Before launching the Galaxy S10, let's see where Samsung's top Samsung cell phone camera is today. The comparison will be interesting in the next few days. In this review we will give a quick overview of the hardware features and verify the actual image quality. Note that we review the camera of the Snapdragon-based model. For the rest of the phone, check out our review of the Galaxy Note 9 to learn more about the rest of the phone.
Important Camera Specifications and Uber-G HW Score
- Reversing Camera System (2 Cameras)
- Primary : 27mm focal length, 1: 1.5-2.4 aperture, 12 megapixel, dual-pixel phase-detection AF, OIS
- Secondary : 52mm focal length, F / 2 , 4-Aperture, 12 Megapixels, Fixed-Focus, OIS
- Ultrawide : N / A
The Galaxy Note 9 has a dual-camera setup that is standard in the high-end range has become. The camera is almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy S9 +, but the Galaxy Note 9 received an eye-catching tuning update that improved the HDR image quality. The main camera has a unique system with two apertures.
From a hardware perspective, both the Galaxy S9 + and the Galaxy Note 9 achieve an Uber-G camera HW value of of 144 . This is the second highest score today and was the highest score when the S9 + came on the market a year ago.
Image Quality Analysis
Important : Let's explain some terms we will use:
- "Image Processing": Software Work that uses the Image Data Quality
- "Image Filtering": Software that changes the style (aesthetics) of the photo.
- " Contextual photo " : a grand rapprochement of of what we see
- . Including how dark the scene actually is
- Just to provide the  026] context
A Note on the Uber-G-Camera IQ Score : Our camera rating system is based on four "pillars" or subscores that provide the much needed nuance: day  Night Zoom and ultrawide Photography.
Daylight Photography: 186
As a high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Note 9 captures outstanding images, but we can press the envelope to see how it scores in comparison to the best in the world.
The Galaxy Note 9 has developed quite well in this scene, but we have some overexposed areas such as the road sign and some parts of the wall that are illuminated by the sun. Apart from that, the Galaxy Note 9 has proven well in terms of HDR and has taken the details in the shaded areas in a natural and enjoyable way, without using too much filter.
Compared to other mobile phones, the Galaxy Note 9 often delivers sharper pictures than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but can be used by the iPhone XS or the OnePlus 6T are challenged and exceeded our tests The image quality of daylight is very close to other high-end phones.
Galaxy Note 9's photos are very consistent with what the user is looking at, though sometimes the shades may be warmer than the scene. This is probably a voting style that can be observed in the Samsung Series 9. This decision is probably deliberate and thought out. In one of the next articles we will talk about OEM filter strategies.
Although Samsung uses image filtering to enhance sharpness, it does not do so systematically by ringing objects that do not need further sharpening. We have seen another OEM make this mistake that causes the photo to look artificial.
The dual aperture of 1.5 / 1 / 2.4 gives Samsung better performance in daylight and low light. While f / 1.5 is excellent in low light conditions, a smaller aperture, e.g. B. f / 2.4 in very bright situations, improve the image sharpness.
Ideally, a variable aperture is best for incidents, as f / 1.8 or f / 2.2 might be better in some scenes, but with this particular setup, Samsung has come up with an excellent compromise.
Food photos are among the strengths of the Galaxy Note 9, with clear, crisp, and well saturated images that are ready to be shared and seem relatively natural. Relative is the keyword here, because Samsung Galaxy phones tend to process the colors a bit (saturation, heat), but users usually do not complain about over-processing. In this regard, the Note 9 photos are virtually identical to the Galaxy S9 +
. Night light photography: 193
For this Samsung has optimized the main camera. 1.5 in low light, so let's see how effective it really is.
When it comes to low light, do not forget that brighter is not always better and photo-filtering destroys your photo data. Filter and save a copy whenever possible.
The next-best competitor for the 9th Night Shot is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ( Do not miss our camera test Mate 20 Pro ), which we already had compared with a grade 9 phone and showed that Samsung's Low -Light photos with much better colors and details. Look at the photos below.
Both photos look pretty good, and the photo of the Mate 20 Pro is less natural-looking and does not capture a few hues. The picture is more monochromatic. Let's take a closer look.
Both cameras increase the brightness, but the main difference is that the Galaxy Note 9 captures hues and details very much better. The contextual photo, when brightened, would come much closer to the Samsung photo. This is a very representative example of why the Galaxy S9 / S9 + and Note 9 dominate low-light photography, and it stands out if you look closely.
Fortunately, in the above scene, the Mate 20 Pro photo can be filtered back to a more natural state. When zooming in, however, the Galaxy Note 9 shows details more consistently. This is especially visible on the wood detail of the branches and the siding of the house.
This scene is also a good illustration of the performance of the Galaxy Note 9 in a challenging night shot. However, you may be curious how it can be equipped with the Google Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS.
Pixel 3 represents a pretty big improvement over Pixel 2 because the primary camera has practically the same specification as Pixel 2. We can assume that Pixel 3 is mostly camera software. However, software can only help so much, and Pixel 3 images often do not stand up close to the Galaxy Note 9.
The iPhone XS is another animal that is very decent and the picture is very decent Photos can not match the color quality with the Galaxy Note 9. Apple is for its natural, Not flashy photo style known, and we think it's great. Cameras should Ideally, however, they can capture the sounds visible to the eye, which is why the XS photos often seem a bit boring.
Yes, the colors can be enhanced by image filtering. However, since the color content distribution was not very well captured, inflation across the filter is only a partial correction. With a PC software you could do much more, but for a phone user this is usually unacceptable.
In this scene, the Pixel 3 image 3 has too much exaggerated color saturation, which it often performs as part of its filter style . It goes beyond that, and the reason is that the original color image was probably not as good as Grade 9, and an attempt was made to artificially reinforce it. You can also see a much higher noise level in the sky, even on a smaller photo.
For the Pixel 3 balance, city exposure management is better, despite the unnatural colors. This is worth the massive reliance of Google on multiframe HDR, as Apple seems underexposed and Samsung does not have enough HDR frames to cover the dynamic range of the city.
The low-light performance of the Note 9 is remarkable because it does not use the largest sensor, but the Samsung engineers have developed a fantastic camera that makes the most of every piece of hardware (large sensors are not always used optimally), coupled with an impressive camera setting. That means, Samsung has to deal better with exposure.
"SAMSUNG ENGINEERS HAVE A FANTASTIC CAMERA"
It is worth noting that we would want a long-exposure mode that would be 100% software
Zoom Photography: 88
Equipped with a 2x optical zoom (52mm, 35mm equivalent) the Galaxy Note 9 can take sharper pictures than camera systems with a lens. In a preview, we have already proven that Note 9 can not touch the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and P20 Pro in a zoom context. However, we found that the iPhone XS is the next best competitor with comparable performance.
See how the tendency of the "warm colors" of the Galaxy Note 9 is maximal, possibly very easy to correct due to the orange hue of the fox, but we have left it to illustrate the unintended consequences of filter styles …  Comparative Figure A “/>
It was also very enlightening to see how Pixel 3 and its very clever zoom algorithm would withstand optical zoom. The result was unsatisfactory: Although Google is very good with its image processing, but can not surpass the optical 2-fold zoom.
It's not entirely surprising, but it's good to see how much the upper limit of such algorithms exists, as they are also suitable for 2X or 3X zoom lenses. Kudos to Google, but pixel users would also like to get a visual zoom.
To remind you that the lens is not everything, the iPhone 7 Plus is also a good example of a 2X optical zoom phone paired with a less powerful sensor and older software.
Ultrawide Photo Quality: N / A
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Note 9 has no . have an ultra wide (~ 16mm) lens, which is a pity, because that's a wonderful ability, but of all that we've seen on the Galaxy S10, Samsung seems to be solving that – and we look forward to rating it.
We called ultrawide cameras "an amazing differentiator" in 2016 when the LG G5 came out, and in our Galaxy S8 test (2017) we said, "We're not sure how long Samsung can do without [ultrawide camera]. "This will eventually happen in 2019.
Conclusion and Uber-G Camera IQ Score
Based on the analysis of these images and many others, our algorithm yielded an Uber-G-Camera IQ score of from 162 for the Galaxy Note 9 This makes it the third-strongest camera configuration on the market and the best smartphone camera with two lenses.
|Night  193|
|Ultrawide  N / A|
The data show that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the best low-light smartphone camera on the market and produces natural-looking photos with excellent data quality. For many users, the light field is the right battleground. Samsung uses much less filtering than comparable competitors to produce photos that can later be filtered to suit the style desired by the user.
This gives Note 9 photographers a lot more creative options compared to cell phones that already have outstanding features – in image filtering style.
"THE BEST LOW-LIGHT SMARTPHONE CAMERA"
If you look at the Uber-G-Camera IQ results, you can also see that the Galaxy S9 and S9 + are the next two best low-light cameras, which is not surprising since they were built on the same platform. The Galaxy Note 9 is a bit better in terms of image quality, apparently thanks to a software update – we will try to find the time to highlight these differences later.
In summary, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also one of the best smartphone cameras, even in daylight. While the versatility of the Mate 20 Pro or the LG V40 may be lacking, it offers excellent image quality for today's most common use cases: day and night photography. You can also read our full review of the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone.
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