Remember the bad old days when Android cameras were’t great, or even good? Ex-Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google Vic Gundotra has now come out and explained why he will never buy an Android phone for photography.

Mr Gundotra, who was behind a lot of innovations at Google, notably Google+ and their mobile division between 2007-2010, once famously commented on a Google+ post that ‘We are committed to making Nexus phones insanely great cameras. Just you wait and see’. After waiting a few more years through the Nexus 6 which remained average, we finally got the Nexus 6P (the 5x was good when it loaded in under half an hour), which finally brought great cameras to Nexus, though that came just in time to see the Nexus program replaced by Pixel which are again insanely great cameras.

As CEO of health company AlivCor, Mr Gundotra has now firmly left his Android roots behind and switched to the iPhone 7 lauding the phones ability to take great, almost DSLR like photos. When a user stated that the Samsung Galaxy S8 also took photos of this quality, Mr Gundotra responded:

He followed that statement up, doubling down and clarifying his credentials:

We’d argue here that Google with the Pixel line, has finally gotten photography right. We’re even seeing great results from top Android vendors like Samsung with the S8, Huawei with the P10, HTC with the U11, LG with their G6 and Sony with the XZ Premium, even vendors such as Oppo, ZTE and Alcatel are offering good photos in their phones.

There’s good things happening in Android on Cameras and as we move forward those benefits we’re seeing at the high-end are now filtering down to the more budget range of devices. It’s soon going to be almost impossible to take a bad shot on any phone.

What are your thoughts?

Source: Vic Gundotra.
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    “… and that’s a Plus!”

    Dr John

    Very strange comments from a guy who should know better. Show me one recent camera test where the iPhone wins. I can’t recall one recent comparison by the big tech sources, including blind voting and dedicated imaging sites such as DxOMark and Digital Photography review, that places the iPhone at the top. It’s always either the S8, Pixel, or U11. These are very out-of-date comments that smack of sour grapes.

    Tim Marshall

    I’m guessing he was never on the technical end of any camera decisions at google with the way he is speaking. he seems to be basically saying that a post processing, over glorified beauty mode for portraits makes the iPhone broadly a better option when as you say, Android phones have just edged ahead over the past 2 years or so

    Luke Vesty

    I find this all very odd. Rightly or wrongly, as an outsider it all looks rather bitter and vindictive.

    Eric Yew

    So after he left…the camera became awesome..I guess we know what (or who) the problem was..


    some Ex-Google VP wants a Free Pixel 2


    It saddens me to see a really clever guy being a dick like this. Android cameras weren’t great in 2010 when Vic was running things. Guess what Vic? It’s 2017 mate. You’re 7 years behind and Android phone cameras have been outperforming iPhone cameras for a couple of years now. I guess Vic hasn’t had time to use any of the great Android cameras for the past couple of years. He probably hasn’t watched or read any of the countless reviews praising many of the great recent Android phone cameras. Or maybe everyone else has got it wrong and only… Read more »


    In reality, I in some ways agree but totally disagree a the same time with him. If you are serious about your photography you need a dedicated camera (ideally one with an interchangeable lens system) and now a phone. No matter how good phones get they will NEVER have a sensor or optics than a dedicated camera has as it has to fit in you pocket. Now don’t get me wrong you can take some great photos with a phone but and in good lighting, you will have a hard time telling the difference in many situations but they will… Read more »


    End of the day they are bloody phones. You want to take amazing photos get a camera for god sake!

    Adam J

    He says “Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone.”

    Ah no. You own a DSLR.


    An odd thing to say given the state of Android photography. Of course I wouldn’t be using a phone instead of a rel camera for shots I cared about anyway.

    Peter Jolly

    It is a strange time to say this. There is a bunch of Android phones that do pretty well with photos. The Google Pixel is brilliant. S8 great in low light. In some cases I think the OnePlus 5 rivals the iPhone 7 plus for portrait mode. But he is right, iPhone pretty much will always win, Apple knows they must nail photos for the price they charge for their phones. But at the moment it is only winning by a hair. I just bought a new phone and currently the only reason to buy a flagship is to get… Read more »

    Andrew Pagett

    To say current Android flagship cameras are a few years behind is ridiculous. Sounds like Vic is just bitter and hasn’t touched a Google product since 2010. Apple definitely has many advantages and qualities but a few years lead in mobile photography is not one of them.

    Luke Vesty

    In what metric is Apple “winning by a hair”? There are literally countless articles objectively analysing the iPhone v the Pixel et al. and in most situations the iPhone has fallen behind. App speed, focusing speed, sharpness, colour rendition, dynamic range, colour temp and balance, low light performance, good light performance, noise control, even the bloody native photo app for viewing and storing one’s photos. This isn’t to say the iPhone gets beaten every time, of course. Just often enough to confirm the iPhone is no longer the best smartphone shooter. This unflinching and uncompromising denial that Apple has, on… Read more »

    Tim Marshall

    I believe Peter was saying the only arena they are winning in is post processing portraits of human subjects and that even then they are only a hair ahead in that context


    Honestly, it sounds like sour grapes to me. This is the guy who got booted from Google after the bungle of Google+. Gundotra was supposedly instrumental in the change where you needed a Google+ account linked to your Gmail, YouTube etc. That caused a lot of backlash and he was let go. I think the guy is incredibly smart and has done a hell of a lot of good work, but the comments he’s making about cameras on Android phones sounds either out of touch or he’s still holding a grudge against Google, trying to downplay the camera capabilities. As… Read more »