How Reliable Is A DxOMark Rating? Unfortunately for HONOR, Not So Much

DxOMark, schmxOMark?

The HONOR 20 Pro is the latest flagship smartphone from HONOR, and boy does it look the part. The phone comes with a quad cam setup reminiscent of parent company Huawei’s P30 Pro, but at a fraction of the price. Sounds great doesn’t it. With phone camera’s being one of the most important features when it comes to making a decision on whether to purchase or not, HONOR remains a step ahead of consumers with the HONOR 20 Pro. The phone was given the second highest DxOMark score, with 111 points- Just 1 away from -surprise, surprise- The P30 Pro.

With more and more people referring to DxOMark as a benchmark for how good a phone is, we have to ask ourselves, just how reliable is a DxOMark rating anyway? We reckon now is as good a time as any to bring back into the spotlight an analysis done by the famous MKBHD where he explains how exactly DxOMark ratings work.


MKBHD with the save

In the video, Brownlee explains why he thinks the DxOMark rating is “Somewhat accurate but also a bit misleading.” He basically goes on about how the overall rating can be somewhat reliable when it comes to being a determining factor in deciding which phone to buy. For example, the highest rated smartphone at the moment is the P30 Pro, but is the P30 Pro camera really that much better than the Iphone XS Max, which is at a lowly 9th on the list? I would say no. I would argue that the iPhone XS Max has an excellent portrait mode, much better than the P30 Pro. In fact, most of the shots I’ve taken using the P30 Pro looked very “unnatural” in the sense that the shots automatically looked heavily edited.

So it comes down to context, you see? In the video, you will also be enlightened to the fact that DxOMark often works as consultants with certain companies in order to optimize their cameras. Of course we can’t comprehensively conclude that this leads to biased ratings but it does lay the foundation for some sort of conflict of interest. How objective can DxOMark be when reviewing the projects they were consultants on?

Which brings us back to the HONOR 20 Pro. Were they consultants for the HONOR 20 Pro’s camera development? I don’t know, read HONOR’s press release on why the HONOR 20 Pro earned top marks from DxOMark and you tell me.

HONOR is leveraging heavily on the device’s high DxOMark, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but should you really make a purchasing decision based solely on that? Probably not. We’d recommend asking yourself what you really want in a phone. If you’re all about that camera life then please, for the love of God don’t just rely on DxOMark to tell you what’s what. Try out the camera for yourself and see if it’s a good fit for YOU.

That being said, perhaps the HONOR 20 Pro really does have a great camera. We’ve not actually gotten our hands on the pro model as of yet, so we can’t say for sure. However, the HONOR 20 was decent for it’s price and we expect the pro model to be even better, so we’ll just have to wait and see how reliable DxOMark really is.





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