DXOMark regularly puts the latest iPhone and Android smartphones through a series of camera quality tests, comparing them all against each other. Now, the publication is out with its full review of the front-facing selfie camera on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, revealing how Apple’s flagships compare to the competition.
DXOMark’s testing focus on the iPhone 11 Pro, but both the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 use the same front-facing camera technology, so the results should theoretically be applicable to both.
One of the key improvements cited by DXOMark is the wider-angle front-facing lens introduced with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. This makes it easier to fit more in the frame, while also ensuring consistent focus and compositions. The review also praises the bokeh effect of the front-facing camera, saying that the new lens “delivers excellent focus at most distances, with extended depth of field ensuring good focus for group portraits and backgrounds.”
The addition of a wider lens on the new device is a big plus, helping you fit more into the frame and get better compositions in a range of situations. There are other strengths, too, including a higher score for focus, with both faces and backgrounds boasting good detail at a range of distances, and effective bokeh shots when you want to blur the background.
Apple’s Smart HDR processing also “ensures very good control of the highlights in bright light conditions,” DXOMark says. Though, there were “some HDR failures” in a few of the more challenging scenes. In comparison to the iPhone XS, the iPhone 11 also offers improvements in color and focus.
Video with the iPhone 11’s front-facing camera is also a step-up, the review says, with video exposure and video texture both improving compared to the iPhone XS.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max continues to be a top performer for video exposure, thanks to the implementation of HDR video on the front camera, which ensures fairly wide dynamic range in most outdoor conditions. Video texture has improved over the XS Max, and although Apple front cameras aren’t top performers in this category, the addition of 4K capture on the iPhone 11 Pro Max ensures excellent detail on outdoor videos.
Despite these improvements, however, the selfie camera on the iPhone 11 still ranks well-below competitors. Namely, DXOMark cites issues with white balance, visible noise, out-of-focus faces at long distances, and “distortion of faces towards the edges of the frame.” Many of these issues most commonly appear in low-light environments, the review says.
The same low-light problems also apply to videos, with DXOMark citing “heavy noise and low detail indoors and in low light,” as well as “color quantization indoors and in low light.”
The iPhone 11 Pro, and theoretically the iPhone 11, ranks in the 10th spot in DXOMark’s selfie camera testing with a store of 91. In comparison, the iPhone XS Max ranks in the 15th spot with a score of 82.
- Huawei nova 6 5G – 100
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G – 99
- ASUS ZenFone 6 – 98
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – 97
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ – 96
- Huawei Mate 30 Pro – 93
- Google Pixel 3 – 92
- Google Pixel 4 – 92
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – 92
- iPhone 11 Pro Max – 91
The methodology and reliability of DXOMark’s testing is often questioned and disputed, primarily on the basis that camera quality is subjective and assigning a “score” is challenging. You can read the full review of the iPhone 11 front-facing selfie camera here.