The Huawei Ascend D Quad casually sailed into Mobile World Congress and leads Huawei's smart phone fleet as its undisputed flagship. It's packing a powerful quad-core chip, a 720p screen and the latest version of Android.
If it hopes to have a long-term berth in everyone's pockets, it's going to have to deliver in the camera stakes too. To see just what the 8-megapixel snapper can do, I took it for a spin around Barcelona and compared the results to my very own iPhone 4.
I only had a brief hands-on time with the D Quad and I didn't have an iPhone 4S to hand with its improved camera, so the results of the test aren't a scientific conclusion, but it gives a good general idea of how well the new phone performs in the snapping stakes.
The quality settings on both handsets were set to their maximum and all other settings were left on automatic. On the left you'll see the image from the iPhone 4; on the right, the D Quad. Click the images to see the full size versions.
For some reason, Huawei had built a massive Pegasus out of mobile phones. Although bizarre, it provided a great opportunity to test both cameras' abilities to capture a clean image with varying brightness levels.
The D Quad (right) seemed to do a better job at delivering an even exposure, resulting in less of the scene being blown out in the top left corner. The more natural colour tones allowed for a better level of detail on the lovely horse itself.
Round one: Huawei D Quad
When looking out over the ledge of the palace above MWC, the iPhone 4 (left) seems to do a better job of providing a rich blue of the sky. The D Quad however brings warmer tones which are particularly pleasing on the towers.
The higher quality of the sensor on the D Quad is especially noticeable on the bush to the left where much more detail has been brought out.
Round two: Huawei D Quad
It's not all work in Barcelona. Sometimes you need to chill out under a big umbrella -- and get photographed by a crafty CNET UK reporter!
While the Huawei's 8 megapixels provide a more detail-rich shot (right), the iPhone was able to capture more vivid colour, making the blue sky overhead look so pretty I'm already looking forward to going back.
Round three: iPhone 4
After trekking to the top of the steps at the Palau Nacional, I was greeted with this delicious view over Barcelona, with Mobile World Congress sprawled out just below.
The iPhone 4's colour was particularly rich here (left), especially on the sky. In comparison, the D Quad's effort looked a little washed-out. For the bright day of a summer's holiday, the iPhone 4 seems to do a better job of capturing the deep colours.
Round four: iPhone 4
Getting up close and personal with this plant, I found the D Quad's more natural colour tones (right) to be better suited for capturing the detail on the white petals. The iPhone 4 wasn't able to expose so well, resulting in some highlights being blown out -- and no amount of Photoshopping will rescue totally blown highlights.
Round five: Huawei D Quad
The Huawei D Quad manages to provide the level of detail you'd expect from an 8-megapixel sensor. Its more natural colour tones certainly suit some scenes better, although if you want seriously rich landscape shots on your holidays, the iPhone 4 might be a better option.
In general, the D Quad managed to edge out the iPhone 4 with its greater detail and more even exposure. It's not going to replace a dedicated compact digital camera, but it will do the job well for capturing some on the go snaps if you don't want to carry too much with you.