sony xperia 1 ii vs samsung s20 ultra

We have researched the Sony Xperia 1 Ii Vs Samsung S20 Ultra guide. Hence, this article on sony xperia 1 ii vs samsung s20 camera. Below, in this article, you will find the sony xperia 1 ii camera vs samsung s21 ultra guide. Read on to discover them.

Despite building the image sensors used by a number of high profile smartphone cameras, Sony handsets haven’t ever quite perfected their mobile photography game. The Sony Xperia 1 II comes sporting Alpha-branded features and Zeiss lenses in a bid to convince us that this time is different.

Today we’re taking the phone’s camera out for a spin with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. Samsung’s 2020 flagship is a capable shooter and a phone that’s bound to be on nearly every high-end customer’s radar. But let’s see if the Sony Xperia 1 II is a competitive purchase for those of you big on camera quality.

Sony Xperia 1 Ii Vs Samsung S20 Ultra

Want more camera comparisons for Sony’s latest? You can also check out how the Xperia 1 II stacks up against the Huawei P40 Pro in the shootout linked below.

sony xperia 1 ii vs samsung s20 camera

Before diving into the images, let’s review what each smartphone offers in the camera department.

The two handsets provide a familiar formula, with main, wide-angle, and telephoto zoom sensors for a highly flexible package. The phones also both include a low-resolution time-of-flight depth sensor to improve software bokeh quality.

 Samsung Galaxy S20 PlusSony Xperia 1 II
Main camera12 megapixels
f/1.8 aperture
1/1.76-inch sensor
Dual Pixel PDAF OIS
12 megapixels
f/1.7 aperture
1/1.7-inch sensor
Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
Secondary cameraWide-angle
12 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
124˚ wide-angle
12 megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
1/2.55-inch sensor
Dual Pixel PDAF
Third camera3x hybrid zoom
64 megapixels (16MP binned)
f/2.0 aperture
1/1.72-inch sensor
3x optical zoom
12 megapixels
f/2.4 aperture
1/3.4-inch sensor
Fourth cameraDepth (time-of-flight)
0.3 megapixels
Depth (time-of-flight)
0.3 megapixels

Despite the package similarities, a closer look at the specs reveals some interesting differences. Sony’s 12MP main sensor is slightly larger and offers a slightly wider aperture than Samsung’s 12MP setup, hinting at better light capture. While Sony sticks with 12MP sensors across the board, Samsung has a 64MP zoom option for extra detail, albeit relying on a hybrid software approach to its 3x zoom. We’ll have to see if that’s a better approach versus Sony’s 1/3.4-inch 3x optical zoom sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs Sony Xperia 1 II: Samples

If you fancy analyzing the images yourself, click here for the full quality samples. Also, note that I used the standard Xperia 1 II camera app, rather than Photo Pro, too see how both phones handle shots with the least manual input possible.

The most instantly noticeable difference between the Galaxy S20 Plus and Xperia 1 II cameras is their color processing. Samsung opts for punchy colors that are, frankly, over the top in most situations. You can see this noticeably in overly blue skies, plant greens, and deep pinks/reds. The Xperia 1 II is more conservative and realistic with its color pallet, but both can appear a little too warm in some instances. Sony’s handset also doesn’t do nearly as well with HDR compared to Samsung, which offers excellent exposure control.

Sony Xperia 1 II
Sony Xperia 1 II

The Galaxy S20 Plus also offers fractionally better detail capture and lower noise than the Xperia 1 II, although both cameras are quite good in this regard and you really have to crop in to notice. These differences become more pronounced with the wide-angle cameras. Sony’s images have notable grain and slightly less noticeable processing. However, the Xperia 1 II struggles with focus and detail compared to Samsung’s implementation. Neither wide-angle lens is perfect, though, and you’ll find chromatic aberration and lens distortion aplenty.

Sony Xperia 1 II 100% crop
Sony Xperia 1 II wide

I also took a couple of quick bokeh shots to test out how well these phones handle edge detection and blue quality. Edge detection is quite good on both phones, although the Xperia 1 II’s is a fraction cleaner. The added depth sensors help both phones with bokeh accuracy. However, Sony opts for a softer bokeh by default, which looks more natural, and has a more realistic progression from in to out of focus.


The biggest hardware difference with the Galaxy S20 Plus vs Xperia 1 II is the zoom cameras. Sony opts for a lower resolution but optical 3x zoom, while Samsung uses a high resolution and hybrid zoom tech. The results are… interesting.

At full-frame, both phones appear to offer comparable levels of detail. Instead, it’s the familiar processing difference, such as color and HDR/exposure, that is most obviously noticeable between the two. Overall, Samsung is the most consistent across all three of its cameras, but that isn’t to say Sony’s results look bad in most cases either.

However, cropping in to 100% on these zoom images reveals the shortcomings of Samsung’s hybrid approach. Details definitely don’t hold up as well on the Galaxy S20 Plus and there are clear signs of heavy processing from the hybrid upscaling. It’s not the worst I’ve seen, but it doesn’t look great.

The Xperia 1 II holds up much better thanks to its optical zoom length, with far fewer signs of heavy processing. However, Samsung’s hybrid approach retains a consistent look across zoom levels while there’s an obvious jump up in quality at 3x with the Xperia 1 II. Oddly, Sony’s camera app doesn’t actually use the optical lens if you pinch-zoom up to 3x. You have to click the 3x icon to obtain the best zoom quality. Likewise for accessing the wide-angle lens.

Low light

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Sony Xperia 1 II rely on long exposure night modes for shooting in the dark, resulting in some blur and loss of accuracy. Movement blur affects the Xperia model the most, suggesting a slightly inferior image recomposition algorithm. See the first image. The lack of multi-frame HDR capture doesn’t help here either. But when it comes to detail and noise, both sensors again perform very closely. This is a major upgrade from previous Sony flagships, which lacked a dedicated low light shooting mode.

Sony’s handset nudges ahead with dynamic range and color when shooting in very low light. You can notice this particularly in the second image, where the flowers retain their color much better. However, Samsung does a better job of correcting for overly warm light sources.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs Sony Xperia 1 II camera: The verdict

Despite my regular complaint about Samsung’s oversaturation, its latest flagship comes out ahead in our Galaxy S20 Plus vs Xperia 1 II showdown. The S20 Plus offers consistent image quality and processing across all three of its cameras, the software does everything you want, and the phone offers good HDR and Night Mode options.

The Sony Xperia 1 II scores a few points over the S20 Plus, however. The phone’s color saturation and accuracy are notably better and it offers superior dynamic range in low light. The phone’s software bokeh is a tad better too. Sony is also lighter on the post-processing, exposing a few more flaws in exchange for some nice looking grain.

Sony’s lack of decent HDR leads to exposure problems.

I really want to like the Xperia 1 II’s camera, as it does a lot right. However, the lack of a decent HDR implementation results in far too many shots with blown-out highlights or poorly-exposed shadows. These simply look bad next to any modern smartphone camera. There is a more functional multi-frame HDR mode in the Photo Pro app, but this really should be a standard feature in the default app too. Likewise, the odd situation with activating the zoom lens suggests that Sony still isn’t paying enough attention to the finer details of its camera experience.

sony xperia 1 ii camera vs samsung s21 ultra

What is a smartphone?

illustration of a smartphone

A smartphone is a more powerful version of a regular cell phone. In addition to the same basic features, including phone calls, voicemail, and text messaging, smartphones can connect to the Internet over a cellular network. This means you can use a smartphone for the same things you would normally do on a computer, such as checking your email, browsing online, or shopping.

Wireless providers will require you to pay a monthly fee, usually called a data plan, to access the Internet with a smartphone over their cellular network.

Most smartphones use a touch-sensitive screen,meaning there isn’t a physical keyboard on the device. Instead, you’ll type on a virtual keyboard and use your fingers to interact with the display. Other standard features include a high-quality digital camera and the ability to play digital music and video files. For many users, a smartphone can actually replace things like an old laptop, digital music player, and digital camera in the same device.

Do I even need a smartphone?

woman looking at a smartphone advertisement

Because of these convenient features, smartphones have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Smartphones can also be very expensive, however; some high-end models cost even more than a new laptop or desktop computer!

If you’re happy using your existing devices separately, you may not need a smartphone. But if you want to use just one device to access the Internet, make phone calls, take photos, and listen to music, a smartphone is probably a good option for you.

What type of smartphone should I buy?

illustration of different smartphone types

Even if you know you want a smartphone, it can be challenging to know where to start. There are different smartphones to choose from, including Windows Phone and Blackberry. In this guide, however, we’ll focus on the two most popular options: the iPhone and Androidsmartphones.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so we’ll try our best to provide the information you’ll need to make the decision that’s right for you.

What is an iPhone?

The iPhone is a smartphone from Apple, which also produces the Mac line of computers. The iPhone is available in a few different models, starting at $450 and going up to $950. It’s powered by the iOS operating system, which is also used by Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch devices.

What is Android?

Unlike the iPhone, which is only available in a few different models, there are hundreds of Android devices to choose from. This is because Android is not one specific smartphone. It’s actually an operating system designed by Google. Many different companies make devices that are powered by the Android operating system, including Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola.

Each of these manufacturers produces different Android smartphones, each with their own custom hardware and features. As a result, Android smartphones are available in a much wider range of prices than the iPhone, starting as low as $100 for an entry-level device.

Android or iPhone?

Should you get iPhone or an Android? If you try searching for advice on this topic, you’ll find no shortage of opinions on both sides; iPhones and Android phones have strong groups of supporters, and most people place themselves firmly on one side or another. There are definite advantages and disadvantages with either option, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors you should consider.

Click the buttons in the chart to see our rankings, then read more about each category below.


illustration of a cellphone with dollar signs

In terms of cost, the iPhone simply can’t compete with Android models. If you don’t want to spend more than $200 to $300 on a smartphone, you’ll want to choose Android over iPhone.

Unfortunately, the actual cost of a smartphone may not be immediately obvious. For example, your wireless carrier may offer certain smartphones for freeif you sign a two-year contract, or allow you to spread the cost across small installments instead of one single payment. Regardless of how you pay, an iPhone will almost always be more expensive than an Android smartphone.

Winner: Android


Because the iPhone is produced by one company instead of several manufacturers, it’s often easier to get answers and help directly from Apple’s customer support. By contrast, most Android phones work a bit differently from one another depending on the manufacturer and wireless provider you choose, which can make it more difficult to know where to look for help.

If you’re worried that you’ll need a lot of extra help once you get started, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

Apps and app stores

Both iPhone and Android allow you to download applications, which are commonly known as apps, to add extra functionality to your smartphone. The Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone provide a huge selection of apps for you to download. Although some apps are available exclusively for one platform, most are available on both. Unless there’s a specific app you want that’s only available on one device, this shouldn’t be a significant factor in your decision.

However, if you already have another device that uses Android or iOS, such as a tablet computer, you might want to consider purchasing a smartphone that runs the same operating system. This way, you’ll be able to install any apps you’ve purchased on both devices.

Winner: Tie


illustration of an accessorized cell phone

Android smartphones allow for a lot more customization than iPhones. Whereas the iPhone offers a few customization options (like your phone’s wallpaper and ringtone), Android allows you to change just about everything on your device, including themes, notification widgets, and default applications.

For some users, this might not be a very important distinction. But if you want to have more control over the way you’ll use your device, we’d recommend choosing an Android over an iPhone.

Winner: Android

System updates

Remember how we said before that Android and iPhone use different operating systems? Like desktop and laptop computers, these operating systems are updated just about every year. These updates usually include new and useful features, as well as security upgrades.

But upgrading an Android phone to the latest version can be pretty complicated. In many cases, it actually depends on when your wireless provider decides to push the update to your device. By contrast, the iPhone can be updated as soon as updates are available, regardless of your wireless carrier.

We should note that there’s nothing especially bad or dangerous about using a slightly older version of your phone’s operating system. But if you know that you always like to use the latest software as soon as it’s available, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

There are a few Android models, like the Google Nexus, that allow you to upgrade to the latest version of Android more easily; however, they also tend to be more expensive than other Android smartphones.

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