Galaxy Nexus vs. Xperia Ion: Which Has The Quicker Camera?

The Galaxy Nexus has direct-to-camera screen unlock and zero shutter delay. The Sony Xperia Ion (and the Xperia S, too) has “fast capture” which let’s you hold down the camera button while the phone is sleeping, instantly enabling the camera and automatically capturing. But which has the quicker camera? We put them head-to-head to find out:

As you can see, the Xperia Ion is the clear winner. Both phones are incredibly quick compared to the competition and 5-seconds or so could mean the difference between capturing a great picture or having it destined for your distant memory. The zero shutter delay is a feature of Android 4.0, so I’m hoping the Xperia Ion will get an update and add this asset to its arsenal. But even without Android 4.0, the Xperia Ion’s 12MP camera has a dangerous combination of power and speed.

I love when companies think of, design, and implement features that have a real and immediate impact on the consumer’s enjoyment and usability of a phone. We spoke with the Product Manager who had a leading hand in the user experience, user interface, and development who said the concept of “dynamic simplicty” was at the heart of Sony’s vision for the Xperia Ion and Xperia S. It seems to be working out very well.

I’m extremely excited about Sony’s acquisition of Sony Ericsson and the Ion and S illustrate why: direct incorporation of top-of-the-line cameras could catapult Sony above several others in the Android crowd. The 12MP camera seen on these new Xperia devices is more than we’ve seen on any American Android to hit the market and while megapixels don’t tell the full story, we know Sony will be bringing their A-game when it comes to sensors and camera quality across the board.

While I’m on the topic, I’ve been wanting an Android Phone with Optical Zoom for a LONG time, and I’m thinking/hoping that Sony could be the manufacturer to make that dream come true. Digital cameras and mobile phones have been converging towards one device for several years, but for the most part, phone cameras haven’t been powerful enough to replace the point-and-shoot. For me, optical zoom is one element preventing that, but Sony looks to have a good start on everything else.

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  • hulk smash

    Go Sony. Galaxy nexus is cool but its spec doesn’t blow anything away. I know it wasn’t meant to be the most powerful phone but come on! Go go sony.

    • ohmesohungry

      What they should do is rebuild android to run smoothly on a phone with less than 4 cores.  Lots of upside for the OS but it is sooo inefficient.

  • rohan

    After this ces, sony>motorolla>htc>samsung

    • Larizard

      Samsung historically brings out their big guns at Mobile World Congress. So come February, your list might change. Galaxy S3, anyone? :)

  • rohan

    After this ces, sony>motorolla>htc>samsung..

  • http://blog.zevdesigns.com Zev

    To let you know, almost all android cameras have an option for how long to review the photo. if you set that option to 0, then you can shoot photo after photo after photo without a delay.

    • robjackson81

      That prevents the image from displaying on the screen, but there is still a delay in the time it takes the sensor and processor to actually take the picture, render it, and make the memory available for the next shot. Even with “review picture” time set to zero.

  • Rafal Krawczyk

    How many pictures of the insides of their pockets will people have in their libraries now? ;)

  • Larizard

    Always lol at the first 0:01 second of every vid that Rob stars in. lol. Dat awkward “is it on?” moment.

    • robjackson81

      Ha! So true. I’m always thinking about what I’m going to say and then… all of a sudden… I have to start talking. Deer in droidlights!

  • JulianZHuang

    my D90 is faster. 

    • robjackson81

      Prove it ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/tonyperani Anthony Peran

        ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) fun

  • dreadnatty08

    Can’t believe OEMs are still bringing out phones without oleophobic screens.  Fingerprint fail on the Sony.

  • http://twitter.com/hirs0009 Phil Hirschman

    on my nexus s running ICS with the camera app closed it opens faster than the galaxy nexus?? there is no intermediate screen that shows the home screen before loading the camera app just instantly opens the camera app

  • FadyMahfouz

    Look how smudgy the Ion is !!! its disgusting.

    • http://stevealbright.com Steve Albright

      Rob’s fault.

    • Kaostheory

      If it’s the same as the rest of the Xperia line, they all ship with a screen protector from factory. Hard to get off but they can be removed.

  • William Svartnell

    Sony is better, no doubt.
    I don’t understand you guys being negative to Sony mobile? What’s hurting you that much? :)