Yesterday, we told you about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 becoming the highest ranked android camera phone ever. It had tied with the iPhone 8 Plus to share the number one spot globally according tests done by the DxOMark photography gurus. It seems, however, that the number one spot is highly contested nowadays, devices do not seem to last a month in that position seeing that the newly announced Pixel 2 just took over.

Last year, the Google Pixel was the reigning champ for a while before HTC U11 knocked it off. It seems the successor has reclaimed the spot with an overall score of 98, that’s 4 marks above the previous champs; the Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus( both tied at a score of 94). Usually, devices only beat each other with one or two points, a four point gap is unheard off. What makes this win so amazing is the fact that the Pixel 2 only uses a single camera unlike the fancy dual sensors found in the previous winners; Google must have baked some serious software magic to pull that off.

In the photo capture section, Pixel 2 got 99 points, the Note 8 is the only phone to go beyond that level, it scored a perfect 100. On the video recording side, the Pixel 2 scored 96 points. It is important to note that both the Pixel 2 and the XL 2 have the same camera setup so they share the score naturally. The module is a 12MP shooter with f/1.8 aperture size, assisted by dual pixels and optical image stabilization. It improves on the HDR+ technology that propelled last year’s model to the top spot.

The team at DxO praised the stabilization (scored 93) thanks to the OIS that was missing in last year’s model. Autofocus was also one of the highlights (scored 98 in photos and 95 in videos), it is made possible by the dual pixels that are said to focus as fast as the human eye.

Despite the lack of a dual camera unit, the Pixel phones can do bokeh (background blur) effect by utilizing software tactics. DxO acknowledged a lot of improvement in the bokeh effect considering that only software tricks were used, but they noted that this implementation was still some distance behind the capabilities of the iPhone 8 Plus and the Galaxy Note 8 that use dual cameras. Zooming was also one of the areas that got the lowest score of only 32 points. Again, zoom is a functionality best achieved by a dual camera setup with the second lens being of the telephoto variant. These are the bits that made the previous winners shine over their competitors. If the team at Google incorporated a dual camera with telephoto lens, they would have probably hit 100 perfect score.