I PIT THE ASUS ZENFONE 10 WITH THE ASUS OEM CAMERA/GOOGLE GCAM APPS AGAINST SEVERAL TIME-TESTED NOKIA "PUREVIEW" MODELS: THE LUMIA 950, 1020, PUREVIEW 808, AND EVEN MY OLD NOKIA N8.I MIGHT EVEN ADD SOME THAT WILL BE TAKEN BY MY SON WITH HIS iPHONE 12 MINI.
I BOUGHT NEW BATTERIES FOR THE 808 AND N8, AND I TOOK THEM ALL TO MYRTLE BEACH TO VISIT OUR SON, AND I TOOK COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF PHOTOS
PHOTOS WILL BE ADDED TO THIS SITE AS I GET THEM ORGANIZED.
I used to tell people that I would give up my Nokia Windows phone when they pried it from my cold, dead hands. And I held on to the bitter end, sideloading apps from a PC and trying to trick Windows Mobile into accepting updated browsers, to no avail. One by one web sites that warned that I was using an outdated browser simply stopped working, returning a "white screen of death" as opposed to the famous BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) that was common with Windows PC's. That prompted a search to find a modern phone (android) that would have the critical features that my Nokia 950 had, which was actually impossible, since no one has a user-replaceable battery these days. But I still felt that I could find a phone with a good camera, a 3.5mm headphone/output jack, wireless Qi charging, and a USB-C data/charging port. A one-handed form factor was also a must since I often operate radio equipment with one hand while recording video or taking photos with the other. THAT LED ME TO THE ASUS ZENFONE 10.
While the Zenfone 10 lacks a user-replaceable battery, it has all the features of my old phone, and much more. And the battery life is no longer an issue. I've watched entire NFL football games, and hours of Youtube videos on my Zenfone 10 and the battery has never dropped below 75%, and that was after a whole day of playing with my new toy. The Qi charging is very fast, the sound quality is awesome, the phone is rugged (I've already dropped it several times), and it never gets hot or even warm. I have the 128 GB version, so those of you with 256 GB may have a different experience. But for my purposes, the ZF10 is ideal. I've used ASUS motherboards for years, and have had an account with them since 2015. So this choice was logical.
But let's start with the camera. The Zenfone 10 uses the SONY Exmor IMX766 50MP image sensor for the main camera, rated as one of the top 6 smartphone image sensors. It's used in too many smartphone cameras to list here, but needless to say, the Zenfone is in good company. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro and the Oppo Find X5 Pro are on that list. So if the picture quality is disappointing, it's not a hardware issue, it's the processing in the app. I've found that for close-up shots of things like radios, the stock app works great, but with landscapes and distant photos, things don't look natural. It appears ASUS designed their camera app to produce pictures that are bright and cheery on a cell phone screen, or when printed in a 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 format. But when they are blown up, as on a computer monitor or a TV, the aggressive processing is obvious and even annoying. That's where Google's GCam app shines.
NOW, SOME PICTURES
My wife and I have owned timeshares in Ocean City Maryland for 25 years, and a huge water tower "Beach Ball" is the first thing we see when we leave the back door of one of our water front units. The elevator is slow, so I've taken literally hundreds of photos of this subject, starting way back in the Nokia N8 days. But for comparison purposes, I'll only show photos from the Lumia 1020, which takes two photos simultaneously - a "social media-size oversampled 5MP JPEG, and a whopping full-sensor 38MP JPEG. The 1020's predecessor, the Pureview 808 did the same thing but the social media pic was 8MP, and the full-size one was a monster RAW file that ate up a lot of memory space and also drained the battery. I called it the "Death Star" camera.
Here are some Beach Ball pictures. Holding your pointer over each thumbnail will show the entire caption in small print. There's no caption on the large files. The ones taken with the Lumia 1020 have the advantage of newer paint (2017 vs 2023), sunny skies, and less background clutter, although the clutter serves as test points for focus, exposure, and so forth. clicking on each photo will bring up the full-size file. HDR was turned off in the Zenfone 10 OEM and GCam pictures.
Now for some beach pictures. More to come from the Lumia 1020, and possibly even from the Pureview 808. But for now, I'll get as many Zenfone pictures on here as possible, with a comparison pic using the Nokia 950 Pureview. The pureview photo is in its native format - I didn't reduce its size to match the Zenfone picture sizes.
Some viewers will notice immediately that in the OEM app photo, the front of the hotel is well lit, as though the other pictures were taken hours later. But they were all taken within seconds of each other. The lighting effect is just the overactive AI processing in the OEM app. The same is true with the boardwalk photos.
These were taken from our balcony using several cell phone cameras: The Zenfone 10, Lumia 950, Lumia 1020, Pureview 808, and the old Nokia N8. The Pureview's clock had reset back to 2012, so the date on those pix will be way off.
My Nokia friends will hate me for this, but to my eyes, the Zenfone 10 with Gcam wins the above comparison. Look at the clarity on the distant walkway with each set of pictures. I subscribe to an ad blocker that eliminates ads on the Zenfone so Gcam comes up quickly and without ads. These are hand held pix without special adjustments, just as the typical cell phone user would take them.
These are some "intermediate" downward angle pictures of the pool area, again with several phone cameras. I had to reduce the size of the Pureview 808 and Lumia 1020 photos because Weebly wanted me to buy an upgrade for files over 10 MB.
n MORE TO COME. I still haven't found the social media sized Pureview 808 picture.
Again, to my eyes, the Zenfone 10 with Gcam is the winner in the above pictures.
I saw this old Chevy Coupe parked along the road in front of a general store. It was night, but the pictures came out nicely using both Zenfone 10 camera apps. The lights to the left are emergency vehicles that were dealing with a major accident at an intersection. That's how I discovered the old Chevy here.