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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.
Pixel 2 photos have good dynamic range and details. Check out the clouds and the clock tower.
The Galaxy S9 is excellent at getting bright shots with little to no image noise -- those blurry specks in shadows.
Notice the contrast here.
Here the Galaxy S9 renders the shot a touch brighter. But notice how clean the sky and clock tower are.
The Pixel 2 takes excellent selfies. This one uses portrait mode to blur out the background. I love the detail in the faces.
The Galaxy S9's selfie has a softer look.
These next two photos were taken in a dark living room.
The Galaxy S9 switched from its narrow aperture to its wide aperture to let more light in and minimize noise.
Notice the color saturation in this photo and the next.
The Galaxy S9 doesn't oversaturate colors.
Sometimes the Pixel 2 can underexpose an image to protect highlights.
The Galaxy S9's shot is brighter and more true to life.
Every camera has its own signature. The Pixel 2 renders photos with a bit of a blue-green hue.
...While the Galaxy S9 has a warmer orange hue. This is what the light actually looked like.
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.
Here is the Galaxy S9 at 2X digital zoom.
And here is the Pixel 2 digitally zoomed all the way in. It's soft but usable.
The Galaxy S9 oversharpens when it's zoomed all the way in.
The Pixel 2 takes some of the best portrait mode photos on any phone.
The Galaxy S9's portrait looks softer and more natural. But it has trouble with the glasses.
The next 16 photos are shot with portrait mode with each phone.
Here the Galaxy S9 blurs one shoulder, but not the other.
The Pixel 2 does pretty good at low-light shots.
But the Galaxy S9 with its dual-aperture camera was built for low light. Notice how much less noise there is in the clouds.
The Pixel 2 handles dynamic range better even in low light.
Notice how the Galaxy S9 blows out the highlights on the left side of the sky.
This was taken in a pitch-black room. Notice the noise on the walls and ceiling.
And no noise here.
The Pixel 2 shot has noise in the clouds and on the building.
The Galaxy S9 doesn't.
The Pixel 2 handles high-contrast low-light scenes better. Notice you can read the menu here.
And in the Galaxy S9 shot the lights on the menu are blown out.
The Pixel 2's portrait mode works okay on food.
The Galaxy S9 didn't nail it here. The blur is uneven.
This low-light shot by the Pixel 2 has a little noise, but keeps the highlights in the window in the background.
The Galaxy shot blows out the window.
In medium light, I think the Galaxy S9 does better. Here the Pixel 2's image is underexposed.
And here the Galaxy S9 exposes it just right.
For more comparisons, including video and slow motion, take a look at my in-depth Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2 camera comparison.