Deep Fusion Tested Against a Pixel and Galaxy

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read

I think Deep Fusion is one of the sleeper hits of the iPhone 11's cameras, and I wanted to see how well it stood up to it's main camera rival, the Google Pixel 4, as well as a decidedly good, but less impressive camera in last year's Samsung Galaxy S10e.

Shot 1

My first shot was of my wife's desk in very low light. Night mode wasn't triggered, but the room was defintiely dim, lit only by the sun peeking through the closed blinds.

iPhone 11 Pro

There's a bit of noise here, but it's a pretty good shot. Here's how the other two phone fared.

Pixel 4
Galaxy S10e

Now it may be hard to see the difference between these photos, so let's zoom in.

When we get closer, the iPhone clearly looks best, with the Galaxy S10e doing play, and the Pixel 4 surprisingly in a distant third. I manually tapped to focus on the white paper clips for each shot, so in theory, this should be the part of the image that's most clear in each photo.

Shot 2

One of the things I remember hearing somewhere when Deep Fusion was new was that it was especially helpful for telephoto shots in low light, so I tried the same shot again, but this time with the 2x zoom. Of note, the S10e does not have a 2x lens, so it's doing a digital zoom, which isn't quite fair. The Pixel and iPhone should be on level footing here, though.

iPhone 11 Pro telephoto

The shot looks very similar, and I won't waste your bandwidth on the other versions, lets just jump into the detail view.

In this case, the iPhone pulls ahead again, with at least a semblance of clarity in the cork area, The Pixel 4 again shockingly doesn't really hold only any more detail than the S10e which is doing a 100% digital zoom. All of these are not as sharp as the 1x zoom, but that's to be expected.


This is a controlled experiment and is not meant to be a blanket statement that the iPhone 11 Pro has a better camera than the Pixel 4. There are definitely times where the Pixel takes a better photo, but for me, and especially for low light photos, the iPhone 11 Pro is so ridiculously good it makes other phones look quite fuzzy (literally) by comparison.