In my previous article, the Nokia 5.3 camera performed admirably well for its price point. Details are adequate and the colors are vibrant. The Nokia G21 will compete with another fan favorite, the Nokia 7.2. The Nokia 7.2 remains one of the best designed midrange device made by HMD Global. It introduced the central ring camera module, graded color over the back, a beautiful display and certainly exudes a more premium feeling overall.
One thing we could hope for was an improvement in the processing power as the SD660 has certainly aged beyond its prime. While a brief teaser showcased what was rumored to be the Nokia 7.3 in the sets of No Time To Die, we may never see the device ever again as HMD Global has departed away in terms of design and goal. The Nokia G21 with its Unisoc T606 processor is generally more powerful and is comparable in terms of performance to the SD665 in the Nokia 5.3.
A large megapixel sensor does not mean much if the software is not capable of harnessing its maximum potential. The Quad Bayer arrangement with each pixel containing subpixel was design to gather more light in , negating more complex and expensive hardware integration such as OIS. This allows better low light performance compared to standard RGB sensor in general. For example, the 50MP sensor on the G21 is effectively a 12.5MP sensor. The option to shoot in 50MP is available for uncompressed image with higher detail but a less brighter image. The hardware is limited by what the software is capable of doing, and this remains a challenge for HMD Global, to provide a uniform camera interface with optimal algorithm capable of giving the best quality for any camera sensor used.
The Nokia 7.2 is one of the earlist HMD Global made device featuring a 48MP Quad Bayer sensor with Zeiss optics at 0.8micron with an 8MP ultrawide and 5MP depth sensor. The Nokia G21 on the other hand has a 50MP primary sensor at 0.64micron. As one of the earliest device to have Quad Bayer and low light algorithm , it will be certainly be interesting to see how much the Nokia G21 has evolved over time.
When it comes to day time images, both devices performs admirably well. Details are ample, dynamic range is good and color reproduction is satisfactory. Despite lacking Zeiss branded optics, the Nokia G21 manage to perform well and if you look closer, details are sharper on the Nokia G21.Nokia 7.2 certainly did well for an older device and the clouds seems to be more natural here.
In the images below, the primary sensor for Nokia G21 does weel producing sharper image with balance dynamic range. I am surprised that the image taken by Nokia G21 has a more vibrant color profile in this example.
The larger sensor of both this devices produces beautiful natural bokeh. In the samples below , the gradual reduction in the sharpness from the object in focus in the foreground gives a much more natural sense of depth compared to the portrait mode.While the details from Nokia G21 are sharper, the colour unfortunately turned up flat and uninspiring. While the Nokia 7.2 produces much vibrant colour the actual colour profile is somewhere in between this two samples.
The night mode which was introduced formally on the Nokia 7.2 allows stacking images of different exposures to provide the well balanced image in terms of brightness, details and noise. Unfortunately, the 50MP AI camera on the Nokia G21 certainly disappoints here. The images are bright but they lack details and full of noise. On the other hand, the Nokia 7.2 manages this well and also able to control bright lit areas such as the signboards from blowing up the image.
The Nokia 7.2 seems to be holding up well despite being introduced more than 2 years ago. The combination of a large sensor with Zeiss optic and decent algorithm, the day and night images are above average. While the Nokia G21 ,runs on a much modern hardware and software, the algorithm produces inconsistent image quality. The day images are good while the low light images performs really poor here.
i sincerely wish that HMD Global do take into consideration opinions from end user and provide meaningful update that improves the algorithm quality.
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