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Fairphone 4 Camera test

This device has been retested in the latest version of our protocol. Overall, sub-scores and attributes are up to date. For detailed information, check the What’s New article
OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We put the Fairphone 4 through our rigorous DXOMARK Camera test suite to measure its performance in photo, video, and zoom quality from an end-user perspective. This article breaks down how the device fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases and is intended to highlight the most important results of our testing with an extract of the captured data.

Overview

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 48MP 1/2″ sensor, 0.8 μm pixels, f/1.6 aperture lens, AF, OIS
  • Ultra-Wide: 48MP sensor, 1.6 μm pixels, f/2.2 aperture lens, AF
  • Video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30/60fps

Scoring

Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.


Fairphone 4
69
camera
60
photo
63

117

86

119

76

116

57

114

87

115

70

81

25
bokeh
25

80

34
preview
34

91

68
zoom
49

116

58

117

76
video
72

115

88

117

57

117

68

115

86

118

71

86

83

117

Use cases & Conditions

Use case scores indicate the product performance in specific situations. They are not included in the overall score calculations.

BEST 165

Outdoor

Photos & videos shot in bright light conditions (≥1000 lux)

BEST 151

Indoor

Photos & videos shot in good lighting conditions (≥100lux)

BEST 122

Lowlight

Photos & videos shot in low lighting conditions (<100 lux)

BEST 142

Friends & Family

Portrait and group photo & videos

Please be aware that beyond this point, we have not modified the initial test results. While data and products remain fully comparable, you might encounter mentions and references to the previous scores.

Pros

  • Low noise levels in bright light and indoor conditions
  • Good detail in bright light
  • Accurate white balance

Cons

  • Underexposure
  • Limited dynamic range
  • Unnatural rendering of dark skin tones (reddish cast)
  • Lack of detail in indoor and low light images
  • Strong white balance cast on night shots with flash
  • No bokeh mode
  • Narrower field of view on ultra-wide than many competitors

Following on the Fairphone 3, the Fairphone 4 is the latest iteration of the company’s sustainable smartphone and comes with overall refreshed hardware, including the addition of an ultra-wide camera and a wider aperture on the primary camera. Both camera modules use 48MP 1/2″ image sensors.

Despite the technology update, the Fairphone 4 does not come close to the category leaders Google Pixel 6 and Apple iPhone SE and occupies one of the lower spots in the DXOMARK Camera ranking for High-End smartphones. When shooting still images, the camera produces accurate white balance and controls noise well in bright light and under indoor conditions. However, the Fairphone 4 is held back by frequent underexposure and a lack of image detail.

The Fairphone 4 does not come with a dedicated tele module and as a result, tele image quality leaves some room for improvement. On the plus side, the ultra-wide is capable of achieving decent image results in the right conditions. The field of view is not quite as wide as on many competitors, though.

When recording video, the Fairphone delivers the best results in bright light and static scenes. In such conditions, footage shows pleasant colors, a neutral white balance, and an acceptable level of detail. Video stabilization is pretty effective as well. However, with moving subjects in the scene, autofocus instabilities, sharpness differences between frames and noise become noticeable, especially in low light.

Fairphone 4 Camera Scores
This graph compares DXOMARK photo, zoom and video scores between the tested device and references. Average and maximum scores of the price segment are also indicated. Average and maximum scores for each price segment are computed based on the DXOMARK database of devices tested.

Test summary

About DXOMARK Camera tests: DXOMARK’s Camera evaluations take place in laboratories and in real-world situations using a wide variety of subjects. The scores rely on objective tests for which the results are calculated directly by measurement software on our laboratory setups, and on perceptual tests in which a sophisticated set of metrics allow a panel of image experts to compare aspects of image quality that require human judgment. Testing a smartphone involves a team of engineers and technicians for about a week. Photo, Zoom, and Video quality are scored separately and then combined into an Overall score for comparison among the cameras in different devices. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera protocol, click here. More details on smartphone camera scores are available here. The following section gathers key elements of DXOMARK’s exhaustive tests and analyses. Full performance evaluations are available upon request. Please contact us  on how to receive a full report.

Photo

60

Fairphone 4

152

Huawei Mate 50 Pro
About DXOMARK Camera Photo tests

For scoring and analysis, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 2,600 test images both in controlled lab environments and in outdoor, indoor and low-light natural scenes, using the camera’s default settings. The photo protocol is designed to take into account the main use cases and is based on typical shooting scenarios, such as portraits, family, and landscape photography. The evaluation is performed by visually inspecting images against a reference of natural scenes, and by running objective measurements on images of charts captured in the lab under different lighting conditions from 1 to 1,000+ lux and color temperatures from 2,300K to 6,500K.

Fairphone 4 Photo scores vs High-End
The photo tests analyze image quality attributes such as exposure, color, texture, and noise in various light conditions. Autofocus performances and the presence of artifacts on all images captured in controlled lab conditions and in real-life images are also evaluated. All these attributes have a significant impact on the final quality of the images captured with the tested device and can help to understand the camera's main strengths and weaknesses.

Exposure

63

Fairphone 4

117

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Color

86

Fairphone 4

119

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Exposure and color are the key attributes for technically good pictures. For exposure, the main attribute evaluated is the brightness of the main subject through various use cases such as landscape, portrait, or still life. Other factors evaluated are the contrast and the dynamic range, eg. the ability to render visible details in both bright and dark areas of the image. Repeatability is also important, because it demonstrates the camera's ability to provide the same rendering when shooting several images of the same scene.
For color, the image quality attributes analyzed are skin-tone rendering, white balance, color shading, and repeatability. For color and skin tone rendering, we penalize unnatural colors but we respect a manufacturer's choice of color signature.

Fairphone 4: underexposure, shadow clipping, slightly reddish skin tones
Google Pixel 6: accurate target exposure
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G: accurate target exposure

Autofocus

76

Fairphone 4

116

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Autofocus tests concentrate on focus accuracy, focus repeatability, shooting time delay, and depth of field. Shooting delay is the difference between the time the user presses the capture button and the time the image is actually taken. It includes focusing speed and the capability of the device to capture images at the right time, what is called 'zero shutter lag' capability. Even if a shallow depth of field can be pleasant for a single subject portrait or close-up shot, it can also be a problem in some specific conditions such as group portraits; Both situations are tested. Focus accuracy is also evaluated in all the real-life images taken, from infinity to close-up objects and in low light to outdoor conditions.

Autofocus irregularity and speed: 20Lux Δ4EV Tungsten Handheld
This graph illustrates focus accuracy and speed and also zero shutter lag capability by showing the edge acutance versus the shooting time measured on the AFHDR setup on a series of pictures. All pictures were taken at 20Lux with Tungsten illuminant, 500ms after the defocus. On this scenario, the backlit panels in the scene are set up to simulate a fairly high dynamic range: the luminance ratio between the brightest point and a 18% reflective gray patch is 4, which we denote by a Exposure Value difference of 4. The edge acutance is measured on the four edges of the Dead Leaves chart, and the shooting time is measured on the LED Universal Timer.

Texture

57

Fairphone 4

114

Oppo Find X5

Texture tests analyze the level of details and the texture of subjects in the images taken in the lab as well as in real-life scenarios. For natural shots, particular attention is paid to the level of details in the bright and dark areas of the image. Objective measurements are performed on chart images taken in various lighting conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and different kinds of dynamic range conditions. The charts used are the proprietary DXOMARK chart (DMC) and the Dead Leaves chart.

DMC Detail preservation metric vs lux levels for tripod and handheld conditions
This graph shows the evolution of the DMC detail preservation score with the level of lux, for two holding conditions. DMC detail preservation score is derived from an AI-based metric trained to evaluate texture and details rendering on a selection of crops of our DXOMARK chart.

Noise

87

Fairphone 4

115

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

Noise tests analyze various attributes of noise such as intensity, chromaticity, grain, structure on real-life images as well as images of charts taken in the lab. For natural images, particular attention is paid to the noise on faces, landscapes, but also on dark areas and high dynamic range conditions. Noise on moving objects is also evaluated on natural images. Objective measurements are performed on images of charts taken in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and different kinds of dynamic range conditions. The chart used is the Dead Leaves chart and the standardized measurement such as Visual Noise derived from ISO 15739.

Visual noise evolution with illuminance levels in handheld condition
This graph shows the evolution of visual noise metric with the level of lux in handheld condition. The visual noise metric is the mean of visual noise measurement on all patches of the Dead Leaves chart in the AFHDR setup. DXOMARK visual noise measurement is derived from ISO15739 standard.

Artifacts

70

Fairphone 4

81

Google Pixel 6

The artifacts evaluation looks at lens shading, chromatic aberrations, geometrical distortion, edges ringing, halos, ghosting, quantization, unexpected color hue shifts, among others type of possible un-natural effects on photos. The more severe and the more frequent the artifact, the higher the point deduction on the score. The main artifacts observed and corresponding point loss are listed below.

Main photo artifacts penalties

Preview

60

Fairphone 4

152

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Preview tests analyze the image quality of the camera app's preview of the image, with particular attention paid to the difference between the capture and the preview, especially regarding dynamic range and the application of the bokeh effect. Also evaluated is the smoothness of the exposure, color and focus adaptation when zooming from the minimal to the maximal zoom factor available. The preview frame rate is measured using the LED Universal Timer.

Fairphone 4 Preview: limited dynamic range, underexposure on faces
Fairphone 4 Capture: limited dynamic range, stronger underexposure on faces

Zoom

68

Fairphone 4

151

Honor Magic4 Ultimate
About DXOMARK Camera Zoom tests

DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 400 test images in controlled lab environments and in outdoor, indoor, and low-light natural scenes, using the camera’s default settings and pinch zoom at various zoom factors from ultra wide to very long-range zoom. The evaluation is performed by visually inspecting the images against a reference of natural scenes, and by running objective measurements of chart mages captured in the lab under different conditions from 20 to 1000 lux and color temperatures from 2300K to 6500K.

Wide

58

Fairphone 4

117

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

These tests analyze the performance of the ultra-wide camera at several focal lengths from 12 mm to 20 mm. All image quality attributes are evaluated, with particular attention paid to such artifacts as chromatic aberrations, lens softness, and distortion. Pictures below are an extract of tested scenes.

Fairphone 4: accurate target exposure, strong lack of detail, low noise
Google Pixel 6: accurate target exposure, good detail, very slight noise
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G: accurate target exposure, good detail, noise

Tele

49

Fairphone 4

116

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

All image quality attributes are evaluated at focal lengths from approximately 40 mm to 300 mm, with particular attention paid to texture and detail. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

DMC Detail preservation metric vs lux levels for tripod and handheld conditions
This graph shows the evolution of the DMC detail preservation zoom score with the level of lux, for two holding conditions. DMC detail preservation score is derived from an AI-based metric trained to evaluate texture and details rendering on a selection of crops of our DXOMARK chart.
DMC Detail preservation metric vs lux levels for tripod and handheld conditions
This graph shows the evolution of the DMC detail preservation zoom score with the level of lux, for two holding conditions. DMC detail preservation score is derived from an AI-based metric trained to evaluate texture and details rendering on a selection of crops of our DXOMARK chart.
DMC Detail preservation metric vs lux levels for tripod and handheld conditions
This graph shows the evolution of the DMC detail preservation zoom score with the level of lux, for two holding conditions. DMC detail preservation score is derived from an AI-based metric trained to evaluate texture and details rendering on a selection of crops of our DXOMARK chart.

 

Video

76

Fairphone 4

149

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
About DXOMARK Camera Video tests

DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 2.5 hours of video in controlled lab environments and in natural low-light, indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. The evaluation consists of visually inspecting natural videos taken in various conditions and running objective measurements on videos of charts recorded in the lab under different conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and color temperatures from 2300 to 6500K.

Fairphone 4 Video scores
Video tests analyze the same image quality attributes as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture, or noise, in addition to temporal aspects such as speed, and smoothness and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

Exposure

72

Fairphone 4

115

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Color

88

Fairphone 4

117

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Exposure tests evaluate the brightness of the main subject and the dynamic range, eg. the ability to render visible details in both bright and dark areas of the image. Stability and temporal adaption of the exposure are also analyzed.
Image-quality color analysis looks at color rendering, skin-tone rendering, white balance, color shading, stability of the white balance and its adaption when light is changing.

Fairphone 4: good exposure but slight oscillation, strong sharpness differences between frames, some slight exposure instabilities while walking, things get worse when running while recording

Google Pixel 6: accurate and stable exposure, hardly any sharpness differences between frames  hardly visible while walking and slightly visible while running, camera shake well compensated

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G: accurate and stable exposure, hardly any sharpness differences between frames  hardly visible while walking and slightly visible while running, some camera shake, especially when running

Texture

68

Fairphone 4

115

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Texture tests analyze the level of details and texture of the real-life videos as well as the videos of charts recorded in the lab. Natural videos recordings are visually evaluated, with particular attention paid to the level of details in the bright and areas as well as in the dark. Objective measurements are performed of images of charts taken in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux. The charts used are the DXOMARK chart (DMC) and Dead Leaves chart.

DMC Detail preservation metric vs lux levels
This graph shows the evolution of the DMC detail preservation video score with the level of lux in video. DMC detail preservation score is derived from an AI-based metric trained to evaluate texture and details rendering on a selection of crops of our DXOMARK chart.

Noise

86

Fairphone 4

118

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

Noise tests analyze various attributes of noise such as intensity, chromaticity, grain, structure, temporal aspects on real-life video recording as well as videos of charts taken in the lab. Natural videos are visually evaluated, with particular attention paid to the noise in the dark areas and high dynamic range conditions. Objective measurements are performed on the videos of charts recorded in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux. The chart used is the DXOMARK visual noise chart.

Spatial visual noise evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of spatial visual noise with the level of lux. Spatial visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup. DXOMARK visual noise measurement is derived from ISO15739 standard.
Temporal visual noise evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of temporal visual noise with the level of lux. Temporal visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup.

Artifacts

71

Fairphone 4

86

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Artifacts are evaluated with MTF and ringing measurements on the SFR chart in the lab as well as frame-rate measurements using the LED Universal Timer. Natural videos are visually evaluated by paying particular attention to artifacts such as aliasing, quantization, blocking, and hue shift, among others. The more severe and the more frequent the artifact, the higher the point deduction from the score. The main artifacts and corresponding point loss are listed below.

Main video artifacts penalties

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