What if you want a good set of cameras in a smartphone but you only have a budget below PhP 30,000/SG$ 700/INR 42,000 in your pocket?
GadgetMatch’s Camera Shootout segment isn’t particularly limited to high-end flagship smartphones with the best-in-class cameras. To prove that, I have tested two midrange phones by two different brands from two different East Asian countries.
Samsung, being a Korean giant, offers their top-notch midranger Galaxy A73 5G with a starting price of PhP 26,990/SG$ 698/INR 41,999. On the other hand, the Chinese phonemaker vivo has the V23 5G — directly competing at PhP 27,999/SG$ 699/INR 37,990.
The price gap isn’t that big to be a dealbreaker. But how about its camera quality? Let’s find out!
Disclaimer: Photo samples were taken in Auto, Portrait, and Night Mode. Photos were collaged, resized, and labeled for faster loading and preview. No other manipulations were applied.
The Galaxy A73 5G and vivo V23 5G both have a decent set of ultra-wide cameras: 12MP vs 8MP respectively — both with an f/2.2 aperture. But which one is wider and better?
This is where things get a huge gap. The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G rocks a 108MP f/1.8 wide camera with PDAF and OIS. On the other hand, V23 5G’s megapixel count is half the size at 64MP with PDAF without OIS and an aperture of f/1.9 — but you’ll be the judge.
Both phones don’t feature telephoto lenses. Instead, there are just the 5MP f/2.4 macro and depth sensors on the A73 5G and a 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor for the V23 5G.
To test both phones’ limits, here are some 2x shots that relied on digital zoom via its main sensor.
I used the default Auto Mode in photos where I think the lengthy Night Mode is unnecessary.
For better low-light photo results, I opted to use Night Mode among those scenarios where there’s barely a major source of light.
#25B (2x zoom)
Sorry for ruining the great set of photos above but if you value front cameras more than the rear cameras, this is an extra segment for you to see which one is a better selfie shooter — both day and night.
The only clear difference is that the V23 5G has a set of front-facing LED flash versus A73 5G’s fill light through its bright Super AMOLED+ display.
1A: Daytime (1x)
1B: Daytime (Ultra-Wide)
2A: Low-light without flash/fill light (1x)
2B: Low-light without flash/fill light (Ultra-Wide)
3A: Low-light with flash/fill light (1x)
3B: Low-light with flash/fill light (Ultra-Wide)
The camera duel between these two midrange smartphones ends here. To make it easier for you, results are consistent from the beginning ’til the bonus part:
Photo A — vivo V23 5G
Photo B — Samsung Galaxy A73 5G
As evident in the photo samples, the vivo V23 5G produces warmer photos. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A73 5G leans more towards the cooler side.
Although the White Balance (WB) accuracy depends on the photo-taker’s real-life witnessing, the V23 5G produced most of the color-accurate shots in this set — from food, greeneries, skies, inanimate objects, and even portraits.
The samples taken from the V23 5G also look more pleasing with better balance in High Dynamic Ranger (HDR) as well as the right amount of highlights, shadows, and saturation throughout the set.
While the ever-consistent cooler WB of the A73 5G can instantly be fixed by adjusting temperature levels, over-sharpened photos cannot be corrected via post. Although it helps emphasize photo details more, most of the time, it just destroys the image.
The issues are more evident when shooting Night Mode samples. Not because it produced brighter and sharper shots, it doesn’t mean it’s the photo that’s closer to reality. Albeit, Samsung’s software processing technique helped in one instance when I shot a low-light ultra-wide sample with Night Mode turned on and the V23 5G’s version looked badly smudged.
Lastly, the selfies are just a whole lot better in the Chinese midranger thanks to the inclusion of dual front-facing cameras with dual LED flash that its Korean counterpart failed to deliver.
Generally speaking, you won’t get regret getting either of these phones since, in other areas, they are pretty close in performance.
If having a bigger main sensor and an even wider ultra-wide sensor are big factors in choosing your next smartphone, get the Galaxy A73 5G. But if you want to shoot shots that are closer to the naked eye plus selfies that make you look and feel good, the vivo V23 5G delivered better.
Now, I regret saying my hot take before that the vivo V23 5G “doesn’t have the best cameras in any midranger right now” — when it delivered the better photo-centric outturn in this camera shootout.
Taking photos to the next level with the vivo V23 5G