Ex Googler Says Android Phone Cameras ‘Years Behind’ the iPhone


Tightening the tiff between Android and iPhone, Vic Gundotra, former Senior Vice President of Social at Google said that Android's camera is "years behind" iPhone camera. Gundotra also said that the OEMs are not at fault for the lower camera quality, but Android OS.

In an elaborative Facebook post, Gundotra claimed that “the end of DSLR for most people has already arrived.” To prove his point, he also posted a few comparison pictures clicked from iPhone and Android respectively. In a few pictures that he clicked with his iPhone (in Portrait mode), he captioned them "stunning" and "in a restaurant, … with no flash."

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What triggered the Ex Googler to test Android phones and their cameras was a reply from a user who rated the Galaxy S8 better than the iPhone. He said that the Samsung Galaxy S8 “does a better job” when matched to the iPhone.

Android is preventing photography innovation...

Gundotra did not just stop at posting comparison pictures, he went a step ahead and claimed that Android is preventing photography innovation because it is an "open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties.” According to Gundotra, the open-source ecosystem of Android leaves no room for the manufacturers to innovate on their own in the hardware, as Google also implements APIs in Android to support the latest technology and "that can take years."

In the end, Gundotra wrote - “Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.” He also asserted that while hardware remains important - "The greatest innovation isn’t even happening at the hardware level — it’s happening at the computational photography level.”

Development of computational photography software...

Gundotra also mentioned that Google has "fallen back" in recent years, in the development of computational photography software. According to him, Apple is way ahead of Android because it "doesn't have all these constraints," which leads to the best smartphone camera on the market. He says that Apple has no constraints as it innovates in the hardware and align the software updates with latest innovations like the Portrait mode, and ship it.

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Well, Gundotra is very well entitled to his opinion on the camera performance of Android and Apple. Also, there is not an ounce of doubt over Apple's uniform approach to software and hardware, that's where Android does lag. Admittedly, the camera performance of the iPhone 7 is amazing, but that does not mean that Android phones are way behind the innovation. Recent Android flagships like the Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5, and the HTC U11 also offer top-of-the-line camera performance.

What's your take on the comparison made by Gundotra? Do you agree with his findings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.