Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Night blind camera comparison

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Night blind camera comparison
The new Galaxy Note 9 is the best phone Samsung has to offer us in the second half of the year and it not only offers power in performance, but also capable cameras that will shoot for the stars.

And when it comes to night-time shooting, nobody has been able to catch the low-light camera champion in the form of the Google Pixel 2 XL and its mighty camera.

Will the Note 9 be that exception that beats the Pixel 2 XL with better images?

We have taken a bunch of pictures and compare them side to side. We have removed all information about which phone took which photo, so the only thing you have to judge is the quality of the images, without brand bias getting in the way. So vote away! The polling stations close on Monday and that's when you will see the big revelation and the results.

Scene 1: Night Lights

The neon lights are a perfect test for the dynamic range of these two cameras and it's something that we commonly see and want to photograph at night.

Which photo do you prefer?

A - Pixel 2 XL
B - Note 9

Scene 2: The Alley

Darker alleys and different light, but still a night-time scene.

Which photo do you prefer?

C - Pixel 2 XL
D - Note 9

Scene 3: Main Street

Here, we have a busy restaurant on the main street and it's again lit in its own interesting way with a few neon signs as well.

Which photo do you prefer?

E - Note 9
F - Pixel 2 XL

Scene 4: Dark Road

The dark trees on one side on the road and the few buildings on the other contrast, but which picture is better?

Which photo do you prefer?

G - Note 9
H - Pixel 2 XL

Scene 5: Portrait

We love taking portrait pictures at night, but there are some big differences in the actual quality.

Which photo do you prefer?

I - Pixel 2 XL
J - Note 9

Scene 6: Selfie

And of course, we need to have a selfie to compare!

Which photo do you prefer?

K - Note 9
L - Pixel 2 XL

Scene 7: Group Selfie

This one is a group shot with the front camera.

Which photo do you prefer?

M - Note 9
N - Pixel 2 XL

Final Words

So which are your favorite pictures?

Can you guess which phone took which picture? Sound off in the comments below.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 9
  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(29h 3G talk time)
Pixel 2 XL
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3520 mAh



1. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

ACEGILN This one was kinda tough. Some pictures looked very fuzzy, which is not normal for both cameras. Please practice taking camera shots. Because you all's camera shots are nowhere near as sharp or clean as other sites.

3. JamesW

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

Agreed I would get neither phone based off these photos. Glad I know better though lol...

5. antmiu2

Posts: 551; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

Disagree, this is how 95% would actually use the cameras, in a practical manner.

8. Cat97

Posts: 1978; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Well, in practice you don't have a site to take the pictures for you :)

11. Victor.H

Posts: 1098; Member since: May 27, 2011

Let me say that this is the way these phones take pictures. I myself noticed the haze from the very first shot and double and triple-checked that the lens is perfectly clean, and it was. Of course, you can always test this yourself and see that you get similar results at night with light glare, you don't have to trust us :)

18. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

He's a troll, Victor. Doing same thing with his 100th account.

2. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Both portraits are awful. The first is just brighter but parts of background have no blur. Second has better background but it is too dark. Portraits will look better if phone is vertical. Also choose 16:9

4. antmiu2

Posts: 551; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

One phone is completly blowing the other one out the water, my guess is its the Galaxy Note 9

6. VasiliS7

Posts: 203; Member since: Jan 10, 2017

I think is Pixel that blows away the Note 9, but I am pretty sure the Note 9 can get easily much much better photos than these.

14. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

It is better to turn hdr off at night. Increases noise if it is on.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Yep. Samsung is getting its arse handed to it left and right in photo comparisons. Huawei, Sony, and now Google...again. To be frank, not enough appears to be changing for the S10 according to the leaks.

17. Foxgabanna unregistered

To all our sadden hearts im sure the Pixel 2 XL is shooting first and asking questions later. If that's true im going for the Pixel 3 XL when it comes out.

22. maherk

Posts: 7013; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You're wrong. Anyone who used both Samsung and Pixel phones would easily tell which phone is taking which photos. And in this case, the Pixel clearly destroyed the Note 9 in this test.

7. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018


9. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Both are ugly. Saturated. Overly enhanced.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Stick with your third or fourth best iPhone camera. You'll be ok.

28. vincelongman

Posts: 5750; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Lol more like 6-7th best IMO: 1-3: Google/Huawei/Samsung (Google/Samsung in good light, Google/Huawei in mixed light, Huawei in extreme low light, Samsung in video) 4-5. Sony/HTC 6-7. OnePlus/Apple

31. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

35. vincelongman

Posts: 5750; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I meant objectively speaking Not what people prefer subjectively

36. Taphius

Posts: 106; Member since: Aug 20, 2018

I’d throw the mi 8 in there with op and apple now as well. Mine takes damn near the same photos as my 8 plus

20. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 300; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

did you ever take a picture with your iphone x @ night? that piece of crap blows the highlights like crazy. Try taking a picture of you beside a light source and look at how shambolic both of you look :)

23. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Of course not. His mommy doesn't let him out past 8

12. cocoy

Posts: 464; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

I think the pixel wins in this blind comparison. If the camera on the Note 9 was used in manual mode, a little tweak on exposure and shutter speed will leave the pixel pictures far behind.

27. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Always an excuse with Samsung fans.

37. cocoy

Posts: 464; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

I am not a Samsung fan. I was saying the fact about phone cameras if you are an iPhone fan, I did not intend to hurt your feelings if your phone don't have a manual option.

13. Aircrackng

Posts: 56; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

These were really badly taken photos... They rarely matched up and some of them were blurry only due to use error. It would be impossible to make any assumption based on these photos all that can be truly said is whoever took them is a very poor vet of photos and lacks the skills to attempt to do this type of comparison.

15. mike2959

Posts: 697; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Both were not very good. Which is odd in that both shooters have excellent specs and history.

16. kick413

Posts: 162; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

Wow this was one sided.

19. Be_Mine unregistered

Other than Scene 3 and 4 which is a bit tricky to choose because both have their weakness in a different ways. It is pretty easy to choose which one is better from the rest of the Scenes.

21. Subpixel

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

Scene 1: Night Lights > A=Pixel 2, B=Note9 Scene 2: The Alley > C=Pixel 2, D=Note9 Scene 3: Main Street > E=Note9, F= Pixel 2 Scene 4: Dark Road - This is actually the most difficult choice, because of the moving car headlights. So G=Note9, H=Pixel 2 Scene 5: Portrait > I=Pixel 2, J= Note9 Scene 6: Selfie > K= Note9, L= Pixel 2 Scene 7: Group Selfie > M= Note9, N= Pixel 2

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