OnePlus Nord CE 5G vs Xiaomi Mi 10i: camera comparison

Here is how the cameras on the new OnePlus Nord CE fare against the Xiaomi Mi 10i

OnePlus announced its latest mid-range smartphone in the form of the Nord CE for a starting price of Rs 22,999. The Snapdragon 750G-powered device features a triple-camera setup and marks the first time the company has used a 64MP sensor on one of its smartphones. For its price, the Xiaomi Mi 10i (review) seems to be the perfect challenger, featuring a 108MP primary shooter as part of a quad-camera setup. In this camera comparison, let’s see how good the OnePlus Nord CE’s optics are up against the Mi 10i through a variety of shooting modes.

Landscape

The primary lens on the Nord CE is a 64MP shooter while the Mi 10i has a higher resolution 108MP sensor. Looking at the landscape shots it can be seen that the Nord CE does show better dynamic range as the blue tinge in the sky is clearly visible, while the Mi 10i image has a white tone to it. Detailing is slightly better on the Mi 10i but the colours are much more realistic on the OnePlus Nord CE. The focus across the frame is good on both the devices and so is the exposure calibration. I feel that the Nord CE marginally edges the Mi 10i in this scenario thanks to better dynamic range and accurate colours.

Winner: OnePlus Nord CE

Ultra-wide

Both the OnePlus Nord CE and the Xiaomi Mi 10i come with an 8MP ultra-wide shooter. Using the ultra-wide sensor, we find the same issue as before. The image shot using the Mi 10i shows lack of dynamic range while the Nord CE again brings a good shade of blue out in the sky. However, the Mi 10i shows a high level of detail in its shot with the Nord CE smoothening out the bushes at the centre of the frame. The field-of-view is equal across both the devices but the Nord CE’s focus at the edges is quite hazy as compared to the Mi 10i. Colours are slightly brighter with the Mi 10i but it can fall down to one’s own preferences. This one goes to the Mi 10i.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 10i

Portrait

Again, both the phones have a 2MP depth sensor which is useful for taking DSLR-like portrait shots. The depth detection on the Mi 10i and Nord CE is mostly on point but I much prefer the softer blur employed by the latter. Focus on the Minion is quite good and details are readily visible. The Nord CE shot did show slightly sharper colours which works in favour of the phone in this comparison and makes it the winner.

Winner: OnePlus Nord CE

Low light

Night photography is a scenario where the true image processing capabilities of a smartphone come to the forefront. In low light situations, the OnePlus Nord CE doesn’t manage to capture significant detail, and an uncomfortable amount of noise also creeps in. Focus is soft across the frame and the exposure seen on the lights is also quite dim. In comparison, the Mi 10i brings in a lot more light into the shot, with the images showing more detail as evident on the curtains, aquarium and air conditioning unit. The lighting on the left-hand side is also quite prominent. This round has a clear winner in the Xiaomi Mi 10i.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 10i

Night mode

When the dedicated Night mode is used, there is significant improvement in the shots of both devices. Overall the Mi 10i still manages to click shots that are more detailed as can be seen in the textures of the sofa and the sharpness of the vase in the middle. There is a greenish tint in the Nord CE’s shot while the inside of the aquarium has been oversharpened a lot. Both phones sport improvements over non-night mode shots, but the Mi 10i is again the winner, thanks to the detail it can capture.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 10i

Selfie

Both phones boast 16MP selfie shooters and there is very little to differentiate between the two devices in terms of overall selfie quality. I feel that the skin tones on the Nord CE are clower to real-life while the Mi 10i has more natural colours in the shot. Facial details are captured well on both devices although the Nord CE does a better job with the subject’s hair. Overall this can be given as a tie.

Winner: Tie

Final verdict

Scoring better three out of six scenarios, the Xiaomi Mi 10i is the winner of this camera competition. The device also has an extra macro lens which is absent from OnePlus Nord CE’s camera array, though I wouldn’t stress too much on its image quality. The OnePlus Nord CE does have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to night photography but I feel that with a few software tweaks most of the problems can be fixed. I really like the colour science being utilised by the Nord CE and hope to see more of the same in upcoming phones from the company.