24 October 2019
You may find different people with different opinions about Google's Pixel lineup of smartphones but you are unlikely to find someone questioning Pixel's camera capabilities. Pixel phones have one of the best cameras that one can get on a smartphone and the same was expected from the latest Pixel 4 series. As per DxOMark, Google has definitely improved the performance from last year but it is falling behind significantly when compared with contemporary flagships from other brands.
Pixel 4 scored an impressive 112 points in the DxOMark smartphone camera test which is more than enough for the flagship to break into the top 10 rankings. However, it is the first time since the release of the original Pixel that a new Pixel has failed to claim a top-two spot. It currently sits at the eight position along with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro but is well behind the likes of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7 Pro, and even the Honor 20 Pro.
It should be noted that even though Pixel 4 ranks behind all these flagships in DxOMark rankings, it does not mean it is a bad smartphone camera. Google has done an impressive job at using hardware and software algorithms combination to offer great photos but it is also the Pixel 4 camera hardware that is proving to be the roadblock. The latest flagship neither has a wide-angle camera nor a 3D ToF sensor which you find on flagships from other OEMs and that has resulted in lower scores.
DxOMark has praised Pixel 4 for capturing vivid and pleasant colors in bright daylight shots as well as maintaining a good exposure in almost all conditions. It also has fast and accurate autofocus in daylight situations. Since Pixel 4 has a 16-megapixel telephoto camera as the secondary sensor, it manages to capture good details during close and mid-range zoom shots.
There are a few things which Pixel 4 did not do as good as many might have expected. All the shots show some loss of detail and a visible noise regardless of the situation. For those who love to click Bokeh shots, it was found to have occasional depth estimation artifacts. Here is a short video from DxOMark offering a short and crisp Pixel 4 camera review.