Apple's iPhone XR named best single-lens smartphone by DxOMark

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 7
The photography software firm's benchmarking arm praises Apple for improvements to flash but criticizes zoom shots and low-light images. For overall quality, the iPhone XR still beats the previous best phone, the Google Pixel 2.

Detail of an iPhone XR with its single rear camera
Detail of an iPhone XR with its single rear camera


Apple's iPhone XR is now the top-ranked single-camera smartphone according to photo specialist DxO's benchmarking unit, DxOMark. Testers shot over 1,500 images and more than two hours of video to conclude that the XR is "excellent."

It beat the Google Pixel 2 and DxOMark says the cheaper iPhone "offers a very similar proposition for image quality as the flagship iPhone XS Max." This is in spite of the XS Max's dual-camera setup.

Where the iPhone XR falls down compared to the more expensive XS Max is in zoom and bokeh shots. The iPhone XR attempts to mimic the bokeh of a dual-camera phone through software algorithms. While Apple claims to have "turned the model of a lens into math," in this case software is never going to equal hardware.

Yet if the XS Max maintains its hardware lead, the software has been improved for the XR. Of note, the single-lens iPhone boasts a digital zoom function that produces "very acceptable" results up to 2x magnification.

A high-contrast scene photographed during testing (Credit: DxOMark)
A high-contrast scene photographed during testing (Credit: DxOMark)


Equally, the firm reports that Portrait Mode on the XR performs well in low-light environments, offering better detail on faces than the XS. However, the company says that the XR's "depth estimation is relative poor making the overall effect look a bit 'photoshopped'."

DxOMark notes that its bokeh tests involve both people and objects. Using Apple's built-in Camera app, the iPhone XR's computational bokeh is activated only when a face is detected. Outside of those scenarios, users looking to add bokeh to images must rely on iPhone's physical lens stack, which produces minimal blur effects due to a relatively short equivalent focal length.

"Apple has managed to improve the flash on the XR a little, which we identified as a weak point for the XS Max during our testing," said DxOMark.

These same flash issues in part hindered iPhone XS Max's chances of taking top honors in a round of testing earlier this year. DxO ultimately named Huawei's P20 Pro as the world's best smartphone camera system.

DxOMark's iPhone XR feature ranking
DxOMark's iPhone XR feature ranking


According to DxOMark's points ranking system, the iPhone XS Max scored 110 in photo and 96 in video. By comparison, the newly announced results for the iPhone XR are 103 points for photo and the same 96 for video. DxOMark describes the XR's video, saying it gives: "outstanding performance in bright light conditions."

DxOMark's overall smartphone rankings
DxOMark's overall smartphone rankings


While the iPhone XR is now the top-ranked single camera smartphone in DxOMark's testing, it is still bested by dual camera handsets. DxOMark currently places the XR seventh out of all smartphones, with the Huawei P20 Pro still top overall.






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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    I do love DXO attempt at video testing...................despite the fact that it does not test 4K video............
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    It's been shown time and time again that DxoMark smartphone camera ratings are complete and utter bull crap.

    I say this now where it'll garner less controversy because Apple are at the top, but I'll be saying it again when the next Samsung/Google/whatever phone claims the top spot, despite not actually producing better or clearer photos.
    tmayericthehalfbeedhawkins541watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,374member
    It's been shown time and time again that DxoMark smartphone camera ratings are complete and utter bull crap.
    But it won't stop Schiller from promoting it. :)
    That's his job. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 20
    It's been shown time and time again that DxoMark smartphone camera ratings are complete and utter bull crap.

    I say this now where it'll garner less controversy because Apple are at the top, but I'll be saying it again when the next Samsung/Google/whatever phone claims the top spot, despite not actually producing better or clearer photos.
    I agree about the bull crap, but for me it's less about where my phone ranks and more like do I like said phone. The iphone XS max is cool and ranks higher but my iPhone xr is product red edition and single shooter or not I'm content with price vs features and especially the color. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Wait a minute - wasn't DXOMark a horrible bias terrible site just yesterday? 

    It's amazing how its suddenly gained the favour of this community! 
  • Reply 6 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 52unconfirmed, member
    Seth2015 said:
    Wait a minute - wasn't DXOMark a horrible bias terrible site just yesterday? 

    It's amazing how its suddenly gained the favour of this community! 
    Did you not read the comments?

    I believe the article is more about hypocrisy/irony in tech politics than praise for iPhone XR
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,244member
    gatorguy said:
    It's been shown time and time again that DxoMark smartphone camera ratings are complete and utter bull crap.
    But it won't stop Schiller from promoting it. :)
    That's his job. 
    Have we beaten DXOMark enough lately? 

    Why are they so slow with new updates for Chinese Flagships and Pixel 3?

    America wants to know, and now!
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    It's been shown time and time again that DxoMark smartphone camera ratings are complete and utter bull crap.

    I say this now where it'll garner less controversy because Apple are at the top, but I'll be saying it again when the next Samsung/Google/whatever phone claims the top spot, despite not actually producing better or clearer photos.
    Any technical detail why they're "bull crap"?  I mean it's a camera, all performance follows physics.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    DuhSesame said:
    It's been shown time and time again that DxoMark smartphone camera ratings are complete and utter bull crap.

    I say this now where it'll garner less controversy because Apple are at the top, but I'll be saying it again when the next Samsung/Google/whatever phone claims the top spot, despite not actually producing better or clearer photos.
    Any technical detail why they're "bull crap"?  I mean it's a camera, all performance follows physics.
    DxO can be gamed because it is like a benchmark.  If you adjust your camera to shoot a certain way to beat the test, then you win.  It does not reflect real-world where you have varying conditions that the camera has to constantly account for.  

    And the fact that DxO does not test 4k video...which pretty much makes their “Video” score invalid.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    @Madtiger You don't what you're talking about, again ... let the adults chat ? 

    And you keep flip flopping - the video score is the only reason the iPhone gets up on the list as it doesn't match the Android flagships on still footage. If you really want to remove the DXOMark video, you're going to get a number of iPhones slipping down the list ...

  • Reply 11 of 20
    Seth2015 said:
    @Madtiger You don't what you're talking about, again ... let the adults chat ? 

    And you keep flip flopping - the video score is the only reason the iPhone gets up on the list as it doesn't match the Android flagships on still footage. If you really want to remove the DXOMark video, you're going to get a number of iPhones slipping down the list ...

    Lol learn to read and comprehend instead of always trying to “get me”!  You got lost long time ago. You’re embarrassing yourself...again. 

    XS has the best camera system bar none. XR is right up there, but a notch below due lack of 2nd lens. 

    Once DxOMark tests 4K, then we can talk. And once DxOMark quit accepting money from OEMs for their “kit”, we can talk. 

    And yeah Android flagships, esp Huawei can’t shoot a 4K video worth a damn. Haha
    edited December 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Try actually thinking a little?
    You may enjoy it?
    Also helps a lot with a conversation!

    I thought you were late teens ... But it seems maybe early teens? 
  • Reply 13 of 20
    Seth2015 said:
    Try actually thinking a little?
    You may enjoy it?
    Also helps a lot with a conversation!

    I thought you were late teens ... But it seems maybe early teens? 
    Insulting me won’t change the fact that XS has THE best damn camera system. XR is right up there. 

    Is there a forum for Huawei users like yourself to discuss how to support terrorists and killing innocent people ??  Or how you guys are BANNED from so many countries now??  Or do you guys just talk about cheating benchmarks and being BANNED by Futuremark and Antutu over and over again??

    huawei = terrorist and cheater. 
    edited December 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    And another post with no answers ... :/ 

    Incredible
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Seth2015 said:
    And another post with no answers ... :/ 

    Incredible
    Well, this is a CAMERA thread...and i answered relevant questions relating to topic at hand...and that answer is...XS has THE best damn camera system. XR is right up there, bar none.

    And you changing topic of discussion won't change that fact...nor will it change fact that Huawei is a bonafide terrorist supporter and cheater.  The fact that YOU have one and going around championing it like an idiot makes you look a fool and a terrorist sympathizer!!  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Seth2015 said:
    And another post with no answers ... :/ 

    Incredible
    Pretty much on par with yours...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,332member
    Seth2015 said:
    Wait a minute - wasn't DXOMark a horrible bias terrible site just yesterday? 

    It's amazing how its suddenly gained the favour of this community! 
    Maybe you should get your carer to read you the replies before spewing nonsense onto your keyboard.
    DXO means jack shit when Apple are doing badly and it means exactly the same when Apple are doing well.

    Android users are all about specs and numbers where Apple users are all about usability and real world performance.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,374member
    evilution said:
    Seth2015 said:
    Wait a minute - wasn't DXOMark a horrible bias terrible site just yesterday? 

    It's amazing how its suddenly gained the favour of this community! 
    Android users are all about specs and numbers where Apple users are all about usability and real world performance.
    ??
    Where do folks get this stuff? 
    edited December 9 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 20
    gatorguy said:
    evilution said:
    Seth2015 said:
    Wait a minute - wasn't DXOMark a horrible bias terrible site just yesterday? 

    It's amazing how its suddenly gained the favour of this community! 
    Android users are all about specs and numbers where Apple users are all about usability and real world performance.
    ??
    Where do folks get this stuff? 
    Well, you’re right...iPhone is better than Android in both specs/benchmarks AND real life. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,374member
    Madtiger said:
    gatorguy said:
    evilution said:
    Seth2015 said:
    Wait a minute - wasn't DXOMark a horrible bias terrible site just yesterday? 

    It's amazing how its suddenly gained the favour of this community! 
    Android users are all about specs and numbers where Apple users are all about usability and real world performance.
    ??
    Where do folks get this stuff? 
    Well, you’re right...iPhone is better than Android in both specs/benchmarks AND real life. 
    Fair enough as being "better" for your use case. You. Not all. 

    What makes you believe anyone else buying "not Apple" doesn't care about useability and performance, ie fit for purpose? My old OG Pixel, purchased refurb'd for around $150, has low-light capabilities that Apple doesn't offer on even their newest iPhones. Since I don't recall ever recording even 30 seconds of video on a smartphone, nor even with my enthusiast DLSR's for that matter, any potentially "better" video offered by your phone has zero value to me. 

    I've no intent in getting involved in the somewhat juvenile discussion among two or three members that occured this weekend. Only wanting to point out that not investing in one of the most expensive phones available doesn't mean the buyer doesn't care about real life performance any more than choosing not to buy one of the most expensive full-frame DSLR/mirrorless cams with best-in-class 4K video specs means the photographer behind the lens doesn't care about the quality or his/her images. 
    edited December 9 muthuk_vanalingam
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