Feature Articles

iPhone 8 Plus vs. Samsung Note8: which has the better cameras?

By Alvin Soon - 16 Dec 2017

Spec for spec

Note: This article was first published on 2nd October 2017.

Another year, another smartphone camera showdown, but this year is different. The iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note8 cameras are incrementally better, as expected. But the software plays a surprisingly big role in this year’s upgrade.

Spec for spec

The two smartphones both ship with dual 12MP rear cameras, but that’s where the similarity mostly ends.

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 has faster lenses; f/1.7 for the wide-angle and f/2.4 for the telephoto. The Apple iPhone 8 Plus has an f/1.8 for the wide-angle and an f/2.8 for the telephoto. The Note8 has optical image stabilization (OIS) on both rear cameras, while the iPhone 8 Plus only has OIS on the wide-angle.

When it comes to sensor size, Apple is coy with the details. It’ll only say that the iPhone 8 Plus camera sensors are bigger than the iPhone 7 Plus’, have a new color filter and feature deeper pixels. The Note8 has a 1/2.55” sensor for the wide-angle camera, and a similar 1/3.6” sensor for the telephoto.

The Note8 is the first Samsung smartphone that gains the ability to shoot portraits with simulated background blur, also known as bokeh. The iPhone 7 Plus was Apple’s first phone to have that feature, and the iPhone 8 Plus layers a new feature called Portrait Lighting. The beta feature simulates studio lighting on subject faces, with four effects to choose from.

  iPhone 8 Plus Samsung Galaxy Note8
Resolution 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
  • f/1.8 wide-angle
  • f/2.8 telephoto
  • f/1.7 wide-angle
  • f/2.4 telephoto
Sensor Size Unknown
  • 1/2.55” wide-angle
  • 1/3.6” telephoto
Optical Image Stabilization Wide-angle camera Wide-angle and telephoto cameras
Photo Color Space DCI-P3 sRGB
Flash Quad-LED True Tone with Slow Sync High CRI LED
Background Blur Simulation Yes Yes
  • 4K/24p/30p/60p
  • 1080/30p/60p
  • 1080p/120fps/240fps
  • 4K/30fps
  • 1080/30p
  • 720/30p/240fps
Front Camera
  • 7MP with f/2.2 aperture
  • 1080p video
  • 8MP with f/2.4 aperture
  • QHD video


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