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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The new Google Pixel 2 has bumped the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 off the number one spot to become the top-performing smartphone camera in DxO Labs' mobile photography tests.

Just a day after Samsung's latest device matched Apple's largest iPhone 8 handset with an overall DxOMark score of 94, Google's newly launched Pixel 2 has now beaten both dual-lens devices with a score of 98, despite its rear-mounted single-camera design.

Its top scores in most of our traditional photo and video categories put it ahead of our previous (tied) leaders, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, despite the Pixel 2 coming in lower in the new Zoom and Bokeh categories. The Pixel 2 is also a major step forward from the Pixel (which was our top scorer when it was released a year ago), moving from 90 to 98.
The reviewers praised the Pixel 2 for excellent video performance, scene reproduction, color rendering, and fast and accurate autofocus, highlighting in particular its "amazing" ability to render detail in both the bright and dark areas of difficult scenes.

One weak spot for the Pixel 2 was said to be exposure in very low light images, which show increased noise in high dynamic range scenes, although excellent exposure and highlight preservation is still in evidence.


Despite performing very well for a single camera phone, the Pixel 2 couldn't outscore the zoom capability of the dual-lens Apple iPhone 8 Plus. The Pixel 2 also sometimes displayed aliasing and moiré artifacts in medium- and long-range zooms.

The reviewers concluded that for just about any photo or video use case, the Pixel 2 recommends itself as the phone camera with the best image quality, with the exception of zoom and bokeh (including Depth and Portrait) that dual-camera smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 can provide. The Google handset was especially recommended for videographers, since it achieved the highest video score (96) for any device tested by DxO Labs.


The reviewers signed off by noting that their scoring system has "plenty of headroom" to go beyond 100, so we'll have to wait and see if Apple's iPhone X can break that ceiling when it's released next month.

You can read the full DxOMark Pixel 2 camera review and view all of the full-resolution images here. Do you agree with DxO Labs' assessment? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Article Link: Single-Lens Google Pixel 2 Camera Takes Top Spot From iPhone 8 Plus in DxO Labs Tests


Oct 28, 2016
its a nice camera, but i cant live without 2x optical zoom. Google pixel 3 will have also since the industry in 2018 will go to 3x optical zoom
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macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
Eastern USA
The camera’s fine but in real life these top phone cameras are roughly the same. The point of the Google phone is the AI. That’s where it sets itself apart. In a vacuum Siri is inept. Compared to where Google is in mobile AI, Siri’s downright pathetic. Apple’s working hard on this and hiring good people, and they’d better; they’re way behind in this area.


macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
I've cherished DXOmark but with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review that received the very same score as the iPhone 8, yet had nothing like the ecstatic tone as in the iPhone review, and now Google showing their DXOmark top score already in the presentation before it's been launched, I'm starting to doubt they are uncompromised from being paid.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8:
- Headline: "The best smartphone for zoom". (??? introducing doubt for everything else)
- Conclusion Headline: "Top ranking... for now". (introducing doubt again)
- Conclusion: "When all the tests are verified, the scores calculated, and the perceptual analyses discussed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes out as an outstanding choice for the smartphone photography enthusiast." "The Note 8 breaks new ground as the first smartphone to achieve 100 points for its photo sub-score. With new devices on the horizon from several of the key innovators for smartphone photography, will the Note 8 be able to hold onto its top spot? Time will tell."

Apple iPhone 8 Plus:
- Headline: "The best smartphone we've ever tested".
- Conclusion Headline: "The best smartphone we've ever tested". (yes, repeated, as if a tagline)
- Conclusion: "Overall, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus is an excellent choice for the needs of nearly every smartphone photographer. It features outstanding image quality, zoom for those needing to get closer to their subjects, and an industry-leading Portrait mode for artistic efforts. It is at the top of our scoring charts in nearly every category — and in particular, its advanced software allows it to do an amazing job of capturing high-dynamic range scenes and images in which it can recognize faces."

The Note 8 review is introducing doubts on whether it will hold its ground against forthcoming competitors, despite sharing score with the best smartphone they had ever tested, where that other review doesn't even bring up that other excellent smartphones exists and will come in the conclusion that many skip to.

And now the Google Pixel 2 used already in the presentation by Google, before it is even launched. That is, Google has handed out review hardware to DXOmark even before launch, they have seen it received a top score so that it can be boasted about in the presentation.

Of course, it is possible that Google was just plain lucky to happen to get a measly 4% higher score than the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and that they would have had to change the presentation in the last minute if it wouldn't have been, but given the vastly different tone in the Samsung vs Apple reviews sharing exact same score I'm not so sure anymore.
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Breaking Good

macrumors 65816
Sep 28, 2012
Personally, I’m very happy to read this. Now maybe both Apple and Samsung fanboys and girls will shut up with the “I won’t buy [insert phone model here] because the camera is so bad.”

NEWSFLASH: Your lives aren’t that interesting people! Nobody wants to see what you are doing every second of every day. And people who are really “into” photography like so many on here claim get a dedicated camera to take pictures and hang out on photography forums.


macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2016
What if you added a travel camera (under $200) like a Sony W350 into the mix. How would that compare. Miles different or fairly close and better for zoom? Just how good are phone cameras (and their associated premiums) compared to standalone travel cameras (I'm not talking about $200+ cameras - just basic low form factor travel ones).

Is there a need to perspective now that the prices of phones are over $1000. Back to two devices?


macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2016
How can the iPhone X top the Pixel 2 score? Isn't the only difference, on the cameras, between the iPhone 8 Plus and X the OIS on the telephoto lens?

You are correct, unless apple makes some last minute changes to software how the photos come out. Honestly I don't think they will even they could. Everyone is buying the X out of stock anyway since 6, 6S, 7 and 8 are almost the same phone with little iterations and X is only one with new design.

If we look "only" DXOmark and photograph quality (without the video) then lead is:
  • Samsung Note8 (100)
  • Pixel2(99)
  • iPhone8+ (96)
  • iPhone8 (93)
  • Pixel (90)
  • HTC U11 (90)
Do note that Pixel2 XL, LG V30 is untested along the upcoming iPhoneX


macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2013
How can the iPhone X top the Pixel 2 score? Isn't the only difference, on the cameras, between the iPhone 8 Plus and X the OIS on the telephoto lens?

The aperture is a little better on the iPhone X at f/2.4 how that will translate into usage we don't know yet.
Also the iPhone X had Dual optical image stabilisation vs the 8 Plus having optical image stabilisation.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2002
South Carolina
I for one am very happy that Google has suddenly become a full-time hardware player. We all benefit from increased competition, and there are very few companies that can compete with Apple. What Google demonstrated yesterday has a lot of potential, and the AI developments are very exciting.

The original Pixel XL almost had me switch to Android. It was a close call, but I ended up returning it for 7 Plus. Unless Pixel 2 XL turns out to have issues, this might be the phone. The way Google Assistant works across the devices, and how good it is (and how fast it is getting better) is probably just as important long-term as what hardware was released. Bold move Google, welcome to prime time.

Your move Apple, and no, Face ID is not it.


macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2016
The aperture is a little better on the iPhone X at f/2.4 how that will translate into usage we don't know yet.
Also the iPhone X had Dual optical image stabilisation vs the 8 Plus having optical image stabilisation.

That's interesting as that's the same aperture as on the Lumia 950XL. That had 21MP though and a 1.2.4" sensor. The issue with that camera at the time was the software was rubbish. It's come along a lot now and is a great camera. I wonder how it would compare to an iPhone X.
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