Remember the time when DxOMark scores were all the rage and the newest launches already came with huge claims of how well they scored on DxOMark. Well, that seems to have died out now. Shockingly still, we see that the latest Galaxy S21 Ultra from Samsung has scored lower than it’s predecessor, the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
DxOMark explained for you
DxOMark scores had taken off quite well previously. One can easily find mentions of such scores when the first Google Pixels debuted. However, soon that rat race was put to rest.
DxOMark basically pitches the devices, through a number of pre-designed tests under controlled ambience trying to standardize the entire process. Ultimately, comparisons made out of the images collected and analysis performed, DxOMark offers a particular device with scores in a variety of field leading up to one single score. This is the score that we mostly look into to get an overview of how the device faired overall.
DxOMark has earlier faced some criticism to have such a structured approach to a creative field like photography. Arguably there are a minuscule number of ways to test a camera, if not for this approach. That said, we insist camera performance be a flexible attribute whose likeability greatly depends on the user and the user’s requirements. So, no one camera is the best.
NOTE: It is important to note that all the following results and comparisons have been drawn of Exynos powered models for both the S21 Ultra and S20 Ultra.
S20 Ultra trumps S21 Ultra?
Let’s look at some camera specs on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:
The Primary Camera unit consists of a 108MP sensor with a size of 1/1.33″. On the optics front, it gets a 26mm lens with an f/1.8 aperture. The module has support for Phase Detection Auto-Focus and OIS.
The Telephoto Camera (1) unit consists of a 10MP sensor with large 1.22µm pixels. It’s aided by a 70mm lens tuned at f/2.4 alongside OIS and dual-pixel PDAF.
The Telephoto Camera (2) unit consists of a 10MP sensor with large 1.22µm pixels. It’s aided by a 240mm lens tuned at f/4.9 alongside OIS and dual-pixel PDAF.
The Ultra-Wide Camera unit consists of a 12MP sensor with a size of 1/2.55″. On the optics front, it gets a 13mm lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The module has support for dual-pixel PDAF and OIS.
S21 Ultra has the ability to shoot at 8K/30fps and 4K/60fps.
The S21 Ultra scored 121 on DxOMark while its predecessor secured a higher score of 126. Other rivals and siblings hover closely — Galaxy Note 20/Ultra (120), iPhone 12/mini (120) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max(124).
DxOMark Analysis: The HDR is in a hit-or-miss situation and is “a little unstable”. Low light performance can see a some improvement and S20 Ultra performed better in this aspect. Low-light photography also takes a hit in terms of detail and texture. Noise levels are visibly boosted in high-contrast scenarios as well.
The S21 Ultra uses a capable pair of Telephoto cameras with good zooming capabilities. Image quality is noticeably a notch higher in preset zoom rates and struggles slightly in the range between.
The S20 Ultra had scored 128 in Photo, 88 in Zoom and 106 in Video. The S21 Ultra has scored 126 in Photo, 76 in Zoom and 98 in Video.