The Uber-G Camera HW Score FAQ

This page answers the most frequently asked questions about our Uber-G Camera HW (hardware) score, which is driven by technical data and our proprietary algorithm.

Goal: the Camera HW’s assesses how strong a mobile camera system is in the following contexts: Day, Night, Ultrawide and Zoom photography. We call these the “pillars of mobile photography”.

What is a Camera HW (hardware) score?

A camera hardware score is an objective rating that is computed by an algorithm based on the technical data (specifications) of the rear camera system of a mobile phone with one or multiple cameras. The goal is to quantify how “powerful” the camera hardware is (sensors + optics).

Why do we need a Camera HW score?

There are 1000 new phones on the market every year. Most of them will never have their cameras thouroughly tested and rated. Our camera hardware score has been created to accurately rate more mobile cameras, faster. Ubergizmo’s Camera HW score saves time for both experts and novices alike.

When experts look at a mobile camera system, they use their knowledge and experience to gauge how powerful (“good”) they expect it to be. Similarly, people evaluating a car might look at Horsepower or Torque, or check the BTUs for a gas burner or furnace. They could influence whether or not you consider a product.

How do you compare different camera hardware?

Just like our Camera IQ score (image-quality), our Camera HW score boils down the hardware strength for typical use cases: Day+Night, Ultrawide, and Zoom photography. Day/Night photos are using the “Wide” primary camera.

Ubergizmo’s proprietary algorithm looks at the technical data we have gathered for all available cameras and computes how each contributes to the overall score.

Including Ultrawide and Zoom seems unfair to single-lens cameras

Dedicated Ultrawide and Zoom camera modules have been integrated for years, and their usable model is well understood. That’s how we know that both should be considered in any modern camera score.

Ultrawide in particular greatly extends the versatility of a camera system, and has been proven to be very popular with users.

As a result, missing dedicated capabilities will result in a lower overall score. People can still look at the individual sub-scores to focus on one particular hardware strenght they are interested in.

  • Wide camera: most important for Day/Night
  • Ultrawide camera: second most important
  • Zoom: least important

How do you compute Ubergizmo’s Camera HW overall score?

The overall score is built using a weighted aggregate of the sub-scores, and ALL listed camera systems go through the same algorithm. Each sub-score (wide, ultrawide, zoom) is built based on a technical analysis of the camera’s specifications.

But, isn’t software crucial in mobile photography?

Absolutely! Software is an essential component of mobile photography and photography in general. However, Software outcomes also depend on the quality of the underlying data, and better camera hardware will yield better data.

One cannot beat vastly superior camera hardware with software, but one can have a slight image-quality edge within the same category of hardware.

That’s why there is a camera hardware arms race. Hardware is, by far, the most important quality indicator.

Can you give us an example of Camera module comparison?

Let’s compare the Zoom Camera of the Huawei P40 Pro (score: 8.6/10) against the zoom camera of the iPhone 11 Pro (score: 5.2/10).

  • iPhone 11 Pro (5.2/10): 51mm focal, f/2.0, 12 mm² sensor, OIS
  • P40 Pro (8.6/10): 135mm focal, f/3.4, 17.8 mm² sensor, OIS

Based on the above specifications (and more data points), a camera expert could easily assert that P40 Pro should be better at high-powered zoom. For non-experts, our algorithm instantly comes to the same conclusion.

How do you know if the model works?

The Camera HW algorithmic model is based on data gathered by our Camera IQ (image-quality). As such, we continually verify and refine the algorithm. To illustrate the previous question, here is a crop of a 10X zoom image:

Our algorithm did correctly predicts that the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra would yield comparable results, despite having a very different zoom camera hardware. The Note 20 Ultra Camera IQ review image analysis did confirm the algorithm’s prediction.

  • S20 Ultra (9.6/10): 103mm focal, 48MP sensor (~30 mm²), f/3.5 aperture
  • Note 20 Ultra (9.6/10): 123mm focal, 12MP sensor (~12 mm²), f/3 aperture

How accurate is this when compared to Ubergizmo’s image-quality test?

Our Camera IQ benchmark remains the most accurate way to gauge a camera’s quality, there’s no question about that.

However, little data or no reliable IQ test is available for most cameras (~1000 new phones launched per year). For these, our Camera HW score, becomes the second-best indicator of a camera’s potential and can save people a lot of time, or highlights new options.

Why do iPhone and Google Pixel phones hardware score so low?

Both Apple and Google seem to rely on better software to remain sufficiently competitive instead of investing more in hardware. Historically, they also have been neglecting Ultrawide, or Long-Zoom camera hardware.

Our Camera IQ tests show that the strategy works to a point, but also highlights some image-quality shortcomings of their choice. You can read our iPhone 11 Pro Camera IQ review for example. The older Pixel 3 camera review is also interesting as a reference.

If anything, the gap between the Camera HW and Camera IQ scores could be considered as the unofficial “software quality” score.

Can the scores change over time? Yes, and here’s why

All scores can change if we update the algorithm or if the camera data is updated/corrected.

The x/10 scores will change as the technology gets better. The iPhone 7 wide camera was once a 10/10 when launched, but today, it is a mere 5.4/10. (Internally, we keep a higher-precision version of these scores).

How to read the numbers in the table below?

  • The “Camera Hardware score” is an absolute number, which means that it has no preset upper limit.
  • The sub-scores for Wide, Ultrawide and Zoom are in the x/10 format.
Uber-G Camera Hardware score Smartphone Wide U-Wide Zoom Year
238 Huawei P40 Pro+ 9.8 10 9.9 2020
236 Huawei P40 Pro 9.8 10 8.6 2020
211 Huawei Mate 30 Pro 8.4 10 6.2 2019
202 Honor 30 Pro+ 9.5 5.8 10 2020
201 Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 10 5 9 2020
200 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 9.8 5.1 9.6 2020
200 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 9.8 5.1 9.6 2020
198 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro (CC9 Pro) 10 5 7.3 2019
198 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (CC9) 10 5 7.3 2019
197 Huawei P40 9.5 5.8 7.5 2020
185 OnePlus 8 Pro 9.3 4.9 6 2020
161 Huawei P30 Pro 8.1 3.4 8.6 2019
160 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (SD) 8.2 3.6 6.3 2020
159 Huawei P30 7.6 4.8 6.4 2019
157 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 8.2 3.6 5 2020
151 Honor 20 Pro 7.3 4.2 6.3 2019
149 Huawei Mate 20 Pro 7.5 3.5 7 2018
149 LG V40 7.1 4.8 4.3 2018
143 LG V50 ThinQ 6.9 4.4 4.8 2019
142 OnePlus 7T 6.8 4.4 5.1 2019
140 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G 7.2 3.3 4.9 2019
140 Samsung Galaxy S10 7.2 3.3 4.9 2019
140 LG G8 ThinQ 7.1 4.8 2019
140 Samsung Galaxy Note 10 7.2 3.3 5.1 2019
140 Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 7.2 3.3 5.1 2019
140 Samsung Galaxy Fold 7.2 3.3 4.9 2019
140 Samsung Galaxy S10+ 7.2 3.3 4.9 2019
139 Motorola One Zoom 6.5 4.3 6.3 2019
137 Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 7.2 4.3 2020
137 LG V60 ThinQ 7.6 3.4 2020
136 Huawei nova 5 Pro 6.4 5.8 2019
136 Huawei nova 5 6.4 5.8 2019
136 TCL 10 Pro 7.4 3.7 2020
136 ZTE Axon 10 Pro 6.5 3.7 6.8 2019
132 OnePlus 7 Pro 6.8 2.8 5.9 2019
130 Samsung Galaxy S10e 7.2 3.3 2019
128 POCO F2 Pro 6.8 3.8 2020
127 POCO X3 NFC 7.2 3 2020
127 Huawei Mate 20 6.4 3.4 4.5 2018
126 Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) 6.5 4.1 2018
124 LG G7 ThinQ 5.8 5.2 2018
123 OnePlus 8 6.5 3.8 2020
121 Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro 7.2 2.2 2019
120 Apple iPhone 11 Pro 6.1 2.8 5.2 2019
114 OnePlus 7 Pro 5G 6.8 8 2019
111 Oppo Reno2 Z 6.5 2.2 2019
120 Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max 6.1 2.8 5.2 2019
116 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6.3 3.1 2020
115 Samsung Galaxy Note 9 7.2 4.9 2018
115 Samsung Galaxy S9+ 7.2 4.9 2018
114 LG Velvet 5G (SD 765G) 6.4 2.8 2020
110 LG G8X ThinQ 6 3 2019
107 Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro 6.7 5.1 2019
106 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 6.6 4.9 2017
105 Xiaomi Black Shark 2 6.5 5.1 2019
105 Samsung Galaxy S9 7.2 2018
105 HTC U12+ 6.5 5.1 2018
104 LG V30 5.3 3.4 2017
104 LG G6 5.3 3.5 2017
102 Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 6.4 4.6 2019
102 Honor Honor Magic 2 5.6 2.8 2018
101 Xiaomi Mi 9 6.3 5.1 2019
101 Xiaomi Redmi K20 6.3 4.6 2019
101 Xiaomi Mi 9T 6.3 4.6 2019
101 Google Pixel 4 XL 6.3 4.5 2019
101 Google Pixel 4 6.3 4.5 2019
98 Huawei P20 Pro 5.9 5.9 2018
98 Apple iPhone XS 6.1 4.9 2018
98 Apple iPhone XS Max 6.1 4.9 2018
98 Google Pixel 4a 6.8 2020
97 Samsung Galaxy A50 5.8 1.7 2019
96 OnePlus 6T 6.6 2018
96 Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6.6 2017
96 Google Pixel 2 6.6 2017
96 Google Pixel 3 6.6 2018
96 Google Pixel 3 XL 6.6 2018
96 Samsung Galaxy S8 6.6 2017
96 Nokia 6.2 5.6 1.9 2019
95 Motorola Moto Z4 6.5 2019
94 Google Pixel 3a XL 6.5 2019
94 Google Pixel 3a 6.5 2019
93 Huawei P20 6.4 2018
93 Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 6.4 2018
92 Sony Xperia XZ3 6.3 2018
92 Sony Xperia XZ2 6.3 2018
90 Sony Xperia XA2 Plus 6.2 2018
90 Apple iPhone X 5.5 5.2 2017
89 Honor View 20 6.1 2018
88 Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5.4 5 2016
88 Apple iPhone 8 Plus 5.4 5 2017
88 Apple iPhone XR 6.1 2018
87 Honor Honor 8x 6 2018
86 Huawei Mate 10 5.9 2017
84 Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4s 5.8 2019
82 Xiaomi Pocophone F1 5.7 2018
81 Huawei nova 3 5.6 2018
81 Honor 10 5.6 2018
79 Apple iPhone 8 5.4 2017
79 Apple iPhone 7 5.4 2016
75 Xiaomi Mi 5X 4.5 4.7 2017
74 Motorola Moto G7 Power 5.1 2019
70 Samsung Galaxy On6 4.8 2018
67 Honor Honor Play 4.6 2018
67 Samsung Galaxy A10s 4.6 2019
66 Xiaomi Redmi 5 4.5 2018
65 Samsung Galaxy A10e 4.4 2019
64 Nokia 8 4.4 2017
62 ASUS ZenFone Lite (L1) 4.3 2018
62 Motorola Moto G7 Play 4.2 2019
62 ASUS ZenFone Max (M1) 4.3 2018
59 LG Q6 4 2017
57 Huawei Y9 (2018) 3.9 2018
56 Oppo A1k 3.9 2019
52 Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J727U, 2017) 3.6 2017
40 Xiaomi Redmi Go 2.8 2019

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about and .

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