iPhone 8
DxOMark has given the iPhone 8 Plus cameras a mobile score of 94, while the smaller iPhone 8 gets 92. REUTERS/Issei Kato

DxO Labs says the iPhone 8 Plus has the best smartphone camera it has ever tested. Apple's iPhone 8 Plus is now ranked first with a DxOMark Mobile score of 94, while the smaller iPhone 8 is in second place with a score of 92.

“The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is the best-performing mobile device camera we have ever tested. Its overall DxOMark Mobile score of 94 sets a new record, beating out the 90 points for both the Google Pixel and the HTC U11, as well as the 92 that its sibling iPhone 8 just scored. Its Photo score of 96 is also a new record, blowing past the Pixel’s 90.” DxO Labs said in its in-depth review.

For the uninitiated, DxOMark Mobile scores are highly regarded by those in the industry for providing image quality ratings for cameras. OnePlus even collaborated with the company when it was developing the dual cameras on the OnePlus 5. MacRumors also noted that DxO has analyzed the image and video quality of more than 10,000 cameras.

DxO said that both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are able to take better HDR photos than its predecessors. The cameras on the iPhone 8 are able to better preserve detail while also having better overall exposure. The company also said the HDR performance on both iPhone 8 models matches that of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL’s HDR+.

For low light performance, DxO said the iPhone 8 Plus is able to produce images with generally accurate exposure. Most notably, it’s able to properly recognize and expose faces. When shooting with the flash, images are good overall. The iPhone 8 Plus is able to deliver accurate exposure and white balance. The only problem with using flash is that it could produce images with excessive noise with some loss of detail.

Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 8 Plus features two cameras on the back; a standard lens and a telephoto zoom lens. DxO notes the iPhone 8 Plus has a Zoom sub-score of 51, which is five points higher than the 7 Plus. The company says that the zoom lens on the iPhone 8 is able to do an excellent job at framing and detail preservation at 2x zoom.

The iPhone 8 Plus also has a score of 55 under DxO’s Bokeh (background blur) category. The company said that the iPhone 8 Plus is able to produce better blurring on the foreground instead of just simply blurring the background. Because of this, the depth effect in Portrait mode seems more natural, as if it’s a true optical blur.

For video recording capabilities, DxO gave the iPhone 8 Plus a score of 89, the same score of the HTC U11. Although the device is able to provide the best exposure possible even when moving around, highlight are sometimes blown out.

“For Video, its score of 89 is among our highest, but tied with the HTC U11 and slightly below the Pixel’s 91. Of course, the Pixel is nearly a year old now, so it makes sense that Apple’s new flagship is breaking new ground,” DxO Labs said.

Although the iPhone 8 Plus cameras seemingly have high scores across the board, it didn’t do so well when it came to autofocus and color reproduction. The problem with the autofocus is that it isn’t always quick. But when it’s able to focus, it’s said to be “remarkably accurate.”

As for color reproduction, DxO said that the cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus are able to produce pleasing colors. The only problem is when shooting indoors with tungsten lighting. The cameras would pick up a noticeable color cast or tint (usually yellow) that’s typically unwanted.

Overall, DxO believes that the iPhone 8 Plus is “an excellent choice for the needs of nearly every smartphone photographer.”

DxO’s in-depth camera review for the iPhone 8 Plus is a must read for those who are still undecided on whether to upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus. Perhaps it might also be better to wait for DxO Labs to test out the cameras on the iPhone X. The company did say that the iPhone X camera has a wider aperture than the iPhone 8 Plus, as pointed out by AppleInsider.