Winner: LG G6
We all know that image quality only tells part of a camera’s story, because if the interface is too confusing, no one will use it. In response to reader feedback, therefore, we’ve added user experience to our shootout.
For most common functions, like camera launch and autofocus speed, both cameras were on point. As we moved into other functions like RAW photo-taking and manual mode, however, they diverged a bit. The HTC U11 has a noticeable lag after taking photos saved to RAW, for instance. This may be tolerable if you’re taking your time with well-composed shots, but the lag simply shouldn’t happen given how much horsepower is in this phone. What's more, the U11’s manual mode is just a clunky interface overlay that feels like an afterthought compared to the G6’s sleek, user-friendly version.
Also, with the LG G6, you get not one, but two rear cameras at your disposal, and even LG's wide-angle camera is high-quality. The U11’s field of view is wider than the G6’s main lens in order for it to be more useful in every situation. Still, in the G6, having a more distinct medium shot paired with a wide angle gave me more interesting options.
The only real ding I can come up with for the LG G6 is that I had a hard time seeing the screen in very bright situations. But that’s a minor point, and I still can’t think of another smartphone camera I’d rather use for shooting images.
All-around winner: LG G6
While HTC's U11 has a camera that stands up to the best of them, it isn't enough to top LG’s G6. The G6 offers a great mix of out-of-the-pocket pizzazz for quick photos, and pro features that let you fine-tune and get creative with your shots. Having two rear cameras at your disposal helps a lot, and the features in LG’s stock camera app are the best out there. Is it perfect? No. But after taking on three of the past year’s best smartphone cameras, the LG G6 is still standing.
The HTC U11 is clearly no slouch, though, as you'll see in this encore selection of some of its best photos from our shootout.