The Galaxy S9 has predictably stellar cameras, according to DxOMark. Samsung’s newest flagship device scored a 99 overall on DxO’s battery of photo and video quality tests, which is — surprise! — the reviewer’s highest ever score for a phone. The S9 is the first phone to receive higher overall marks than the Pixel 2, which netted a 98 last fall.
DxOMark’s scoring system is a little complicated. Scores aren’t out of 100, they just happen to be hovering around that range right now. The overall score is a combination of two separate scores for photo and video, and each of those scores come from a laundry list of even more scores for different characteristics of the photos and videos a given camera takes. So a score of 99 isn’t one point from perfection.
In DxO’s tests, the Galaxy S9 nabbed a 104 for photos and a 91 for video. As far as stills go, its biggest leaps over the previous champ were in its zoom and lower levels of noise in photos taken in various lighting conditions. For video, the S9 actually scored lower than the Pixel 2, which got a score of 96.
DxOMark scores are a controversial benchmark, however. DxO isn’t just a camera reviewer, it’s also a consulting firm that manufacturers can hire to help fine tune their imaging systems. It makes sense that a system designed with close input from DxO will have an advantage in DxO’s review process. We’ve talked about this before, and MKBHD has a very detailed explainer you can watch below.
The highest score ever record tends to get broken multiple times a year, so if history is any indication, Samsung will hold onto its crown until the next Pixel or iPhone wrestles it away this fall.