DxO Labs has named Samsung's Galaxy S4 a new winner in its mobile-phone camera tests.
The French firm, which specializes in camera optics and image sensor analysis, gave the new Android phone a score of 75 this week, edging out the iPhone 5 at 72. The top scorer is the Nokia 808 Pureview at 77, but that model is hobbled by its Symbian operating system, a commercial failure compared to Apple's iOS in the iPhone and Google's Android in the Galaxy S4.
Perhaps Nokia will have better commercial success with its iPhone 5 isn't the last word from Apple., which could incorporate the relatively large image sensor and high-end Zeiss lens of the 808 Pureview into a Windows Phone model. And of course the
Cameras have become a crucial part of smartphone performance as people shift away from dedicated cameras to a device that they're likely to have at all times and that comes equipped with a network connection for immediate sharing.
The Samsung flagship phone outdid its iPhone rival in most categories for still photos and videos, DxO concluded, but it wasn't a clean sweep. The iPhone 5 suffered fewer image-processing artifacts and its video stabilization worked better.
The Galaxy S4 showed "impressive detail preservation in bright light conditions," DxO said. "The 13-megapixel sensor shows a significant improvement compared to the best 8-megapixel smartphone cameras."
In low light, though, the Galaxy S4 suffered from noise, and in general the camera oversharpened images so that edges suffered from halos.