iPhone XS Max scores second in DxOMark's smartphone camera tests

Posted:
in iPhone
In a review published on Wednesday, benchmarking firm DxOMark scored the rear camera on the iPhone XS Max 105, ranking it second only to the Huawei P20 Pro, and comfortably above the Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

iPhone XS Max DxOMark


The phone has "one of the best mobile cameras," with significant improvements over the camera in the iPhone X, the company wrote. That includes Smart HDR, which is said to produce "very good target exposure and a wide dynamic range in all conditions." In bright lighting the XS Max is noted to have "excellent" results in both photo and video, with "spot on" exposure in outdoor shooting as well as good detail and color.

The phone actually scored 110 in photo and 96 in video -- the biggest weakpoints in photo being zoom and bokeh (depth-of-field), the latter because Apple's simulated bokeh still makes mistakes in calculating depth, even if the XS Max does a better job than its predecessor.

DxO also took Apple to task for problems like underexposed flash shots, and luminance noise in zooms, shadows, and low light.

Video problems included the above-mentioned luminance noise as well as "unstable" white balance with indoor lighting.





The XS Max scored above several prominent competitors, such as the Google Pixel 2, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. The P20 Pro ranked first as a "triple-camera juggernaut," DxO said.

For several years now Apple has regularly promoted its cameras as one of the main selling points of iPhones. The rear camera on the XS Max has "focus pixels," upgraded light sensitivity, and enhanced processing thanks to a custom image signal processor and the A12 Bionic chip's Neural Engine. In a first for Apple, bokeh can be adjusted even after a photo is taken.

DXO Rankings as of Oct. 3

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    thttht Posts: 3,228member
    These scores from the bottom of the list at 97 to the top of the list at 109 have virtually zero meaning. Picture quality is vastly more driven by human eyeballs understanding what makes a good picture and their capability to actually take the shot; and, like the billions of poor pictures taken from DSLRs, these smartphone cameras won’t enable someone to take better pictures. I’m sure I would be equally bad at taking a good picture with these phones as I am with my 6S Plus. ;)

    Hate all these picture quality comparisons.
    muthuk_vanalingamguscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    Wow this is great so far. Not a single member has accused another of lying or being a troll in this thread. Well done, we still have the possibility of an intelligent discussion.
    edited October 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 36
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 444member

    Well that it.  It’s over.  I’m done with iPhone for good.  I’m buying a Huawei P20 Pro and will never look back.  /s

    kurairepressthisclaire1jbdragonguscatwlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 36
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,093moderator
    I simply cannot imagine someone switching from an iPhone to a Hauwei (an Android phone) simply to get better camera functionality, especially since much of what we’ve heard lacking in the XS/XS Max photo/video quality is likely due to the image processing software via the new neural/ML engine, meaning that three months from now it could see dramatic improvements as Apple applies feedback to tune things.  
    kurairepressthisjbdragonwlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 36
    I simply cannot imagine someone switching from an iPhone to a Hauwei (an Android phone) simply to get better camera functionality, especially since much of what we’ve heard lacking in the XS/XS Max photo/video quality is likely due to the image processing software via the new neural/ML engine, meaning that three months from now it could see dramatic improvements as Apple applies feedback to tune things.  

    Agreed. Camera is just one part of smartphone experience. iOS Vs Android ALONE will seal the issue for most of the people (if not all). And it is not as-if P20 Pro camera is near-perfect. Far from it. It has its own weaknesses, again induced due to AI features in software. Not sure if they fixed those issues in the last 6 months though (we will come to know about it once the Mate 20 reviews are out). The only area where Huawei P20 Pro is way above other phones (including iPhones) is - extreme low light photography which is the hardest thing to pull off. So kudos to Huawei where due.

    On the extreme low light photography - Huawei is going to retain that advantage even after 3 months because camera modules chosen by Huawei played the most significant advantage. No amount of software improvement can work around the superiority of sensors used by Huawei compared to the ones used by Apple.

    edited October 2018 radarthekatkurairepressthisavon b7watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,813member
    I simply cannot imagine someone switching from an iPhone to a Hauwei (an Android phone) simply to get better camera functionality, especially since much of what we’ve heard lacking in the XS/XS Max photo/video quality is likely due to the image processing software via the new neural/ML engine, meaning that three months from now it could see dramatic improvements as Apple applies feedback to tune things.  
    The central truth is that, qualified with "for the most part", Apple's iPhone market and Google's Android OS market are entirely separate. I'll happily note that Google's Pixel 2 has a fine camera, but it's not a possibility of my being a customer for the Pixel 3, which everyone is expecting to be notably better. Similarly, I note that Huawei has their next triple lens phone in the Mate coming up, and I would not be a customer of that either.

    If anything, the draw into Apple's ecosystem now seems to be the Apple Watch series 4, which is unsurprisingly more performant and more feature packed than anything based on Wear OS. More to the point, people are excited about the Apple Watch, which isn't hampered by the maturity of the smartphone market.
    edited October 2018 avon b7Renderdogjbdragonguscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 36
    gatorguy said:
    Wow this is great so far. Not a single member has accused another of lying or being a troll in this thread. Well done, we still have the possibility of an intelligent discussion.
    Wishful thinking??? DXO's credibility was not even average to begin with, so it is easy to see why people would dismiss this report as well where P20 Pro is #1. I expect DXO's credibility to be the key discussion point in this thread, than about quality of photos/videos taken by iPhone XS generation Vs Samsung Note 9 Vs Pixel Vs Huawei's phones.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 36
    kuraikurai Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    You guys did see his "/s" sarcasm tag there right? =)
    guscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 36
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,813member

    gatorguy said:
    Wow this is great so far. Not a single member has accused another of lying or being a troll in this thread. Well done, we still have the possibility of an intelligent discussion.
    You were second post, and I believe, an optimist.

    I should add that DxOMark is decidedly flawed, but metrics are metrics, so it's better than nothing for a food fight.
    repressthisjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    I simply cannot imagine someone switching from an iPhone to a Hauwei (an Android phone) simply to get better camera functionality, especially since much of what we’ve heard lacking in the XS/XS Max photo/video quality is likely due to the image processing software via the new neural/ML engine, meaning that three months from now it could see dramatic improvements as Apple applies feedback to tune things.  
    Most people simply aren't going to change platforms now anyway. They've committed to either iOS or Android and VERY unlikely to make a switch anytime soon (there's a number of folks who use both by the way). Having good camera choices that use the OS they're already comfortable with gives them even less reason to wander away. 

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    tmay said:

    gatorguy said:
    Wow this is great so far. Not a single member has accused another of lying or being a troll in this thread. Well done, we still have the possibility of an intelligent discussion.
    You were second post, and I believe, an optimist.

    I should add that DxOMark is decidedly flawed, but metrics are metrics, so it's better than nothing for a food fight.
    Yes they are and I've posted reasons for that in previous discussions. You may have too. 
  • Reply 12 of 36
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 495member
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 
    guscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 36
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 357member
    I continue to meet folks who are making or have recently made the switch to iOS. Reasons seem to be integration between devices and at least a semblance of privacy.
    repressthistmayjbdragonguscatarthurbawatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 36
    crosslad said:
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 

    At least that is what I read in reviews as well, i.e. video quality of Huawei phones are poor in general, mostly due to the ISP within the Kirin SOCs which are usually 1 year behind Android competition (particularly Qualcomm's SoCs) and make it 2 years behind with Apple's SoCs. They may have caught up with Qualcomm's SoCs this year or even ahead by 5 months (if Kirin 980 is on-par with Qualcomm's upcoming SoC, most likely NOT), but we will come to know about it only after 5 months.

    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 36
    thttht Posts: 3,228member
    crosslad said:
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 
    More cameras means higher ratings as DXO adds more points for having them. The camera count race is on. The P20 Pro has 3. There will be smartphones with 4 back cameras. Then, there will be one with 5. It’ll keep on going. At some point it won’t matter anymore, but like CPU core counts, the race is on. At some point DXO will stop the practice.

    The primary driver for a quality photo is the person taking the shot. Out of a 100 point scale, it’s probably 80 points of that. The reminder are the diminishing returns that is the point spread in these camera quality comparisons.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    tht said:
    crosslad said:
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 
    More cameras means higher ratings as DXO adds more points for having them. The camera count race is on. The P20 Pro has 3. There will be smartphones with 4 back cameras. Then, there will be one with 5. 
    That's what an upcoming LG phone is rumored to have. 
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 17 of 36
    DxOMark, DisplayMate and Consumer Reports.

    Three groups who I don't trust when it comes to picking whether a device/component is better, regardless of who they declare as a winner.
    guscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 36
    gatorguy said:
    tht said:
    crosslad said:
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 
    More cameras means higher ratings as DXO adds more points for having them. The camera count race is on. The P20 Pro has 3. There will be smartphones with 4 back cameras. Then, there will be one with 5. 
    That's what an upcoming LG phone is rumored to have. 

    I don't think so. It will have only 3 in the back and 2 in the front, totaling 5 as far as I remember. The upcoming Nokia flagship phone is supposed to have 4 in the back itself, if I remember correctly.

    Edit: The Nokia one is supposed to have 5 cameras on the back itself. 
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 19 of 36
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,813member
    gatorguy said:
    tht said:
    crosslad said:
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 
    More cameras means higher ratings as DXO adds more points for having them. The camera count race is on. The P20 Pro has 3. There will be smartphones with 4 back cameras. Then, there will be one with 5. 
    That's what an upcoming LG phone is rumored to have. 
    Macro, Ultra Wide, Normal, Mild telephoto (2X-3X), Extreme Telephoto (4X-7X) would be my choices, but compact variable telephoto lenses must be a high priority for the industry.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    gatorguy said:
    tht said:
    crosslad said:
    I still can’t believe that the P20 Pro got such a high rating. From what I have seen the video quality is below average for high end smartphones. 
    More cameras means higher ratings as DXO adds more points for having them. The camera count race is on. The P20 Pro has 3. There will be smartphones with 4 back cameras. Then, there will be one with 5. 
    That's what an upcoming LG phone is rumored to have. 

    I don't think so. It will have only 3 in the back and 2 in the front, totaling 5 as far as I remember. The upcoming Nokia flagship phone is supposed to have 4 in the back itself, if I remember correctly.

    Edit: The Nokia one is supposed to have 5 cameras on the back itself. 
    Just noticed the OP said "on the back" after you mentioned it. Thanks.
    muthuk_vanalingam
Sign In or Register to comment.