Consumer Reports Scores iPhone X Camera ‘Best’ in Bizarre Ranking

Iphone X Camera Halfpoint Shutterstock

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Popular review publication Consumer Reports has released a list of the best smartphone cameras currently on the market — and Apple’s iPhone X came in at number 1.

Not only that, but out of the 10 smartphones on the list, Apple products actually dominated the majority of the positions. Consumer Reports’ ranking is as follows (in order).

  1. Apple iPhone X
  2. Apple iPhone 8
  3. Apple iPhone 8 Plus
  4. Samsung Galaxy S8+
  5. Apple iPhone 7
  6. Apple iPhone 6s Plus
  7. Samsung Galaxy S8
  8. Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  9. Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  10. Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

Consumer Reports said that these devices were the overall “top performers” in its smartphone camera category. And although there is a definitive ranking, CR added that all of these devices were fairly close in terms of camera performance.

Why This Ranking Is Strange

It’s worth noting that there are a few peculiarities about the CR list. For one, it’s interesting that the iPhone 8 beat out the iPhone 8 Plus — since the latter device has, at least on paper, a “better” camera setup. Even in the full report, which is hidden behind a paywall, the testing publication didn’t detail why the iPhone 8 outdid its larger sibling.

Because of that, we’re not sure what CR’s methodology consists of. The site is a bit vague overall about its testing, too. It only stated that it conducted tests for still-image quality and video quality. The iPhone X and 8, for example, got “excellent” in the video category. While all three 2018 iPhones ranked as “very good” in image quality.

The absence of the Google Pixel 2 is also a bit weird. While that device may not have beaten the iPhone X, most media outlets and critics have boasted it as one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. The fact that the Pixel’s camera didn’t at least beat out an aging device like the iPhone 6s Plus is odd.

Consumer Reports has come under criticism for its unusual conclusions in the past, and particularly for its reviews of Apple products. In fact, CR has been called unfairly biased against devices made by the Cupertino tech giant. It recently continued the trend and claimed that there were better-sounding smartphone speakers than HomePod. And that’s only the most recent example, there are quite a few others.

That is probably the weirdest thing about the list. It leaves out a prominent Android device, and though they’re probably not wrong about the iPhone X, the Apple dominance on the list is pretty uncharacteristic for the publication.

Besides that, it’s worth noting that CR said that it has yet to test Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+. If the publication’s testing results line up with other reviews of Samsung’s latest flagship cameras, then it’s likely that those two devices will end up near or at the top of the list.

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