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Sony Xperia XZ Premium does poorly in DxOMark’s tests; is Sony even trying?

Sony Xperia XZ Premium does poorly in DxOMark’s tests; is Sony even trying?

by Vyncent ChanSeptember 24, 2017
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Smartphone photography is an area that is advancing very rapidly, but it seems that Sony is still content with huge pixel counts that look good on spec sheets, but conveniently ignores pixel pitch is one of the main reasons why the top smartphone cameras are where they are. Of course, they are also very late to the dual-camera game, meaning it doesn’t have anything like the Live Bokeh feature on the Nokia 8 or Wide Aperture mode on the Honor 8. Understanding the new features manufacturers are bringing to their devices, DxOMark has updated their benchmark calculations to favor devices with zoom and bokeh.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium does poorly in DxOMark's tests; is Sony even trying? 19

With none of those in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, it scores just 83 points, when the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus at the top of the ladder are scoring 92 and 94, respectively. From a brand that literally makes most of the camera sensors in recent smartphones, these scores are really disappointing. The Xperia XZ Premium’s only differentiating feature is its 960 fps slow-mo recording, which is really quite amazing to see in action. However that alone doesn’t save it when the camera “doesn’t produce overall better images or video than many other phones with lower or similar-resolution sensors“. A large portion of its points are also lost in the Zoom and Bokeh categories, but that isn’t really the sole reason the Xperia XZ Premium faltering here, when the images turn out really noisy in poorer lighting conditions.

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That’s a lot of noise for a shot from a flagship!
Image credit: DxOMark

It is saddening to see the Xperia XZ Premium doing so poorly but it is somewhat expected from a 19MP 1/2.3″ sensor in a smartphone, with a pixel pitch of 1.22 μm. Its lens are also far from the widest, with a f/2.0 aperture, it is comfortably “mid-range”. For comparison, we have 12MP sensors in the Google Pixel and HTC U11, devices which has graced the top of the DxOMark benchmark charts before the new iPhones came around. Their pixels measure 1.55 μm and 1.4 μm respectively, which explains why they can deliver great dynamic range, even before their superior image processing kicks in. Then we have the apertures, which is f/2.0 for the Pixel and a whopping f/1.7 for the HTC. Even devices like the Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus have a bigger pixel pitch at 1.25 μm than the pitiful 1.22 μm pixels Sony put into their flagship.

Source: DxOMark

Pokdepinion: Sony has to buck up their game or their devices will be left out of many a shortlist when considering to get a new smartphone.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.
  • Skywax90_16
    September 25, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Sony’s image processing really needs an update. It’s probably not that suitable for smartphones due to the small pixel size. They need to make a new image processing which is less aggressive for the smartphones. The point of having the greater number of pixels in the sensor is for them to save more details in the picture, but they aren’t as the small details are usually over-processed. It’s very sad to see that Sony couldn’t comprehend that the competition has already improved vastly compared t how they we’re in the past.

    • September 25, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      I don’t think this is the Sony’s image processing technology’s fault. I mean, some of the best smartphone cameras are made by Sony at this point of time already. I guess this is more of a product direction thingy that they are getting wrong.

      Or maybe they’re just giving way to the other brands to achieve better sales because they would still profit anyway? ;)

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