Pixel 5a beats Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro in blind camera test

In this year’s blind camera test by MKBHD, a midrange Pixel 5a managed to beat its expensive flagship successor Pixel 6 Pro, and Apple’s flagship iPhone 13 Pro. The Pixel 5a costs just $399, while the iPhone 13 Pro costs $999 and the Pixel 6 Pro costs $899.

This is not the first time that a cheaper midrange smartphone has caused an upset in popular YouTuber MKBHD’s annual blind camera test. Last year, iPhone 12 Pro Max lost to Asus Zenfone and OnePlus 8T, neither of which were considered as good camera smartphones by anyone.

A blind camera test means that users are shown similar photos, taken at the same time, with different smartphones, and they are asked to select which one is better. The test counts the votes by users, to chose a winner and then pit it against other winning devices in the bracket, to ultimately find a final winner.

Google Pixel 5a iPhone 13 Pro blind camera test

Pixel 5a beats three flagships to win blind camera test

This year’s blind camera test included the usual suspects from Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, Google, and Apple, alongside some surprise entries like Axon 30 Ultra and Surface Duo 2. The price range was all over the place with a mix of budget phones competing against expensive flagship devices.

Here is how these smartphones were lined up, and the winners of each round:

Pixel 5a iPhone 13 Pro blind camera test

OnePlus has a knack for doing well in blind camera tests, so it was no surprise to see that the OnePlus 9 Pro reached the final round by beating Mi 11 Ultra and Sony Xperia Pro i. Asus also did well last year so it was good to see the Asus ROG 5 doing well again this year by beating Lenovo Legion Duel and Samsung S21 Ultra. The real surprises here were Realme GT and Pixel 5a, both of which are budget phones.

Let’s be honest. Realme GT did not have much competition, to begin with. It had to beat Surface Duo 2 and Asus Zenfone 8, both of which are average cameras at best. Meanwhile, Pixel 5a punched above its weight three times to win the blind camera test. It beat Google’s own Pixel 6 Pro, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro, and OnePlus 9 Pro, all of which are high-end and expensive flagship smartphones. 

MKBHD shared some interesting observations from the test:

  • People usually select the brighter photo, instead of just the better photo.
  • Sharpness almost never plays a role in the winning photo.
  • Users don’t care about editing photos much. They just care about the result that comes out of the camera instantly, without even having to tap to focus.
  • The price of the smartphones had no role in the test.

Check out the complete video below:

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