CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Galaxy S9 vs. Pixel 2 camera comparison

The Galaxy S9 and Pixel 2 are two of the best phones you can buy, especially if you're a photographer. We spent six weeks taking pictures, videos and time lapses with them to see how they compared.

Check out my Galaxy S9 vs. Pixel 2 story for a more detailed comparison.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
1
of 54

Pixel 2

Pixel 2 photos have good dynamic range and details. Check out the clouds and the clock tower.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
2
of 54

Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S9 is excellent at getting bright shots with little to no image noise -- those blurry specks in shadows.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
3
of 54

Pixel 2

Notice the contrast here.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
4
of 54

Galaxy S9

Here the Galaxy S9 renders the shot a touch brighter. But notice how clean the sky and clock tower are.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
5
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait selfie

The Pixel 2 takes excellent selfies. This one uses portrait mode to blur out the background. I love the detail in the faces.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
6
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait selfie

The Galaxy S9's selfie has a softer look.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
7
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

These next two photos were taken in a dark living room.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
8
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

The Galaxy S9 switched from its narrow aperture to its wide aperture to let more light in and minimize noise.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
9
of 54

Pixel 2

Notice the color saturation in this photo and the next.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
10
of 54

Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S9 doesn't oversaturate colors.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
11
of 54

Pixel 2

Sometimes the Pixel 2 can underexpose an image to protect highlights.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
12
of 54

Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S9's shot is brighter and more true to life.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
13
of 54

Pixel 2

Every camera has its own signature. The Pixel 2 renders photos with a bit of a blue-green hue.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
14
of 54

Galaxy S9

...While the Galaxy S9 has a warmer orange hue. This is what the light actually looked like.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
15
of 54

Pixel 2 - zoom

Both the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 only have digital zoom. Here is the Pixel 2 at 2X digital zoom.

Notice the difference in the way each phone handles white balance.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
16
of 54

Galaxy S9 - zoom

Here is the Galaxy S9 at 2X digital zoom.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
17
of 54

Pixel 2 - zoom

And here is the Pixel 2 digitally zoomed all the way in. It's soft but usable.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
18
of 54

Galaxy S9 - zoom

The Galaxy S9 oversharpens when it's zoomed all the way in.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
19
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

The Pixel 2 takes some of the best portrait mode photos on any phone.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
20
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

The Galaxy S9's portrait looks softer and more natural. But it has trouble with the glasses.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
21
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

The next 16 photos are shot with portrait mode with each phone.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
22
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Here the Galaxy S9 blurs one shoulder, but not the other.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
23
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
24
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
25
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
26
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
27
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
28
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
29
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
30
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
31
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
32
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
33
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
34
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
35
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
36
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

Read the article
Published:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
37
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

The Pixel 2 does pretty good at low-light shots.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
38
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

But the Galaxy S9 with its dual-aperture camera was built for low light. Notice how much less noise there is in the clouds.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
39
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

The Pixel 2 handles dynamic range better even in low light.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
40
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

Notice how the Galaxy S9 blows out the highlights on the left side of the sky.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
41
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

This was taken in a pitch-black room. Notice the noise on the walls and ceiling.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
42
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

And no noise here.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
43
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

The Pixel 2 shot has noise in the clouds and on the building.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
44
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

The Galaxy S9 doesn't.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
45
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

The Pixel 2 handles high-contrast low-light scenes better. Notice you can read the menu here.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
46
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

And in the Galaxy S9 shot the lights on the menu are blown out.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
47
of 54

Pixel 2 - portrait mode

The Pixel 2's portrait mode works okay on food.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
48
of 54

Galaxy S9 - portrait mode

The Galaxy S9 didn't nail it here. The blur is uneven.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
49
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

This low-light shot by the Pixel 2 has a little noise, but keeps the highlights in the window in the background.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
50
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

The Galaxy shot blows out the window.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
51
of 54

Pixel 2 - low-light

In medium light, I think the Galaxy S9 does better. Here the Pixel 2's image is underexposed.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
52
of 54

Galaxy S9 - low-light

And here the Galaxy S9 exposes it just right.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Patrick Holland/CNET
53
of 54

Galaxy S9 photos vs. Pixel 2 photos

For more comparisons, including video and slow motion, take a look at my in-depth Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2 camera comparison.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
54
of 54
Up Next

iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9 Plus: Photos from our comparison