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DxOMark has emerged as one of the foremost websites for smartphone photography, attempting to benchmark photos, videos and other aspects of the mobile photography experience.
There’s been plenty of debate over the company’s testing, given the subjective nature of photography in many ways. But the scores are often used by brands and consumers alike to justify the greatness of their phones.
In any event, DxOMark has just published their results for the Nokia 8 (review), and it’s very disappointing. At a score of 68, it sits way below other high-end phones, with the Galaxy S6 Edge, iPhone 6s and Lava Z25 (wuh?) beating it.
So what’s the company’s justification for the poor score?
For starters, it found that the Nokia 8 was able to deliver “nice images in some conditions”, but pointed to unreliable auto HDR and inconsistent colours at night.
The Nokia 8 camera experience has gone under the microscope — and the results aren’t great
The company criticised the phone for noise and detail, finding “fairly strong” noise in bright light and low levels of detail in general. Both factors only get worse as the light levels drop.
Of course, the Nokia 8 features two 13MP cameras on the back, in the form of a traditional colour camera and monochrome shooter. The combination delivers depth-of-field trickery too, so how does this fare?
“It cannot quite compete with the best in class, but the Nokia’s portrait mode is capable of producing a pleasant bokeh effect that is not too strong. Subject isolation it not always perfect, though, with some artifacts visible, and the mode doesn’t always trigger when it should, even when manually activated,” read an excerpt of the article.
DxOMark also criticised the video recording performance as a low point, saying that the “autofocus in our test unit often did not trigger at at all in low light, making videos in such conditions pretty much unusable”.
In conclusion, the company noted that the Nokia 8 simply couldn’t match the camera performance of most other high-end phones.
For what it’s worth, our own review found that the Nokia flagship did well enough during the day, but what about low light?
“Switch to mixed lighting or low light conditions and you’ll quickly find that noise is a big factor. Samsung and Sony’s best generally outdo it in this department, producing less noise and giving you more detail than HMD’s superphone,” we wrote.
We also took umbrage with the Nokia 8’s video recording, finding lighting to be “woeful”.