Home Reviews Comparisons Nokia X20 5G (Stock vs GCam) vs Google Pixel 3X imaging comparison

Nokia X20 5G (Stock vs GCam) vs Google Pixel 3X imaging comparison

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The camera segment has always been a priority for Nokia devices with many camera centric devices launched in the past. Nokia pioneered many first in the mobile imaging category, introducing the mammoth 41MP camera centric device with Xenon flash, Nokia 808 , introducing OIS with the Lumia 920, introducing Rich Audio with the likes of Lumia 1520 , Rich Capture which is how HDR images taken back then and many other ground breaking innovation to dominate the camera segment.

With HMD Global now owning the rights to produce Nokia branded devices, things sort of rebooted in the camera segment. There were bits and pieces of the older Nokia in the newer device but nothing to directly associate it with the last greatest imaging device made by the original Pureview team, the Lumia 950 series. As the original Pureview engineers left, Nokia’s dominance in the camera segment took a hard hit. The only meaningful attempt by HMD Global to return to dominance was with the Nokia 9 Pureview which takes excellent HDR images but plagued with instability( hoping a miracle with the Android 11 update).

When the Nokia X20 5G was announced, it seem like HMD Global was attempting to bring the Nokia 8.3 5G camera experience to a “lower” priced device. In this article , I would like to share with you a comparison of Nokia X20 5G , stock cam, compared to GCAM and a direct comparison to Google Pixel 3XL. The Google Pixel 3XL, launched in October 2018 with a single 12MP camera is the epitome of great software bringing the best out of a solid hardware.

Day time imaging:

SCENE 1:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GCAM:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GOOLE PIXEL 3XL:

SCENE 2:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GCAM:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GOOGLE PIXEL 3XL:

SCENE 3:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GCAM:

NOKIA X20 STOCK VS PIXEL 3XL:

All 3 scenes above are taken with adequate ambient lighting. In scene 1, beginning of the day in the morning, all 3 images looks quite similar. However, the stock image has slightly better detail compared to GCAM. When it comes to the stock vs Google Pixel 3XL, the differences are more apparent. The resolved details in Nokia X20 5G stock camera is better than the Pixel 3XL.

In scene 2, when the sun is bright at noon, the HDR from Nokia X20 5G stock camera struggles to capture details under intense light. This is slightly improved with the GCAM app which was able to capture the clouds clearly despite the bright sun over it. Of course, the Pixel 3XL manages to capture the HDR well with better details.

In the 3rd scene, the HDR algorithm seems to work better in Nokia X20 5G stock image as even the darker portions of the image are better illuminated as compared to the Pixel 3XL and Google Camera. If you check the tree and leaves in crops, Nokia X20 5G seems to capture more resolved details as compared to Pixel 3XL.

Late Evening:

SCENE 1:

SCENE 2:

In both the scenes above, taken during late evening, when the sun is less intense, the Nokia X20 5G stock camera seems to focus differently from the GCAM app and Google Pixel 3XL. But it still manages to capture good amount of resolved details and accurate colors.

You can check the full-size images here, if you want to compare yourself.

Low Light and Night:

SCENE 1:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GCAM:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GOOGLE PIXEL 3XL:

SCENE 2:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GCAM:

NOKIA X20 5G STOCK VS GOOGLE PIXEL 3XL:

In low light images, the advantages of Quad Bayer sensor is apparent. Images are generally brighter. In the first scene, the output looks good from the Nokia X20 5G stock camera, while the sky looks much darker on the GCAM app. The Nokia X20 5G manages to produce overall the best image here. On upon closer inspection, it seems that Nokia X20 5G applies less noise reduction as compared to Google Pixel 3XL.

The images in the 2nd scene however brings different interpretation. Perhaps this is because of the different lighting of the background in each case. The details of the car number plate is well preserved on the Pixel 3XL, not so well on Nokia X20 5G.

You can check the full-size images here, if you want to compare yourself.

Comparison videos by the author:

Nokia X20 5G STOCK vs GCAM: 

Nokia X20 STOCK vs Google Pixel 3XL :

Summary:

The Nokia X20 5G certainly has the right hardware to do better in the camera department. Perhaps, if HMD Global fine tunes the software and manages the abundance of pixels available on the Nokia X20 5G in a better way, the device will certainly be a solid contender. For now, the stock camera app of Nokia X20 5G is not maximizing what the hardware can do. As a Nokia fan, I hope, with the next update, the camera app will also get the much-needed improvement.

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