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iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8: which takes better photos?

The results of our photo comparison between Apple and Samsung's biggest flagship phones. 

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Portrait - Note

The Note's has a brighter exposure which better illuminates Taylor's face, but it also creates an unnatural glow around her face and body and parts of the shot look blown out. The blur effect doesn't seem as harsh as the iPhone's.

Published:Caption:Photo:Vanessa Hand Orellana / CNET
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Portrait - iPhone

This portrait shot on the iPhone has greater contrast and richer colors, but Taylor's face looks darker than the Note's. The iPhone also had a hard time figuring out the edges of her hair and the blurred background effect looks harsh around her hair.

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Portrait - Note

The Note washed out the shot and evened out the skin on Bella's face making it seem almost as if it has been retouched.

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Portrait - iPhone

The colors on the iPhone's shot look more vibrant, and you can even pick out a bit of sweat on Bella's forehead. Her skin tone is also more realistic.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Vanessa Hand Orellana / CNET
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Selfie - Note

The default setting on the Note's front camera applies a beauty filter (level 2) on selfies. This made the freckles on the girl's faces nearly disappear and the photo as a whole looks a bit washed out. 

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Selfie - iPhone

The colors in this shot are more vibrant and you can actually pick out the freckles in the girls faces. 

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Close-up - Note

This shot of the sage plant appears flatter on the Note because it doesn't have as much contrast or saturation as the iPhone's, even though it's just as sharp. 

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iphone-close-up-sage

The sage appears to have more depth and detail here and the colors are richer. 

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Close-up - Note

The Note focuses at a closer range than the iPhone allowing you to get closer to your subject. It even has a manual focus mode in the Pro settings for more precision.

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iphone-close-up-flower

The iPhone won't focus if you get too close. This shot of the flower in the vase looks good, but it focused on the flowers in the back instead of the pistils of the yellow flower in the front which was what I was aiming for.

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2x zoom - Note

The zoomed-in shot on the Note looks slightly cooler and the colors are more subdued than on the iPhone, but once you get up close to my face and the writing on the wall you'll notice it captured more detail than the iPhone. 

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2x zoom - iPhone

The iPhone has warmer tones that more closely resemble my actual skin color. But if you get up close, you can start to see some noise around my face because the image is not as sharp as the Note's. 

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Landsape - Note

The cooler temperature of the Note look great on landscapes. The ripples in the water appear clearer in this shot of the Note. 

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Landscape - iPhone

But the clouds in this shot are more dramatic. 

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Landscape - Note

Both phones did a great job capturing the Golden Gate bridge. The Note produces cooler hues that make the bridge pop and make the shot look clearer. 

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Landscape - iPhone

But the shot on the iPhone more accurately captured the soft golden haze of the sunsetting over the bay. 

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Lowlight - Note

You can see a lot more detail in the sidewalk and the houses in the background on this shot of the Note, but more noise around the street lights.  

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Lowlight - iPhone

The orb shot on the iPhone has more vibrant blues and greater contrast with less lens flare.

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Lowlight - Note

The greater contrast of the Note looks really nice on the shot of City Hall bringing out the details in the column and the fence around it.

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Lowlight - iPhone

The shot of San Francisco City Hall on the iPhone doesn't look as sharp or as bright as the Note's, but the iPhone may have a higher shutter speed which means less motion blur from the lights.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides / CNET
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