Google Pixel 2 trumps iPhone as 'best smartphone camera' with highest DxOMark score ever
It's been a couple weeks of amazing camera phone tests over at DxOMark. First the iPhone 8 Plus beat all former phones with a score of 94. Then the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 came in and earned the same overall score, beating the iPhone 8 Plus in the Photo category but falling short in Video. And now... now we have a new proper king.
After testing the brand new Google Pixel 2, DxOMark has awarded the flagship phone its highest ever marks for a smartphone camera with an overall score of 98.
As usual, you can read the full review over on DxOMark's website, where they pit the Pixel 2 against its main rivals in a few head-to-head challenges, but the overall score results can be seen below:
In the Photo category, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is still the best phone out there, besting the Google Pixel 2's score of 99 by a single point. But when it comes to video, the Pixel 2 is totally and completely unmatched. Its Video score of 96 makes Samsung's paltry 84 seem a bit weak, and even Apple's respectable 89 is nowhere close.
Ahead of doing our own tests with these phones, we've been looking closely at the results in the DxOMark tests, and we are very intrigued to say the least. Some of the numbers themselves are rather subjective, and we don't entirely agree with DxO's assessment in every category.
For example, in their outdoor bokeh comparison, the new Pixel 2 fares the worst:
Something else overlooked by the DXO assessment: Apple now saves images in a new image format: HEIF, which allows for a wider color gamut (DCI-P3) and higher bit-depth (10-bit). That means the potential for more vivid images with less posterization compared to the conventional 8-bit sRGB JPEGs even the new Pixel phones (and most phones / cameras) continue to use today. In fact, even some of the colors in the iPhone 8 Plus image above are outside of the sRGB color space. Point: Apple.
Another point of contention we have: the sometimes overly tonemapped (flat) images HDR+ renders may or may not suit your taste. The Pixel 2 vs. HTC U11 high contrast scene demonstration shows the Pixel 2 preserving more overall detail in shadows and highlights, but doing so at the cost of global contrast. With the display capabilities of wide gamut, high brightness/contrast OLED displays that are technically capable of HDR display, that may not always be the optimal result. The iPhone X will likely be first device to show how good photos can look when you pair HDR capture with HDR display. We're a bit disappointed that Google didn't even mention HDR display, despite the devices' displays clearly being capable of it.
Still, DxOMark's conclusion doesn't skimp on the superlatives... except that they're running out of them:
We’re in danger of running out of superlatives when describing the major image quality attributes of the Google Pixel 2. That makes sense for a device that tops our scoring charts —up from the 94 of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to a record-setting 98. So for just about any Photo or Video use case, it recommends itself as the phone camera with the best image quality.
To read the full review for yourself, head over to the DxOMark website by clicking here.
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