DxO on Thursday announced that the new Samsung Galaxy S9+ has achieved its best-ever DxOMark score, 99, toppling the Google Pixel 2's 98 and the Apple iPhone X's 97.
The S9+ is a smartphone "without any real weaknesses in the camera department," performing well in both photo and video regardless of the tested situation, DxO said. "Add one of the best smartphone zooms and a capable bokeh simulation mode to the mix, and the Galaxy S9 Plus is difficult to ignore for any photo-minded smartphone user."
The phone's signature feature is dual aperture support, allowing it to switch from f/2.4 to f/1.5 for more light, or simply for shallower depth-of-field. Most smartphones — iPhones included — can only ever shoot with a fixed aperture.
The S9+ still has some minor issues, among them the chance of halos, purple fringing, and/or blue or pink color casts.
While DxO's testing is thorough and uses a mix of lab and field testing, the company has admitted that its evaluations can be subjective, such that people will likely be well-off with any of the top-ranking smartphones.
Apple and Samsung regularly vie for the top spot in photography, which they see as an important bulletpoint for their phones. The iPhone X is equipped with dual-lens rear camera, allowing it to shoot in wide-angle at f/1.8 and 2x at f/2.4. It also employs technologies like optical image stabilization and a special Portrait mode, simulating DSLR-style bokeh.