Google Pixel 2 has dethroned the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus as the top smartphone camera on DxOMark rating. At the launch last evening, Google announced that the Pixel 2 has scored 98 in DxOMark's testing, putting it full four points ahead of the Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and 8 points ahead of its own predecessor.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL sports an updated 12.2MP rear shooter with 1/2.6-inch sensor, f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus and optical image stabilisation. The dual-pixel autofocus seen on Galaxy flagships and OIS are the two biggest improvements to Pixel cameras this year. The camera also support new HDR+ technology and includes a new portrait mode solution that uses the data captured by the dual pixel sensors to produce images with artificially blurred backgrounds.
In terms of testing, DxOMark says that the Pixel 2 has the best video performance among smartphone cameras right now. It has a photo sub-score of 99 and video sub-score of 96. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a photo sub-score of 100 and video sub-score of 84 while the iPhone 8 Plus has a photo sub-score of 96 and video sub-score of 89.
In bright daylight, the Pixel 2 camera gets praised by reviewers at DxOMark Labs for its accurate colour reproduction, good detail and dynamic range. It also has fast autofocus and well-controlled noise with details preserved in both highlights and shadow areas. Other highlights of the camera include good details in low-light and accurate use of flash. However, it does lose out on detail in brightly-backlit indoor scenes and produces luminance noise.
While Pixel 2 tops the DxOMark ranking, it fails to better the performance of the Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in zoom and bokeh categories. On the Pixel 2, the zoom, depth effect, portrait mode and bokeh are all achieved using software and not dedicated hardware like competing smartphones. In the Zoom test, the Pixel 2 is said to loose details when compared to a true telephoto lens. "The software on the Pixel 2 does a good job on all of these, although with some flaws," David Cardinal writes in his review.
In the video department, the Pixel 2 is seen to deliver good exposure in all lighting conditions and fast and stable autofocus including subject tracking. It offers improved noise reduction and fewer artifacts when it compared to its predecessor.
Google Pixel 2 was anticipated to top the DxOMark ranking even before the launch but it was not expected to beat other phones with such a big margin. Now it will be interesting to see whether Huawei Mate 10 and Apple iPhone X manage to beat or match Pixel 2's camera performance.