Google’s Pixel series of smartphones are arguably one of the best on the market when it comes to camera prowess. Pixels could do more with one lens than most competitors couldn’t with a multi-lens setup. The only device that is objectively better in the camera department is the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, which snagged a score of 121 in DxOMark. Let’s take an in-depth look at what DxOMark has to say about the Google Pixel 4. The test uses over 1600 sample images and more than 2 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings.
Overall camera performance
As you can see in the infographic above, the Pixel 4 fares a lot better in the still imagery department with a score of 117. It lags behind the competition primarily due to the absence of an ultrawide lens and ToF sensor. The 117-point photography score ties the Google Pixel 4 with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, despite having one fewer lens. However, the latter’s overall lens photo score is 126 when the ultra-wide is then factored in. The Google Pixel 4’s camera brings forth a lot of improvements when it comes to zoom quality, mainly due to its telephoto lens. The Pixel 4’s video performance is pegged at 101 and is on top of DxOMark’s list, despite Google’s choice to not include 4K60 FPS video recording on the devices.
The Pixel 4’s bokeh simulation does fairly well, considering that it lacks depth-sensing hardware. It takes a trained eye to spot the discrepancies, which is a testament to the Google Camera app’s software prowess.
As you can see in the image samples above, the depth-of-field effect applied by the Pixel 4 falters in its depth estimation. It blurs the subject’s earring and displays edge artifacts around the ears. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 10+ applies a more realistic effect as focus drops away behind the face.
Night Sight made its debut alongside last year’s Pixel 3 and is one of the best upgrades the Google Camera app has received over the years. Night Sight lets the Pixel 4 produce remarkably better results than the standard mode under low-light conditions. It strikes a perfect balance between exposure, accurate white balance, and good color rendering. However, it falters under ultra-low-light conditions, especially with the flash turned off, as you can see in the images below.
With an overall score of 92, the Google Pixel 4 is on par with its predecessor the Pixel 3, despite having only one lens in the front. As a result, Bokeh mode is not quite as good as it was on the Pixel 3. It is far from the best on the market, but the Pixel 4 is capable of capturing selfie images with excellent exposure, wide dynamic range, and vibrant colors. It is, however, plagued with low levels of detail at close shooting distances and visible shadow noise in all conditions, even bright light.
With the combined power of Google Camera’s software and the two lenses, the Google Pixel 4’s camera is a definite upgrade over its predecessors. An ultra-wide lens and a ToF sensor would have made the device near-perfect, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the next Pixel before we get to see them. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares against the iPhone 11 series. You can read the report in its entirety over here.
Products mentioned in this post
Galaxy Note 10
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