Opinion: Did OnePlus buy its DxOMark score for the OnePlus 5?

One of the biggest selling points of the OnePlus 5 is its dual camera setup. So big, in fact, that OnePlus is touting the dual camera as the phone’s killer feature. To achieve this, OnePlus partnered with DxO to enhance their camera performance. But many believe that the partnership only helped to artificially boost the DxOMark score of the OP5.

The OnePlus 5 scored an 87 on DxOMark’s mobile camera benchmark. This puts the OP5 right there with phones like the Huawei P10, Moto Z Force, and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. However, it falls behind most competitors. The Galaxy S8, the Google Pixel, and the HTC U11 all score higher than the OP5. As a bonus, the HTC U11 touts the highest ranked mobile camera, with a score of 90.

And even then, it looks like that 87 score was boosted with a little help from the folks over at DxO. Pretty meaningless help when it comes to real life usage, though.

A high score, but only on what matters for benchmarks

As we said earlier, OnePlus announced a partnership with DxO to improve their camera a while ago. This did, indeed, help the OP5 score better by polishing the areas that matter the most when scoring. However, these parameters don’t matter much when actually using the camera in real life.

The OP5 camera scores highly on areas like exposure, autofocus, and texture. And it also takes advantage of the secret parameters DxO uses to measure mobile cameras. However, this is probably not the only help they got…

A somewhat biased review helped as well

There’s no denying the “secret parameters” were not the only thing that helped that 87 score. And the DxOMark review glances over lots of flaws in the OnePlus 5 camera. Flaws that would have severely lowered other phone’s scores.

For example, to quote just a few:

  • “an occasional loss of shadow detail in high-contrast scenes is evident” (Outdoors)
  • “We also noticed some ghosting (or blurring) in some HDR exposures, which can lead to a strong loss of detail in some areas” (Outdoors)
  • “Some handheld images display noticeable blur, and although it’s inconsistent when it occurs, OnePlus 5 images display significantly less detail than its main competitors” (Indoors)
  • “Color fringing sometimes noticeable” (Artifacts)
  • “Visible loss of sharpness in the field” (Artifacts)
  • “Slight ringing noticeable” (Artifacts)
  • “Occasional strong loss of details in outdoor conditions” (Photo cons)

Many other flaws have been skipped over by the DxO team, but these are some of the most noticeable ones.

The review is flawed on many other levels. For example, they gave the OP5 a score of 87 on video stabilization. This is higher than the 84 that the LG G6 received on the same test. The G6 has OIS, while the OP5 has EIS. And while the 5’s stabilization isn’t bad at all, it isn’t great either, according to online reviews. Low-light performance is also kind of lackluster compared to DxO’s claims of “delivering impressive results in both bright and low-light conditions.”

The verdict

Have in mind that everyone’s opinions are different. However, I would say for sure that the high OnePlus 5 score was a result of the previous partnership with DxO. This is logical thinking. But the partnership, instead of giving the OnePlus 5 an all around better camera, gave it a benchmark-focused camera. Actual camera performance won’t be similar to what you will find on the S8 or the U11.

We are not saying that the OP5 camera is bad though. It’s arguably better to what you will find in the 3/3T. But you should definitely not look at the camera as the phone’s strongest point like OnePlus is doing. It’s great on pretty much every other aspect.

This is not the first time OnePlus has boosted benchmarks in their favor. Previously, they artificially boosted AnTuTu, Geekbench and other benchmark scores on the 3, 3T and 5. And focusing on scores and reviews instead of actual user experience is going to bite them sooner or later.

What do you think? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: DxOMark, NDTV

Featured-image: Digital Trends