Now, by no means am I professional photographer, but I’m confident in determining what looks good to me and could look good to others. In the case of Essential’s president, Niccolo de Masi, and the latest photos he took and then uploaded to Twitter with the newly-announced Essential phone, I think I can safely say that the following photos are not very good at all.
To remind you all, the Essential Phone is listed as having dual rear-facing cameras (RGB + Mono) with 13MP and f/1.85. That’s some good spec and should be able to capture great images. Of course, low lighting images and sunsets can be especially tricky for smartphones to capture well, but from my testing, plenty of the latest smartphones can handle a setting sun and low lighting just fine (taken in Hawaii with the Galaxy S6 Edge).
Anyway, we have a couple of samples from the Essential Phone, thanks to de Masi uploading them on Twitter, and from what we can see, the camera setup used is currently struggling to take quality low light pictures well.
When I saw the above image for the first time, it reminded me of what I’d see after shooting a scene on a phone from years ago. A Nexus 4 or Nexus S, maybe? Point being, while you can get a sense for how pretty something is, this picture has nothing in focus, a completely noise-filled sky, and an incredible amount of blur on the buildings when you enlarge it. Speaking only for myself, there is no way I would upload this to Instagram or Facebook for anyone to see. Maybe I’m just super anal about that stuff.
Let’s have a look at a different photo.
Again, this is a great scene that seems ruined by a camera that obviously needs a bit of work. We have a bright sky with dark foreground, and essentially all detail is lost when we enlarge the photo. Thanks to the human brain, we can piece together that this is a nice scene with a gorgeous cityscape, but when we look closer at the details, there is something very wrong. There are various factors we need to weigh, of course, such as the possibility that these photos were taken through a dirty window at the top of a tall building, but still, that doesn’t account for all of the visible noise and lack of focus.
We are not yet sure exactly when the $699 Essential Phone will launch, but let’s hope the engineers spend a bit more time with the dual cameras on the backside.
I know we have a few hardcore photography enthusiasts in our audience, so please, share your take in the comments below.