Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review: A More Powerful, Premium And Refined Flagship

Galaxy Note 8 - Camera Performance

The Galaxy Note 8 features a dual 12MP camera setup on the back, both of which feature optical image stabilization (OIS) and dual-pixel phase detection auto-focus. One of the cameras has a wide-angle sensor with a f/1.7 aperture and dual-pixel autofocus, while the other features a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom with a f/2.4 aperture. Taking photos with the rear cameras actually captures images from both sensors simultaneously, which allows for some interesting effects. Selfies come by way of an 8MP front-facing camera, with a f/1.7 aperture.

camera app
Default Galaxy Note 8 Camera Interface

Both camera arrays are capable of capturing video as well. The rear cameras can shoot 4K video up to 30FPS, and the front camera can do 1440p at 30FPS and Samsung enabled some cool features with the Note 8’s camera too. Live Focus, for example, gives users the ability to digitally enhance bokeh effects on images in real-time (samples below) by leveraging the Note 8's depth-sensing capabilities and Bixby Vision is also available. Bixby Vision allows the Bixby virtual assistant to analyze images and provide services like text translation, identify landmarks, or even help shop for products.

note 8 sample 1 note 8 sample 2

note 8 sample 3 note 8 sample 4
Galaxy Note 8 Sample Photos

In practice, we found the Note 8’s camera to be excellent relative to other smartphones currently on the market. Camera performance is fast and responsive and produces excellent images in most lighting conditions. Samsung also offers a host of manual controls and capture modes as well, so fine tuning pictures to your liking should be possible for virtually anyone.

note 8 sample 5 note 8 sample 6

note 8 sample 7 note 8 sample 8
Meet MacKenzie -- The Newest Member Of Team HH

Generally speaking, in auto-mode, we found most of the images to be slightly under-saturated but over-exposed when captured in bright lighting. And in overcast conditions or heavily shadowed areas, the opposite is true -- some detail can be lost in the shadows, but colors appear more saturated. Sharpness is very good, however, and the camera auto-focuses very quickly and reliably. The Note 8’s camera also produces beatiful bokeh effects under the right conditions.

live focus sample 2 live focus sample 1
Live Focus Samples -- Note The Bokeh In The Grass...

With all of that said, we’re nitpicking a bit on some of the aforementioned exposure and saturation issues. The Galaxy Note 8 has one of the best cameras we have used on a smartphone – period. You’ll notice in the sample shots above, we captured images in bright sunlight, indoor light, lit from behind, above, or in-front, etc., and despite some minor shortcomings, there’s not much to complain about. If camera performance is an important factor for you when buying a smartphone, the Note 8 will not disappoint.

Related content