Ultra-premium flagship smartphone cameras: is bigger really better?

Yole Développement, DXOMARK and System Plus Consulting join forces to explain

Yole Développement, DXOMARK and System Plus Consulting partner to provide the technology industry with comprehensive and detailed analyses of products from market facts and technical choices to end user experience. Their first joint report which maps camera performance of select ultra-premium models from an end user perspective in relation to their specs is now available. The report evaluates the following smartphones: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, Huawei Mate 40 Pro Plus, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Report Highlights Need for Hardware & Software Integration

The report brings to light many interesting facts. Packing more pixels does not necessarily translate into better image quality. While Samsung includes a 108MP sensor on their early 2021 flagship, Apple, with its iPhone 12 Pro Max, although choosing a lower resolution, ended up with a higher DXOMARK score.

Regarding hardware specifically, Huawei and Xiaomi combine great hardware – including larger camera modules – with excellent software integration, while Apple provides very high-quality images despite their smaller camera module, thanks to its combination of hardware and software. The crucial complementarity between hardware and software is highlighted in HDR measurements. This feature has been around for a long time, but still huge differences appear without exceptional hardware and software integration – even among flagships.

Yole, DXOMARK, and System Plus Consulting expect OEMs to continue adopting these balanced hardware architectures while continuously improving their software solutions to enhance end-user performance further.

Combining Expertise: Market, Technology & End User

This report is built on DXOMARK’s experience and proven benchmarking techniques as well as the expertise and understanding of Yole and System Plus Consulting of the imaging industry and related technologies from material and equipment to end-systems, including devices and modules.

At DXOMARK, we’ve been evaluating products from the end user perspective for more than ten years,” says Frederic Guichard, CEO & CTO of DXOMARK. “Today, we’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Yole Développement and System Plus Consulting, bringing a unique and comprehensive understanding to industry watchers and the smartphone ecosystem of the elements that drive quality, from market trends to components to the actual user experience.

“The Ultra-Premium Flagship Smartphones Image Performance: End-User Perspective 2021 report is the first collaboration between the three companies, Yole Développement, DXOMARK, and System Plus Consulting”, explains Jean-Christophe Eloy, President & CEO of Yole Développement. “Today, this partnership seems obvious: we share our visions of the imaging industry, from devices to end-systems, to deliver valuable results and insights to our customers. By combining our expertise, we highlight the latest technical innovations and make the link with the OEMs’ strategies.”

Yole, DXOMARK, and System Plus Consulting expect more collaborations and analyses in the near future including detailed reports about phones from Apple, Samsung and other prominent brands.

Highlights of the report can be viewed in this webcast.