With a rear sensor that tops out at 8MP, the 1 Plus isn’t setting out to please camera geeks. It’ll do the job in a pinch, but with the unmistakable image quality of a budget phone.
Autofocus is painfully slow, even in perfectly lit scenes, and it often refuses to lock onto a subject, continuously seeking for a focus point and resulting in blurry images.
Pressing the shutter sees another wait while the phone takes the photo and saves it, leaving you hanging for several seconds.
The basic camera app can take an age to open, either from standby with a double-tap of the power button or through the app shortcut. A five second or longer wait before you’re able to start snapping can often mean you’ve missed the moment.
There’s no HDR shooting at all, so you have to pick your shots carefully to avoid mixing high- and low-light areas.
It tends to underexpose most scenes, and shots appear soft in virtually all lighting conditions.
Only pictures taken outdoors in good light show any real detail, and even then the subject needs to be fairy close to the camera – landscapes are not this phone’s strong point.
At night, the basic LED flash isn’t all that effective at illuminating scenes, and the autofocus issues continue, so it can be a struggle to get a usable snap on the first try.
The 5MP selfie camera also leans towards softer images, with lower light shots in particular looking more like oil paintings than photos.
Should you expect better? Not without spending a fair bit more money.
This article originally appeared on https://www.stuff.tv/nokia/1-plus/review