Lets Talk About: Best Of Phone Camare Between Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs. iPhone 7 Plus vs. And Google Pixel XL

Even without being told you will agree with me that the mobile phone industry is evolving at a super-fast pace, and naturally, the most recent phone is also the one bringing the most advanced camera technology, though in the last couple of years, OEMs out there invested in similar approaches that
brought them closer to each other.

The recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S8+ promises to feature the best camera around, and although for some this perfectly makes sense if the aforementioned condition is valid, the hardware sheet could prove otherwise.

The S8+ itself doesn’t feature a dual-camera configuration, and this could make many people out there believe that the iPhone 7 Plus, which does boast such a feature, is actually the best camera on a phone despite the new Samsung model. At the same time, Google says the Pixel XL remains the number one phone camera on the market at the moment, so it has all become a fight between these three models to convince buyers they provide better photo quality than their rivals.

We’ve taken the Galaxy S8+ for a spin to see how its camera compares to the iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel, and before jumping straight into details, here are a few things that need to be mentioned first.

All three models were running the latest software versions, and we used the default camera apps with the auto mode in different lighting conditions. These are RAW pictures (and this is why they could take a little bit longer to load depending on your Internet speed), with no edits and filters applied.

Samsung Galaxy S8+iPhone 7 PlusGoogle Pixel XL
12 megapixels12 megapixels dual camera12.3 megapixels
F1.7F1.8/F2.8 (telephoto lens)F2.0
1/2.5 sensor size1/3 and 1/3.6 sensor size (telephoto)1/2.3 sensor size
1.4 um pixel size1.22 um pixel size1.55 um pixel size

The camera competition
While am’re not going to dig too much into details and let you be the judge by analyzing the camera samples below, there are a few observations that need to be made.

For example, the Pixel XL performed the worst in our test, but this is mostly caused by the latest updates released by Google. Believe it or not, instead of making the Pixel better, the most recent update substantially affected camera performance, and this is why some of the shots we took with Google’s phone look awful.

The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, is going in the opposite direction, and while its performance wasn’t exactly top-notch at first, it now performs like a completely new model.

And last but not least, the Galaxy S8+ is the newcomer here and comes with what seems to be a really well-balanced camera which, although it doesn’t feature dual lens, is still impressive

Both the iPhone and the S8+ offered good performance in optimal light, with vivid colors, good contrast, and correct sharpness applied. On the other hand, there are some shots where the iPhone took more natural pics, with color saturation maintained at an appropriate level, whereas the Galaxy S8+ adjusted saturation for a more vivid look, but affected the end result.

In low-light conditions, the Galaxy S8+ seems to perform a little bit better, and this is mostly thanks to its Dual Pixel technology. If you recall, Samsung used Dual Pixel as one of the main highlights on the Galaxy S7 edge, and the company further improved it for the S8 as well.

Focus continues to be blazing fast on all three phones, and this is the place where the Google Pixel XL actually deserves to be mentioned, as its laser focus appears to be faster than both the iPhone's and the new Samsung's.

All in all, if you’re looking for a better shooter right now, the S8+ and the iPhone 7 Plus seem to be the only good options between these three, mostly because somehow Google managed to break down the whole thing. An update to restore or at least improve camera performance of the Pixel XL could be shipped at some point in the future, but for the moment, it’s either Samsung or Apple for camera phones.

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