The iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 are two of the best smartphones you can buy right now. Both phones have amazing dual-lens cameras on the back. Experts at DxOMark recently reviewed the iPhone 8 Plus camera, and declared that it had the world’s best smartphone camera with 94/100 points. DxOMark hasn’t reviewed the Note 8 yet. However, CNet has carried out the iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera tests for still photography, and concluded that they offer similar performance. What about the video quality?

iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Image Credit: Samsung.com (screenshot)

iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: On-paper camera specs

CNet has now shared results of their video shootout with the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8. Before diving into the results, let’s take a look at the camera specs of both the handsets. The iPhone 8 Plus features a 12MP wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto lens on the back. The wide-angle lens has an aperture of f/1.8, while the telephoto lens’s aperture is f/2.8. Only wide-angle lens in Apple’s device supports OIS. It can capture 4K videos at up to 60fps, and slo-mo footage at 1080p resolution and 240fps. The iPhone 8 Plus sports a 7-megapixel camera on the front.

The Galaxy Note 8 also sports a 12MP wide-angle lens with an f/1.7 aperture, and a 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture. Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus, it shoots 4K videos only at 30fps, and 1080p slo-mo videos at 120fps. Both the rear camera lenses on the Note 8 have Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). It also offers digital image stabilization. The Note 8 features an 8-megapixel front camera with an f/1.7 aperture for selfies.

iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Battle for supremacy

To compare the devices, CNet recorded all the videos using the default camera app and automatic exposure settings. They began the test by comparing the color, exposure, and autofocus. Both the handsets managed to capture “well-exposed, sharp video images.” However, the iPhone 8 Plus took videos with warmer colors and pleasing skin tones. The Note 8 had an edge when shooting in challenging lighting conditions. Samsung’s phone adjusted the exposure “more fluidly” while the iPhone 8 Plus blew out the highlights.

The autofocus on the iPhone 8 Plus was “smoother” than the Note 8, and it produced a “more natural, cinematic look.” However, the Galaxy Note 8 was far better, thanks to its dual OIS, in keeping things steady. Samsung’s flagship phablet uses a combination of optical and digital stabilization to take smoother footage than the iPhone 8 Plus, which has OIS only in the wide-angle lens.

iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Selfie videos, 4K

If you want to use the front camera for selfie videos, the iPhone 8 Plus offers “more contrast” and “better color accuracy” than the Galaxy Note 8. To compare the audio quality, CNet recorded the Moonalice live concert, and then listened to the playback on the same set of headphones. The Note 8 audio was far superior to the iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple’s smartphone beats the Galaxy Note 8 when it comes to 4K video recording. Though the 2X zoom on the iPhone 8 Plus lacks stabilization, it is capable of recording 4K videos at 60fps compared to the Note 8’s 30fps. The 8 Plus 4K footage looks much smoother at 60fps. But it also means that these videos will take up twice the storage space. The Korean electronics behemoth has promised to update the Galaxy Note 8 to support 4K recording at 60fps in the near future.

In low-light conditions, the iPhone 8 Plus video was “much more pleasing” to watch than those taken by the Note 8. The low-light footage on the Note 8 showed noise in shadow areas, while the iPhone 8 Plus footage looked cleaner, said CNet. The iPhone 8 Plus also recorded better videos than the Note 8 in bright light conditions.

iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Special features

Each device has a few special features that the other one lacks. For instance, the Note 8 comes with a hyperlapse function built into the default camera app. Hyperlapses are similar to time-lapses, but here the camera is also moving when you take the footage. If you want a hyperlapse-like feature on the iPhone 8 Plus, you’ll have to download a separate app.

Both the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 can take still images and record videos simultaneously. The iPhone 8 Plus takes still photos at 8-megapixel while recording 4K videos. The Note 8 can capture 9-megapixel still images while shooting 4K footage.

The iPhone 8 Plus uses the HEIF and HEVC formats for still images and videos. The new formats reduce the size of pictures and videos without compromising on quality, meaning you can store more photos and videos on a limited storage device. Many platforms don’t recognize Apple’s new HEIF and HEVC formats. However, sharing them automatically converts them to compatible formats.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 uses the legacy JPEG and MP4 formats for photos and videos. They consume more storage space, but they are easily recognized by almost all platforms.

In conclusion, each phone has its own strength and weakness. Everything comes down to your preferences. If you want to record selfie videos or low-light videos, the iPhone 8 Plus is your device. If you want better stabilization and an impressive audio, the Galaxy Note 8 should be your choice.