Winner: LG G6
For clarity, we look at the sharpness of the lens across the whole frame, as well as how much sharpness the phone adds to the final image. This was another close fight, with only slight variations in lens sharpness.
I found some inconsistencies with the U11’s lens around the outer edge, but not enough to dampen the results. LG loves to apply a good amount of sharpening and noise reduction to the final image, but it doesn’t bug me as long as it’s a clear image to begin with.
The low-light results challenged the cameras most. I was actually surprised by how little noise reduction the HTC U11 applies, leaving the photos with plenty of grain. On the other hand, the LG G6’s result looks a bit too processed, even though it holds more detail and has a superior OIS.
I’m going to give this one to the G6, but only by a pixel of chroma noise.
Winner: HTC U11
The third test is exposure, which revolves around how the cameras choose to expose for a scene and when they decide to fire their traditional HDR systems. Surprise-surprise, this test was another close call, with each camera nailing complex lighting scenarios time and time again.
The G6 did tend to expose scenes slightly less than the U11 did. The G6 was also very aggressive in terms of protecting highlights. This only became a problem when shooting straight at the sun, like in the sunset below.
The G6 fought so hard to retain highlight information that the sun just appears to be large white dot in the sky with hard lines. The U11’s sun has a nice fall-off that may technically lose the highlights, but it’s still a much more pleasing and natural image. Between two good cameras we have to split hairs somewhere, so I’m leaning toward the U11 on this one.
Next, we kvetch about user experience and pick a winner, plus, enjoy the bonus shots.