OnePlus 10T vs. Nothing Phone 1 camera battle is too close

The OnePlus 10T is the first new phone to come from OnePlus since former co-founder Carl Pei launched his company’s first phone, the Nothing Phone 1. The OnePlus 10T is more expensive than the Nothing Phone 1, but n It’s not as sleek and doesn’t share the same materials, but there are some similarities in the cameras. Putting Pei’s old company’s new phone against his own seemed like an opportunity too good to miss, so who has the better camera?

OnePlus 10T and Nothing Phone 1 camera specs

The OnePlus 10T has a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 main camera, with optical image stabilization (OIS), along with an 8MP wide-angle camera and a base 2MP macro camera. The Nothing Phone 1 also has a 50MP Sony IMX766 primary camera with OIS, but it’s joined by a 50MP wide-angle camera and forgoes a third camera entirely. On the front of both is a 16MP selfie camera.

Nothing phone 1 and oneplus 10t gallery app.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

What makes this test interesting is seeing the differences not only in how the two companies tune the same main camera, but also how the different processors help with image reproduction. The OnePlus 10T’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is the best chip available from manufacturer Qualcomm, while the Nothing Phone 1 features a mid-range Snapdragon 778G processor.

Nothing phone 1 and oneplus 10t camera app.
Nothing Phone 1 (left) and OnePlus 10T (right) Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Apart from the camera and processor, the OnePlus 10T has a 6.7-inch display and costs $649 or £629, while the Phone 1 has a 6.5-inch display, fun Glyph lighting in the back, and it costs 399 pounds (about $485). The photos were all taken in auto mode and achieved natural focus, with the exception of the Portrait mode shot where tapping the screen set the focal point. All photos have been resized for easier viewing here, but were pre-evaluated on a color calibrated monitor.

Main camera

Remember that these photos are taken with the same camera, just fitted to two different phones, and the results illustrate how software tuning affects performance. The pub photo really shows how each company has approached camera styling. OnePlus upped the brightness and saturation, opting for a look that’s more instantly shareable than the muted, realistic look of the Nothing Phone 1. Zoom in, and the harsher OnePlus photo loses detail at the expense of higher contrast, and there’s an obvious boost edges of overhead cable and chimneys.

The photo of the sunflowers picks up on some of those themes, with the OnePlus photo obviously brighter and more colorful. The Nothing Phone 1’s photo isn’t quite as vibrant and the exposure means some detail is lost in the shadows. But the worst is the background blur, which is quite intrusive as it covers the sunflower petals. While the first photo favored the Nothing Phone 1, the OnePlus 10T took the best shot here, and that’s the one I’d like to share.

Let’s look at a third photo, this time taken in bright sunshine. The OnePlus 10T’s photo is more colorful with higher contrast levels, but there’s lens flare and the focus is skewed towards the newspapers and background rather than the letters. The Nothing Phone 1 photo is colored more realistically with a warmer tone, and the letters are more detailed and crisp when you zoom in. There’s no lens flare, but the background is blurrier than I’d prefer.

Picking a winner here is difficult. Neither camera has a clear advantage over the other. The OnePlus 10T struggles technically with more visible digital enhancements, but the Nothing Phone 1’s photos aren’t flawless either. Forced to choose, I’ll go for the OnePlus 10T as the photos are more suitable for sharing without any editing, although the Nothing Phone 1’s wonderful natural tones really appeal. It’s very close to being a draw, but the 10T wins in the end.

Winner: OnePlus 10T

wide angle camera

There’s a big difference between the megapixel count on these two wide-angle cameras, but will that see the Nothing Phone 1 take control of the shootout? The first photo of a wheat field initially looks bad for the Nothing Phone 1 as it is stripped of the gold color seen in the OnePlus 10T image. But when you zoom in, there’s a lot more detail in the Nothing Phone 1’s image, plus there’s noticeable noise in the clouds and sky.

The second photo accentuates the difference even further, with the Nothing Phone 1’s higher megapixel count bringing out much more detail, sharpness and natural color. The OnePlus 10T photo may be brighter, but the quality is poor compared to the Phone 1.

OnePlus’ decision to put a low-megapixel wide-angle camera on the 10T hurts it, and the poor-quality photos it produces mean it won’t get much use. The Nothing Phone 1’s wide-angle camera lacks vibrancy, but that can be corrected with editing, while the lack of detail cannot be changed. He gets the win here.

Winner: Nothing Phone 1

2x zoom

Neither phone has an optical zoom feature, but both apps provide a shortcut to a 2x digital zoom mode, urging people to use it. Neither are good, with problems on both sides. The Nothing Phone 1 overexposes – and in doing so – can reveal a bit more detail, and the overall focus is better than the OnePlus 10T attempts. But that comes with noise, which is also evident in the OnePlus 10T photos, as well as increased edge enhancement.

I’d recommend not using this feature at all, but the Nothing Phone 1’s better focus and smoother color handling makes its photos look more realistic and less processed than the OnePlus 10T’s images, so it wins. But just.

Winner: Nothing Phone 1

fashion portrait

Wondering if the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 gives the OnePlus 10T an edge when it comes to edge recognition in portrait mode? It does, but not by many, as both phones have excellent edge recognition, even in tight situations. For this shot from inside the car, I manually tapped the screen to focus on the steering wheel, letting the phone do the rest.

Both are doing just fine, knowing that the rim is part of the foreground to begin with, and the peddlers are not. The OnePlus 10T has a stronger blur effect by default, and it manages to improve on the Nothing Phone 1 by recognizing that the areas between the spokes of the wheel should also be blurred. The Nothing Phone 1 does almost well, but the OnePlus 10T is more accurate. The OnePlus 10T will take the win, but like the 2x zoom category, it’s pretty close.

Winner: OnePlus 10T

night mode

This was shot in an almost dark room at night, with only a little natural light coming in through a window. There’s one main difference between night mode on these two phones: the OnePlus 10T takes slightly brighter photos compared to the Phone 1, where you see a bit more realistic color reproduction. However, neither is strictly better than the other, as the Nothing Phone 1’s night mode takes more natural shots in low light, which creates a bit more ambience.

Look past the differences in brightness and the details are nearly identical as well. The OnePlus 10T smooths out photos more than the Phone 1, where there’s a bit more noise. However, any differences are minimal and both take acceptable low-light photos.

Winner: Tie

portrait selfie

Although both have a 16 MP front camera, the selfies taken are quite different. The Nothing Phone 1 smoothes skin and washes out skin tones, and while the result isn’t terrible, the lack of detail is far more problematic. It’s a very different photo than the OnePlus 10T, which has a lot more detail and doesn’t wash my skin as much.

The portrait effect is very similar, but the OnePlus 10T has better depth than the Nothing Phone 1 and has less jagged edges on the side of my face. The same issues surfaced with the Nothing Phone 1’s selfie camera when we pitted it against the iPhone 11 as well.

Winner: OnePlus 10T

A closer battle than it should be

It’s a really close battle, with the OnePlus 10T picking up three wins in total, the Nothing Phone 1 only winning two and one category resulting in a draw. When you look at each camera mode test here, most ended up being very close, with neither phone really shooting far ahead of the other. OnePlus’ decision to drop the Hasselblad setting for the OnePlus 10T pitted it firmly against mid-range hardware, leaving the OnePlus 10 Pro to tackle serious camera challenges.

While the OnePlus 10T took the win, you have to remember that it’s the most expensive phone here. In the UK, where the Phone 1 is available, it costs £399 (or around $480), while the OnePlus 10T costs £629 (or $649 in the US). There are other specs that make the OnePlus 10T superior on paper, but the fact that it didn’t beat the Nothing Phone 1 shows just how capable the camera on Nothing’s handset is – and possibly – be how little difference the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 makes to the Snapdragon 778G when it comes to camera performance.

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