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When it comes to analyzing the quality of a smartphone’s camera, there are two main approaches. There’s the guided style:

“We had a gander at the new [Smartphone] from the fine folks at [Smartphone Manufacturer], and we took its camera out for a spin to see how it performed under a variety of lighting conditions. When it comes right down to it, this camera is [excellent][great][good][not so good][horrendous] … and here’s why.”

And then there’s the choose-your-own-adventure method:

“We took [Smartphone] for a test drive to see how its camera performed, and rather than taint the results with our own prejudices, we thought we’d dump the raw material here, so that you can make up your own mind.”

Both approaches are certainly valid, but if you’re familiar with our typical review style, you know we at Pocketnow tend to go for the former method. While we do provide the raw photos for your viewing pleasure, we like to tell you what our experience with the camera was like, to lend context and to explain away any anomalies. After all, even the best camera can take a horrible shot under adverse conditions, and even the worst shooter stumbles across some gold on occasion.

smartphone guessing game
… like the one that took this gem.

But what if we took this out of the context of a review? What if we stripped all or most of the “tells” from a bunch of photos taken with the same smartphone and asked you to identify the device? Would you be able to figure it out, or might you be surprised by our little smartphone guessing game? Let’s find out.

The evidence

Below, you will find 18 photos, all of which were taken with the same smartphone. All the pictures have been resized and renamed, and all the EXIF data has been stripped. Otherwise, they’re untouched. In the gallery view, you can see the full-size shots, or you can download them if you want.


The clues

smartphone guessing game

When Michael first told me he was starting this series, I told him it wouldn’t be any fun without clues for you ladies and gents to at least go off of. This is meant to be difficult, a challenge – not impossible. As such, I’ve included a few, tiny hints to help you on your journey. And this time, I made sure to avoid any sneaky reflective surfaces.

    • It’s not the device in the title image (that’s an HP Pre 3, if you’re wondering), nor is it the background picture in the title image.
    • It’s powered by a Snapdragon 801 SoC.
    • It’s not any of the devices we’ve featured in previous guessing games.
    • It’s a device we’ve reviewed within the past 12 months.
    • It has curves in all the right places.


The answer

lg-g3-review-rebuttal-1You guessed it! (Or did you?) It’s the LG G3. We took it out for a spin at a park yesterday afternoon and snagged a few dozen brand new shots. Then I loaded them on the computer, resized, and renamed them. Finally, I scrubbed the EXIF data.

So how many got it right? Of the 53 guesses, over half, 53 percent or 28 in total, guessed it was the HTC One M8. And six (11 percent) of you were convinced it was the Xperia Z2. Wrong. Only 12 of you guessed the G3 – so about 23 percent. But of those 12, several guessed more than one device, so I’m not sure those actually count.

Either way, good job to those of you who guessed correctly!

Thanks for playing and stay tuned for the next edition of the smartphone guessing game. Until then, keep studying those photos, ladies and gents!

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