Quick Comparison: Portrait Mode On iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9 vs. Huawei P20 Pro

Today I had a look at the portrait mode of the newest phones. With each phone I took about 5 pictures and chose the best one. Trust me that was necessary. 

Plus, I shot the same toy car with my semi-pro Sony camera at three different apertures. So you get a sense of what these smartphones can do compared to a real full frame camera. 

I also added the aperture value for every picture from the exif data. Apple and Samsung show the aperture of the second lens. Huawei uses the simulated aperture value. After looking at the pictures I don't think these numbers are very accurate or useful for software optimized photos.

Galaxy S9+ (Aperture: F2.4)

iPhone X (Aperture: F2.4)

 Huawei P20 Pro (Aperture F0.9)

Huawei P20 Pro (Aperture F0.9)

Sony A7 III (Aperture: F1.4)

Sony A7 III (Aperture: F5)

Sony A7 III (Aperture: F16)

Quick Comparison: Huawei P20 Pro vs. iPhone X vs. Sony A7

What a beautiful day here in Switzerland! I took the iPhone X and the Huawei P20 Pro for a little walk. Here's a little zoom comparison I shot. All pictures were taken in full auto-mode without any post-processing. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter

iPhone X (1x Optical Zoom)

Huawei P20 Pro (1xOptical Zoom)

iPhone X (2x Optical Zoom)

Huawei P20 Pro (3x Optical Zoom)

iPhone X (5x Digital Zoom)

Huawei P20 Pro (5x Digital Zoom)

iPhone X (10x Digital Zoom)

Huawei P20 Pro (10x Digital Zoom)

The inconsistent results of the Huawei P20 Pro show that the triple camera still needs some fine tuning. 

As a bonus and since it was requested on Twitter I shot this little comparison with the iPhone X, the new Sony A7 and the Huawei P20 Pro.

iPhone X: 2x / F 2.4

Sony A7 III (Fullframe Semi-pro Camera): 55mm / F 5

Huawei P20 Pro: 2x / F 1.8

Quick Comparison: Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X vs. Huawei P20 Pro

To get to know the Huawei P20 Pro I shot a few comparisons today. All images were shot in full auto-mode. No manual settings or post-production. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+ (1x)

Huawei P20 Pro (1x)

iPhone X (1x)

Galaxy S9+ (2x)

Huawei P20 Pro (3x)

iPhone X (2x)

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Galaxy S9+

Huawei P20 Pro

iPhone X

Groundbreaking Or Gimmick? Experimenting With The Dual Aperture Of The Galaxy S9

The most interesting thing about the new Galaxy S9 is its dual aperture. Here it is in action:

In theory it's a really great idea. But how useful is it in the real world? 

To find out I shot a few comparisons. One image with an open aperture (1.5), one with a closed aperture (2.4), and a final image where I let the auto-mode choose the aperture.

What do you think? Do you see a notable difference? Let me know on Twitter

f/1.5 1/100 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/50 4.3 mm ISO 64

Auto: f/2.4 1/100 4.3 mm ISO 80

f/1.5 1/1164 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/546 4.3 mm ISO 50

Auto: f/2.4 1/350 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/1.5 1/260 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/123 4.3 mm ISO 50

Auto: f/2.4 1/130 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/1.5 1/516 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/254 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/267 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/1.5 1/9 4.3 mm ISO 1600

f/2.4 1/4 4.3 mm ISO 1250

f/1.5 1/7 4.3 mm ISO 1000

f/1.5 1/192 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/100 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/100 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/1.5 1/25 4.3 mm ISO 500

f/2.4 1/10 4.3 mm ISO 800

f/1.5 1/14 4.3 mm ISO 320

f/1.5 1/179 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/100 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/2.4 1/100 4.3 mm ISO 50

f/1.5 1/4 4.3 mm ISO 1000

f/2.4 1/4 4.3 mm ISO 1250

f/1.5 1/6 4.3 mm ISO 1250

Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X: Real World Camera Comparison

Today I took the new Samsung Galaxy S9+ and the iPhone X to the local botanical garden. All images were shot in full auto-mode, handheld and no post-processing was done afterwards.

Which look/style do you prefer? The one from the pictures on the left/on top or the one from the pictures on the right/at the bottom?

Solution: The pictures on the left/at the top were shot with an iPhone X. The pictures on the right/at the bottom were shot with a Galaxy S9+.

Let me know on Twitter which you like better. 

Footnote: I encountered a small focus problem with the Galaxy S9+. Sometimes I just couldn't get it to focus correctly at close distances. I tried my best to still get sharp shots. But sometimes I just had to give up. Here's an example: 

Smart Home: I Connected An Ikea Tradfri To My Philips Hue Hub

Ikea recently lowered the prices of WIFI light bulbs. That allone didn't intrigue me much. Since I had already bought more than enough Philips Hue bulbs over the last two years. But when someone on Twitter mentioned that you could connect Ikea Tradfri bulbs to a Philips Hue Hub I couldn’t resist. 


Connecting the Tradfri bulb to the Philips Hub wasn't as easy as I had thought. It didn't work at first. The new bulb didn't show up in the Hue app. 


Since I didn't have an Ikea Hub and therefore no way to communicate with the new Tradfri bulb I tried a factory reset. I turned the bulb on and off six times. Lucky me it worked. And the Tradfri finally showed up in the Hue app.


Now that the Tradfri blub showed up in the Hue app I conducted a little experiment:

It turns out there isn't any noticable delay between the Philips and Ikea bulb. But the Ikea bulb takes a little longer to turn off. But that’s not bothersome at all. 

The only downside: The Ikea bulb doesn't show in Apples Homekit app. Apparently that only works with an Ikea Hub. But that’s not something I'm going to try anytime soon. I just use my Ikea bulb in a lamp connected to a motion sensor. So I don't need Siri or Homekit to control it.     

Recommended App: Bring You Home

Tiny Thief is one of my all-time favorite games. Too bad the publisher dropped it and it‘s no longer in the iOS store. You can still get it for Android though. Lucky me, I still have it on an old iPad.

The guys behind the game later started their own company called Alike Studio and launched the equally cute and smart Love You To Bits.

Now they launched their second game called Bring You Home. I bought it over the weekend without reading any reviews. That‘s how much I trust the team behind those games.

I wasn‘t disappointed. Even though the game looks similar the mechanics are completely new. Instead of controlling one character you have to control and adjust the level itself.

I’ve already finished the game. But there is so much replay value and so many hidden details. Highly recommended!

Proposals and wishes for watchOS 5


Matt Birchler has published a very interesting wishlist for the Apple Watch and watchOS 5. I couldn‘t resist to comment on most of his proposals and add a few of my own.


Third-party apps for Siri watch face
Every proposal with Siri and third-party apps in it has my full support. Since I don‘t use many Apple services and apps Siri isn‘t very useful in my life. I only use it to set timers and turn the lights off. For the same reasons I never use the Siri watch face. It‘s just not useful to me - yet. I‘ve been hoping for a Google-Now-like watch face since day one. The watch should know what information is useful at which moment and adjust accordingly. With third-party support, the Siri watch face would be a step in that direction. 

Always-on watch faces
From a practical point of view, I fully support that proposal as well. Turn to wake usually works flawlessly. But still, there are situations when it doesn‘t. That‘s when I sometimes have to use my nose to activate the screen. Always-on watch faces would solve that problem. From an aesthetic point of view, I have to admit I like the Reverso-like empty watch face. It‘s black, quiet and only turns on when I want to. An always-on screen might be a bit of a distraction or an eye catcher. 

Third-party watch faces
Having seen some of the ugly or copyright infringing third-party watch faces on Android Wear or Tizen I see why Apple is very cautious in that regard. As a watch nerd, I love new watch faces and can‘t get enough of them. But I‘d rather see third-party developers come up with decent complications first. As a second step, I could see myself paying for new watch faces or maybe a digital version of the hands of a famous mechanical watch. By the way, did you notice the Apple Watch uses the same hands as the famous Nautilus from Patek. Update: I wrote a whole article about this topic. 

Automatic workout detection
That's dearly needed. I really don‘t want to tell my watch, that I‘m going for a run. It has plenty of sensors and smarts to know it.

Winter activities
Living in Switzerland I fully agree. Shoveling would be especially helpful.

More seasonal activity badges
I love earning badges! 

„Rest day“ function
I have asked for that quite a few times in the past. I have a suspicion that‘s very high on many users list. You could even make it fun by letting users earn rest days by completing certain goals or tasks. 

Sleep tracking
I really don‘t know what Apple is waiting for. It‘s one of the best features of wearables in general. Thanks to apps like AutoSleep I‘m already tracking my sleep with an Apple Watch. But I‘d prefer a built-in and therefore more secure version for such an important function.

Can‘t happen soon enough.

Always listening to „Hey Siri“
I really don‘t like always listening microphones. Maybe I‘m a bit old-fashioned. 

Custom notification sounds for third-party apps
That’s a smart (and maybe a bit annoying) idea! My watch is always on silent though. 

Improve Dock with some sort of grid system
I‘m really happy with the new Dock. I just wish all the Apps would open faster and not just the ones that have been automatically or purposely placed in the Dock. 

Improve Breath app
I used the app quite regularly when it was new. But soon forgot about it. 

Read full Apple News articles on Apple Watch
Apple News isn‘t working in Switzerland yet.

Display iPhone battery life
That has been on my list since the very first watchOS. Back then I used an Android phone. To use the Apple Watch I always carried an iPhone in my backpack. The iPhone often ran out of battery because I forgot about it. A little warning on the watch would have been helpful. Today I would like to know on my watch when the phone is fully charged and ready to go.

Custom colors for flashlight
I would really like that. I use the flashlight a lot. Usually white. But sometimes white is too bright. So I use red. But it looks really scary. The option to pick a friendlier and less bright color would be very welcome. 

Theatre mode should activate „Do Not Disturb“
Absolutely! Whenever I go to bed I have to swipe up and press these two buttons. Coupling these two buttons would be very helpful. But I have an even better solution in my own suggestions below.

Ability to watch Youtube
This is indeed a rather crazy request. But hey, why not? Don‘t think I would use it much though.


Now for my additions I already mentioned in my review of the Apple Watch Series 3:


More brightness options and Night Shift
In direct sunlight, the bright screen of the newer models is very handy. At night it's way too bright. I would love to have more options in the brightness settings. Whenever I go to bed I activate Do Not Disturb and Theatre Mode. The Apple Watch should do that automatically and dim the screen. It should either be possible to set a certain time to activate this Night Shift mode or even better the Apple Watch should use sleep tracking and all its other sensors to activate it automatically when I go to bed. 

Gesture control
It happens at least once a day: The Apple Watch displays a red dot to tell me there’s a notification waiting for me. But I can't open it because my other hand is occupied with carrying an umbrella for example. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to turn your wrist twice to open notifications? Some kind of finger tracking with radar like Googles Project Soli would be even cooler. But that's still a few years in the future. It might eventually end up in watches as the Android Wear boss recently hinted at in an interview with me. Can't wait for better control/input options for smartwatches.

I would really like for the Apple Watch to become completely independent from an iPhone so you could use it even with an Android phone. I doubt though that Apple likes that idea as much as I do. But what about the iPad? Wouldn't it at least be great if the Apple Watch would work with an iPad? Just like it does now with the iPhone. Having an iPad in your backpack could replace the need for a connected smartphone. If you need the big screen get the iPad. For everything else, you have your watch and Airpods.