Google says Apple's iPhone XS has a laughably bad camera

In a new ad, Google touts the Pixel 3's Night Sight feature and suggests iPhone XS is a terrible shot in the dark.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

Well, that's clear, isn't it?

Screenshot by ZDNET

You didn't buy an iPhone XS, did you?

Is it too late to give it back? Or perhaps you could sell it on eBay or your nearest street corner?

You see, I've just heard that the XS has a terrible, awful, truly no good camera.

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I know that Apple keeps plugging it with its "Shot on iPhone" campaign, but Google insists that the minute you try to take a picture in the dark, you'll end up with a picture that's, well, almost entirely dark.

I judge this from an entirely enthusiastic tweet emitted on Saturday night by Google's VP of product marketing, Marvin Chow.

It presented two images. On the left, a night scene allegedly shot on an iPhone XS. On the right, the same scene allegedly shot using the Pixel 3's Night Sight feature.

You'll be stunned into torpor as you see that the person shooting with the iPhone XS might as well have not bothered, while the fortunate soul with the Pixel 3 should instantly enter their photograph into every award show on Earth.

When things are placed in such stark relief, it's inevitable some might wonder whether this is all a touch exaggerated.

I have yet to hear too many iPhone XS owners curse the fates for forcing them to buy a phone that fails to faithfully record their nocturnal adventures.

Indeed, my colleague Jason Cipriani reviewed the XS and observed it has "an amazing camera."

Here, though, I'm supposed to believe that it's an embarrassment akin to wearing a fur waistcoat to a PETA party.

Some might fear, given the timing of Chow's tweet, that this is a mere warm-up to Google scorning the iPhone XS during next weekend's Super Bowl.

It would surely be painful for the Apple faithful to see their flagship phone humiliated, just as I hope Patriots coach Bill Belichick might be during the game.

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Then again, Pixel 3 doesn't appear to have made a vast breakthrough in capturing consumer minds. Rather like the Pixel 1 and 2.

That's not to say it isn't a fine phone. It's just that few have found it compelling and, indeed, its marketing hasn't exactly inspired vast swathes of commitment.

It's instructive that when phone brands seem to struggle to sell their wares, they choose to compare themselves to the iPhone.

In 2014, Samsung insisted the reason to buy a Galaxy S5 was because the iPhone's camera was visibly, risibly poor.

In first introducing Night Sight, Google offered a fine ad, but chose not to deride the iPhone.

It seems that this may not have been effective enough, so it's time to denigrate the iPhone.

Selling phones in a declining market is hard. People are generally happy with the phone they've got and aren't often moved by the thought of spending four figures on a new one.

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Indeed, not so long ago I went to a Verizon store and asked a salesman for the most compelling reason to buy a Pixel 3.

No, he didn't say the camera.

Instead, his answer was that it's not an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy.

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