 adding contrast boosting and de-noise filtering to shots after capture. The photo from the Platinum 7 meanwhile didn't pack quite the same punch but did capture with more accurate colours and white balancing. By comparison, the OP3's image adopted a red tint on the white elements in-frame.

The biggest difference in performance can be seen in low light environments, where the OnePlus 3 offered a far more usable image than the Platinum 7, despite both phones packing similarly sized sensors and f/2.0 apertures.

Jump to the front cameras and the addition of a front-facing LED flash gives the Platinum 7 the edge for selfie-lovers in low light, otherwise, the OnePlus handles colour balance and detail more accurately, just as with its primary snapper. Both phones also boast competent beauty modes and variations on a gesture-controlled shutter for added convenience.

Video quality

The extra power afforded to the Platinum 7 means it's the first of Vodafone's Android devices with up to 4K video support and footage looks great. It copes with high contrast environments and motion well, whilst also offering up appealing, colours (that are perhaps pushed a little) and usable stabilisation whilst walking. Most apparent from the sky in our test footage is the level of compression used, which does seem to remove a touch of colour depth on close inspection. The Platinum also heats up quickly when shooting in 4K whereas the competition handles it with less fuss.

The OnePlus 3's footage features more accurate colours and the phone copes better with both motion and camera shake, as well as boasting faster auto-focus, but audio recording doesn't pack the same depth as on Vodafone's handset.

Verdict

Despite an initial price difference of just £10 (at least when the OnePlus 3 first launched in the UK, thanks Brexit) even with the higher price tag of £329, the OnePlus packs not only better and more balanced overall performance, but more features like RAW support and optical image stabilisation. That said, the Platinum 7 packs and excellent all-round camera and if you are on a budget or looking for an affordable contract phone with OnePlus 3 like capabilities, the Platinum 7 isn't a far cry from one of the best value for money flagships on the market right now.

You can see full resolution camera samples from this article here.

Read next: Best £300 smartphone: OnePlus 3 vs Smart Platinum 7 vs Moto G4 Plus vs Galaxy A5 (2016) vs iPhone SE

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