Samsung Galaxy Note 8 dual camera explained: specs, features, and all rumors we have so far


August 23 – that's when Samsung's next big thing will become official. And "big" is a fitting word indeed – the Galaxy Note 8 is expected to be announced on that date, becoming the company's latest high-end, phablet-grade device. What's going to be so special about it? Well, a whole bunch of things, actually. As all Galaxy Note phones before it, the Note 8 will feature a huge, high-quality display, plenty of memory and processing power, and a pressure-sensitive stylus for drawing, note-taking, and for standing out of the crowd, of course.

But in this article we'll focus on one particular Galaxy Note 8 feature – its camera setup. Leaks are all pointing at this being Samsung's first dual-camera phone, and by now you're probably wondering what the advantage of such a setup might be. Allow us to explain.

The Galaxy Note 8 camera in a nutshell


Rumor has it that Samsung has gone for an iPhone 7 Plus-like approach for the Galaxy Note 8, equipping the phone with two 12MP cameras at the back. One of them is expected to serve as a main, all-purpose shooter, while the other will be a secondary telephoto camera providing 2x magnification. Basically, with the help of the Note 8's second cam, you'll be able to "bring" your subject closer without sacrificing image quality since the zoom will be performed optically, not through digital stretching of the image. 


Certain limitations apply, however. One is that the Note 8's secondary camera is very likely to be less sensitive to light than its main one. This is due to the way optics work: a lens system so small would provide 2x zoom only at the expense of a narrower aperture. Such is also the case with the zoom cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus and the OnePlus 5

To compensate for this, Samsung is said to have added optical image stabilization to the Note 8's telephoto camera. While not a silver bullet by any means, this should make the phone's secondary camera more usable in low-light situations. OIS works by keeping the image sensor steady as an image is being taken. This allows a camera to leave its shutter "open" for longer, thus letting in more light without that producing motion blur. Neither the iPhone 7 Plus, nor the OnePlus 5 feature OIS on their telephoto cameras.

Another limitation of the Galaxy Note 8's 2x zoom camera is that it might not be usable if your subject is too close – closer than a foot or two, perhaps. Again, this is also observed with the telephoto cameras on existing phones, such as the iPhone 7 Plus and the OnePlus 5. 


But what about Portrait Mode?


That's a perfectly legitimate concern. Rumors are quiet on whether the feature will be found on the Galaxy Note 8 or not, but it would be odd of Samsung to pass on it, seeing that Apple – Samsung's biggest rival on the smartphone market – has been offering it on the iPhone 7 Plus since last year. Besides, a dual-camera arrangement like the Note 8's seems perfect for the task. The telephoto camera is great for portraits for a number of reasons: it produces less optical distortion and focuses the viewer's attention onto the subject, while the background blur effect – produced in software using data from both image sensors – makes whoever you're photographing stand out much better against any background.

So at a glance, that's what the Galaxy Note 8 camera is looking like two weeks before the phone's announcement. It isn't shaping to be radically better than what Samsung's competition is already offering, but it is still a compelling offering that we're eager to test. Until the Galaxy Note 8 is officially announced, be sure to catch up on the latest rumors and predictions about Samsung's next big thing, linked below:

Read more about the Galaxy Note 8:


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Galaxy Note 8
  • 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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52 Comments

43. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

No AR support? Then Iphone 8 is definitely going to kill the Note 8.

50. Tipus

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Like iphone did with on screen fingerprint scanner right? :))))

39. boriqua2000

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

I'd rather have wide shot over zoom

49. Slytherin

Posts: 268; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I want them back up to 16 megapixels at the very least, i want 3 times optical zoom at the very least, and I want wide angle shots to, I want it all!

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It's about to be on, and crackin.

18. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Bullish click jacking article.

10. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

"Samsung Galaxy Note 8 dual camera explained:" Until I hear it from the dudes at Samsung on the 23rd, I'm not considering this article a legit explanation.

14. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Yup More like about praise the iPhone's useles fugly dual camera

26. Slytherin

Posts: 268; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I'm not taking any speculation or any s**t from iPhoneArena on what it's got, or what it hasn't got till I hear it from the horses mouth! What I do know is that it will miles better than the is**t has to offer!

7. GreenMan

Posts: 2704; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ah! Note 8, eh? A Galaxy S8 Plus with a fatter display and boxy chassis, ha! Oh and of course, it comes with a crayon which they like to call a "Stylus"! "Stylus, huh, yeah! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" Besides, there's no style in 'stylus' just like there's no fun in 'funeral'. It looks awfully geeky and downright cheeky! Oh well, Seems like there's no accounting for tastes. And I should know, I've a degree in commerce! G'Day!

9. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

"A Galaxy S8 Plus with a fatter display and boxy chassis, ha! Oh and of course, it comes with a crayon which they like to call a "Stylus"!" That's what everyone always says & the Note always ends up being so much more.

12. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"That's what everyone always says & the Note always ends up being so much more." Lol, no it doesn't. Every year it's just another phone, like every other phone released. Y'all Note fans act like this damn thing is gonna cure Cancer and feed hungry Ethiopians... it's ridiculous.

17. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

So much more as in not just a Galaxy S with an S-Pen, differentiating the Note from the S. Apparently you were so busy ASSuming, you missed the whole point, including me quoting his comments.

22. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Pray tell, what are these "differentiating" features outside the pen and duel camera? The SoC is likely the same as the S duo. The battery is actually SMALLER than the S8+ (allegedly). The list of these illustrious features elude me to no end, where are they? Or is this a case of mass cognitive dissonance on the part of a community shaming others for similar misgivings? Apple fans do this with every release as well in order to convince themselves that their phone is better than everyone else's. That is likely the case for S users looking at the Note series, and why said series NEVER sales as well as the S variation.

30. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

I don't work for Samsung. That's the point of the reveal on the 23rd, to announce the differentiating features. Something they've been doing the past 6 years. Every Note had been better than the S model that released 5-6 months before (maybe not every. I always thought the Note 1 was just a big ass Android phone with a stylus). Every one after that though: Note 2>S3, Note 3>S4, Note 4>S5 (minus S5 being water resistant)... you get it. Whether it sales more than the S model is irrelevant because they're not pitted against each other, but performance-wise, the Note is always better than the S.

23. Heisenberg

Posts: 379; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

What kind of ridiculous and blasphemous statement is that? Have you been to Ethopia to reach the conclusion that they are hungry?

25. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

It's a dark comedic phrase, Fam. A joke.

28. dazed1

Posts: 815; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Nope, curing cancer will be left for the iPhone 8, right MR. Advocate?

29. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Please point out where I praise the iPhone like a divine object as these clowns do. I have never once acted as though it is a superior object above all other phones. The only advocates here are Note zombies spamming their ridiculous love for a phone with a pen.

38. tedkord

Posts: 17529; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's not exactly true, though you're certainly nowhere near as bad as some.

36. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

No, that's how iPhone fanboys act. The note is not for everyone BFD , it is for a few that use the note to it's full potential.

51. tedkord

Posts: 17529; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Every year, it's just the phone rated best large phone by nearly all the reviewers. It won't cure anything, but it'll likely be the best phablet money can buy,.

11. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

S Pen open a whole new world. Once you understand what it can do, you'l never go back to the boring smartphones.

13. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"S Pen open a whole new world. Once you understand what it can do, you'l never go back to the boring smartphones." As someone who owned a Note 4 and went back, I'll say you're being a bit hyperbolic.

16. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Hyperbolic??? If you realy owned Note, bet on, you never try to uderstand what SPen can do. I can not use anything but Note. For ppl like you, Note is waste of money though. Better stay with iPhone instead.

27. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Hyperbolic??? If you realy owned Note, bet on, you never try to uderstand what SPen can do. I can not use anything but Note. For ppl like you, Note is waste of money though. Better stay with iPhone instead.

21. BuffaloSouce unregistered

The stylus is very useful if you're someone who likes to use the full potential of their smartphone, not for people who buy their phone as a status symbol and post idiotic comments on the internet... I have a Tab S3 and the stylus is a life saver when it comes to excel spreadsheet and firing out documents

33. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1619; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

To each their own but the stylus is anything but useless. You try to take note or write with your finger tips. Haha

5. dazed1

Posts: 815; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Only on iPhonearena can OIS on the telephoto camera become limitation, f**k me!

4. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

OMG! Another Samsung article?! SamsungArena! *being sarcastic

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