Apple has seen the rise of competitors launching smartphones with cameras declared by reviewers and consumer labs as surpassing the iPhone.
But the iPhone 11 Pro dismissed some creeping doubts when it launched this fall and it will end 2019 at the top of several recap and best-of lists.
Among the first with its 2019 review is independent lab DxOMark, which tested 31 new smartphones this year and ranked the 11 Pro as its favorite for video.
The latest iPhone flagship actually tied Xiaomi’s Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition for video capabilities, but the iPhone’s HDR recording and mobile video ecosystem broke the tie for technicians.
DxOMark gave best-of honors in four other categories: best overall, best zoom, best ultra-wide camera and best night photography.
For more than a year, iPhone photographers fronted a stiff upper lip to the news that other smartphones had better cameras. Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung and Google offered flagships that were beating Apple in the very space it created and owned for a decade.
But the iPhone 11 Pro showed Apple was paying attention. Its camera team delivered with an impressive rear-facing three-camera array and several computation advances.
For best overall smartphone camera, the 11 Pro scored 117, four points behind the Xiaomi flagship and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G also scored 117. The note also won for ultra-wide camera, edging out the 11 Pro.
Xiaomi’s premium model has the best zoom according to DxOMark. It was 14 points better than the Huawei P30 Pro thanks to two dedicated telephoto cameras.
Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro handled low-light shooting conditions better than the rest, according to DxOMark. While the 11 Pro’s Night mode is popular, it did not have a two-five score on DxOMark’s list.