If you have not seen the results of my display tests for this phone, I encourage to you to check them out here:
I conducted the following tests with 4 phones. 2 Sprint Galaxy S II phones and 2 T-Mobile Galaxy S II phones. Now let's see how our phone compares with the Sprint phone when it comes to the front camera.
1. Front camera test using DSLR
For this test I borrowed some data from my earlier display test. All 4 phones were switched to front camera and the camera settings were reset to default. I then put the phones down on a table and took a picture with my Canon 60D.
Needless to say, this looks really really bad for T-Mobile sets. This is the test that gave me the idea that something else was going on here in addition to the well known screen problems of the T-Mobile/Telus phone. As we will shortly see, the T-Mobile phone is suffering from a double whammy of screen and camera problems in this test.
2. Low light test
For this test I lined up some random objects on the floor and took pictures using all 4 phones. The room was lit by one CFL bulb, pointed in the opposite direction of the objects being photographed. The camera settings were reset to factory settings. I used the 2-second timer to take pictures from the front camera. The EXIF data on all the pictures is identical. Please keep in mind that this test used jpeg data from the phone camera. And the screen defects played no role. Full size, un-edited pictures are available if you click on an image below.
Camera maker : SAMSUNG
Camera model : Sprint: SPH-D710 T-Mobile: SGH-T989
F-stop : f/2.8
Exposure time: 1/8 sec.
ISO speed : ISO-400
3. High light test
For this test I repeated test 2 above. But opened up the curtains to let the light in from outside and pointed the CFL bulb towards the objects being photographed.
And the parade of tears continues. Like the display, the front camera loses the battle badly. The hardware is supposed to be identical. Why does the T-Mobile continue to perform poorly? Was the QA team sleeping at the wheel?
The low light test probably needs no analysis. It is easy to see that the pictures from the T-Mobile phone are just plain dark. In the bright light test, if one is not paying attention it would be easy to overlook the washed out colors in the pictures produced by the T-Mobile camera.
I'll continue to update this post as additional data on the performance of front facing camera becomes available.