Can photos from your phone look like they were 'Shot on iPhone 7'?

We put images from rival handsets up against Apple's ultimate snaps

If you live in a larger city, chances are you've seen the 'Shot on iPhone' billboards that have been dotted around for a few years now.

The award-winning campaign has long been an impressive way to highlight the quality of images that can be captured on Apple's phones, with the photos showcasing various different subject matters and styles.

The latest ones, for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, have focused on low-light photography – and Apple has been sending photographers around the world to get the most impressive pictures they can find (which you can see below).

It's clear that Apple has worked hard on getting the images to look as good as possible (using a "range of hardware and apps" to produce the final images – a look at the final resolution shows the images are larger than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can produce natively), but the upshot is that they create a stylized concept of what's possible with an Apple device, if you're willing to put in the effort and get creative.

Here at TechRadar we're constantly bombarded with claims of great low light performance from camera phones, so we got in touch with the leading smartphone manufacturers to see what they could offer by way of comparison, and wow us with their very own 'Shot on' campaigns.

We asked them to send us the best low light snaps their flagship phones can capture, and we're publishing them all here as galleries, with explanations of what / if any alterations were made post-shot. 

What's clear is smartphones are really good at taking pictures, no matter which brand you're a fan of – and we've roped in the expertise of TechRadar's Cameras Editor Phil Hall to give his trained opinion on the images from each phone.

So take a look at the range of snaps we've received, and let us know your favorites in the comments below.

  • (We've contacted all the major manufacturers, and while some had no photos to share, we're still waiting to hear back from others, so we'll update this piece if we hear anything more).
Image 1 of 7

'Jennifer Bin sought to show a different perspective of Shanghai.'
Image 2 of 7

Credit: Mathieu Beth Tan
Image 3 of 7

'Reuben Wu traveled from Chicago to the volcanos of Indonesia'
Image 4 of 7

'Eason Hsiung focused on the late night culture of Taipei'
Image 5 of 7

'Ruairidh McGlynn traveled by dogsled through Iceland, stopping for a break in this ice cave.'
Image 6 of 7

Credit: Photo by Arif Jawad
Image 7 of 7

'Photographer Elsa Bleda captured the energy, color and life of Johannesburg, South Africa.'

iPhone 7 specs: 

Weight: 138g | Dimensions: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP | Aperture: f/1.8

Enhancements: 'Some images shot on iPhone 7. Additional hardware and apps used.'

The photos above were taken using the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with Apple sending out a fleet of photographers to 'capture life from dusk to dawn using the low-light camera on iPhone 7'.

We've long been impressed with the iPhone's ability to shoot 'natural' snaps, not over-saturating, and there's an impressively ethereal quality to all the photos in Apple's Shot on iPhone campaign. We're almost at the point of being able to pick such a snap out of a crowd – and all the photos in this set are stunning.

The enhancements used on each are unclear, but the main takeaway is that all this is possible with a phone – whether it requires adding on hardware or using an app to touch up certain snaps, buying this phone will allow you to really flex your creative muscles – and potentially feature in a 'Shot on iPhone' campaign of the future if your snaps are good enough.

TechRadar's Photography Editor Phil Hall says: "There's no question that these images look mightily impressive. 

"I'd love to know, though, what's gone on behind the scenes – I'm guessing they've shot them in raw format to draw out the best quality possible, while there's been some clever post-processing, especially to control how image noise is rendered. 

"Regardless though, the images have real 'bite' and clarity, perfectly showing off what the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are capable of."

Download the images here

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Global Phones, Tablets and Wearables Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been in charge of phones, tablets and wearables at TechRadar for the best part of a decade. He can instantly recommend the best phone for you, or can be found running around the nearest park with the latest fitness tech strapped to his wrist, head or any other applicable body part.