iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8: New camera tests say it's too close to call

Samsung's dual-camera Galaxy Note 8 joins Apple's iPhone 8 Plus as the best phones for photography lovers.

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Oft-cited camera-testing outfit DxOMark recently rated the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as the "new standard" for smartphone cameras, snatching the top spot from the Google Pixel and HTC U11.

But the new iPhones have now been joined at the top of the rankings by Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, the company's first dual-camera phone.

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DxOMark's newly published test of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has awarded it the same score of 94 that the Apple's iPhone 8 Plus achieved -- just ahead of the iPhone 8's score of 92. However, the two top devices attained the scores due to high performance in differing areas.

The iPhone 8 Plus outdoor photography quality was a standout, with improved capture of HDR scenes, and exposure calculation. It also had a great zoom and closed in on a true optical blur for the 'bokeh' effect, thanks to a blurred foreground and background. It also scored highly on video performance.

The Note 8 meanwhile offered the best zoom capabilities of any mobile device it's tested, according to DxOMark's Paul Carroll.

"A phenomenal photo sub-score that breaks new ground as the first smartphone to hit 100 points makes the Note 8 the current class-leader for stills, thanks to excellent zoom quality, good noise reduction and detail preservation, as well as fast and accurate autofocus," Carroll notes.

According to DxOMark, the Note 8's zoom achieved excellent results with its x2 optical zoom lens, and "impressive resolution" using digital zoom at x4 and x8. The optical zoom also performed well in low light, but the digital zoom only performed excellently in bright light.

However, the Note 8 didn't perform as well as on video, lagging behind the Google Pixel, iPhone 8 Plus, and HTC U11.

Despite this, the Galaxy Note 8's video did perform solidly on exposure, autofocus, noise reduction, white balance and color rendering.

The Note 8's bokeh effect did a great job of blurring the background most of the time, but the review found that the effect sometimes isn't visible even when enabled. The camera also featured extremely fast and accurate autofocus and has a solid flash unit.


Apple's iPhone 8 Plus now has to share the top spot with the Galaxy Note 8 in DxOMark's smartphone camera rankings.

Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

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