The Nokiaa XR21 is here, and with it, it brings new excitement and new aspects to discover. One of the key things I consider when investing in a device is how good of a camera can the device be. This is one crucial requirement for many as well as mobile imaging is the primary mode of capturing images these days.
The Nokia XR21 Dilemma
The lack of Zeiss branding for the optics, unlike the XR20, might raise some question for some. But, the Nokia X30 5G is proven to be a formidable imaging device, deserving the title of best Pureview device till date!
The 64MP sensor over the rear makes me curious. How does it compare to the previous 64MP sensors used by Nokia? How would it compare to previous generation of Pureview devices such as the Nokia X30 5G, the powerful Nokia 8.3 5G and even the Nokia 9 Pureview?And that is exactly what was done in this comparison.
The Nokia XR21 has a decent midrange device, and though the price is slightly on the higher side, you can purchase from select market that offers discount and bundled offerings that makes it more interesting. This time around, the XR21 packs a 64MP primary sensor, 8MP ultrawide sensor and a 16MP front facing camera.
But, hardware alone is just half the equation. The imaging algorithm is equally if not more important to give you the best results possible. The camera 2.0 software introduced with the X30 and G60 has been a real game changer with better dynamic range, lower noise and one of the best low light imaging solutions till date.
Long live the king! When it comes to daylight images, the Nokia 9 Pureview is still doing wonders! The dynamic range, the color accuracy and contrast is more natural and has a pleasant output. The XR21 with the newer generation of large sensors,is inherently brighter but does a good job overall, to capture the sunny warm tone.
I was not impressed with the camera output from the Nokia XR20 as it is just decent at best. This indoor shot shows how well the XR21 controls the highlights in general, though the output from the XR20 is brighter. The image output from XR2O is also slightly noisier in low light situation, but some might prefer the more brighter output.
For me, the comparison with Nokia 8.3 5G is what I am more interested in , as not only the 8.3 5G has a 64MP primary sensor, it is also a Pureview device, perhaps the most powerful one till date. But one of the key highlights and a game changer with the Nokia 8.3 5G is the ultrawide capture which has a large pixel size and has a more Lumia like color profile. So, one would generally think that the output in daylight would be superior than the smaller 8MP sensor on the XR21, BUT, that is not the case here. The XR21 not only produces a more accurate color profile but also superior details thanks to its fusion algorithm. The side by side detailed comparison is available in the video link below.
One interesting fact with the XR21 is that, though it is running Android 12, the camera firmware is more recent than the one on Nokia X30 5G. The X30 generally has the best colour output among all these devices here, which is expected. Unfortunately, for some reason, I was not able to port the XR21 firmware to Nokia X30 5G to see if there is any difference in the output.
More image sample and video performance of Nokia XR21 here
So, what do you think of the daytime performance of the XR21? Certain aspects such as the ultrawide capture, is definitely a game changer, given the smaller sensor is capable of rivalling larger ones, thanks to the new algorithm. The colour is definitely better compared to XR20 but I prefer the more vibrant and natural looks that the X30 pulls out.
The part 2 and my conclusion will be coming up soon, so do stay tuned.
As usual, if you have any questions, do hit me up on twitter