Today’s update will feature phones from Motorola and Xiaomi that span from $999 down to $169.99. Starting with Xiaomi and the recent high score of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s camera system, we were curious to see how the lower-tiers models would compare and where they fit in the market.

Motorola’s newest G series (PLAY, POWER, STYLUS) is the company’s most popular product line, so let’s see how they rank. Also, the Motorola 5G ACE is one of the more affordable 5G handsets.

The 5G segment is becoming remarkably (price) competitive, especially with the recent arrival of Samsung’s affordable 5G handset. But before that, just a word about how we rank mobile cameras.

We rank these mobile camera systems based on our mobile camera HardWare benchmark called Camera HW. It ranks the hardware strength of an unprecedented number of mobile camera systems (172 today) with a proprietary algorithm that analyzes the cameras’ hardware.

For more details about this benchmark, check the Camera HW FAQ. The complete list of cameras is at the bottom of the page. The algorithm is tuned and adjusted with real-world image analysis from our image-based Camera IQ benchmark (IQ = Image Quality).

Camera HW scores update #7, Camera HW v1.1
SoC Segment
220 Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Snapdragon 888 $1000 + (1097) 20
168 Xiaomi Mi 11 Snapdragon 888 $999 – (999) 17
124 Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G Snapdragon 780 $399 – (400) 31
104 Motorola Moto One 5G Ace Snapdragon 750 $399 – (399.99) 26
100 Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021) Snapdragon 678 $299 – (299.99) 33
96 Motorola Moto G Power (2021) Snapdragon 662 $199 – (199.99) 48
69 Motorola Moto G Play (2021) Snapdragon 460 $199 – (169.99) 41

Xiaomi Mi 11 series

Based on currently available data and relative pricing of the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Mi 11 devices, our hardware analysis shows that the Mi 11 Ultra has better value than M11 (non-ultra). If you’re on the fence as to whether you should spend ~$100 more, we’d say, “go ahead. The camera upgrade is worth it.”

There’s a lot of inspiring competition against the Mi 11 camera In the sub-$999 segment. The OnePlus 9 (sub-$799) is a high-profile example, but there are others. You can read our OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro camera hardware overview to learn more about that one.

Motorola G and ONE Ace

All three moto g are relatively well-placed in their respective markets and should be competitive in the USA. On a worldwide basis, it will depend on the competition at the carrier or retailer level, but they exhibit decent camera hardware levels for the price.

The moto g Power offers the best camera value of all three. As you go up in price, you accrue a bit more camera quality, although at a higher cost since the more expensive phones will also feature other (non-camera) improvements such as larger batteries, display, 5G, etc.

The moto one ACE 5G competing neck-to-neck against the TCL 10 5G and of course the above Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G, both selling around $399. According to our data, Motorola has a slight advantage over the TCL 10 5G thanks to its primary camera. In contrast, the TCL 10 5G has a better ultrawide camera, so depending on your use case, you might be swayed by one or the other.

Overall, we expect both to provide a comparable overall camera experience, primarily since they both feature a macro camera as well.

We’re going to rank more 2021 mobile cameras recently announced, so stay tuned and keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. To get notifications in your browser, click on the orange subscribe button.

For more scores, head to the Camera HW benchmark page.

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