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The Galaxy Note 8's dual cameras took these pics

Indoor, outdoor, portrait and low light. Photos from Samsung's first phone with two rear cameras.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung's first phone with two cameras practically begs us to put the Galaxy Note 8 to the test. Here's a small sample of the hundreds of photos I took with the Note 8.

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2 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

The twin 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto lenses can take fancy portrait mode shots, but also capture rich, detailed photos without any extra adornment.

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3 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

A portrait shot, called Live Focus, blurs the background.

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4 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

In the Gallery app, you can swap between the close-up mode and the wide-angle view that also takes in the background.

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5 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

There's also an 8-megapixel camera on the front.

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6 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Landscape scenery like Lake Tahoe here is what Live Focus was made for.

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7 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Weirdly, I snapped these photos twice in a row without changing my stance or adjusting a single setting. The first came out well but this one's totally blown out.

8 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Live Message lets you draw all over a photo you took, and turn it into a GIF. It's frivolous fun.

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9 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photos taken in natural daylight tend to come out very clear.

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10 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I turned the tables on CNET photographer Josh Miller.

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11 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I couldn't decide which picture I liked most, so I grabbed them both.

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12 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I took this using automatic mode, but the Note 8 also has a dedicated food mood, and plenty of filters.

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13 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

One feature is 2X optical zoom, which automatically brings you in closer. The photos can come out well, but not as well as walking up a few steps yourself.

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14 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

There's also 10x digital zoom, which did surprisingly well capturing this fast-moving peacock several feet away from me.

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15 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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16 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The regular, unassisted camera.

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17 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Late afternoon surfers and sun.

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Another example of Live Message.

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19 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

It took four blurry tries to get Live Focus (aka portrait mode) to capture this indoor shot without blur.

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20 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Rows of pies in a low-lit room.

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21 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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22 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Automatic mode was artificially bright, so I lowered the brightness. This challenging nighttime is extremely grainy and noisy.

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23 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I couldn't get enough of the water channeling through this rock.

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24 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The Note 8's camera refused to take this in portrait mode. Luckily, the shot is beautiful on its own.

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25 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

This needs no embellishment.

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26 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

And neither does this.

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27 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The most difficult thing about this photo was trying to view the screen afterwards, in the overpowering sun.

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28 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

There's some nice detail on this tree bark and sign.

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Because apparently I can't resist Live Message.

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30 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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31 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Who doesn't crave popcorn at dusk?

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32 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I tried out Live Focus on this boule of sparkling wine.

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A darkly lit interior made my wedding table place setting pretty dark, too.

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34 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Lighting conditions weren't right to trigger portrait mode. Granted, it's quite dark out.

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 made these fairy lights look distinct, not floaty.

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36 of 37 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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37 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

But wait, there's more. See CNET's complete Galaxy Note 8 review for the full camera rundown.

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