HTC U11 beats Google Pixel for highest-rated camera? I doubt it

DxOMark is often promoted as a standard to consider when choosing your smartphone for camera output. In my experiences, real-world testing hasn't shown the same results.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Earlier today, HTC announced the new HTC U11 flagship smartphone with features that match the Samsung Galaxy S8, but it offers some other unique aspects. DxOMark tested out the new phone and awarded the HTC U11 a score of 90, which just happens to be one point higher than the Google Pixel.

Thanks to my role here on ZDNet, I have the opportunity to evaluate all the latest and greatest smartphones. In my experiences, DxOMark camera ratings don't match real-world reality for the vast majority of casual photographers who use auto mode and just point-and-shoot with their phones.

For example, the HTC 10 earned a score of 88 by DxOMark, which was the same as the Galaxy S8 and S7. The iPhone 7 earned a rating of 86. My experiences show that the iPhone 7, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S7 cameras all perform better than the HTC 10, and it should be down in the low 80s.

Good photographers can take their time and capture fantastic photos with just about any smartphone today, and HTC cameras are fine. However, I seriously doubt the HTC U11 is a better camera for most people than the Google Pixel. The Google Pixel was made by HTC, but the software comes from Google, and it is tough to not capture a great shot with the Google Pixel.

We will soon have our own HTC U11 in house to evaluate ourselves and take the camera for a spin. It would be fantastic to see the U11 outperform the Google Pixel in the camera department because it has many other features much greater than the Google Pixel, such as water resistance, Gorilla Glass 5 front and back panels, advanced audio performance, and more.

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