Blind camera comparison: Galaxy S9+ vs iPhone X vs Pixel 2 XL vs Note 8

Blind camera comparison: Galaxy S9+ vs iPhone X vs Pixel 2 XL vs Note 8
Samsung says that its new Galaxy S9 series “redefines” what a phone camera is.

In a way it does: the S9 and S9+ are the first modern smartphones with a variable aperture lens that can open as wide as f/1.5, the widest ever on a smartphone, and this makes it possible to capture a ton of light at night and allows shooting videos at nearly pitch dark conditions. At the same time, this f/1.5 camera is only used in those super low light scenes, while the majority of time the phone shoots at its other, f/2.4 setting that captures actually sharper photos.

How well does this setup work in real life?

That's what we wanted to find out, but rather than give you our opinion, this time we wanted to see what you, our readers, think. It's time for a blind camera test!

For this blind camera test we used the following phones:


We have downsized the photos to 1600 pixels for easier viewing and we have scrambled the order of the phones for every scene. Right now, all you have to do is pick the photo that you like the most and stay tuned to PhoneArena.com. We'll reveal the results in just a few days.

Day Scene 1: Early spring at the beach


The first scene we shot was at the entrance of a beach bar in early spring. The dark hallways contrast with the bright and cheerful skies and bar, a perfect test for the phone's auto HDR capabilities.


Which photo do you like the most?

A = Galaxy S9+
18.89%
B = Galaxy Note 8
15.38%
C = iPhone X
53.23%
D = Pixel 2 XL
12.5%

Day Scene 2: Church walls on a sunny day


In this picture of an old church, you can clearly see the different ways the cameras interpret color.


Which photo do you like the most?

E = iPhone X
48.17%
F = Galaxy S9+
19.16%
G = Pixel 2 XL
20.48%
H = Galaxy Note 8
12.19%

Day Scene 3: HDR to the test


Another high-dynamic scene, this more solitary beach scene highlights good and bad HDR one more time.


Which photo do you like the most?

I = Galaxy Note 8
8.27%
J = iPhone X
34.61%
K = Pixel 2 XL
40.17%
L = Galaxy S9+
16.95%

Day Scene 4: Spring colors


The green grass and blue skies are something that will inevitably end up in your pictures, and here is how different phones capture this scene.


Which photo do you like the most?

M = iPhone X
14.75%
N = Pixel 2 XL
24.65%
O = Galaxy S9+
33.47%
P = Galaxy Note 8
27.13%

Portrait


All four phones support Portrait Mode in one form or another, but the differences really come to light when you try to take a portrait photo at night. Here are the results.


Which photo do you like the most?

Q = Galaxy S9+
14.89%
R = Note 8
9.06%
S = Pixel 2 XL
42.56%
T = iPhone X
33.5%

Night Scene 1: Neon lights


The first of four night scenes, the neon lights are a challenge for every smartphone camera.


Which photo do you like the most?

U = iPhone X
11.3%
V = Galaxy S9+
16.6%
W = Galaxy Note 8
16.75%
X = Pixel 2 XL
55.35%

Night Scene 2: Sea garden


Once again, when night settles, smartphone camera don't perform as good as during the day. But which one is best?


Which photo do you like the most?

A1 = Galaxy S9+
7.7%
B1 = Pixel 2 XL
58.22%
C1 = Galaxy Note 8
21.74%
D1 = iPhone X
12.34%

Night Scene 3: Fancy restaurant at night


The bright lights are a particularly challenging thing to photograph at night.


Which photo do you like the most?

E1 = Pixel 2 XL
29.28%
F1 = Galaxy S9+
17.3%
G1 = iPhone X
13.96%
H1 = Galaxy Note 8
39.46%

Night Scene 4: More night colors


One last night-time picture. Pick your favorite below.


Which photo do you like the most?

I1 = Pixel 2 XL
46.72%
J1 = iPhone X
15.29%
K1 = Galaxy S9+
17.42%
L1 = Galaxy Note 8
20.56%

Related phones

Galaxy S9+
  • Display 6.2 inches
    2960 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI
iPhone X
  • Display 5.8 inches
    2436 x 1125 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A11 Bionic, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2716 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x
Pixel 2 XL
  • Display 6.0 inches
    2880 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3520 mAh
  • OS Android 10
Galaxy Note8
  • Display 6.3 inches
    2960 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
    Samsung Experience UI

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