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Honor Magic4 Ultimate Camera test

OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate is the Chinese brand’s flagship device, featuring top-end specs all around, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G chipset. The rear camera features a 1/1.12″ 50MP sensor, one of the largest we have seen on a phone and the same size as on last year’s Mi 11 Ultra, in the stabilized primary module. The ultra-wide and tele modules both come with a 1/2.0″ 64MP sensor and offer a focal length range from 11mm to 90mm equivalent. The camera also features a flicker detection sensor that is used to guide the exposure system by capturing ambient light and that helps to prevent banding artifacts. A spectrum-enhanced camera (not activated yet with the tested firmware version) captures additional light information from the near-infrared part of the light spectrum which enhances the clarity and dynamic range of images in outdoor conditions.

The camera also uses fusion algorithms to improve texture at the center of the frame when tele zooming. In addition, tele quality is improved through combining optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI super-resolution algorithms.

In video mode the camera can record 4K video at 30 frames per second. In a later firmware version (that we have not yet tested) HDR10+ recording will be available as well as a standalone AI chipset which could help enhance texture and noise as well the brightness in low light videos recorded at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second.

Let’s see how the Honor Magic4 Ultimate camera performed in the DXOMARK Camera tests.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 50 MP 1/1.12″ sensor, 1.4μm pixels, 23mm equivalent focal length, f/1.6-aperture lens, OIS, PDAF, Laser-AF
  • Ultra-wide: 64MP 1/2.0″ sensor, 0.7μm pixels, 11mm equivalent focal length, f/2.2-aperture lens, PDAF
  • Tele: 64MP 1/2.0″ sensor, 0.7μm pixels, 90mm equivalent focal length, f/3.5-aperture lens, OIS, PDAF
  • LED flash
  • Flicker sensor
  • Spectrum-enhanced sensor
  • 4K at 30fps, 1080p up to 60fps (tested at 4K/30fps)

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary


Honor Magic4 Ultimate
146
camera
153
Photo
111

Best

105

107

106

109

106

111

102

Best

71

77

80

82

75

80

64

80

107
Zoom
140

Best

58

Best

117
Video
101

118

107

Best

102

109

91

99

104

105

80

94

102

103

Pros

  • Good exposure and wide dynamic range
  • Fast and consistent autofocus
  • Low noise in bright light and indoors
  • Nice white balance
  • Good detail at all tele settings, especially medium range
  • Good exposure and low noise on ultra-wide camera
  • Accurate exposure and good texture/noise trade-off in night shots
  • Good subject isolation in bokeh mode
  • Effective video stabilization
  • Nice color and white balance in video mode
  • Good video exposure, especially indoors and in low light
  • Low noise and high detail in video

Cons

  • Low contrast in some HDR scenes
  • Some local loss of detail in the shadows
  • Muted colors in backlit scenes
  • Fusion artifacts on tele and ultra-wide cameras
  • Slightly limited dynamic range in video, highlight clipping
  • Video artifacts, including hue shift and ghosting
  • Sharpness differences between video frames in low light
  • White balance instabilities in video

With a DXOMARK Camera score of 146 the Honor Magic4 Ultimate is the new No. 1 in our ranking, thanks to outstanding still image performance across multiple use cases, such as portraits, night shots, cityscapes, action images and zooming. The Honor also does very well in the video category, with good detail capture, and very efficient stabilization. Overall video performance is on par with its main rivals.

When shooting photos, the camera offers a wide dynamic range while maintaining pleasant contrast. Combined with the second-best texture/noise compromise that we have seen to date, this allows for excellent detail capture in both portrait and landscape images. The autofocus with its well-implemented zero shutter lag makes the Honor a good pick for action images as images are captured pretty much instantaneously when the shutter is triggered. In addition, moving subjects are free of motion blur, although some slight fusion artifacts can be visible.

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate is also an excellent tool when it comes to night photography, ranking second in the Night category. Accurate colors and good exposure make for stunning nightscapes and night portraits are rendered well, even without flash use. Detail capture is great in low light and motion blur is controlled well.

This Honor Magic4 Ultimate picture has a wide dynamic range, nice color, and contrast as well very high levels of detail and very low noise.

The Honor is also one of the best phones we have tested to date for zooming in or out. With its 11mm equivalent ultra-wide camera, it offers the widest field of view of any camera we have tested to date. Despite the wide lens, distortion and anamorphosis are well under control, making the device a good pick for wide-angle portraits. In addition, the camera captures better detail than the competition at 16mm, which is the default ultra-wide setting. This is achieved by fusing image data from the ultra-wide and primary cameras. On the downside, some fusion artifacts in the shape of a local loss of detail can sometimes become noticeable. But target exposure and color rendering are usually accurate. White balance is pleasant in all conditions.

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate is also outstanding for tele zooming, thanks to the combination of a 64MP 90mm equivalent tele module with a number of image fusion solutions that result in excellent detail and a wide dynamic range at all tele zoom settings. At close range, levels of detail are high and on par with the direct rivals, while capturing a lot of dynamic range. The high levels of detail are likely explained by AI fusion algorithms that improve fine detail in the most important areas of the frame. But this technology comes at a cost because a variation in the level of captured detail is often noticeable across the frame.

Medium range (approximately 3.5x)  is where the Honor Magic4 Ultimate really shines. Detail is very high compared to the direct competition. Dynamic range is wide, and color rendering and target exposure are pleasant in all tested conditions, including low light.

Comparison: Focal lengths of flagship phone camera modules

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate does not achieve a top score for Video, but it is still an excellent phone for recording moving pictures. Colors are accurate and vivid, especially in bright light and low light, delivering an overall very pleasant look. Fine detail is pretty well preserved, and overall the texture/noise trade-off for video is on par with the competition. Dynamic range is slightly more limited than on the best in class but the camera maintains good exposure, even in difficult backlit video scenes.

Photo

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate achieves a Photo score of 153. In this section, we take a closer look at each sub-attribute and compare image quality against competitors.

Exposure and Contrast

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

111

Highest Score

In these tests, we analyze target exposure, contrast, and dynamic range, including repeatability across a series of images. Tests are undertaken in a wide range of light conditions, including backlit scenes and low light down to 1 lux. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate delivers very high contrast entropy values in all test conditions. Contrast entropy is a measurement of the quantity of information (in terms of levels of gray) contained in a given part of the scene. When shooting handheld, the Honor usually manages to capture more information in areas near saturation than its rivals. Performance is consistent across all conditions, even where the comparison cameras struggle, for example, 100 lux TL84 with a brightness difference of EV7.

This graph shows the average entropy for multiple HDR lighting conditions. Contrast entropy (measured in bits) is a measure of dynamic range and is computed on the gray patches on the HDR charts within the autofocus HDR setup. A value lower than 2 is unacceptable.

Some cameras have a tendency to slightly underexpose in order to protect the highlights in an image. This is not the case for the Honor, which delivers consistent target exposure and high entropy values at the same time. This is true even for difficult high-contrast and low-light conditions.

This graph shows the lightness of the 18% patch of the deadleaves chart in the autofocus HDR setup DXOMARK AFHDR setup for multiple HDR lighting conditions.

 

In this backlit scene, target exposure on the face is accurate and a wide dynamic range ensures there is good detail in the bright sky in the background, with only very slight highlight clipping. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra completely clips the sky and some branches of the background tree and captures slightly low contrast. Ideally for this kind of scene nice skin tones and good contrast are maintained and the Honor strikes a very good compromise in this respect. Face exposure is very slightly lower than on the P50 Pro, but overall both the Honor and Huawei deliver very good exposure.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good face exposure, inaccurate skin tones
Huawei P50 Pro, good face exposure, clipping in the sky, inaccurate skin tones
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, good face exposure, clipping, inaccurate skin tones

In low light, the Honor usually delivers accurate exposure and a dynamic range that is slightly wider than on competitors. A lot of detail is retained in shadow and especially highlight areas of the frame. The P50 Pro has a very similar dynamic range but highlight clipping is slightly more visible. Even though the Mi 11 Ultra has a darker exposure, it shows more highlight clipping.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good exposure and wide dynamic range, minimal clipping
Huawei P50 Pro, good exposure and wide dynamic range
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, darker exposure but more clipping

Color

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

105

107

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (107)

In these tests, we analyze color rendering, skin tones, white balance, and color shading, including repeatability across a series of images. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

In bright light, the Honor’s color rendering is accurate with pleasant saturation. The P50 Pro has some issues with the sky, which is often rendered too blue in cloudy conditions. The Honor tends to render skies very accurately, but cool casts can be slightly noticeable in cloudy weather or in high-contrast scenes. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra images often show a slight pink cast. The Huawei P50 Pro is the most neutral in this regard.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, nice color, and accurate white balance
Huawei P50 Pro, nice white balance, but sky is rendered blue in this scene even though it is actually gray
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, nice white balance, color of grass slightly inaccurate

When capturing indoor scenes, slight green and orange casts can be noticeable, especially in backlit high-contrast scenes. In this sample, there is an orange cast visible, and skin tones look too pink.  But skin tones are inaccurate on the comparison devices as well. Note that the Honor delivers a wider dynamic range here than the Huawei, which clips the background.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, strong white balance cast, inaccurate skin tones
Huawei P50 Pro, slightly inaccurate color rendering
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, slight pink cast, inaccurate skin tones

Autofocus

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

106

109

Asus Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders
Best: Asus Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders (109)

In these tests, we analyze autofocus accuracy and shooting time, including repeatability, in the lab. We test focus failures, depth of field, and tracking of moving subjects using perceptual analysis of real-life images.

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate uses Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) technology, which allows for image capture exactly at the same time the shutter is triggered, without any delay. To achieve this, images are continuously buffered while the camera app is open. The autofocus is very consistent in all conditions. This graph shows autofocus-reaction performance in challenging low light. The closer together the points are, the more stable the autofocus. The farther apart the points are from one another indicates autofocus instability. The Honor does very well, with a short focus delay and high acutance in all shots.  The comparison devices are a little more unstable in terms of both delay (Huawei P50 Pro) and acutance (Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra).

This graph plots edge acutance against shooting time measured on the AFHDR set up on a series of pictures. All pictures are taken at 5 lux with tungsten illuminant,  handheld, 500ms after the target is defocused. Edge acutance is measured on the four edges of the deadleaves, shooting time is measured on an LED Universal Timer.

In this difficult backlit scene, the photographer triggers the shutter when the model passes through the door frame. On the Honor, the image has been captured at that precise moment, thanks to Zero Shutter Lag doing its job, even in difficult conditions and for a portrait shot where face detection plays an important role. The subject is in focus and no motion blur is visible.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, fast capture after shot is triggered, subject in focus, no motion blur
Huawei P50 Pro, fast capture after shot is triggered, subject in focus, no motion blur
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, fast capture after shot is triggered, motion blur on subject

Due to the large image sensor (for a smartphone) size in Honor’s primary camera and the wide aperture, depth of field is, at least on paper, pretty shallow. However, the Magic4 Ultimate uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and sharpen partially blurred subjects in the background, similar (but not quite as polished) to what we’ve seen previously on the Mi 11 Ultra. This way, multiple subjects in different focus planes can be rendered sharp.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, depth of field
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: good detail on foreground subject, loss of detail on background subject
Huawei P50 Pro, depth of field
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: good detail on both subjects
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, depth of field
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: good detail on both subjects

Texture

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

106

111

Xiaomi Mi 11
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 (111)

In these tests we analyze texture on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

The Magic4 Ultimate captures high levels of detail in all conditions compared to its rivals, especially when shooting handheld in low light. Results are quite similar between handheld and tripod-based shooting. On the comparison devices, the differences are more pronounced.

This graph shows DMC detail preservation against the light level (in lux) for handheld and tripod-mounted shooting.
DMC detail preservation metric is an AI-based texture analysis trained on three selected crops of our DXOMARK chart. The closer the value is to 100, the higher is detail preservation.

In low light, the Honor Magic4 Ultimate captures even better fine detail than the comparison phones, which are both among the best phones we have tested.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, low light texture
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: fine detail is well preserved
Huawei P50 Pro, low light texture
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: lack of fine detail
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, low light texture
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: lack of fine detail

In bright outdoor light, fine detail is very well preserved. The level of detail is slightly better than the Huawei P50 Pro, and the Honor also applies slightly stronger sharpening. In this landscape scene, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra delivers the best fine detail among the rival cameras.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, outdoor texture
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: good fine detail
Huawei P50 Pro, outdoor texture
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: good fine detail
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, outdoor texture
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: very good fine detail

Noise

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

102

Highest Score

In these tests, we analyze noise on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

The Honor camera usually keeps image noise very well under control and overall the Magic4 Ultimate’s performance is close to its flagship rivals and better than the iPhone 13 Pro Max in all conditions.

This graph shows visual noise against the light level (in lux) when the camera is handheld. The visual noise metric is the mean of visual noise measurement on all patches of the deadleaves chart in the AFHDR setup.

 

Noise levels are very low, even in high-contrast conditions. In this low light scene (5 lux), hardly any noise is visible.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, low light noise
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: noise well under control
Huawei P50 Pro, low light noise
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: chroma noise in areas of plain color
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, low light noise
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: slight fine luminance noise

Bokeh

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

75

80

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (80)

For these tests, we switch to the camera’s bokeh or portrait mode and analyze depth estimation, bokeh shape, blur gradient, and repeatability, as well as all other general image quality attributes mentioned above. The score is derived from perceptual analysis of real-life images.

We  tested aperture mode on the Honor, and in bokeh mode, the device applies blur to the foreground, making for a realistic effect. Depth estimation is not as good as on the P50 Pro but is similar to the Xiaomi, and is overall accurate. Background blur is strong, similar to the Huawei P50 Pro. In comparison, the Xiaomi applies less blur. On the downside, the blur gradient is not very smooth and bokeh images show a lack of fine detail.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, bokeh mode
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: excellent depth estimation, strong blur, abrupt blur transition, lack of fine detail
Huawei P50 Pro, bokeh mode
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: excellent depth estimation, even on fine detail, strong blur and nice gradient, good fine detail
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, bokeh mode
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: excellent depth estimation, nice gradient, pretty good fine detail

Night

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

80

82

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (82)

In these tests, we shoot a selection of images in pitch-black darkness as well as with city lights in the background providing some illumination. We shoot sample images with the camera at default settings in both flash-auto and flash-off modes. We analyze all image quality attributes but we pay particular attention to exposure, autofocus, and color. We do not test night modes that have to be activated manually.

On night portrait shots like the one below, the Honor Magic4 Ultimate does not trigger the flash when set to flash-auto mode. This allows for a more even exposure and therefore more natural rendering of the scene. However, shooting in low light without a flash is challenging to any camera and can result in motion blur and ghosting effects. The Honor masters the challenge, though. Even without triggering the flash, the subject and background exposure are good. In addition, fine detail is better than on the rival phones, and there is no motion blur on the face. Color rendering is usually accurate, and overall, the Honor beats the competition in most night scenes.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, flash-auto
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: good subject and background exposure, good detail on subject
Huawei P50 Pro, flash-auto
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: good subject and background exposure, lack of fine detail on subject
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, flash-auto
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: good subject and background exposure, lack of fine detail on subject, hue shift on face

With the flash forced off, exposure and color are accurate in landscape scenes. Dynamic range is wider and detail is better than the rivals. Noise is well under control, but color quantization is visible in the sky. Overall, the Honor is the best device we have tested to date for night shots without flash.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, flash-off
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: good fine detail
Huawei P50 Pro, flash-off
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: lack of fine detail
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, flash-off
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: lack of fine detail

Artifacts

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

71

77

Google Pixel 6
Best: Google Pixel 6 (77)

In these tests, we check images for optical artifacts such as vignetting, flare, lens softness in the corners, distortion, and chromatic aberrations, as well as for processing artifacts such as ghosting and fusion errors, hue shift, and ringing.

Image artifacts are well controlled on the Magic4 Ultimate. However, our testers observed some issues, such as fusion artifacts. This is especially true for fine detail around subjects in high-contrast scenes. However, it’s fair to say that we only observed the issues shown here in approximately ten images out of the thousands of samples we shoot for a test like this.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, fusion artifacts
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: unnatural rendering of hair in some areas
Huawei P50 Pro, fusion artifacts
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: slightly unnatural rendering of hair
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, fusion artifacts
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: hair looks natural

Fusion artifacts are visible in this light reflection on the wall. There is also strong color quantization in this sample.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, artifacts
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, fusion artifacts, color quantization

Preview

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

64

80

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (80)

In these tests, we analyze the image quality of the preview image and the differences between preview images and captured images, particularly in terms of exposure, dynamic range, and bokeh effect. We also check the smoothness of the field-of-view changes in the preview image when zooming with both buttons or when using the pinch-zoom gesture.

The Honor’s preview image shows some differences to the final capture. Dynamic range of the preview is much more limited than in capture, with higher levels of highlight clipping. Target exposure is usually quite close between preview and capture, and in bokeh scenes, the blur effect is properly applied to the preview image. Blur intensity is a little lower than in capture.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, preview: visible difference to capture in terms of highlight clipping; bokeh simulation is well done in preview, but blur is slightly lower than on capture.
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, capture

Zoom

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate achieves a Zoom score of 107. The Zoom score includes the tele and wide sub-scores. In this section, we take a closer look at how these sub-scores were achieved and compare zoom image quality against the competitors.

Wide

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

58

Highest Score

In these tests, we analyze the performance of the ultra-wide camera at several focal lengths from 12 to 20 mm. We look at all image quality attributes, but we pay particular attention to such artifacts as chromatic aberrations, lens softness, and distortion.

The Honor’s ultra-wide focal length of 11mm is the widest in our test database. This allows the camera to capture more elements of the scene than its rivals. For portrait shots, the camera uses image fusion to improve detail on faces. However, the fusion algorithms can also sometimes cause a local loss of texture. Target exposure is good, and color rendering, as well as white balance, are usually accurate. However, on some occasions, blue color casts can have a negative impact on skin tone rendering, like in this sample.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, ultra-wide 13mm
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: good fine detail on face
Huawei P50 Pro, ultra-wide 13mm
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: loss of fine detail on subject
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, ultra-wide 13mm
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: loss of fine detail on subject

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate uses image fusion on its ultra-wide camera in order to push detail. In this 18mm scene, fine detail is better preserved than on the rival cameras. Noise is well under control, and the Honor offers a much better texture/noise trade-off than the competition. Aliasing is often visible in areas of high-frequency patterns.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, ultra-wide 18mm
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, very good fine detail, low noise
Huawei P50 Pro, ultra-wide 18mm
Huawei P50 Pro, good fine detail, low noise
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, ultra-wide 18mm
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: good fine detail, low noise

Tele

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

140

Highest Score

In these tests, we analyze all image quality attributes at focal lengths from approximately 40 to 300 mm, paying particular attention to texture and detail. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

The graph below shows the light collection capability of several devices across all equivalent focal lengths. Light collection is an estimation of the amount of light that the sensor can capture in a single exposure. It is defined as follows, with S being the effective area of the sensor and Fn the aperture. The higher the value, the higher the number of photons that arrive at the sensor.

We see decreasing curves in the graph because as we frame to a given field of view (or equivalent focal length), the effective sensor areas decrease. The vertical purple dotted line marks the default focal length of the Honor’s ultra-wide camera. The graph shows that, at least on paper, the Honor Magic4 Ultimate is capable of capturing more light than its competitors in a single exposure of the primary sensor. At ultra-wide and long tele settings only the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra collects more photons. Please also note that the Honor Magic4 Ultimate offers an up to 100x digital zoom option for those really long tele shots.

Comparison: light collection capability across focal lengths

At short range, tele detail is very high at the center of the frame. To achieve this, the camera captures this kind of image using its tele camera and then fills the outer areas of the frame with image data from the primary camera. In these outer areas, a noticeable drop in detail can be observed. For short-range tele shots, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is, therefore, a better choice.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, short-range tele
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: good detail at center but fusion artifacts
Huawei P50 Pro, short-range tele
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: lack of fine detail but consistent texture
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, short-range tele
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: lack of detail but consistent texture

Thanks to its 90mm tele module in combination with an efficient detail enhancement algorithm, the Honor Magic4 Ultimate manages to render better texture than its rivals at medium range tele. Target exposure is usually good, and dynamic range is as similarly wide as the Huawei P50 Pro. Colors are nice.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, medium-range tele
Honor Magic4 Ultimate, crop: very good detail
Huawei P50 Pro, medium-range tele
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: lack of fine detail
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, medium-range tele
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, crop: lack of fine detail

On the Magic4 Ultimate, measured resolution is very high at all focal lengths and usually higher than on the competition.

Tele zoom resolution comparison

Video

In our Video tests, we analyze the same image quality attributes as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture or noise, but we also include such temporal aspects as speed, and smoothness and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

NOTE: The sample video clips in this section are best viewed at 4K resolution. 

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate achieves a Video score of 117. A device’s overall Video score is derived from its performance and results across a range of attributes in the same way as the Photo score. In this section, we take a closer look at these sub-scores and compare video image quality against competitors.

Exposure and Contrast

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

101

118

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (118)

Video target exposure is usually accurate, and the camera offers a dynamic range that is good but not among the very best, with pleasant contrast in backlit scenes. The Huawei P50 Pro shows some more highlight clipping in the bright window, and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra struggles with contrast on the dark-skinned model. Some exposure blinking can be visible, but exposure transitions in changing light conditions are pretty smooth.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good face exposure and wide dynamic range, good contrast

Huawei P50 Pro, good face exposure, some clipping, good contrast

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, good face exposure, wide dynamic range, lack of contrast

The Honor’s videos show wide dynamic range, but in difficult backlit scenes, some clipping can be visible. Target exposure and contrast remain good, though. The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a very wide dynamic range, minimizing highlight clipping. The Vivo X70 Pro+ exposes well, but dynamic range is more limited and contrast can be low.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good target exposure and contrast, clipping

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, good target exposure and contrast, slight clipping, strong flare

Vivo X70 Pro+, good target exposure, occasionally low contrast, clipping

Color

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

107

Highest Score

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate achieves one of the best scores for video color to date, thanks to pleasant color in all conditions. White balance is accurate, with smooth transitions in bright light and under indoor lighting. This said, adjustments to changing light conditions aren’t quite as nice in low light.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good color and white balance

Huawei P50 Pro, good color and white balance

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, good color and white balance

Color rendering in video mode is very accurate, especially in bright outdoor conditions and in low light. White balance is nice, and skin tones look better than on the comparison devices.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, accurate color rendering and skin tones, nice white balance

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, accurate color rendering and skin tones, nice white balance

Vivo X70 Pro+, strong saturation, nice white balance

Autofocus

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

102

109

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (109)

In video mode, the Honor camera focuses well and does a good job at tracking subjects. The AF system reacts quickly and accurately to changes in the scene, but focus changes can be a little too abrupt.

 

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good focus, abrupt transition

Huawei P50 Pro, good focus, smooth transition

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, good focus, smooth transition

Texture

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

91

99

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G (Snapdragon)
Best: Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G (Snapdragon) (99)

In the lab, the Honor achieves a high level for both texture and edge acutance. In this graph, you can see that in most conditions, texture acutance is on a similar level as on the flagship rivals.

This graph shows texture and edge acutance against light level (in lux). Texture and edge acutance are measured on the deadleaves chart in DXOMARK’s video deadleaves setup.

In bright outdoor light, fine detail is rendered pretty well. Detail preservation is slightly better than on the Huawei P50 Pro but not quite as good as the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, good fine detail

Huawei P50 Pro, good fine detail

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, very good fine detail

Noise

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

104

105

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (105)

In videos, noise is very well under control in all conditions, even in challenging high-contrast scenes. The Honor ranks fairly high in low light, where noise is less noticeable than on the rivals. In this graph, we can see that noise levels are very low in all conditions except extremely low light (1 lux). At 5 and 20 lux, the Honor captures cleaner video than the competition.

This graph shows spatial-visual noise against light level (in lux). Spatial visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in DXOMARK’s video noise setup.

Both spatial and temporal noise are well controlled, even in low light. This is true for both areas of plain color and texture in the frame.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, low noise

Huawei P50 Pro, some noise, especially on textured areas

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, some noise

Artifacts

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

80

94

Oppo Find X2 Pro
Best: Oppo Find X2 Pro (94)

For video artifacts, we check for the same kinds of artifacts mentioned in the Photo section, along with such video-specific artifacts as frame rate variation in different light conditions, judder effect, and moving artifacts (artifacts such as aliasing, color quantization, and flare can often be more intrusive when moving than in a still image).

The Honor Magic4 Ultimate does not feature adaptive frame rates and records video at 30 frames per second in all light conditions. As a result, a judder effect can be noticeable when panning the camera. In contrast, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra increases the frame rate to 60 frames per second in indoor and bright outdoor conditions in order to reduce judder.

This graph shows video frame rates against light level (in lux).

Stabilization

Honor Magic4 Ultimate

102

103

Vivo X70 Pro+
Best: Vivo X70 Pro+ (103)

In these tests, we analyze residual motion when handholding the camera during recording, as well as when walking and running with the camera. We also look for stabilization artifacts such as jello effect, sharpness differences between frames, and frame shift (abrupt changes of framing).

Video stabilization is efficient at counteracting all kinds of camera motion and performance is overall slightly better than the flagship competition.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, effective stabilization when walking

Huawei P50 Pro, effective stabilization when walking

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, effective stabilization when walking

Despite excellent compensation for motion, sharpness differences between frames are often visible in low light. In this sample clip, we can see the effect when the camera is in motion. It is also quite noticeable on the Huawei P50 Pro, but the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra does a pretty good job at maintaining good sharpness on all frames.

Honor Magic4 Ultimate, sharpness differences between frames

Huawei P50 Pro, some noise, sharpness differences between frames

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, slight sharpness differences between frames

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