Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ties iPhone 8 Plus in DxOMark camera ranking

On its release date, Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus took the the top spot in DxOMark’s rankings for best smartphone camera. Now, the results are in for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus has to share its short-lived title.

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Before diving into the details, it’s always good to remember that rating camera performance is a subjective matter. While DxOMark certainly does a thorough job testing cameras in all sorts of conditions, it is a human who scores each attribute, as opposed to an objective test like CPU benchmarking.

So, how did the Galaxy Note 8 do? The device received an overall score of 94 points just like the iPhone 8 Plus. However, the Note 8 scored lower on the video portion coming in at 84 points (lining up with CNET’s recent review), with the photo sub score coming in at a record 100 points.

While DxOMark shares that there is a lot to love about this camera, it calls it “The best smartphone for zoom”. Here is a comparison of the Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at 8x zoom:

Another aspect where DxOMark feels the Note 8 camera shines is with bokeh effect (when it works). DxOMark notes that, “Repeatability is also a bit hit and miss, and although the bokeh effect kicks in more often when shooting static subjects, we found the effect wasn’t applied on around a third of our portrait shots.”

Bokeh simulation on the Note 8 does a pretty consistent job in both low and bright light conditions. Its strengths are a strong blur or depth-of-field effect, which can make for some striking portraits.

As for video, the Note 8 lost points in this review for a more limited dynamic range and users having to manually enable autofocus tracking.

As for DxOMark’s conclusion, it details the Note 8 as an “outstanding choice for the smartphone photography enthusiast, matching the top overall score of 94 points of the iPhone 8 Plus.” But, it alludes to expectations that the iPhone X or Google’s Pixel 2 XL will top both of these devices, “With new devices on the horizon from several of the key innovators for smartphone photography, will the Note 8 be able to hold onto its top spot? Time will tell.”

As for the iPhone X, its camera system features a wider aperture on the telephoto lens coming in at ƒ/2.4 and includes dual optical image stabilization, while the iPhone 8 Plus has a ƒ/2.8 for the telephoto lens and doesn’t feature dual OIS. DxOMark’s full review of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 can be read here.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.