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DxOMark: Pixel 3 camera not as good as Mi Mix 3 or HTCU12 Plus

DxOMark has reviewed the Google Pixel 3 camera and, despite high praise, it came out below some of its dual camera competition.

Published onDecember 21, 2018

Camera benchmarking website DxOMark has reviewed the Google Pixel 3’s camera, awarding it a total score of 101 points. The handset became the highest-rated single camera Android smartphone reviewed on the website, though it was bested overall by a handful of competitors.

DxOMark praised the Pixel 3’s Zoom and Bokeh-effect shots, stating these facets were better than efforts from prior Pixels. However, it found the handset lagged behind some dual camera smartphones in these regards.

The website also highlighted the Pixel 3’s detail preservation and speedy autofocus in photos, while its noise reduction was one of the standout video pros.

Google Pixel 3 camera sample 1
A photo taken with the Google Pixel 3.

Despite the high score, DxOMark did not take into account the handset’s brilliant Night Sight mode in its review, which dramatically improves low-light shots. Although it isn’t exclusive to the Pixel 3 (it’s since been pushed to the Pixel and Pixel 2), it’s a significant part of the experience. Because DxOMark only looks at the camera’s default settings, it has ignored one of the biggest mobile photography developments of the year — one that I suspect will persuade at least some folks to pick up a Pixel 3. You can check out what Night Sight does here.

According to DxOMark, the Pixel 3’s overall camera capabilities are inferior to those of the Mi Mix 3 and HTC U12 Plus, both of which scored a total of 103 points in their tests. These beat the Pixel 3 in photo quality but have slightly worse video, apparently. The Note 9 and iPhone XS Max also beat the Pixel 3, with scores of 103 and 105 respectively.

Google Pixel 3 camera shootout
The back of the Google Pixel 3, showing the camera.

Overall, DxOMark’s take is in keeping with many other critics’ views, including our own. We see the Pixel 3 as one of the top choices for Android fans if photography is their concern, though it’s less expensive than some of the premium competition like the Galaxy Note 9 ($999) and Mate 20 Pro (~$1200) at its $799 starting price.

I’d advise you don’t put all your eggs in the DxOMark basket as far as Pixel 3 camera reviews are concerned, though. We’ve written about DxOMark previously and the relationship it has with the companies whose cameras it reviews. Just take the results as another confirmation that the Pixel 3 camera is good and leave it there.