The Galaxy Note 8 has been flying off the shelves since its launch. Consumers expected it to be better than the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in most aspects including camera quality. But few expected it to get a perfect 100/100 score in still photography. Yes, that’s true. Experts at DxOMark conducted a comprehensive test and found that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera was the best smartphone camera on the planet for still photography. Even Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus is a distant second. However, the Note 8 still lags behind the iPhone 8 Plus in video shooting. Overall, both the Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus settled at 94/100.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera consists of a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, and a 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.8 aperture. Both the rear lenses support OIS. The Note 8 offers 2x optical zoom and 8x digital zoom. It also boasts of phase detection autofocus (PDAF). The Note 8 features an 8-megapixel selfie snapper with an aperture of f/1.7. The iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 12MP wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto lens. Only the wide-angle sensor on Apple’s flagship supports OIS.
Samsung’s flagship smartphones have consistently offered killer cameras. It was only a matter of time before they caught up or outperformed the iPhones. Just a few days ago, DxOMark described the iPhone 8 Plus as the world’s ‘best smartphone camera.’ Now Apple’s device is sharing that title with the Note 8. DxOMark tests phone cameras in two aspects: still photography and video shooting.
The testing firm particularly praised the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera’s “excellent zoom performance” up to 4x. They said the Note 8 was the best smartphone for zoom. The Note 8 is the first phone to achieve the perfect 100/100 score in still photography. The iPhone 8 Plus had scored 96/100 in still photography. The phablet “breaks new ground” and is the “current class-leader for stills.” The reviewers also praised the Note 8’s detail preservation, incredibly fast and accurate autofocus, and the impressive noise reduction.
The Note 8 is Samsung’s first smartphone to come with a dual camera system. It has everything it needs to get photography enthusiasts excited. Low-light images show far more details and far less noise compared to the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. However, it didn’t do an equally excellent job at capturing highly backlit subjects. The bokeh effect is impressive, but it doesn’t work all the time. The live focus bokeh effect does well in both bright light and low light conditions. But the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera didn’t apply the bokeh effect to about a third of the portrait shots, said DxOMark.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera suffers in the video department. It scored a “mere” 84/100 in video shooting, lagging behind the iPhone 8 Plus’s 89/100. That’s what brought down the Note 8’s score to 94 points. DxOMark praised the Note 8’s fast autofocus, good stabilization, excellent while balancing and color rendering. The tests revealed that there was visible residual motion when you hold the camera still to record videos. DxOMark added that the default mode on the Note 8 lacks “autofocus tracking capability.”
The Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have the same overall score of 94. If you are deep into still photography, the Note 8 is your device. However, these scores would make little difference if you are tied to a specific ecosystem. It also depends on your personal preferences and photography habits. If you love iOS, you would go for the new iPhones. Android fans would be happy with the Note 8 or Google’s upcoming Pixel 2. Google just announced that the Pixel 2 has received an overall score of 98/100, beating both the iPhone 8 Plus and the Galaxy Note 8.
The iPhone X is yet to be tested. It would be interesting to see how the 10th-anniversary iPhone camera stacks up against the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2.