Former Microsoft executive calls iPhone the best smartphone

James Marshall
August 2, 2017

Google's former senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra.

Vic Gundotra, who lead Google's mobile efforts for a couple of years, helped create Google+ and is an avid photographer, has a rather different opinion, claiming that Android is actually "a few years behind" the iPhone for mobile photography, and that, if you really care about photography, you should get an iPhone 7 Plus. Apple had previously struggled during iPhone 7's Beta launch to promote the portrait mode to customers.

What do you think, do you agree that iPhones tend to be better at photography compared to Android flagships?

My own experience is that the iPhone 7 Plus is surprisingly bad from a camera standpoint, especially the software-based and deeply-flawed Portrait mode.

The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-camera setup - 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel - on the rear wherein one is a wide-angle lens while the other is a telephoto lens.

That's why it was surprising this past weekend when Gundotra took to Facebook to wax lyrical about his iPhone 7's camera. However, the feature was not always so good.

Shaky reasoning aside, Gundotra is demonstrably wrong about the quality of Android phone cameras.

Gundotra himself took pictures of his kids using his iPhone without using the flash. "I would NEVER buy an Android phone again if I cared about photography". Gundotra engages in conversation in the comments section of his post and goes on to heavily criticize Android in response to someone saying Samsung's Galaxy S8 does an even better job with photography.

"The problem is Android", he writes.

According to Gundotra, the open source nature of Google's system makes it hard to innovate both on a hardware and software level simultaneously, as Android needs to be "neutral to all parties". Also, there isn't confusion over things like the Samsung Camera app and that of Google, because I can't tell you the last time I fired up a phone and it had more than a single camera app on it.

In a follow-up post an hour later (on 30 July), the former Google exec panned Android camera software and the fragmentation of the OS across phones from multiple manufacturers. He made a similar claim about the Samsung gallery versus Google Photos, which could be a valid concern in some ways. Therefore, according to Gundotra, all the hardware innovations implemented by Samsung in its camera have to be "surfaced" via the appropriate API on Google's end, and that can take years.

Also the greatest innovation isn't even happening at the hardware level - it's happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago - they had "auto awesome" that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc. but recently Google has fallen back).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article