iPhone 8 Plus Vs. Galaxy Note 8 Camera Comparison

DXOmark recently stated that the iPhone 8 Plus was the best smartphone camera they had ever tested, but, does that make it THE best? As of the time of writing this article, it seems DXOmark haven't yet tested the Galaxy Note 8. Many may claim iPhone bias due to this, however, SuperSaf TV — a prominent YouTuber from the U.K — has done the comparison instead. On the surface, the specs are very similar between both cameras, the Samsung does have a wider aperture for it's tele lens and both lenses on the back are stabilized. The iPhone, on the other hand, is able to shoot video at high frame rates at higher resolutions.  

For video, the differences are very apparent with the Note having better dynamic range, better stabilization, clearer audio, and overall, much sharper and more detailed footage. With the iPhone the footage looks less detailed and slightly "muddy" and the sky also has hot spots in much of the footage due to the lower dynamic range. The iPhone does, however, have the option to shoot 4k at 60fps and effectively, footage should look much smoother than the Note. 

For images again the Note looks significantly sharper and actually has better color rendition compared to the iPhone. Having said that, the Note might be cooking its images a bit more to give the illusion of detail. The dual-pixel autofocus in the Note is fantastic and manages to find focus much more effectively in comparison to the iPhone. All in all, it would seem the Note 8 is a much better smartphone camera and could be the current best. Of course, the comparison done by SuperSaf isn't extremely scientific and we may need to wait until DXOmark tests the Note themselves. 

Check out the video to see the full comparison and let us know what you think. Is there a bias towards the iPhone or is it just the fact that it's the most popular camera in the world? 

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22 Comments

Motti Bembaron's picture

In any photography publication and indeed, any US base journalism, there is always such a bias favoring the Apple products. For example, I could fine half a dozen articles here on FStoppers that either feature an Apple phone or relate to Apple. However, there is none featuring an Android device. See 'related articles' for example, no Android ever mentioned)

If ANYONE thinks the iphone camera is better after seeing this video than you are completely addicted to the Apple Kool Aid.

Mike Yamin's picture

Yeah the Note looks REALLY good. I'm an iPhone user and would definitely give the Note a try, but I'm hesitant to give up something so familiar!

Pieter Batenburg's picture

That is true.
The biggest problem with most Androids is that most manufacturers apply a very heavy skin to their products and in fact don't use standard Android. There is but one official Android (Android 8) but in reality there are hundreds of Android versions due to the heavy skinning.

My older Nexus 6p is a Google products so I am among the first to receive all new updates and security patches.. Manufacturers want to sell new products but they don't give a damn to maintain their products. And with all older versions of Android, the entire skin has to be updated in order to apply the Android updates. And manufacturers are not interested in doing that.

Starting from Android 8, Project Treble ensures that manufacturers can update their phones without the need to update their skins. There is a really big need for this because all this is the biggest threat to the Android world. It has nothing to do with Android itself but with the lack of interest of the mobile phone manufacturers.

Project Treble - this is a big one: Oreo makes Android more modular, separating third party handset makers’ customisation (like TouchWiz) from the core operating system. This should make it easier for handset makers to introduce faster Android upgrades and it’ll be a game changer if they take advantage of it

Motti Bembaron's picture

Biased, yes, a bit. Nothing like the Apple side though. Thank you for the correction, I guess I click auto correct without realizing.

Apple used to be the de facto standard tool for professionals, it lost its edge years ago. With the advancement of video games came faster graphic cards, RAM and MB's, Apple stayed behind.

Gamer are too juvenile and not cool enough for Apple but they drove computer speed to the extreme and PC users are benefiting from that.

The newest Apple computer has components from somewhere in 2013. They have good product but journalism is so biased it does not make sense any anymore. They (journalists) have to move with the times.

Many photographers, me included, use PC and always will. The way Apple treats (read: does not invest) in their computer line, will only increase PC users.

As for phones, they have a great product but not better or worse than LG, Nexus or Samsung.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I agree that Apple service is much better than most PC manufacturers. However, I always had very good experience with Dell products. The truth is, I solve my own problems if there are any but overall, I never needed any major help with any of my PC's.

As for phones, yes, they are very good and since they invest something like 80% of their resources in the iPhone and iPad, they should be.

Still, my LG G3 was better, more responsive than my wife's iPhone 6S Plus. Admittedly, my LG G5 is not as good but I honestly think it's my phone specifically and not a brand problem.

You say that In fact, most Windows PC manufacturers are not targeting gamers, not true. Every major brand like Dell, Asus and others have an extensive (and expensive) line of gaming machines. After all, they make a fortune on those die hard players have no problem spending a yearly allowance on a shiny, neon blinking machine.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

@Bob Brady You are entirely wrong. The market share of Android versus IOS is 85% Android and 15% IOS. Iphones are losing marketshare to Android every year. If you google this, you can find info on dozens of pages.

That is of course because most Iphones are very expensive and Android phones are available in all kinds of prices, from dirt cheap to expensive. Not everybody can and will spend 800 Euros or more on a phone.

So, the market penetration of Apple in the entire market isn't that big, but the market penetration in the high-end market is very significant and thus Apple is probably making more profits on their high-end phones than most Androids sold.

Jesse Dacri's picture

Lol, are you kidding me? Let's wait for a test where he doesn't leave the sky blatantly overexposed and assume that's just the camera lacking DR. This guy also doesn't understand the purpose of 4K 60p and just assumes that maybe the higher fps will result in smoother video. That footage can be turned into pretty incredible slow motion and I guarantee Apple didn't intend for anyone to just switch it on and shoot home movies in 60fps for some sort of benefit.

You could say the sky was overexposed because the iPhone misjudged the scene and the Note didn't, but this is FSTOPPERS - a photography website. It should be assumed that one knows how to tap the screen and slide up and down to adjust exposure - otherwise this is like reviewing two DSLRs back to back but leaving one massively overexposed. It's as easy as it gets. Too bright? The camera is not human: tap the screen and adjust.

For now I'll be listening to actual non-embarrassing tests to see if they really were able to pull off better camera performance. I know for sure that Samsung's stabilization is very over-aggressive on both front and back cameras - it screams of off-the-shelf stabilization code and is jarring in most of the videos I've seen. Unchanged from the S7 and S6.

Andrew Guo's picture

Well, to a handful of people here, if the results are favorable to Samsung, its by default an objective, un-biased, accurate and true review.

Jesse Dacri's picture

It's an abhorrently inaccurate, quick review that fails to understand even the basic concept at play here. I don't know how leaving the camera to overexpose is supposed to be an accurate measurement of a camera's dynamic range - that is hilarious. Nor is "here the iPhone is at 60fps which you can't do on the note 8, but I'm not going to show you the slow motion that it can be made into, nor am I going to even export this video at 60fps so maybe it's better, who knows."

Andrew Guo's picture

In all honesty, I rarely see any form of supposed “Apple Bias” that you’re speaking of, unless you’re implying that any article that favorably reviews the iPhone is be default, Apple-biased

On the other hand, I see a ton of Android white-knights and kool-aid drinkers who can never give up a chance to bash Apple and vehemently defends Android.

It feels to me that the pattern is always this: If its unfavorable towards Apple then you have people like Motti Bembarron coming out claiming Apple-bias in the media but finally an objective, real and un-biased test

If its a favorable review, then the opposite happens: they’d claim how it is un-objective, flawed, biased or that the reviewer is drinking Apple Kool-aid

Anyways, its just a fricking phone, I hope that one day petty boys can see past it and just use what they want and let other people use what they want without constantly having to sling dirt and insult the intelligence of those using a competitors products, stop being so insecure.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Go up to the 'Search' window and type iPhone. All kind of articles; fashion shoot with iPhone, Portraits with iPhone, how to make money with iPhone, cover photo with iPhone etc...

Now do Android...just about all articles are about apps that are finally on Android.

Now do Samsung....
How about LG?

My point is this: Just about ALL articles on iPhone can be easily written for ALL smartphones, they all do the same. However, that's not the case.

Even though some Android phones are much better than Apple, they do not seem to be getting their fair share of coverage.

Yes, it's just phones, or just cameras, just flashes and well, that's why this blog is here, to voice an opinion. Not sure what insecurities have to do with anything...

Maxim Syabro's picture

It's in your hands. Write articles about LG, Samsung, Xiaomi and other devices.
But you'll have to write a new article about new device every week and guess what?
You're too obsessed with Apple and Apple products reviews.

Boyd Marcotte's picture

"the Note might be cooking its images a bit more to give the illusion of detail" All cell phone cameras, including the precious and revered iPhone, rely on "cooking". Their crappy little sensors and crappy little lenses mean that all of their image quality is reliant on software. There are no radical differences between lenses and sensors in smartphones. The differences come down to how well they process data.

I owned a Nexus a few years ago with very mediocre image quality. After a number of software updates to the camera software it produced very good images. Your quoted text seems to imply that somehow Samsung is cheating. Nope, cooking is the game when it comes to smartphone cameras.

Michael Kormos's picture

"the Note might be cooking its images a bit .."

I'd say that's still an improvement. Not too long ago, Note was cooking itself.

dimasa sparrow's picture

samsung wins it!

Pieter Batenburg's picture

I said it last week that there seems to be a positive bias towards Canon an Apple and a blindness for other brands and their products. That is regretful. What about the LG V30?

Motti Bembaron's picture

It's really too bad since we would like to see objective writing.

Usman Dawood's picture

Hey Bob, not that I disagree with you but if I’m not mistaken the new iPhone only shoots HDR, it’s always on. I think this is why he might have mixed up the points.

In any case, definitely some interesting points you’ve mentioned I do agree about RAW comparisons being most effective.

I could be wrong but I think his approach is more for a general user as opposed to a photographers viewpoint.

Thanks Bob.

Tomas Ramoska's picture

Note looks much better...

chrisrdi's picture

Holy burgers the galaxay 8 is loads better not only in video but audio as well. The iphone 8 sounds like snot is covering the mic.

Gregory Spring's picture

One thing that gets overlooked in choosing a cell phone, because everyone is more interested in taking a picture, is the warranty. I travel allot and can be away from home as long as a year. I recently explored switching to Samsung until I was told the phone has to be serviced in the where it was purchased. If I bought it in Europe, that's where it would need to be serviced. The same goes for the USA. England, Samsung sells a different version of the Galaxy which takes a duel simm ( I wanted this one but it was not sold in Poland). Recently while in Poland there was a problem with one of my apple products. There are Apple resellers worldwide that honor the Apple Care Warranty and repair was done in less than a week. If Samsung had a worldwide warranty they would have had a sale.

Usman Dawood's picture

I agree with you. I genuinely do believe the Samsung Note series has always been better than iPhones however I switched to iPhone and one of the key reasons was the service. I once broke my phone at 3am and by 8:30 am the same day I had a brand new phone courtesy of the apple store.

Having said that, it would seem the Note does have a much better camera which to some people is more important.