Is Google’s Night Sight better than Huawei’s Night Mode?

Watching the western media rave over Google‘s brand new Night Sight low-light photography feature that recently hit Pixel smartphones, there was really only one thought going through my mind: Isn’t this just Huawei‘s Night Mode but with a nicer name?  It sure as hell looks like like a similar concept is being applied, but in so many of the articles I’ve seen about it, Huawei’s name has been conveniently left out. 

But, whatever. I’m not someone who’s into dwelling on conspiracy theories. The only thing I’m interested in finding out is whether Night Sight is better than Huawei’s Night Mode. Yup, you already know what that means: It’s camera comparison time.

In Malaysia, the most well-known fact about the Google Pixel is the fact that Google doesn’t officially sell it here. So, if you want to get your hands on, say a Pixel 3, you’d have to buy them through a grey importer. Luckily for us, the folks over at Mobile 2 Go were kind enough to send us a Google Pixel 3 XL for the purpose of this test. Naturally, they do offer the Google Pixel 3 XL, so you can pick one up for yourself at one of their retail outlets or online at Lazada. Of course, these are imported sets (or AP set) so they don’t come with official manufacturer warranties. 

The contenders

Having finally secured a Google Pixel 3 XL, I grabbed our Huawei Mate 20 Pro and — just so we’d have a wildcard option — I also grabbed an OPPO R17 Pro to see how it’d stack up. OPPO also debuted their own version of a “Night Mode” with the R17 Pro, so it should hold up pretty well. That said, the R17 Pro isn’t quite the kind of flagship that a Pixel 3 XL or a Mate 20 Pro is, so keep that in mind.

Before we proceed any further, I should let you know that the full comparison isn’t done yet. This post is kind of a teaser to the larger comparison which will be published at a later date. This post’s purpose is to give you a rough idea on what the smartphones and their respective Night modes are capable of. I’d also love to hear feedback from you about which phone you think took the best shot and what I can look out for as I complete testing for the full comparison. So be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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OK enough talk. Let me leave you with the photos I took with these three phones of two different scenes. These photos were all taken handheld. Click on each image to view its full resolution. 



Super duper dark

So, with what you’ve seen so far, who do you think has the best Night mode?

Photography by Rory Lee on the Sony A7 III.