A summary of what’s new at DXOMARK

DXOMARK enters an exciting new period today.

We are introducing a new dimension to our smartphone evaluation with the debut of the DXOMARK Display score, and we’re expanding the scope of our smartphone Camera test. Let’s take a look at  some of the things our  engineers have been working hard on during this very challenging year.

New Display protocol

Adding Display to the DXOMARK family of Camera, Selfie, and Audio scores provides consumers with the kind of detailed information they need to make an informed choice when buying a smartphone that best suits their needs.

We have taken a unique approach to testing the performance of a smartphone’s display and the important, if not critical, role it plays in the overall consumer experience with the device. We go beyond the manufacturer’s listed specs and put them to the test in ways that are important to the user. We evaluate the display’s readability, color, video, motion, touch, and artifacts. To read more about how we scientifically test display and the high-grade equipment we use to perform these evaluations, check out our article, “How DXOMARK tests display quality.”

A DXOMARK engineer performing a test for the new Display protocol

For this protocol’s debut, we selected a diverse range of flagship smartphones, including devices that are geared toward specific uses like gaming. Our debut list includes models from Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Asus, Oppo, and OnePlus, etc.

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G came at the top of list, followed by the OnePlus 8 Pro, with Samsung taking yet another spot on the podium with the S20 Ultra 5G.

When it came to readability, a key attribute for us in terms of evaluating display quality, the TCL 10 Pro topped the chart, beating the overall Display leader, the Note20 Ultra 5G, by a point.

While the two gaming-oriented phones, the Asus ROG Phone 3 and the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro, didn’t score quite as high in such attributes as readability, video, and motion, they came near the top in the touch score.

Whether you use your phone for web browsing, night reading, taking or viewing photos, or watching movies, read our Display reviews to see how your device’s screen performs.

Major updates to Camera protocol

DXOMARK’s Camera test protocol has undergone two major updates: We added tests for image quality in the camera preview, which gives you a very first impression of image quality and can have a big impact on image results as well, and what we call trustability.

Trustability centers around being confident that your camera get the image you want most of the time –if not all of the time. We can determine a device’s trustability through our updated  shooting plan, more use cases and an updated scoring system that takes into account user relevance. In addition, we have a revised methodology for autofocus that includes new objective lab tests in low light, for handheld shooting, and under HDR conditions. You can find in-depth information about the changes in DXOMARK Camera version 4 in this article.

Some of the new test scenes used for Trustability evaluation

We also reorganized our scoring chart. We added the new Preview score to the Photo category and extracted the Zoom and Wide sub-scores from Photo to create a standalone Zoom score that is on the same level as Photo and Video.

We retested a range of recent and not-so-recent phones from Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Samsung, Apple, Google, and Sony under the more rigorous enhanced protocol, and the results are in. Under our expanded Camera testing, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra remains in the top spot with an overall score of 134 points, compared with the 130 points it achieved under our previous testing. But the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max made the biggest jump forward in its overall score, gaining points for the best image preview we have tested to date and for an overall very consistent performance across all test conditions for Photo and Video, giving it points for trustability. (You’ll have to read all about it in our review.)

In Photo and Video attributes, the Huawei P40 Pro edged out the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra under the updated testing.

As mentioned previously, Preview is a brand-new attribute in the latest version of DXOMARK’s Camera protocol and feeds into the Photo sub-score. Interestingly, Preview is where some of our top scorers struggled. For example, the Xiaomi Mi10 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra both lose points for not offering a live HDR preview, and Google’s Pixel 4 does not apply any bokeh simulation at all to its preview image. At the bottom end of the scale, the Sony Xperia 1 and Samsung Galaxy A50 are limited by the lack of zoom range and the image quality of the output photo.

In our new Zoom attribute, the ranking is topped by two devices from Xiaomi, in which the Mi 10 Ultra model has the edge, thanks to a better ultra-wide camera.

When retested with our updated test protocol, the Huawei P40 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro are still the top devices for video.

Our article on Camera v4 and what it means for the rankings compares the differences between the previous camera protocol and the latest one and gives you more details about the areas in which devices gained or lost points.

Enjoy exploring our smartphone section as well as the other sections in our newly designed dxomark.com website, and make sure you don’t miss any of our coming updated reviews!

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