With Apple’s new smartphone having been available for a while, now is the ideal time to make the Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 camera comparison. The photographic capabilities of smartphones are central to their commercial viability in this day and age, and it is thus informative to compare three of the market leaders.
There are several areas where the three cameras can be pitted against one another, so without further ado let’s crack on with the comparison.
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This is clearly a critical area of the Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 comparison, as smartphones have often struggled to take high quality photographs in darker conditions. Apple has particularly focused on this aspect of photography with the iPhone X, and it seems to have paid off regardless of whether or not the flash is operational.
Dealing with darker shooting is never easy for a smartphone camera, and we can’t reasonably expect any of these units to perform as well as dedicated snappers. But the iPhone X does cope with low-light conditions better than its competitors.
The Galaxy Note 8 struggles with displaying colors in dark conditions, while the Pixel 2 perhaps suffers from its lack of a dual-lens camera, being hampered by significant Pixelation. The Galaxy Note 8 is closer to the performance of the iPhone X in this department, with the Samsung snapper providing good quality of details in its darker shooting photographs. But the iPhone X has the slight edge with the flash off.
Once the flash is engaged, the iPhone X still performs well in darker conditions. The Apple handset can be commended once more for the color quality it is able to deliver in darker conditions.
While the iPhone X is the winner here, it even outperforms Apple’s own iPhone 8 Plus as well, delivering rather impressive shooting in low-light conditions. Regardless of whether the flash is turned on or off, it must be said that photographs taken with the Galaxy Note 8 can look slightly washed out, even if the detail delivered by this phablet is more than decent.
In all honesty, the Google Pixel 2 struggles to stand up to its Apple and Samsung rivals, and the manufacturer must surely consider including a dual-camera in next year’s Pixel 3.
Advantage: iPhone X
Another key area of the Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 comparison is the skill with which these three cameras provide zoom functionality. The inclusion of telephoto lenses means that the iPhone X and Pixel 2 can zoom in on subjects from much further away than was possible previously, although results can be mixed depending on the shooting conditions.
Nonetheless, the detail delivered by the iPhone X is, once again, very decent, with lighting effects particularly impressive. It is certainly possible to capture vivid imagery while zooming with the iPhone X, and again it is noticeable that the phablet outperforms its Galaxy Note 8 rival.
The level of detail captured by the Samsung unit when utilizing the zoom feature is clearly inferior to its Apple rival. Somehow images tend to seem dark and washed out when captured by the Galaxy Note 8 in zoom mode, meaning that the iPhone X is certainly superior in this department.
Again, the Pixel 2 really fails to deliver here, as it simply doesn’t offer a telephoto lens with an optical zoom option. Zoomed images taken by the Google smartphone appear a little muddy, and lack details as well. Apple definitely wins out here overall.
Advantage: iPhone X
Naturally, the quality of color reproduced is a critical aspect of the Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 comparison. And here the Pixel 2 does make something of a comeback. If things had appeared pretty grim for this Android smartphone thus far, it is notable that the color reproduction of the Pixel 2 in stable conditions is clearly superior to either the iPhone X or Galaxy Note 8.
This is perhaps not that surprising, as the photographic capabilities of the Pixel range have been praised previously. But the poor performance of the Pixel 2 in other areas must surely send a message to Google.
The iPhone X captures natural colors more capably than the Galaxy Note 8, which tends to exaggerate its palette somewhat. But it must also be said that color reproduction produced by the iPhone X is slightly flat compared to the very impressive Google Pixel 2.
It is commendable that the Pixel 2 captures the whitest whites and most colorful results without specifically exaggerating any hue.
Advantage: Pixel 2
Finally, the Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 comparison can be informed by examining the portrait mode included in the three devices. Due to the lack of a telephoto lens, the Pixel 2 most utilize software and dual-pixels in order to blur the background in a portrait mode. The iPhone and Galaxy Note 8 are able to achieve this effect by combining the images captured by both their wide-angle and telephoto lenses.
It is therefore reasonable to expect the Pixel 2 to come bottom of the pile here, and this is absolutely the case. It struggles to cope with shooting in portrait mode, and this will provide further food for thought for the Pixel generation. Surely a dual-camera is of paramount importance.
Once again, the iPhone has comes out on top here, with the focus of its portrait photograph particularly impressive. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 simply outperforms the Pixel 2, but distortion is more obviously tangible.
In concluding this Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8 camera comparison, it must be stated that Apple has massively upped its game with the iPhone X. While Samsung phones have been renowned for delivering outstanding photography in the past, there is no doubt that the iPhone X is the market leader today.
The Galaxy Note 8 still performs perfectly capably, though, and is clearly a better photographic option than the Google Pixel 2. Although the Pixel 2 is more affordable than either of these two other units, the lack of a dual-camera is hugely damaging to the photographic capabilities of the smartphone, and this is something that Google must surely address in 2018.