If the quality of a phone’s front-facing camera is a big deal for you (we’re making no judgements), then camera analyst DxOMark’s new selfie league could be a handy reference – it’s just crowned the Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 as the joint leaders of its new rankings.
The company’s new selfie tests match many of the ones it carries out for rear cameras, with some special allowances made for typical selfie practice. Its 1,500 test images include close-up portraits, group shots from selfie sticks, and laboratory tests with mannequins. It also shoots around two hours of video with the front-facing camera.
The Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 were given their selfie high scores for different reasons. In DxOMark’s tests the Pixel 3 “has the edge in terms of focus system, but the Note 9 achieves better results for exposure and color”.
This largely matched the results of our tests, with our Google Pixel 3 review stating that it “takes some of the best selfies I have ever seen, with lovely realistic skin tones and none of the putrid beautifying effects that blighted the iPhone XS”.
In its comparison between its two favourite selfie phones, DxOMark added: “Google puts a lot of emphasis on texture and detail and therefore accepts some noise in Pixel 3 images, while Samsung engineers have opted for a cleaner image and made some sacrifices in terms of fine details”. To conclude, DxO said that while the Pixel takes the title for selfie stills, the Galaxy Note 9 is best for video selfies due to its superior stabilisation.
While these scores are certainly a useful reference for selfie obsessives, they’re not a comprehensive summary of the whole camera experience and the usual caveats apply. For example, DxOMark’s scores don’t take into account the camera’s ease of use or its full range of hardware and software features. Unlike our review, its scores don’t take into account the Pixel 3’s second super-wide-angle camera because, as DxO says, “testing secondary and tertiary camera modules is not part of our protocol”.
So far DxO has tested 12 smartphones using its new selfie protocol, but it’s promising to regularly add more from all price ranges.
What do you think, is the Pixel 3 the best phone for selfies or do you think another phone is the king of narcissism? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.