you have chosen your photo king

We took some shots with Xiaomi 12S Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to bring you a photo comparison of the giants. Which of these three smartphones is the best? You had one week to vote. Now let’s discover your champion.

Xiaomi 12S UIltra’s photo unit benefits from Leica expertise // Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

Xiaomi 12S Ultra has officially caught everyone’s attention. However, enthusiasts were surely disappointed to learn that the phone was not intended for the French market. Without wanting to rub salt in the wound, we wanted to give you a taste of the photo quality and experience of the giant Leica that this monster offers, which benefits from a one-inch main sensor – a definition of 50 megapixels.

With that in mind, Xiaomi France was able to give us the only copy they had in their closets for comparison. So we compared the Xiaomi 12S Ultra with Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to find out which is the best smartphone for photography. And we give it to you. It’s time to discover the results!

The article was updated on 09 August 2022 to add the above video.

Photo comparison: a reminder of the rules of the game

Recall that we shot nine scenes with three smartphones, Xiaomi 12S Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. There are logically three photos for each of said scenes. We’ve brought you the footage, but without telling you which camera took which photo. We have also removed the metadata (Exif) of the images to make your task easier. The goal was to avoid biasing your selection.

Three photos were arranged side by side in one gallery at a time. The picture on the left corresponded to the number 1, the number 2 in the middle, and the number 3 on the right. You can refer to the diagram below.

1st image on the left, 2nd in the middle and 3rd on the right // Source: Frandroid

There was a poll module for each scene and you could vote for your favorite photo (1, 2 or 3). We left you for a week. We now reveal the results and winner of each exercise.

⚠ ATTENTION: if you’re reading this article on a smartphone in a browser, we recommend removing the “/amp” at the end of the URL if necessary. The AMP format doesn’t always lend itself well to presenting images in a gallery format.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Which takes better photos?

Classic wide angle shot

First exercise: a fairly classic wide-angle photo, where the main technical difficulty is undoubtedly in the image of a partly cloudy sky.

  • Figure 1: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥉
  • Figure 2: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
  • Figure 3: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥈
The best wide-angle photo for you is the Galaxy S22 Ultra // Source: Frandroid

Total 6533 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Ultra wide angle photo

Make way for the next exercise, the same scene immortalized in ultra-wide angle!

  • Figure 1: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥈
  • Figure 2: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
  • Figure 3: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥉
Galaxy S22 Ultra still tops in ultra-wide-angle photography // Source: Frandroid

Total 5697 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Arch image in X3

Let’s take a look at telephoto lenses. Note that the Xiaomi 12S Ultra offers x5 optical zoom, so this is digital zoom. We’re on x3 optical zoom on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and x3 and x10 optical zoom on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Here we invite you to judge the shooting on the x3.

  • Figure 1: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
  • Figure 2: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥉
  • Figure 3: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥈
The new victory of the Galaxy S22 Ultra in the photo on X3 // Source: Frandroid

Total 5413 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Arch image on X5

Make way for the same photo on X5, optical zoom for Xiaomi, hybrid for Apple and Samsung.

  • Figure 1: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥈
  • Figure 2: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥉
  • Figure 3: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥇
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is favored for photography on the X5 // Source: Frandroid

Total 5036 votes. Winner: iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Arch image at X10

Was the battle prefolded at x10? Here are the voting results.

  • Figure 1: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥉
  • Figure 2: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥈
  • Figure 3: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
Galaxy S22 Ultra’s x10 zoom is considered better than the other two // Source: Frandroid

Total 4969 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Picture in portrait mode

Which of these three photos do you think was more successful in portrait mode? Now is the time to learn.

  • Figure 1: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥈
  • Figure 2: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥉
  • Figure 3: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
According to the majority of respondents, the most beautiful portrait was taken by the Galaxy S22 UIltra // Source: Frandroid

Total 5320 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Wide angle night shot

Night falls, but the distant sky remains stark. A perfect scene to analyze the photo processing of each smartphone examined here.

  • Figure 1: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥈
  • Figure 2: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥉
  • Figure 3: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
In the wide-angle night photo, you preferred the Galaxy S22 Ultra // Source: Frandroid

Total 5057 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Ultra wide angle photo at night

We calmly leaned out the window and took a second photo of the same scene, but this time at an ultra-wide angle.

  • Figure 1: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥇
  • Figure 2: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥈
  • Figure 3: Xiaomi 12S Ultra 🥉
Night ultra-wide angle is once again in your sights with the Galaxy S22 Ultra // Source: Frandroid

Total 4792 votes. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Bonus workout: video

We also shot in 4K at 30 FPS with all three smartphones. Play the YouTube video below to watch all three records side-by-side, and then go see which one comes out on top.

YouTube link Subscribe to Frandroid

  • Video 1: Xiaomi 12S UItra 🥇
  • Video 2: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 🥉
  • Video 3: iPhone 13 Pro Max 🥈
According to most of you, Xiaomi 12S Ultra took the best video // Source: Frandroid

Total 3744 votes. Winner: Xiaomi 12S Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: the big winner of the photo comparison

Out of the nine cases offered, you beat the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra seven times, sometimes by a huge margin over the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It’s a trend we’ve seen in the past: the South Korean giant’s saturated tones that sublimate the image are still on the rise, even if they distort the image a bit. Colors flatter the retina and we are more fooled.

The results for the iPhone 13 Pro Max are difficult, but note that several times Apple’s phone came in last, but it was a hair’s breadth from the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. Like the S22 Ultra, it even comes in first at x5 zoom, though it doesn’t have a dedicated telephoto lens at that zoom level.

Finally, the 12S Ultra shows that Xiaomi still has a long way to go before its photo processing is as pleasing as Samsung in France – or at least with our society. Nevertheless, the victory in the video exercise is encouraging for the Chinese manufacturer.


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