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Google Says Its New Pixel 2 Phone Has the Highest DxOMark Score. What’s That?

Google unveiled a number of new devices on Wednesday, including a pair of new Pixel 2 smartphones. The second iterations of the tech giant’s smartphone come in two sizes, a 5-inch and 6-inch screen, that both feature a new camera that’s already getting high marks.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the new design the “best camera ever on a smartphone” while touting the fact that the camera review website DxOMark gave the phones’ camera its highest-ever score for smartphone camera quality. In a tweet, Pichai pointed to the camera’s combination of advanced software and hardware, along with machine learning elements that allow the camera to do things like identify notable landmarks or recognize a book cover.

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What is DxOMark?

DxOMark, which describes itself as “the reference for image quality,” is a website that tests different types of consumer cameras, from smartphone cameras to high-end digital cameras and lenses. The site is frequently used by tech and consumer publications as an arbiter of camera quality, based on its ratings of things like autofocus, depth effect, and how well a camera performs in natural light versus indoors. Google’s Pixel 2 cameras earned a score of 98 out of 100 from DxOMark, with the review giving the Pixel 2 high grades specifically for features like autofocus, both for photos and video, as well as the camera’s “excellent color rendering and very impressive dynamic range.”

Compare that to iPhone 8

Apple unveiled its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus smartphones last month, and DxOMark rated the devices’ cameras with scores of 92 and 94, respectively. In the case of the iPhone 8, the website said the camera is a decent upgrade over that of its predecessor, the iPhone 7. But, DxOMark called the iPhone 8 Plus the best smartphone camera it had ever tested at that point (the Pixel 2 stole that crown after less than a month, while the Samsun Galaxy Note 8 also earned a score of 94), with the review noting that 8 Plus outdoor photos are “generally stunning.”

What about the iPhone X?

DxOMark actually has not yet tested the upcoming iPhone X, Apple’s most expensive smartphone ever at $999, but the website made no secret that it has big expectations. In its review of the iPhone 8 Plus, DxOMark’s reviewers said they look forward to testing the iPhone X, noting that the new smartphone’s wider aperture and its advanced optical image stabilization (which can make videos less shaky) “should place it on the cutting edge of zoom and portrait performance.”