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DxOMark: iPhone XS Max is 'Surefire Option' With 'One of the Best Smartphone Cameras Ever'

DxOMark today published the results of its in-depth analysis of the iPhone XS Max's rear camera. Apple's flagship smartphone achieved an overall score of 105 points, trailing only the Huawei P20 Pro at 109 in the site's all-time rankings.


Note that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have identical camera specs, so this review applies equally to the iPhone XS.

In its testing, DxOMark found the iPhone XS Max to have "excellent" photo and video quality in bright light, with a "very wide dynamic range and good detail." In terms of photo quality, they found exposure in outdoor images "tends to be spot on," with high levels of detail and pleasant colors.

The review adds that Apple's new Smart HDR feature generates images with "very good target exposure and a wide dynamic range in all conditions."

Backlit indoor scene shot on iPhone XS Max

Backlit indoor scene shot on iPhone X

Achieving a video score of 96, DxOMark said the iPhone XS Max shows "outstanding video quality in bright light."


DxOMark concludes that the iPhone XS Max has "one of the best mobile cameras" it has ever tested, with noticeable improvements in many areas over last year's iPhone X. Their review praises the iPhone XS Max camera as being "very reliable overall" and "consistently delivering good results."


In lower light, however, DxOMark found that noise becomes "a little more intrusive than with other high-end phones," adding that the iPhone XS Max's zoom capabilities lag somewhat behind the competition — specifically, the Huawei P20 Pro. Beyond that, they say the device is a "surefire option for any mobile photographer."

For scoring and analysis in its smartphone camera reviews, DxOMark says its engineers capture and evaluate over 1,500 test images and more than two hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera's default settings. More on their methodology here.

DxO is a well-known French image lab that has been reviewing smartphone cameras for many years, but they've attracted some criticism. At the end of the day, camera quality is subjective, at least to some extent.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Tag: DxOMark
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

10 weeks ago
Every year these iPhone camera reviews come out for the new iPhone and every time the reviews state that the camera is "excellent". This has been going on for years.

But when they compare the new iPhone camera to the previous year's iPhone, the previous year's iPhone picture quality always looks like crap.

How can it be that a camera that was "excellent" last year now takes crap pictures this year?

Something is rigged here.
Rating: 23 Votes
10 weeks ago
I find it really strange how all of these articles keep praising the iPhone XS Max and hardly ever mentioning the XS itself. They have the same specs and equipment other than the screen size and not everyone wants a monsterously huge phone.
Rating: 19 Votes
10 weeks ago
The only way we can be really sure is to have an FBI investigation. They can vet the validity of DxOMark’s claims.
Rating: 16 Votes
10 weeks ago
Look....all Apple fans like DxO again!
Rating: 15 Votes
10 weeks ago
Oh look, it's the DxOMark again.

It's irrelevant what they say.
Rating: 13 Votes
10 weeks ago

But worse than LAST YEARS Pixel 2, now we have the Pixel 3 right around the corner. What happened to Apple being the phone camera king?

sure you're not looking at the iPhone X below the Pixel 2?
Rating: 11 Votes
10 weeks ago

I find it really strange how all of these articles keep praising the iPhone XS Max and hardly ever mentioning the XS itself. They have the same specs and equipment other than the screen size and not everyone wants a monsterously huge phone.


I was just about to mention this!

Another article saying the iPhone XS Max has the best camera? But it has the SAME camera as the XS. Why not say the XS and XS Max have the best cameras, or just "XS", since they both include that name.
Rating: 11 Votes
10 weeks ago

But worse than LAST YEARS Pixel 2, now we have the Pixel 3 right around the corner. What happened to Apple being the phone camera king?

Source?
Rating: 10 Votes
10 weeks ago

Yea so the XS has the same camera. So the article should said the XS and max have the best camera


I was under the impression that both the XS and XS Max have identical camera systems - in which case this result makes no sense to me. Or am I missing something?


He's saying all the reviews are focused on the Max and not the XS. That's his point. He wants more info on how the XS stacks up against other phones.

It seems obvious what he was talking about.


In your rush to find something to be mad about you missed something.

Edit: This was poorly worded and conceived by me but I won’t edit out stupidity, but leave it to remind me to make better posts. I apologize to the posters in question and hope the below quote from the article helped someone.


Please note: The smaller iPhone XS comes with identical camera hardware and software as the XS Max, so will likely achieve the same or very similar test results and scores as the latter. However, our testing was undertaken on the iPhone XS Max only.

Rating: 9 Votes
10 weeks ago
But worse than LAST YEARS Pixel 2, now we have the Pixel 3 right around the corner. What happened to Apple being the phone camera king?
Rating: 9 Votes

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