Digging into the Pixel 2’s DxOMark score of 98

The top end of smartphone space is proving itself to be more than competent in camera performance. To be apt, testing lab DxO has a limited breadth of what it reviews, but in terms of bringing about reviews with record high scores, that bar has risen like crazy. Part of this due to a recent rejiggering of the scoring scale the lab uses.

But when the iPhone 7 Plus, with an 88, gets beaten by a Google Pixel with 89 and then an HTC U11 with a 90 and then clobbered by both the iPhone 8 Plus and the Galaxy Note 8 (a pair of 94’s), you know that you’re either running out of room for improvements or you need a new scale.

Today, it was revealed by Google that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both had the same cameras and that they were scored a 98 on the DxOMark Mobile scale. This is the biggest established score gap between board-leading phones over the last year. So, what does that get made out of?

Well, it has an amazing penchant for still captures with a subscore of 99, just one point short of perfect that the Note 8 had somehow managed to achieve. But what kept the Note 8 behind and propelled the Pixel 2 was video performance — the best of any smartphone reviewed. It was worthy of a 96.

The revised review scoring scale includes zoom and bokeh performance as a couple of cores and, in at least the first aspect, the Pixel 2 pales in comparison to phones with zoom lenses like the iPhone 8 Plus, though noise is slightly less than expected at 2x zoom levels. The “depth effect” evaluation also seemed to underperform against the larger iPhone, only making a slight bump up from the original Pixel.

But when it comes to bread and butter, the Pixel 2 does well to some extremes. It retains dynamic range exceptionally well in low light — better than the iPhone 8 Plus by a long shot and a fair portion better than the Pixel. Autofocus was the quickest and most accurate that DxO has ever seen in stills and highly impressive in video as well. Luminance noise seems to be a weak point for the Pixel 2, giving more texture to skies and uniform areas, but color noise seems to be less an issue. Flash performance is also generally nice, if somewhat inconsistent.

Check out the full review at the source link and stay tuned for our Real Camera Review at Pocketnow soon.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.