Blind camera comparison results: iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8

Last week, we took two of the most popular phones out there: the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, in a direct one-to-one camera comparison.

But instead of us telling you what we think about the pictures, we simply took the pictures and asked you to tell us which picture you think looks better.

The idea was simple: everyone has preferences for one brand or another, but in a blind comparison you don't know which photo comes from which device. It's the best way to be objective in testing a camera.

Of course, in different situations the two phones perform differently. We tried to take pictures in various conditions, so that the results end up being useful and representative. And the results are in...

Color and Exposure

Your votes put the Apple iPhone 8 way ahead of the Galaxy Note 8 when it comes to the colors and exposure of pictures. Photos on the iPhone look livelier, well exposed, and automatic HDR kicks in when it's needed, while the Note 8 has comparatively dull colors and pictures look slightly underexposed.

Which photo do you prefer?

A (left) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8
B (right) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Which photo do you prefer?

C (left) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8
D (right) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Dynamic Range

The Galaxy Note 8 wins this round: it's clear that the picture on the iPhone has burned highlights that don't look great.

Which photo do you prefer?

E (left) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8
F (right) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Sharpness, Detail and Noise

Your votes rightly put the Galaxy Note 8 ahead of the iPhone in terms of resolved detail: everything looks crisper on the Note 8 and you can read a lot of the text that is simply impossible to read on the iPhone.

Which photo do you prefer?

G (left) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus
H (right) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Which photo do you prefer?

I (left) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus
J (right) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8


It's a draw! We will do more detailed blind comparisons with portraiture in mind as this is a very interesting topic.

Which photo do you prefer?

K (left) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus
L (right) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8


The Galaxy Note 8 selfie looks plain bad: the skin on my face lacks detail and structure, and overall the picture lacks in sharpness. The iPhone does a much better job, according to your votes.

Which photo do you prefer?

M (left) - Samsung Galaxy Note 8
N (right) - Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Related phones

iPhone 8 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256GB
  • Battery 2691 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 8
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(22h talk time)



1. dexterie

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

awesome! :D

2. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I can't believe I voted for the iPhone. I'm impressed.

34. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Same here, my vote divided equally between iPhone & Galaxy.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Note won 4 to 1 for me but the iPhone has it beat in Selfie. The exposure is the only thing wrong with the iPhone, fix that and you're golden.

10. dnomadic

Posts: 449; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

That how I had it as well...the selfie from the Note 8 was just Terrible, I thought for sure that the Terrible selfie was the iPhone.

23. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 726; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

The Note 8 certainly beats iPhone 8 Plus when it comes to detail and sharpness but Apple does a better job in color reproduction and selfies. Hope for some blind comparison with Pixel 2, Note 8, iPhone 8 Plus or X together with Mate 10 Pro and LG V30. I think this would be the ultimate setup for 2017.

5. mikehunta727 unregistered

Both are some stellar cameras

6. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I like this "You can view the full resolution pictures here" thing. Do this again with your huawei mate 10 review.

7. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

iPhone 8 Plus FTW!

8. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

putting fanboy stuff aside, we would basically go back and forth between the Note 8 and iphone all day long. Both are incredible cameras.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17511; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Exactly. Now let's fight about it!

18. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Iphone FTW! Note sucks!

11. TerryD

Posts: 560; Member since: May 09, 2017

Surprising how a bit of underexposure just ruins a picture

12. Clars123

Posts: 1079; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

Now to wait for Yahoo 'tech' news and BGR to write articles about this..

14. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

What is Yahoo? /s

13. sachouba

Posts: 267; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

Wow, so few people looked at the pictures in full resolution! I did, and the Note8 was ahead in every picture except the selfie.

36. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Same here. At first glance in my web browser, in PA's picture frames, picture B just appeared clearer and easier to pick out details than picture A. However, once I downloaded the full res images, picture B just looked way overblown and the details in A were also easy to see.

15. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Should we be surprised that iPhonearena rigs tests? Enabling and disabling screen modes on Samsung phones to suit Apple devices better, having auto HDR on the iPhone running for pictures that need it?

30. Victor.H

Posts: 1104; Member since: May 27, 2011

We turned auto HDR on for the Note 8 as well. Those are the default settings.

40. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

What? HDR is Auto my default. As you stated! So how exactly did you turn it on? Are you saying you changed the default setting from Auto to On? Because you can't turn on a default setting, because it's already on.

16. f35hunter

Posts: 241; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

Looks like that all the voters had voted on B pictures randomly (just like I did) ;)

17. MattL

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 13, 2014

Was the note 8 selfie with that silly face smoothing mode, comparisons I've seen with that disabled put the note 8 ahead

31. Victor.H

Posts: 1104; Member since: May 27, 2011

You cannot disable it, you can only minimize it and that's at the minimal setting.

32. MattL

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 13, 2014

Thanks for sharing. Interesting, so it's set to 0? Some other comparisons I've seen supersaf's youtube vid at 4:28 the one by MiTechGuy time 4:30 (and surrounding) a lot more are similar Interesting how yours came out with so little detail, maybe the specific scene setup the Note 8 struggled with focusing on the right thing?

38. bluerang1

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2017

There's no way in hell this is the lowest setting. Here's one front camera pic I have imgur. com /S81Q7m4 selective focus is on that's why the background is blurred. I've found the selfie camera to be extremely detailed, maybe too detailed because it shows every blemish lol

20. bluerang1

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2017

Had to make an account to say that the Note 8 selfie clearly has the airbrush effect on. This test should have been done without that effect, the image would have be a lot more detailed, leading to a fairer test.

22. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

iPhone is destroying the Note as usual.

25. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"iPhone is destroying the Note as usual." How is that when The Note won 3 rounds and the iPhone won 2

27. tedkord

Posts: 17511; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Did you not read the article, or was the information simply destroyed crossing the RDF event horizon?

28. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

The only thing destroyed is your brain. The note did better then the iphone x. But they both are great camera phones.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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