DxOMark is out with its full review of the iPhone XS camera system. Coming in with a score of 105, the latest flagship iPhone beat out the camera performance of all other smartphones except for Huawei’s P20 Pro with its triple-camera setup. Read on for all the details.

DxOMark evaluates cameras based on a combined score of photo and video performance. The total score is not out of 100. With that it mind, the iPhone XS Max that DxO tested scored notably higher at 105 than the iPhone X, which earned 97 last year. The company notes that it only tested the XS Max, but more or less expects the XS to perform the same, since they have the same camera systems.

DxO notes that while the few hardware upgrades to the XS camera system are valuable, the software changes are more noticeable.

On the software and image processing side of things, the improvements are more obvious. During still image capture, the camera continuously captures a multi-frame buffer at different exposures, allowing for simultaneous zero shutter lag and HDR processing, something that is unique to the new iPhone at this point.

Still photos

For the photo portion, DxO called out that the iPhone XS Max could have better zoom performance, but it still scored an impressive scored 110.

Overall, however, still image quality is very good, and the iPhone XS Max achieves an excellent Photo score of 110 points. In addition to capturing great image quality in bright light, the iPhone XS Max camera is also very reliable, consistently capturing good results shot after shot. The autofocus system is among the best we have tested, and images recorded in Apple’s Portrait mode show very good subject isolation.

iPhone XS camera

Video performance

For the video portion of the testing, iPhone XS Max scored 96 with indoor white balance instabilities being one of its weaknesses. Great video performance in bright conditions was one of its key strengths.

The Apple iPhone XS Max achieves an excellent Video score of 96 points, thanks to an outstanding performance in bright light conditions. The overall score is derived from a number of sub-scores in the same way as the Photo score: Exposure (88), Color (88), Autofocus (91), Texture (58), Noise (75), Artifacts (84), and Stabilization (94).

While this doesn’t factor into its scoring system, DxO notes how the sensor readout is better on iPhone XS than compared to other smartphones.

thanks to improved sensor readout speed, the rolling-shutter effect that can occur when panning is much less intrusive than for some rivals — for example, the Google Pixel 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. You can see that vertical lines are much more “leaning” on the latter two devices in the sample clips below.

For a complete looks at how the XS camera system performed and more side by side comparisons with other top smartphones, read the full DxOMark review here.

Also be sure to take a look at our coverage of the iPhone XS camera system:

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.