There's a new king of the mountain in terms of smartphone cameras and it's not from Nokia. Sony's Xperia Z2 has managed to knock the Nokia 808 PureView from the top spot in DxOMark Mobile's rankings with a score of 79 - the highest score for a smartphone camera to date.

The score is two points higher than Nokia's offering which had enjoyed first place honors since 2012. It's followed closely by the Xperia Z1, the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S4 with scores of 76, 76 and 75, respectively.

Those with some knowledge of Sony's Xperia line may be questioning the validity of the results. The Z2 features a 1/2.3-inch type BSI CMOS sensor with a 20.7-megapixel resolution and high-grade Sony G-type 27mm equivalent f/2.0 - or in other words, the exact same setup found in the original Z1. So what gives?

As mentioned above, the Z1 was no slouch as it turned in a score of 76 but Sony has since managed to squeeze a bit more performance out of the setup in the Z2. The team found it impressed with its color and detail preservation, both outdoors and in more challenging lighting, and it retained the fast autofocus of the Z1 while improving its precision.

What's more, noise levels remained low with none of the objectionable chroma noise found on some rivals; only some fine-grained luminance type noise was noticeable at times.

It's not perfect, however, as  tests also revealed some other negative aspects of the camera like occasional white balance inaccuracies indoors, a slight blue tint on some outdoor shots, slight color shading with tungsten lighting and noticeable fringing, ringing and maze artifacts.