Apple’s iPhone XR sports the best single-lens smartphone camera currently on the market, according to a new in-depth analysis by DxOMark.
The midrange handset was awarded an overall score of 101 points by DxOMark, earning it the top spot in the camera testing firm’s single-lens smartphone rankings. Previously, DxOMark’s highest-rated single-lens camera belonged to the Google Pixel 2.
During its in-depth testing, DxOMark found the iPhone XR’s camera to result in image quality “very similar” to the flagship iPhone XS across several metrics — including detail, exposure, color, noise and artifacts.
That includes excellent exposure and dynamic range in varying conditions, as well as “vivid and pleasant colors in most situations.” DxOMark also praised the camera’s “fast and accurate autofocus.” The mid-range also managed to nab the same score as the iPhone XS Max when it came to video.
The iPhone XR did have a few cons, including white balance instability when recording video indoors and fine grain luminance noise in indoor and low-light conditions. The handset also fell behind in zoom and Portrait mode, compared to the iPhone XS Max. But that’s to be expected since it’s comparing a single-lens to a dual-lens system.
The testing firm concluded that the iPhone XR’s camera capabilities are “broadly similar” to the iPhone XS and XS Max. That allowed to the iPhone XR to edge out the Google Pixel 2 and become the best single-lens camera “(they’ve) ever tested.”
According to DxOMark, that should make the less expensive handset a more attractive alternative to its OLED stablemates.
It’s worth noting that DxOMark has yet to review the Google Pixel 3, which also has a single-lens camera. Based on Google’s camera performance thus far, the Pixel 3 may very well dethrone the iPhone XR when DxOMark gets around to reviewing it.
DxOMark is a well-known camera and lens testing company that has been analyzing smartphone cameras for quite a while. The testing lab has been criticized in the past, occasionally for attempting to put a hard score on what is ultimately subjective.
As far as its methodology, DxOMark says that it captures and evaluates over 1,500 test images and more than two hours of video footage using default camera settings for each smartphone it tests. Testing is conducted both in controlled labs and in outdoor and indoor settings.
The firm’s current overall highest-rated smartphone camera is the Huawei Mate Pro 20, which features a triple-lens rear camera setup. The Mate Pro 20’s performance earned it a score of 109 — four points above the second highest-rated device, Apple’s iPhone XS Max.
Interestingly, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller highlighted DxOMark’s iPhone XR results in a tweet on Dec 6. That’s a relatively rare occasion since doesn’t typically endorse or even acknowledge the third-party firm’s results.