Note 9 camera samples

We've thoroughly tested the Note 9 camera over the course of a week, and did it while wielding up to five other smartphones.

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  2. Note 8
  3. S9 Plus
  4. iPhone X
  5. Google Pixel 2
  6. Huawei P20

It's certainly among the best, and you can tell that the Note 9 does improve on the Note 8 and even the S9 Plus. This is because of the AI scene recognition software that tweaks the color and white balance based on the subject. It wasn't perfect – it did turn lights from some buildings yellow in one instance – but overall, we got more detail and less blowout from low-light shots.

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Selfies without much light can appear soft, and the camera app will actually warn you that your last photo may appear blurry. Let's take a look at a second take.

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Putting the phone further away increased the amount of light the 12MP camera was able to absorb. It also fit more in the frame (crane game winnings).

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Low-light photos using the rear 12MP camera bring up the shadows, as if we were using Lightroom in real time.

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Bright photos are sharp. Not overly sharp like we've experienced with the Huawei P20 at times.

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Snapping a photo in a moving car proved the Galaxy Note 9 camera is fast when it's necessary. Smartphone cameras have really grown up.

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Using the telephoto lens we were able to spot a bear (black spot on the middle left between the trees). It zooms in by 2x. The Huawei P20 has the advantage of using a 3x zoom lens, which we could have appreciated in this situation.

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Here's another photo of the bear, moving further center between the trees. If there's one thing we could see Samsung improved in 2019, it's the telephoto lens, especially with Huawei pushing the envelope. You may have to wait until a Galaxy S10 Plus or even the Galaxy Note 10.

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Note 9 photo

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 took a much better photo than the iPhone X (next slide) in low light. The cloud New York City night and moving taxi gave off a nice effect on the smartphone camera.

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iPhone X photo

iPhone X captured the nighttime scene, but not nearly as well. The bright blue and red colors aren't as vibrant and the rest of the colors are also more muted.

Portrait

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Note 9 photo


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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

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Huawei P20 Pro photo

Huawei P20 Pro photo – not it automatically adjusted to portrait mode

Low-light photos

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Note 9 photo

Notice the clock at the top of Grand Central Terminal. It's not blown out, which you can see on almost every other camera photo, including the Galaxy S9 Plus and Note 8. 

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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

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Huawei P20 Pro photo

This Huawei P20 Pro photo looks sharp, but it's a little too sharp, like it's supposed to be a 3D painting.

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Note 9 photo

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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

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Huawei P20 Pro photo

Huawei P20 Pro photo

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Note 9 photo

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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

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Huawei P20 Pro photo

Huawei P20 Pro photo

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Note 9 photo

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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

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Huawei P20 Pro photo

Huawei P20 Pro photo

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Note 9 photo

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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

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Huawei P20 Pro photo

Huawei P20 Pro photo

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Note 9 photo

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Note 8 photo

Note 8 photo

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Galaxy S9 Plus photo

Galaxy S9 Plus photo

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iPhone X photo

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Google Pixel 2 photo

Google Pixel 2 photo

Telephoto lenses

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Note 9 telephoto lens

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Note 8 telephoto lens

Note 8 telephoto lens

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Galaxy S9 Plus telephoto lens

Galaxy S9 Plus telephoto lens

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iPhone X telephoto lens

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Note 9 telephoto lens

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Note 8 telephoto lens

Note 8 telephoto lens

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Galaxy S9 Plus telephoto lens

Galaxy S9 Plus telephoto lens

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iPhone X telephoto lens

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Google Pixel 2 zoomed in 2x with digital zoom

Google Pixel 2 zoomed in 2x with digital zoom

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Huawei P20 Pro telephoto lens (3x zoom)

Huawei P20 Pro photo (3x zoom)

S Pen remote photo fun

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Note 9 S Pen remote photo

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Note 9 S Pen remote photo

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Google Pixel 2 comparison shot

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S Pen remote fun

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More Note 9 photos

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