Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 top DxOMark’s new selfie camera test
In my opinion, cameras are the number one benchmark when it comes to choosing your next flagship device. That is mainly because many of the smartphones share most of the same features nowadays. The biggest thing making them a little bit different from the others is the camera. Manufacturers always try to come up with unique hardware and software solution for shooting and processing stunning photos. They often boast with high scores on DxOMark’s benchmark, which became relevant back in 2016 with the release of the first Google Pixel phone. The Pixel 3 score went up last month, but now DxOMark is specifically testing the front camera along with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
DxOMark is announcing a new test protocol for selfie cameras on smartphones. As you already know, many of the OEMs started coming up with unusual methods for shooting selfies. Wide-angle cameras and multiple lens configurations are pretty common now. That’s why averaging the scores of both front and rear cameras, sometimes totaling up to 5 or more, became irrelevant. Separating rear and selfie camera benchmarks were literally a necessity at this point, and DxOMark has delivered.
Navigating to the website, you can already see that all of the thumbnails and benchmarks now have a selfie category. Some of the older phones’ selfie cameras may not be tested just yet, as the protocol is fairly new. Unsurprisingly, Google’s Pixel 3 tops the list with the score of 92. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 also shares the same score, which, to be honest, surprised me a bit. I found the camera a bit noisy on my review unit.
DxOMark reports that Pixel 3 has managed to score a score of 99 in the photos category thanks to the great results in the focus and artifacts categories. Apparently, the autofocus system found on the device is one of the best they have ever seen. The biggest drawback of the otherwise praised camera is noise. According to the testers, Google has shifted focus to providing more detail than reduce noise. On the video-testing, Pixel 3 showed yet very impressive results. The lack of HDR mode in video recording and slightly inefficient stabilization brought its score to 83.
Things are very different with the Galaxy Note 9. Though it scored the similar 92 points, Samsung has clearly chosen a completely opposite approach to the matter. Instead of focusing on improving the details of the image, the company has worked on the noise reduction. Noise handling is great in low-light conditions, too. Video capabilities include key strengths like good exposure on faces and accurate color rendering. While the Galaxy Note 9’s photos are slightly less detailed than the Pixel’s, videos are a definite improvement.
Now, it is up to you if you want to trust DxOMark’s benchmarks or not. Every new phone seems to become the leader of the list for some time, until the eventual release of a new smartphone. I recommend reading the full reviews of the cameras, as scores don’t reflect many of the things from the in-depth testing. You can see the details of testing the selfie camera in the link below.