Apple iPhone 8 reviewed: A solid performance upgrade over the iPhone 7

92
DxOMark Mobile

The Apple iPhone 8 is the highest-performing single-camera smartphone we have tested with our new protocols, with an impressive Overall score of 92. Despite having a smaller 1/2.8-inch sensor, it edges out our previous top scorers, the HTC U11 and the Google Pixel. This demonstrates how much Apple has been able to accomplish with the hardware and software that complement the sensor and are used for image processing. The iPhone 8 also provides major improvements over the iPhone 7 in a number of areas, including capturing HDR images, as well as flash performance.

Key camera specifications:

  • 12MP main (wide-angle) camera with BSI sensor, f/1.8 lens
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow sync
  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels
  • Wide-gamut color capture
  • Body and face detection
  • AutoHDR

Test summary

The Apple iPhone 8 is one of the best-performing mobile device cameras we have ever tested at DxOMark. Its overall score of 92 puts it ahead of every smartphone camera we’ve tested other than its larger and more expensive sibling, the iPhone 8 Plus.

Because the main camera on the iPhone 8 is identical to the one on the iPhone 8 Plus, we have covered both phones, including comparison images, in our iPhone 8 Plus review. Only the Zoom and Bokeh capabilities provided by the Phone 8 Plus’s second camera give it a major advantage over the iPhone 8. For a detailed review of how the iPhone 8 camera performs, please read our review of the iPhone 8 Plus. However, we’ll cover the scores for the iPhone 8 and recap some of its highlights here as well.

Bright light

Images captured outdoors with the iPhone 8 are generally stunning, with excellent detail preservation, accurate color, and impressive dynamic range. The iPhone 8 builds on the outstanding performance of the iPhone 7 family with its excellent performance in bright light. In particular, it has improved exposure calculation, and excellent ability to capture HDR (High Dynamic Range) scenes.

This tricky outdoor scene presents a variety of challenges, but the iPhone 8 handles them. If you didn’t know the image was taken with a smartphone, it would be hard to tell.

In this scene, the iPhone 8 avoids blowing out the highlights in the sky, while still preserving the blue sky and the details in the shadows at street level.

Low Light and Flash

Low Light: The iPhone 8 handles low-light conditions very well, with or without flash. Scenes such as this image captured in a subway are well-exposed, with good detail.

The iPhone 8 image is properly exposed with good detail.

Flash: Images look good overall, with accurate exposure and white balance.

Video

Apple continues to up its game on video. With a score of 90, the iPhone 8 has the best Video quality of any Apple device, starting with the best exposure calculation. There is still room for improvement, however, as the iPhone 8 is still tied with the HTC U11 and is still behind the the Google Pixel’s 91. Looking at sub-scores, the iPhone 8’s stabilization is excellent and its color rendering is very accurate; furthermore, it does an excellent job of face tracking when shooting video in bright light.

Photo scores explained

Our Overall Photo score for the iPhone 8 is a composite of a number of category sub-scores: Exposure and Contrast (89), Color (77), Autofocus (83), Texture (65), Noise (69), Flash (81), Artifacts (83), Zoom (31), and Bokeh (25). (For details, refer to our iPhone 8 Plus review about the nearly identical sub-scores for all categories except Zoom and Bokeh.)

Video scores explained

The Apple iPhone 8 achieves a total Video score of 90. As with the photo scores, this is calculated from the sub-scores it achieves in a number of categories of tests that help define its overall video capabilities, specifically: Exposure and Contrast (81), Color (86), Autofocus (87), Texture (51), Noise (70), Artifacts (81), and Stabilization (90). For more details, please read our iPhone 8 Plus review, as the two phones use the same camera for Video, except for zoom that is not covered in the video side of our protocol.

Conclusion: New record for single-camera smartphones

While we haven’t retested every smartphone using our new protocols, we have retested some of the best, and the Apple iPhone 8 improves over all of them, including the Google Pixel and the HTC U11 — the two best performers until now. Apple has brought some impressive image processing technology to bear on the images that the iPhone 8’s relatively small sensor captures, and it shows in better exposure, improved dynamic range, and lower noise than the iPhone 7. Only its bigger and more expensive dual-camera sibling, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus, tops it on our DxOMark Mobile charts.

92
DxOMark mobile
Apple iPhone 8
93
DxOMark Mobile
photo
90
DxOMark Mobile
video

Pros

  • One of the best HDR performances of any device we have tested
  • Very accurate autofocus

Pros

  • Very good stabilization
  • Best exposure of any Apple device, but still not industry-leading
  • Very good color rendering under almost all lighting condtions
  • Good face tracking in bright light

Cons

  • Color cast in low and indoor (tungsten) lighting
  • Some autofocus delays in both bright and low light

Cons

  • Some exposure issues in low light
  • Visible noise in low-light conditions

A note about image formats for this review: The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus record photographs in the DCI-P3 colorspace, which their displays also use. DCI-P3 is newer and larger than the sRGB color space that most devices use and most web browsers assume. So to ensure that the images we used in the review display properly on a wide variety of browsers and devices, we converted the originals from DCI-P3 to sRGB using Photoshop (which is why the published test photos show Photoshop as the creator). This can slightly reduce the richness of color in some cases from what you would see when viewing the original images on a DCI-P3-calibrated display with appropriate software. We also captured the original images using the new HEIF (High-Efficiency Image Format), but then converted them to very high-quality JPEGs for viewing in standard browsers and image editing software. (HEIF is very similar to JPEG, but provides better compression for similar image quality, so the conversion makes the sample image file sizes larger than they were when shot.) Please note, however, that unlike our test images, some of the comparison photos used in this review were shot in JPEG and used as-is for illustrative purposes, and were not used to compute scores.

  • F.F.

    How a phone that records sound in Mono can have that score? Apple paid well. Good job iDXOMARK

    • TheSith LordViridis

      Indeed,

    • Walter

      They review picture quality not sound.

      • Steve

        It should be part of the video test too

    • They reviewed image quality. Reading helps.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      Yes I hate it when my photographs are recorded in mono.

      • Steve

        good job because Apple is good at mono in most things.

  • TheSith LordViridis

    Boy they must have paid well.
    Well done dxo, you just became irrelevant.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      I bet you didn’t believe them to be irrelevant or paid last year when other devices were found to be superior.

      The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.

      • Steve

        other devices haven’t been tested. lg v30.

        • Graham J ⭐️

          The V30 hasn’t been released yet.

          • Steve

            yes it has. last week

          • Graham J ⭐️

            In South Korea, ok. So your point is that the V30 might have a higher score when DxO reviews it? Thanks for your guess, I guess?

          • Steve

            it’ll best everyone in wide mode. is south Korea not a real place then? i have the best camera deal. i bought the lg v20 and the moto z play, both were new, and a mint, used,Sony rx100 for less than an iPhone 8 or 7… it blows the iPhone away
            i also have quad DAC audio. 98gb. dual screen, dual camera, mod support. a free jbl speaker mod, removable battery. bang and Olufsen headphone.sd card support, great battery life, all included..

          • Graham J ⭐️

            It’s a great phone, no question. If it ran iOS it’d be top of my list. I just don’t see what this has to do with a conversation about DxO being biased when they haven’t even reviewed it yet.

            However if they do review it and it does beat the iPhone (as other Androids did prior to the 8 coming out) then I guess we’ll have to assume they’re not biased after all.

          • Steve

            i didn’t say they were biased. the lg was released first. why not test that. if it had ios it would be amazing but apple don’t make the great phones i like. i use their iPad but their phone isn’t very up to date. they have a fast chip and reasonable camera. that’s about it. I’ve sold photos. i wont use anything without manual control

          • Graham J ⭐️

            Well that’s what we’re talking about here. Look up.

            I’m sure they’ll get around to the V30 but you can hardly fault them for first reviewing the one that’s globally available and ships 20 million units per quarter.

          • Steve

            you might be talking it. i wasnt. now you just mentioned it though, why is reviewing the one that sells more and is more readily available better? i can fault them for that and that’s what i did in my first post. they shouldn’t pick certain ones. they should do it in order. regardless they’re all not very good really..

          • Steve

            They did get around to testing, an earlier released, note 8 and it did beat the iPhone at photography.. Apple was at the top for its release date. I wonder why that was? Why test them that way around?

          • Graham J ⭐️

            It’s a good question. As is why the Pixel 2 now has the top score. I’m not defending DxO, I’m just saying I don’t think they have an Apple bias.

          • Steve

            they have testing bias. they tested the pixel while unreleased. why not the lg?

      • Martin

        This ignores blatantly obvious flaws like all that low light grain that’s about as bad as the Sony phone tested. The real cognitive dissonance comes from the person doing this review of the iPhone who see’s how average it performs, this conflicts with their personal held belief the iPhone is the best, and therefore ignores this and continues saying the iPhone is the best.

        • Graham J ⭐️

          And again, if that were true why were iPhones not at the top of the list last year?

          A better argument against DxOMark is that boiling down the numerous technologies and processes that go into digital photography to a single number doesn’t adequately describe their relative strengths. Presumably the iPhone 8’s suboptimal low light noise levels are outweighed by excelling in other areas.

    • Francesco Vincent Parisi Noesk

      dxo is so useless. their scores look mostly randomly assigned. i can’t understan why certain pages uses dxo mark as a reference

    • Tommmy

      Boy you are dumb as hell.

      Well done TheSith LordViridis, you’re dumb ass fuck!

    • Graham J ⭐️

      So I guess Google paid them well too, since the Pixel 2 is now their top pick.

      • Steve

        Google and Apple have testing bias. they get tested first. the pixel isn’t even released

        • Graham J ⭐️

          Why Google? They’re new to the phone business and are certainly not the most popular.

          • Steve

            both their pixel phones in the last two years have been tested before release.. why not the lg, Sony, Huawei?
            you stated yourself the lg isn’t released yet and the iPhone should be tested first because it’s readily available and sells lots
            how does that work with with a phone that’s not even released in one country.
            what has popular got to do with anything

  • Walter

    Amazing, but nobody expected anything less. iPhone has always been on top of picture quality

    • Christopher Dutton

      not really true, it’s just beaten a phone by 2 points that came out nearly a year ago haha

      • Walter

        True, but it was released later. I meant at launch. Of course over time newer phones are released with better specs.

    • CoolTube

      They have been on top of picture quality and they never will be. Something fishy is going on DxOMark refuses to test Note8 and doesn’t retest S8 they change their protocols a day before the apple event and the review the iPhone 8 really quickly.

      • Eric

        It’ not fishy. They just had to introduce Bohken so the new phone could break a record.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        The Google Pixel 2 was released today and it now has the top score so I guess they don’t have an Apple bias.

  • JANDY

    I found two different versions of this article posted online today. One states the sensor size is 1/2.8” and the other article doesn’t mention the sensor size. What’s the deal?

  • Dhruv Halwasiya

    Hiya!
    Has the Samsung S8, note8, Xiaomi Mi6 and Mi A1 been reviewed yet?
    I would love to see their performance in comparison to the iphones!

    • They are afraid to do so because it would blow the iPhone 8 out of the water and Apple won’t pay DxO big advertising money anymore.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        Well they just did it with the Pixel 2.

    • Kyron Poullard

      The S8 has been tested, but the Note 8 hasn’t. The S8 has and 89, but even though the camera specs are similar, the Note 8 has a way better camera than the S8. So if dxo decides to test the Note 8, it will score about the same as the iPhone 8. Honestly I’m expecting a 93 or 94 for the Note 8 scoring, but I believe the next Pixel device will score around a 96 if Google doesn’t get lazy with their camera innovation like Samsung did with the S8 and Note 8.

  • Thariq Mohammed

    Excuse me DxO mark, how did you assign the points for photos and videos?
    Definitely not the average of sub categories.

  • Ramkumar

    “This tricky outdoor scene presents a variety of challenges, but the iPhone 8 handles them. If you didn’t know the image was taken with a smartphone, it would be hard to tell” – At least to me it looks shit, neither has good dynamic range nor detail preservation, you will understand if you zoom in little bit

    • L’homme Joli

      Exactly. Anyone with (even an old) DSLR will easily see all the nasty sharpening process for the tiny camera of this phone.
      This is very ugly, with Nokia I can remember we always had a pure image even when we zoom in and view the picture on a big screen, not with this iPhone.

  • Sahir Talib

    Wow, dxomark just soldout. Why bring factors in scoring which only 2 brands include? Zoom and bokkeh…. hope goes well for staff salaries.
    The test is no longer neutral.

  • munkyboythethird

    Pretty low texture score though?

  • David Moreno

    I dont understand… I thought you were serious in the camera test and then you say this on the iPHone camera? I watch camera comparisons in youtube and the Note 8 is far better than iPhone 8. Maybe Samsung doesnt give you enough money?

  • Andrey Ganzevich
  • sky417

    Apart from the out-of-blue “Zoom” and “Bokeh”, just looking at video score..

    Galaxy S8 video score: 88+86+92+83+82+87+91 = 609, and got 88
    iPhone 8 video score: 81+86+87+51+70+81+90 = 546, and got 90 ???? ? ? ??

  • Willi Kampmann

    When will DXO Optics/Photolab support the iPhone 8? Just upgraded to Photolab and really eager for optical modules! :-/

  • Cukor Zeleny

    iphone 8 video score 90 and 8 plus 89 ??? :DDDDDDD it is possible ?

    • Михаил Корнилов

      in dxomark reality, all possible
      and iphone 8 have 93 in photo. mi note 3 have 94! more, then pixel and htc u11