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

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

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

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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.

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

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I turned the tables on CNET photographer Josh Miller.

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

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

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

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2X optical zoom.

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The regular, unassisted camera.

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Late afternoon surfers and sun.

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Another example of Live Message.

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

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Rows of pies in a low-lit room.

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Winter is coming.

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

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

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

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This needs no embellishment.

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And neither does this.

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

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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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Or bouquets.

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Who doesn't crave popcorn at dusk?

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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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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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Sunset, captured.

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

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