One of the biggest trends of the last year has been the addition of a secondary camera on the back side of smartphones. While this second lens can be used for a lot of things, like zooming in on landscapes and taking ultra-wide photos, the most popular camera feature has been Portrait Mode, especially on the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus.

Google has now released its brand new Pixel 2 smartphones and with it, the company’s own take on portrait mode. Let’s take a look and see if the Pixel’s single lens can compare to the iPhone’s dual-camera setup.

This blurry background effect created using portrait mode, known as bokeh, is typically something we see from professional photographers with DSLRs, which are capable of a shallower depth of field.

On phones like the iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras, this effect is replicated by combining data from both lenses. The Google Pixel 2, on the other hand, uses a combination of dual pixels within the camera sensor, AI, and machine learning. With the dual pixels, the camera is able to record double the amount of data in a scene and modify the image to create the bokeh look.

To see which setup is better, we took it to the test and captured side-by-side portrait mode photographs with the Google Pixel 2 XL and the iPhone 7 Plus. While I will let you decide which handset takes the better photo, I have to say that I found the Pixel 2 XL to take photographs with better true-to-life colors. It also seemed to handle different lighting scenarios better while the iPhone had better contrast.

Check out the photos below to see how each phone does. Each image is labeled with which smartphone captured it, simply mouse over the image to find out.

So, do you think the Google Pixel 2’s portrait mode is better than the iPhone 7 Plus? Or do you think the second camera does a better job at creating the effect? Answer the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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About the Author

Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at justin@jaduino.com. Tips are always welcome.