It’s that time of the year again when we celebrate Diwali, the biggest festival of the Indian subcontinent. Known as the festival of lights, Diwali marks the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Diwali, along with Dussehra is also the time when India shops to its heart’s content. Since we are almost at the end of the shopping season, now is perhaps the best time to invest in a new gadget or a new purchase that you have been saving for all these months – especially – with prices set to go up again after the season ends. It is imperative, therefore, that you better make your purchase soon and we at MySmartPrice are here to help!

In a previous article, my colleague Awad listed a few unique smartphones that would make for great gifts for your loved ones. In this one, however, we take a look at four smartphones under Rs.100,000 that we tested and figured were the best for low light photography – something that we do often every Diwali. Note that all the devices in this list are the ones I tested at length. In fact, I went out capturing low light images for this article and used all four phones to get shots from the same angles and have included those images here as well.

Without further ado, let us talk about the first handset in our list and perhaps THE best phone of the lot as far as low light imaging is concerned.

Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro is the reigning champion of smartphone camera arena. Even though it has been around for some time now, it still leads the DXoMark charts by a good margin. During our testing, it became evident that the P20 Pro was the best camera phone that ever graced our test labs. While most modern flagship handsets excel at imaging when you have ample ambient light, things almost always certainly go downhill when the sun sets. The P20 Pro, however, is an exception. Even without invoking its dedicated night mode, the P20 pro is more than capable of capturing some stunning looking shots in the auto mode, most of which could give several dedicated cameras an inferiority complex.

Here are a bunch of images captured in low light using the Huawei P20 Pro.

The reason for the P20 Pro’s exceptional low light performance is its huge 1/1.78″ primary sensor (that is twice the size of the 1/2.55” sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S9). The large sensor and the wide aperture (f/1.8) allows the P20 Pro to gather more light than its competition and the results are like I said, exceptional. If you want to buy the all-out best smartphone for low light imaging this Diwali, you simply cannot go wrong with the P20 Pro.

Buy The Huawei P20 Pro

Google Pixel 3 XL

Another smartphone that needs to be talked about when we mention good camera phones is the Google Pixel 3 XL. Since we are concentrating on low light imaging in this article, it is important that we mention the new ‘Night Sight’ feature that the phone is expected to get soon. Even without the dedicated night mode, the Pixel 3 XL manages to capture excellent images in challenging lighting conditions. The phone also continues to boast of the best portrait mode on any smartphone currently sold on the planet. If your use case includes a lot of low light shots followed by several portrait shots, this is the phone to go for!

Here are a bunch of images captured in low light using the Google Pixel 3 XL.

The hardware behind the Pixel 3 XL’s excellent imaging prowess is a 12-megapixel dual pixel camera with a dedicated spectral and flicker sensor. Like the P20 Pro, this one also boasts of f/1.8 aperture to let in as much light as possible. The phone also gets a formidable 8-megapixel front facing camera which is perhaps among the best front-facing shooters we have ever used.

Buy The Google Pixel 3 XL

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 - Screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the flagship offering from the Korean electronics giant and makes for a formidable opponent for the other three smartphones mentioned in this article. While the P20 Pro and the Pixel 3XL have their own set of features that make them unique, what sets the Galaxy Note 9 apart from its peers is its dual 12-megapixel camera set up at the rear with the primary lens boasting of the unique dual aperture feature. That’s right! The primary camera is capable of adjusting the aperture to suit ambient lighting conditions in the range of f/1.5 to f/2.1. The Galaxy Note 9, therefore, is more than capable of capturing stunning low light shots.

Here are a bunch of images captured in low light using the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Adding to the Note 9’s capabilities is its excellent video recording features. It can record videos in 4K resolution at 60fps. Both the P20 Pro and so far the Pixel 3XL cannot do this as if now.  In my opinion, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 makes for a great all-rounder and is a true-blue flagship class device.

Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Apple iPhone XR

Apple iPhone XR

How could there be an article on excellent low light imaging without the mention of an iPhone? Well, the only iPhone model to make it to the list in this article is the iPhone XR. Yes, we also have the iPhone XS that is just under the INR 100,000 mark. However, in this article, I am listing only devices I personally tested. In this case, that device was the iPhone XR. Anyway, as evident from some of the images posted below, even this poor man’s 2018 iPhone (that costs around 76,000 for the base version mind you) features an excellent camera setup. At the rear, the phone gets a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with f/1.8 aperture. It is also capable of excellent portrait shots with support for advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The six element lens used on the device helps with lens flare and artifacts as well. At the front, there is a 7-megapixel ‘True Depth’ camera that also gets an excellent portrait mode.

Here are a bunch of images captured in low light using the Apple iPhone XR.

Buy The iPhone XR

These were four smartphones that I think would make for an excellent choice as your new camera phone this Diwali.

Apart from these four options, there are quite a few other handsets that are quite competent at low light imaging. These phones include the older Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL models, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the S9 Plus versions, and not to mention, the LG G7+ ThinQ. Which of these devices would you choose as your camera phone if you had the budget to buy one of these devices?

[Featured Image Via Pixabay]