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Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Max selfie camera falls to 10th place on DxOMark charts

Despite hardware and software improvements over 2018's model, Apple's iPhone dropped six spots on imaging specialist DxOMark's front-facing camera quality charts as competition from the likes of Huawei and Samsung heats up.

According to a comprehensive review of iPhone 11 Pro Max published by DxOMark on Monday, the smartphone's 12-megapixel selfie camera, and ostensibly that of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro which shares components with the 6.5-inch flagship, earned an aggregate score of 91 points compared to the 82 points notched by iPhone XS Max last year.

The performance puts 11 Pro Max just inside the firm's top 10 list behind Huawei nova 6 5G (100), Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G (99), Asus ZenFone 6 (98), Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (97), Samsung Galaxy S10+ (96), Huawei Mate 30 Pro (93), Google Pixel 3 (92), Google Pixel 4 (92) and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (92).

As noted in the report, 11 Pro Max scored 93 points on a collection of still photo tests and 90 points on a corresponding video evaluation, exhibiting strong color reproduction and focus across the board. Image noise was a weak spot for both still shots and video, while photos suffered from poor texture performance. Interestingly, DxOMark found iPhone's selfie camera produced fewer video artifacts than it did photo flaws.

The firm notes noise is a distinct problem for 11 Pro Max's selfie camera, both outdoors and in low-light situations. Example photos reveal visible noise during indoor shooting that results in lower detail and an overall muddy image.

Apple is lauded for its work on bokeh, with tests confirming TrueDepth as an industry-leading depth-sensing solution. Software-driven features like Smart HDR are also praised, as is Apple's decision to move to a wider angle lens.

Today's report marks the completion of DxOMark's iPhone 11 Pro Max evaluation. The firm initially evaluated the handset's audio performance in October and followed up with tests of the handset's rear-facing camera last week.