The Samsung Galaxy S9+ camera bumps the Pixel 2 for DxOMark’s top spot

You know the drill, right? A new flagship comes out and bumps the last big name out of the top spot. We’re still a couple of weeks out from the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ release date, but the premium handset just got the DxOMark treatment, and it seems the company’s got another feather to put in its flagship’s cap.

The site posted a 99 for the S9+, edging out the Pixel 2’s very good camera by a point — and the iPhone X by two. Sure, that’s not exactly the “camera reinvented” message the company was pushing ahead of last weekend’s big announcement at MWC, but it’s certainly in line with the camera-first approach it was promising handset, besting the Galaxy Note 8’s score by five points (the site rated the S8, but not S8+, mind).

The site gives the S9+ its highest photo score for a handset so far. The video score, while note quite tops, is still up there. According to DxOMark, “The S9 Plus comes with a camera that hasn’t got any obvious weaknesses and performs very well across all photo and video test categories.”

The biggest addition this time out is a dual-aperture for low light shots, and indeed, the camera performs admirably on those. The S9+ also sports a zoom lens not found on the S9 (along with a few other features justifying the $120 price different), which significantly reduces artifacts. The phone also gets high marks for its bokeh effect (for Portrait Mode), which was pretty solid to start with on the last note handset.

There are a few small knocks, including artifacts in bright lighting situation, but all in all, the handset looks to be a standout.