Blind camera shootout results: LG V30 vs iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8


Earlier this week, we took three of the hottest phones on the market—the LG V30, Galaxy Note 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus—and pitted them against each other in a camera battle. But it wasn't the usual comparison-type affair where we told you how we think each one did. No, instead you, our readers, had the final say!

By not including any information about which photo was taken with what phone, you had to vote on the images that you liked the most based on what you saw, not what you knew. And boy, did a lot of you participate! It was splendid, it really was, and now it's time to remove the proverbial blindfold and let you know which smartphone gathered the most votes.

Further below, you'll find all scenes from the original shoot out, along with their respective polls, but without further ado, here's who got the most votes:

  • iPhone 8 Plus – 47.56% (won in 5 scenes)
  • LG V30 – 30.78% (won in 4 scenes)
  • Galaxy Note 8 – 21.64% (won in 1 scene)

Wow, I did not expected that, to be honest, but the results are in and, if nothing else, they are telling of what the people want and like. But either way, I will be sharing my own opinion (yikes, opinions) on how the three phones did.

Key takeaways


The iPhone 8 Plus produces the most accurate colors, has the best HDR mode


The iPhone 8 Plus manages to produce natural-looking colors, especially in daylight, and has powerful HDR capabilities, courtesy of the A11 chip (most prominently visible in scenes Daylight #2 and Sunset). It's also good for selfies. Where the iPhone does not excel, however, is in low-light photography.

The Galaxy Note 8 is the king of low-light photography


The Note 8 has already established itself as the best smartphone for shooting out at night, and it further cements its position as such. As far as color accuracy goes, the Note 8's white balance is at times a bit iffy, though it is a marked improvement over Galaxy phones of years past. The Note 8 also manages to be the "sharpest" of the bunch, albeit thanks to software wizardry, rather than optical prowess. It's HDR mode is subtler than that of the iPhone 8 Plus but still superior to the V30 in most scenarios.


The LG V30 has a terribly inaccurate automatic white balance when shooting at night


When it comes to daytime photography, the LG V30 is quite alright. When the sun goes down, however, things take a turn for the worse. Although sharpness is good—superior to what the iPhone 8 Plus is capable of—white balance is so wildly inaccurate, I just can't get over it. Now, in order to determine how accurate each of the three phones really is, we'd have to take a dedicated camera and gray card, adjust the white balance with the gray card for every single scene, and do some editing afterwards to achieve what would be considered realistic colors. Then, we'd have to take all the photos from the phones and compare them to the ones from the camera by examining color histograms. Oh yeah, and in the end, you'd also need a properly calibrated display to be able to actually see the colors as they are. Suffice to say, all of this is redundantly complicated, especially considering how many people are viewing these photos on uncalibrated displays, so it's just better to judge the phones on their own merits.


However, having said all this, I'm still at a loss how the LG can be so inaccurate in assessing white balance at night, and yet so many people liked it. I'm referring to scenes Low-light #1 and Low-light #2 here, especially the latter. Now, since you weren't there to see it for yourself, I see how it would be difficult to decide between the iPhone and the Note 8, but the LG? Just by looking at the three photos side-by-side, it is obvious that the LG's colors are so cold, so unnatural, that it completely washes away the warmth of the orange streetlights that flood the old town square. And yet it gathered the most votes, so yeah, the people have spoken! Anyway, neither phone really does the scene justice, but I'd have to say the Note 8 hits closest to home. There are orange lights like those all around the city, and they have this very prominent, stark orange glow to them, that almost makes the streets look like they're on fire when seen from a distance. The iPhone 8 Plus washes away a good deal of that orange brilliance, while the Note 8 introduces a tinge of blue in it, which also kind of dulls it, but it's still much closer to reality. The V30 is, well, it is what it is. I'm not saying the V30 photo doesn't look cool in its own right (sorry for the pun), and it is indeed sharp, but as far as color accuracy goes, it's WAY off.

But enough about that, here are the results!

For the original files, check out the Google Drive link at the end of the article.

Shooting against the sun

(exposure range)



Which photo do you like the most?

LG V30
4.29%
Galaxy Note 8
40.01%
iPhone 8 Plus
55.7%

Mural

(color and detail)



Which photo do you like the most?

LG V30
52.69%
Galaxy Note 8
13.85%
iPhone 8 Plus
33.46%

Daylight #1

(color and exposure)



Which photo do you like the most?

LG V30
42.12%
Galaxy Note 8
21.18%
iPhone 8 Plus
36.7%

Daylight #2

(color and exposure)



Which photo do you like the most?

LG V30
33.98%
Galaxy Note 8
6.7%
iPhone 8 Plus
59.32%

Portrait #1

(color and dynamic range)

All three phones shot in HDR

For this scene, I wasn't able to perfectly match the framing of each shot, because the day was cloudy and the light was constantly changing. I had to take some time between the shots, waiting for what little sun there was to peek between the clouds, so I could try to replicate the same scene across all three devices.


Which photo do you like the most?

iPhone 8 Plus
90.11%
Galaxy Note 8
9.1%
LG V30
0.8%

The comparison continues on page 2!

FEATURED VIDEO

73 Comments

1. redmd

Posts: 1927; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Oh I'm surprised. Apple really upped their camera this year. Good job to the 3.

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Not so sure about that, as this poll is clearly based off the preference of consumers, rather than a result from a professional review.

13. worldpeace

Posts: 3129; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Right, overall result just inconsistent with older poll. And note 8 won against iPhone8 in blindtest in all scenes in GSMarena

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

That shows: How close the Note8, iPhone 8 and V30 are And how different preferences vary between people

54. MattL

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 13, 2014

Or might reveal more about how these blind tests are presented, with different methods favoring different phones.

32. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Sales are based on the preference of consumers, not reviewers. This poll would translate fairly evenly if imaging was the sole criteria for purchasing a smartphone. I'm guessing you're not an iPhone fan. I'm not either but the results bear what the market will too.

39. mikehunta727 unregistered

What aren't you sure about? That all 3 did very well here? Or that Apple did't up their ante on the 8 camera? Your comment sounds like you are bitter for some reason..

45. jacky899

Posts: 430; Member since: May 16, 2017

I am upset PA didn't release full size photos for comparison like other review sites does. As a Note 8 owner, I can say the photos look good when not zoomed in but once zoomed in you can see how it captures less details than other flagships. Note 8 was a huge disappointment for me because I care about camera quality.

50. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Didn't they just put that after all the pictures Here is that link :https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4PnH5TQXf06SDBvVGhJS191OVk

58. bachir8k

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

IMO the only drawback of the note and every Samsung device have, is the lens flare, i am not sure why and until now they haven't improved this, it's the only thing that really bothers me since the S3 and I have all the S phones until the S8. One more thing that is not really important, but why are they still insisting on using one led flash?

64. bashsnk

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 26, 2014

Dxomark Professional review "The IPhone 8 Plus Review has the Best SmartPhone Camera we've ever tested"

67. mootu

Posts: 1503; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

And then they tested the Note 8 after the iPhone 8 and gave it the same score. Later they tested Tthe Pixel 2 and the Mate 10 and those two got even better scores than the Note & iPhone.

68. deleon629

Posts: 453; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

More like preference of the shots taken from those particular cameras: Certain cameras gave good shots when certain shots were taken that had allowed them to take advantage of their individual strengths (low light, angles, background blurring, etc.).

21. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

Good job for all of them I'm surprised as well how iPhone 8 managed to shoot great photos. I want a next round (Like a grand showdown of all 2017 smartphones) with Huawei mate 10, Pixel 2, U11, Sony Z1, moto Z2, essential, etc.

40. cocoy

Posts: 456; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Maybe something is wrong with their galaxy note 8 review unit.

49. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Lolzzzzz This is the Biggest upset of the Android/Samsung fanboys in this website ever! I was very confident that iPhone is going to win. But now I'm so happy that Apple haters has to swallow this LMAO

2. Ayman123

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 01, 2017

Not bad..but #confirm PhoneArena will and must make the Iphone wins...but other reviewers not like that....lol iPhoneArena

3. Milen_Y

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 09, 2016

And even though the people voted for the iPhone, it's definitely us! :)

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

That still doesn't rule out the possibility of the poll results being rigged... Just kidding.

9. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

They really dont show EXIF data. The poll is sketchy and fake. What's their proof that image x came from phone y?

10. Milen_Y

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 09, 2016

The original photos will be up on Google Drive shortly.

14. worldpeace

Posts: 3129; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Or the image result could be better. As example, look at portrait #1, I'm sure V30 and note8 can capture better image than that

17. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Maybe you chose the best images from the iPhone the worst images from the others? I don't trust any results you guys. Still none the wiser which image is from which phone.

19. Milen_Y

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 09, 2016

You are cracking me up! Keep going! :D

33. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Give it up Milen, the tin-foil hats are too tight today. The way the Samsung crowd is going today, you will have been seen in Dealey Plaza by the end of the day.

48. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

These comparisons are useful when they come from a trusted source, from Phonearena they're worthless. Plenty of comparisons on youtube, people can decide for themselves

56. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

If you think this site is so unreliable then why keep coming here? You ppl kill me, you complain all the time about how biased this site is and how they rig everything yet you keep coming back. I'm sure if the results were different you wouldn't be saying a dang thing like that. It was a blind poll and majority voted for the iPhone, get over it or go somewhere else. They all 3 have great cameras and they all 3 have their weaknesses in certain situations, thats just how it is.

61. raky_b

Posts: 384; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

You dont understand, they have just bought a shares in Samsung, and this kind of results will lose them some money on it :) Funny kids....

22. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

Hold on tight phonearena there's a lot more to come. LOL

4. haruken

Posts: 306; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

'Wow, I did not expected that, to be honest, but the results are in and, if nothing else, they are telling of what the people want and like' On a scale from 1 to iPhone X, how happy did those results make you.

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