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Sony Xperia Z2 crowned new king of mobile photography

The smartphone has beaten out the Nokia 808 Pureview to take the lead in overall picture quality.

DxO rankings for mobile phones. DxO Labs

The Sony Xperia Z2 has supplanted Nokia's 808 Pureview as the best smartphone for mobile photographers, according to an organization that analyzes camera quality.

Sony's latest flagship handset scored a 79 out of a possible 100 on the DxOMark Mobile scale, beating out Nokia's 808, which landed a score of 77 out of 100, the camera testers announced Monday. Sony's handset, which comes with a 20.7-megapixel camera and the ability to record in 4K video, earned high marks for its "impressive" photo-snapping outdoors and fast autofocus.

Sony announced the Xperia Z2 at Mobile World Congress in February. Sony has designed the device to be its competitor with Apple's iPhone 5S, the HTC One M8, and Samsung's Galaxy S5. The Android-based smartphone comes with a quad-core 2.3-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 5.2-inch HD display, and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat. Consumers can choose from a black, white, or purple version.

DxO Labs, creators of the DxO Mark camera-quality scale, has become an important resource for hobbyists and professionals seeking the best picture quality in a new device. The company focuses entirely on image quality, evaluating everything from lenses and focal length to aperture and exposure time across both mobile devices and digital cameras.

According to DxO, the iPhone 5S is the third-best smartphone for picture-taking, earning a score of 76 to tie the Xperia Z2's predecessor, the Xperia Z1. Apple's old iPhone 4 scored a 50 out of 100 in the testing, leaving it at the bottom of the pack.

CNET contacted Sony for comment on the ratings. We will update this story when we have more information.

Sony shares are up 11 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $18.94 on Tuesday.