What’s the delay in the DxOMark iPhone 7 Plus rating?

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DxOMark has long been the go to website to see how the latest smartphone’s camera compares to other similar devices on the market. DxOMark is usually pretty quick to get the marks up for flagship smartphones, but one has been mysteriously absent: the DxOMark iPhone 7 Plus.

Let’s take a quick look at some of DxOMark’s recent scores on currently released smartphones. We may as well start with their latest review/rating: the TCL 950. The what? A Chinese phone, the TCL 950 is manufactured by the parent company of Alcatel and supposedly went on sale in China on September 28th. DxOMark’s review/rating went up about 3 weeks later on October 21st. DxOMark’s most recent flagship smartphone rating was, of course, Google’s Pixel camera. In fact, the company released their review and rating on October 4th, the day the phone was announced by Google — a score that was touted by Google because DxOMark rated it an 89, the highest score of any smartphone to date. The Pixel and Pixel XL weren’t actually available until around October 20th, so DxOMark actually had this one scored before the public release date. Off the top of my head, this is the first time I recall a phone’s DxOMark score being used in the announcement presentation before it has been available to the public.

Prior to that, the iPhone 7 was the latest to be rated by DxOMark on September 27th — 11 days after the phone was released. In the review, the company mentioned that the iPhone 7 Plus review would be coming at a later date, due to the complexity of the new dual cameras.

The iPhone 7 Plus features additional capabilities based on its dual-camera architecture. It is not the first phone with a dual-camera, but it is the first to use the second camera for a 2x optical zoom, and computed depth information. Its new Portrait mode is designed to use the depth information gleaned from analyzing the images from both of its cameras to selectively-blur image backgrounds, while keeping the foreground subject sharp. This is intended to mimic the shallow DOF effect and pleasing “bokeh” that photographers using DSLRs and other standalone cameras have been able to achieve. The new features and technologies in the iPhone 7 Plus require additional time for testing, so its review will follow this one, and be published shortly.

Seeing as DxOMark has a rigorous testing and rating method, their explanation for the delay makes sense. That being said, we’re now sitting at November 28th — a full 2 months (9 weeks) later, and eight weeks after the Pixel rating was released — with no iPhone 7 Plus camera rating from DxOMark. We reached out to them on Twitter and received a very generic response.

Being curious, we went through some of the more recent DxOMark ratings to see what the approximate turnaround for other new smartphones was:

  • Meizu Pro 6: rated September 8th, released April 13th — 21 weeks
  • Qiku Q Terra (?!?!): rated September 7th, released November 2015(?) — 42 weeks
  • Sony Xperia X Performance: rated July 28th, released June 15th— 4 weeks
  • Moto Z Force Droid: rated July 14th, pre-order available July 14th; shipped July 28th — -2 weeks
  • Moto Z Droid: rated July 14th, pre-order available July 14th; shipped July 28th — -2 weeks
  • Huawei P9: rated July 13th, released April 29th — 12 weeks
  • LG G5: rated June 14th, released April 1st — 10 weeks
  • and so on…

As we found, the average turnaround time really varies and contains a mix of flagship and some unheard of (in North America anyways) phones. Popular North American phones seem to see a faster turnaround time, the longest seemed to be the LG G5 with the Moto Z Force Droid and Moto Z Droid getting rated the day they were available for pre-order (but far after they were announced). Other recently released phones that are still waiting to receive the DxOMark treatment — but have already been released and/or reviewed on a number of sites — include the LG V20, Xiamoi Redmi 4 Prime, Sony Xperia X Compact, Huawei Mate 9, Sony Xperia XZ, and others.

Having reviewed my fair share of smartphones here at Techaeris, reviews definitely do take time, but you would think that a company like DxOMark — who obviously had pre-release access to the Google Pixel and Moto Z Droid lineups, and had the iPhone 7 rating out fairly quickly would have the iPhone 7 Plus rating out by now as well considering the popularity of iPhones.

NOTE: As mentioned in the comments below by Scott (thanks!) both the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were released on September 25, 2015, and while the 6S was scored relatively quickly on October 13, 2015, the 6S Plus wasn’t scored until mid-December.

For now, we, and our readers, will just have to wait a little longer and hope that the DxOMark iPhone 7 Plus rating comes out sooner rather than later, but it is interesting that the Google Pixel was rated — best smartphone camera to boot — in time to be used in the official announcement by Google for the Pixel phones. I can only imagine the fanboy battle that will ensue if the iPhone 7 Plus gets a higher rating than the Google Pixel/Pixel XL — if we ever see a rating. Don’t get me wrong, a great smartphone camera doesn’t necessarily make for great photographs. After all, the camera is only as good as the person behind it and we’ve seen our fair share of great and sub-par Pixel photos, as well as great and sub-par iPhone photos.

Why do you think it’s taking so long for DxOMark to released the iPhone 7 Plus rating? Is it really just that difficult a camera to test? Possibly another reason tied to the Google Pixel release? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.


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