If our review didn’t convince you that the cameras in the latest iPhones are something special, perhaps DxOMark’s lab-heavy evaluation process will do the trick. The camera testing site unequivocally states that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have the best smartphone cameras it’s ever tested — though they aren’t without their flaws.
Where the cameras stand out is in the everyday situations where you just want to get the shot, and don’t want to have to worry about using “low light mode” or watch helplessly as the camera struggles to focus properly on your puppy’s gambols.
On these occasions, the iPhones excel, offering accurate autofocus, extremely good detail in most lighting situations, and superior performance in the faux-bokeh category everyone is so hot on these days. The zoom in the Plus is also best-in-class, though in smartphones that still remains a bit like a dog walking on its hind legs — it’s amazing that it works at all.
It beat out its nearest competitors, the excellent Pixel and HTC U11, which topped the charts until today in most categories. Low light detail and HDR performance gave the iPhone an edge, and its much more natural background blur function wins handily (especially in the Plus).
DxOMark includes plenty of context and sample pictures that are worth perusing. One in particular stood out to me, however:
There’s still plenty to improve. The autofocus, while accurate (which really is the most important thing), isn’t the quickest. Video, while good, is judged to fall behind the Pixel’s. Portrait mode still produces artifacts around the borders of the blur, but far less noticeable ones than the Pixel. And they didn’t mention the studio lighting mode, possibly because like me they think it looks pretty bad most of the time.
It’s a well-earned victory by Apple, but the competition is about to strike back: the new Pixel is set to arrive soon. As Matthew pointed out in the review, smartphone reviews are quickly turning into camera reviews, and Google knows that as well as anyone else. We’ll see what the competition brings to the table on October 4, when it’s set to be unveiled.