Consumer Reports pegs Apple's iPhone X & 8 Plus as having best smartphone cameras

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in iPhone
In a piece published this week, Consumer Reports rated the dual-lens iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus as having the best smartphone cameras, with the single-lens iPhone 8 sitting just behind them.




The publication ranked 10 phones against each other in categories such as noise, color accuracy, and dynamic range. The best-performing non-Apple device was the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Apple's iPhone 7, 6s Plus, and 7 Plus also charted, coming in fifth, sixth, and ninth, respectively. The only other phones in the top 10 were the regular Galaxy S8, the Galaxy Note 8, and the rugged Galaxy S8 Active.

Maintaining dominance in smartphone cameras has been a major strategic goal for Apple. The company regularly highlights camera technology in press events, and especially in marketing and advertising, the centerpiece being its "Shot on iPhone" campaign featuring photos and video.

The quality of mobile cameras is now high across flagship phones, which has made it harder for Apple to stand out. The company has bragged that the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus are tuned for augmented reality apps, the X in particular adopting a vertical lens arrangement for that reason.

Consumer Reports has sometimes taken controversial stances with Apple products. Most recently it argued that both the Sonos One and Google Home Max are better-sounding smartspeakers than the HomePod after less than a day of evaluation of Apple's offering, as opposed to declaring a winner after the publication's regular exhaustive testing procedure over weeks.

The publication has been testing the iPhone X since it first went on sale in November of 2017.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    bcubed1979bcubed1979 Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    It would be great if the camera didn’t freeze up on this phone. I have the latest update and that seems to have caused the issue. 
  • Reply 2 of 30
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,833member
    I know X and 8+ have excellent cameras and don't need to read CR.
    edited February 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,290member
    It would be great if the camera didn’t freeze up on this phone. I have the latest update and that seems to have caused the issue. 
    Are you sure you don't own an Android phone? ;). Seriously not heard of that before.
    MuntzlolliverSpamSandwichanton zuykovStrangeDaysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    MacPro said:
    It would be great if the camera didn’t freeze up on this phone. I have the latest update and that seems to have caused the issue. 
    Are you sure you don't own an Android phone? ;). Seriously not heard of that before.
    I have an iPhone 7, so I can’t speak to either of these phones but you have to admit, Apple has lost a couple steps in its software reliability in recent years.
    napoleon_phoneapartrinosaur
  • Reply 5 of 30
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,401member
    iPhone X is best but give me iPhone X in 6.1" LCD at lower price and more storage choices (32?)/64/128/256GB
    Muntz
  • Reply 6 of 30
    I'm editor of a weekly newspaper and have a Nikon Coolpix B500 as work camera. It does great in good lighting, shoots quickly, and has 40x optical zoom. In poor lighting, it's a disaster. I was taking pics of Christmas parade last year and realized it was hopeless, and used 5S to shoot rest of parade. They pics were usable but not stellar. Bought a X and had high hopes. The camera features are fairly astounding, including the optical zoom, but it seems that action shots in poor lighting aren't great; doesn't seem to freeze the action even with flash, and the flash makes things look weird sometimes. I have yet to test it under many conditions, but it has managed to impress and disappoint at the same time. Mayhap I expected more of a leap after advancing five models up the product line.
    edited February 28 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 30
    MacPro said:
    It would be great if the camera didn’t freeze up on this phone. I have the latest update and that seems to have caused the issue. 
    Are you sure you don't own an Android phone? ;). Seriously not heard of that before.
    Happens on my iPhone 8+.  Not often only a few times in 4 months or so I’ve had the phone. But most recently last weekend.  It’s a minor annoyance.  Would be better if it didn’t happen.  I think force quitting the camera app resolved it. 
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Consumer Reports?  Sheesh, the camera must be MILES better than any Android crap for them to make this statement.  Or it's a make good after being called on their bias.
    lolliverStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,095member
    I'm editor of a weekly newspaper and have a Nikon Coolpix B500 as work camera. It does great in good lighting, shoots quickly, and has 40x optical zoom. In poor lighting, it's a disaster. I was taking pics of Christmas parade last year and realized it was hopeless, and used 5S to shoot rest of parade. They pics were usable but not stellar. Bought a X and had high hopes. The camera features as fairly astounding, including the optical zoom, but it seems that action shots in poor lighting aren't great; doesn't seem to freeze the action even with flash, and the flash makes things look weird sometimes. I have yet to test it under many conditions, but it has managed to impress and disappoint at the same time. Mayhap I expected more of a leap after advancing five models up the product line.
    When conditions are just right (bright sunny days), my iPhone 6+ takes stellar shots.  Dim the light just a bit, and it's crappy.  While Apple is doing a fantastic job improving the camera on each newer model, they will never overcome physics.  Those tiny sensors just can't physically gather enough light in poorly lit scenes.  

    My old trusty Canon Powershot S100 camera is leaps-and-bounds better than my iPhone camera, thanks to the bigger sensor.  Then again, my Canon 5DM3 full-frame sensor puts all of them to shame, which even with the heft of a dSLR, I still happily use when I can. :)

    Still, it is fairly impressive how fast phone camera development is, but larger sensors are still being improved as well.
    king editor the graterinosaurwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Every non Apple device on the list was a Samsung?

    Funny on this list on CR it’s a bit different...
    https://www.consumerreports.org/products/smart-phone/ratings-overview/

    We need to see how CR conducted their reviews, because I call BS.  How many phones did they actually test, and by what manufacturers?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Since this article references the slapdash CR review of the HomePod, I’ll ask here: whatever became of the proposed meeting between CR and AI to discuss that review (and its inherent problems with methodology)?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,686administrator
    AppleZulu said:
    Since this article references the slapdash CR review of the HomePod, I’ll ask here: whatever became of the proposed meeting between CR and AI to discuss that review (and its inherent problems with methodology)?
    Still going back and forth as far as I am aware. I am not the one who will be going as I am in VA, and they are in NY.

    They have still yet to answer my questions that I posed, however.
    edited February 28 king editor the grateairnerdAppleZuluwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 174member
    I'm pretty sure that Consumer Reports was once a valuable resource for people deciding what to buy.

    In any case, these days, they are only relevant because of their past. I treat their reviews at about the same level as a blogger I've never heard of. I'll read the review, but I won't rely on it.
    SpamSandwichmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    I mean, sure, the X has a great camera. But it seems its major competitor in that arena is either the Pixel 2 or the S9 - both of which weren't tested here.

    (I own an iphone X, so it's not like this makes any real difference to me. I'm not going to switch because it doesn't have the best camera according to a certain publication...)
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Upgraded to an X a couple of weeks ago from a 6s+, and the camera is fantastic.  Really digging the low light quality, and portrait mode has been a bunch of fun
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    iPhone X low light is amazing. It heaps better than 7+, and the best among top tiers for proper camera. The iPhone X's rear camera comes with a quad-LED True Tone Flash: It evens out your photo so that your subject isn't washed out. In addition, Apple has packed in a new software feature — Slow Sync Flash — that combines the True Tone flash with your iPhone's image signal processor (ISP) to slow down the shutter speed while firing the flash.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,665member
    At this age of smartphone, I think it is not very meaningful comparing camera quality. Because most of them shoot pretty much the same results. Even software differences like how fast is also very small. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 30
    consumer reports just reeling back the faith of apple fans because of their thumbs down just a few weeks back on the homepod maybe. they’re playing us.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,663member
    I'm editor of a weekly newspaper and have a Nikon Coolpix B500 as work camera. It does great in good lighting, shoots quickly, and has 40x optical zoom. In poor lighting, it's a disaster. I was taking pics of Christmas parade last year and realized it was hopeless, and used 5S to shoot rest of parade. They pics were usable but not stellar. Bought a X and had high hopes. The camera features are fairly astounding, including the optical zoom, but it seems that action shots in poor lighting aren't great; doesn't seem to freeze the action even with flash, and the flash makes things look weird sometimes. I have yet to test it under many conditions, but it has managed to impress and disappoint at the same time. Mayhap I expected more of a leap after advancing five models up the product line.
    Low light action is very hard to get right even with a normal camera. Try taking a picture of children at play indoor in a normally light living room and you'll see the limits of smart phones. That's why most times you get people doing "poses" like selfies for smartphones.

    If you use a zoom on the X in low light and are not on a tripod, there is very litle chance you'll get a useable shot, you get much less light and hand held even with OIS that won't be great.
    A static shot shooting wide will give you the best hope on a smart phone to do night shots.

    Those edge cases are the reason why actual real cameras exists, physics limits what the cameras on those smart phones can do.
    muthuk_vanalingamStrangeDays
  • Reply 20 of 30
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,721member
    I have to say, this being CR, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Looking at the top phones on the list, how the hell did the iPhone clone from Google called the PIXEL and PIXEL 2 not even make the list? Did they even try those camera's? Just because other sites rated them the BEST. I would at last think CR would have the PIXEL 2 in the top 10 at least, or top 5, but I don't even see it at all. So typical CR, I'm going to have to call B.S. on this also. Good or bad to Apple Products, it just make no sense when it's good now, even though past bad reviews were just as much B.S. as this one is.
    edited February 28 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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