This year has been a great one for smartphones and tablets. We’ve had the iPhone X from Apple, the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung, and the Pixel 2 XL from Google. These flagship devices are all packed full of great features and very impressive hardware, especially when it comes to the cameras.

iPhone X Camera Galaxy Note 8 Camera Google Pixel 2 Camera
Source: Pixabay

All 3 of the phones can produce amazing – almost professional level – photographs. Especially when it comes to things like portrait shots. For those of you who don’t know what a portrait shot is, it’s when you see a photograph where the main object is crystal clear, and the background is blurred out. It gives a dramatic effect which used to require a professional photographer with some really expensive camera gear. Now you can do it on your smartphone.

Both the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8 have dual cameras. This allows them to capture slightly different perspectives of anything in their field of view. With some clever software, and a little mathematics, the phone can then calculate the distance of objects and blur the correct portion of the photo, leaving the foreground crystal clear.

The Google Pixel 2 XL only has a single camera, so it produces portrait shots using machine learning instead.

Both methods work really well and can produce some incredible shots. But, which one produces the best? Let’s take a closer look at each of these devices and find out…

iPhone X Camera

Specifications
Resolution (Rear): 12MP & 12MP (Dual Camera)
Aperture (Rear): f/1.8 & f/2.4
Sensor Size: 1/3-inch
Resolution (Front): 7MP
Aperture (Front): f/2.2

The iPhone X Camera on the front of the device allows it to capture excellent selfies thanks to the advanced facial recognition software and the use of infrared. This is something which is not available on either the Galaxy Note 8, or the Pixel 2L. The iPhone X captures vibrant photos, and has a better colour saturation when compared with photographs taken on the other devices. This means that the iPhone X camera has a more true to source colour scale.

The iPhone X camera also offers the fastest speeds for focus and capture of an image.

Galaxy Note 8 Camera

Specifications
Resolution (Rear): 12MP & 12MP (Dual Camera)
Aperture (Rear): f/1.7 & f/2.4
Sensor Size: 1/2.55-inch
Resolution (Front): 8MP
Aperture (Front): f/1.7

The Galaxy Note 8 camera falls short among the other two devices in most conditions, but there are times when it does produce slightly better results. For example, when it’s being used under artificial lighting, the Galaxy Note 8 camera shoots in more detail than either of the other two devices.

Google Pixel 2 XL Camera

Specifications
Resolution (Rear): 12.2MP
Aperture (Rear): f/1.8
Sensor Size: 1/2.6-inch
Resolution (Front): 8MP
Aperture (Front): f/2.4

The Google Pixel 2 XL camera is different from the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8 because it uses software where the other devices make use of dual cameras. Google seem to be doing very well with this method, as selfies and portrait shots with the Pixel 2 XL camera seem to perfectly separate the foreground from the background, while the other devices have a little bit of trouble.

Conclusion

While all of the cameras produce incredible images which rival professional shots on a DSLR, the Google Pixel 2 XL camera seems to produce slightly better shots than the iPhone X camera or the Galaxy Note 8 camera. The iPhone X produces the second best shots, leaving the Galaxy Note 8 in the last position.

Either way, you won’t be disappointed with any photographs you snap on any of these devices. They are all able to produce photographs which are above and beyond anything you’ll get from a mid-range smartphone camera.