Image quality rating website DxOMark has finally released its review for the iPhone XR, which was unveiled in September this year. Giving it a photo score of 103, video score of 96, and overall score of 101, DxOMark has ranked the iPhone XR as the “top-ranked single-lens phone”. However, do note that the website has not yet published the review for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, both of which sport single rear camera lenses. That said, let's check out the details of the DxOMark iPhone XR camera review.
In terms of specifications, the iPhone XR sports a single 12-megapixel 1/2.55 camera sensor at the back with features like 1.4-micron pixel, f/1.8 aperture, OIS, PDAF, and a dual-tone quad-LED flash. DxOMark claims that the iPhone XR offers camera software and image processing on par with that of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
The iPhone XR scored an impressive 103 for still photos. This included great scores for Exposure and Contrast (90), Colour (82), and Autofocus (99). Low light photography was regarded to be “very good”, however detail got reduced substantially in extreme low light conditions. Very slight luminance noise was visible in the flat areas in the iPhone XR outdoor images. Texture and sharpness were recorded to be “extremely well” in indoor situations. DxOMark notes that images are brighter on the iPhone XR, compared to those on the Google Pixel 2.
Flash performance is said to be better than even the iPhone XS Max, as the iPhone XR gets better target exposure on faces. “Some vignetting (corner shading) remains visible, and although the level of detail is good, there are some residual noise artifacts and colour quantisation in both flash-only and mixed-lighting shots. So a definite improvement, but still not as good as the Pixel 2, which is a top performer for flash,” DxOMark noted in its review.
Zoom and bokeh are two key areas where the iPhone XR disappoints, mostly because of the lack of a secondary hardware sensor. Quality of images clicked in 2x zoom as well as in portrait mode remain acceptable at best.
As for video scores, DxOMark gave the iPhone XR a great score of 96. The review states that the iPhone XR has a “very similar video performance” to the iPhone XS Max. However, there appear to be slight instabilities in exposure and white balance under changing lighting conditions. The noise-versus-detail compromise, in the DxOMark review, remains well managed overall with decent results.
“Compared to the Google Pixel 2, which is the best single-cam smartphone we'd tested up until now, the results are very comparable in many areas, but thanks to improved results for noise and particularly for artifacts, the iPhone XR just nudges it out of first place to become our top-ranked single-cam smartphone,” concludes DxOMark.