Dual-Cameras are a new trend these days for phone manufacturers. One is to shoot the regular shots and the second one to serve a different purpose which changes with every manufacturer. Two of the most popular phones with dual cameras are iPhone 7 Plus and Huawei P9.

Both the phones make use of the secondary camera in a different way. The iPhone 7 Plus has a Telefocal lens, whereas the Huawei P9 has a native Monochrome camera.

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While directly comparing the photos from the primary cameras, the colour accuracy is excellent on the iPhone and the colours on the P9 are a bit over saturated (Especially the greens). But the Photos shot on P9 look a bit more pleasing to the eyes straight off the camera, and we had to tweak the shots taken on iPhone at times.

The Monochrome camera on the P9 is capable of getting in more light. So while taking regular shots, the P9 is taking the photo on both the cameras at the same time. The standard camera is used for colours and other details whereas the Monochrome camera is used for brightness levels and to light up the subject. Once shot, both these images are combined and the end result, P9 is slightly better in low light situations because of this.

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The secondary camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is a telephoto camera which shoots at 2x. These shots are better than the 2x zoomed in shots on the P9.

Coming to Monochrome, the performance on P9 is way better than the iPhone 7 Plus as it has a native camera which gets in more light and details. For the iPhone 7 Plus, we just had to use one of the live filters.

Both the cameras support RAW, a format where you can edit the photos to a significant level after shooting them. On the P9, you can shoot in RAW by going into the Pro mode where you can manually adjust the shutter speed and ISO. On the iPhone, the default camera does not shoot in RAW. There are third party apps to do that. Both cameras shoot RAW in Adobe DNG format.

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Another place where the dual-camera helps is in taking Bokeh Shot. Bokeh is an effect where there is a lot of focus on the subject, and everything else is blurred, something which is available in DSLRs. On the Huawei P9, you can focus on your subject, and then choose the aperture between f/0.95 and f/16. With f/0.95, the effect is overdone. Somewhere in between, the result is usually good. But at times, you see glitchy shots where the Bokeh is not done well. With the iPhone 7 Plus, the Portrait Mode is still in Beta and is very hard to get the shot. You run into problems like, either you are too close to your subject, or there is not enough light on the subject. If you can fix these two things, the result is splendid and perfect!

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I’m not a huge fan of Flash photography, but it still exists for situations which are close to near black. For this, the iPhone 7 Plus is way better than the P9 because it has 4 LEDs now instead of 2, which is the case on P9.

Coming to video, iPhone 7 Plus is a clear winner once again. First, the iPhone 7 Plus has OIS which the P9 lacks. OIS makes a huge difference not only while taking videos but also while taking photos.

The P9 shoots 1080p in 30fps and nothing beyond that. With the iPhone 7 Plus, you have a whole lot of options. you can shoot in 1080p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps or even 4K at 30fps. There is no support for 4K on the Huawei P9 which is sad because a lot of focus has been put into the camera. For Slo-Mo shots, the P9 shoots 120fps at 720p and that’s it. With the iPhone 7 Plus, you have the option to shoot at either 120fps at 1080p or 240fps at 720p.

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So which second camera is better? Neither. Sure, the Huawei P9 camera takes better Monochrome shots, and the iPhone 7 Plus takes better Zoomed in shots. But realistically, you wouldn’t be doing both those things a lot, making them irrelevant after some time.

Coming to the question of which is a better camera phone? The iPhone 7 Plus has an edge because of it’s better colour accuracy, OIS, 4 LED Flash and 4K Video recording. If you want shots which are pleasing to the eyes, P9 might be better because of the oversaturation of some colours.

iPhone 7 Plus Huawei P9
Megapixel 12MP 12MP
Focal Length 28mm, 56mm 27mm
Aperture f/1.8 and f/2.8 f/2.2
Video 4K 1080p
OIS Yes No
Slow-Mo 240fps, 720p & 120fps, 1080p 120fps, 720p
Front Camera 7MP 8MP
Flash 4 LED 2 LED

Though the iPhone 7 Plus is better, there is something else also to keep in mind: Form Factor and Price. The P9 is really small and easy to handle, whereas the iPhone 7 Plus has a huge bezel and screen. Also, the P9 is priced at Rs. 39,000 and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at Rs. 72,000 which is almost twice the price. So, at the end of the day, it is up to you. If you want the best value for money, the P9 might be a better option. But if you want the best camera, you’ll have to pay a premium for the iPhone 7 Plus.

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Managing Editor at Techzei.

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