Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 gets positive reviews, comparisons with iPhone 7 Plus 'Portrait' m...

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Reviews have begun to emerge for Samsung's latest flagship phone, the 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 8, taking a largely favorable view while contrasting its "Live Focus" camera mode with the Portrait option on Apple's iPhone 7 Plus.

Image Credit: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG via Macworld
Image Credit: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG via Macworld


Samsung's attempt at simulated bokeh -- blurred background -- using a dual-lens camera is "basically not any worse or better" than Apple's, The Verge claimed, saying they both "feel like first-generation attempts" with "a lot of headroom for improvements to come in later iterations." The site complained that indoors or in poor light, image quality can be bad, and that even with good light the two phones can produce a "cardboard cutout" effect and fail to capture detail around objects like hair.

Macworld gave the edge to the Note 8, pointing out that the phone not only offers the ability to adjust bokeh and keep both lens views -- options that are missing on the 7 Plus -- but avoids blurring everything, and is better at handling depth. It did suggest that Apple's software is "easier to use," and will soon be paired with iOS 11 and new iPhones with upgraded camera technology.




Reviews from CNET, Engadget, Android Police and elsewhere typically agree that while the device is one of Samsung's best products to date -- with a high-quality display, solid performance, and an upgraded stylus -- it's also extremely expensive at $930 or more, while not being a dramatic improvement over the much cheaper Galaxy S8 and S8+.

It's not yet clear if the phone has dodged the battery issues that plagued 2016's Galaxy Note 7. A series of fires forced the company to issue two separate recalls before killing the product entirely, at a cost of over $5 billion. In response it implemented a new battery-testing regime, and indeed there have been no widespread complaints about the S8 line.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,979member
    I'm guessing that Samsung won't make the same battery integration error of the Note 7, nor a different one for that matter.

    Welcome to the world of computation imaging. It appears that all premium smartphones will henceforth require two, or more, camera modules for traditional photographic modes. In Apple's case, forget about the standard models.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    The hardware looks quite nice and while the stylus isn't for me, there are many who seem to appreciate it.

    I'm not opposed to a fingerprint scanner on the back, but their placement remains to be a bit odd.



    Source: The Verge

    Overall it seems to be a Galaxy 8.5 in many ways as it lacks the next gen SoC or major hardware improvements only seen in Galaxy S releases. 
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 44
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    edited September 2017 bloggerblogavon b7
  • Reply 5 of 44
    "Flagship"
    Boy is that word overused. Like "bespoke."
    StrangeDaysAvieshekwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 44
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,979member
    EngDev said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    Expect so see more "slices" in the computational process as performance allows in the future. so better depth of field effect.

    I prefer the colors of the 7 Plus, though it would be difficult to ascertain the most realistic without a reference color source in each photo.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    EngDev said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    So you'll be switching soon?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 44
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,184member
    tmay said:
    EngDev said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    Expect so see more "slices" in the computational process as performance allows in the future. so better depth of field effect.

    I prefer the colors of the 7 Plus, though it would be difficult to ascertain the most realistic without a reference color source in each photo.
    From those pictures, it looks to me like the Note 8 has the better pictures. We'll have to compare to the new iPhone which is only fair. I can't stand the fingerprint location on that Note 8. Up high and to the right. So OK for right handed, and sucks for left handed. Still have all the problems of it being on the back. You have to pick it up to unlock the thing if it's just sitting on the table. Can't access it in a car mount.

    What's the point of the Note again, at least these days. Samesung started copying Apple. In the past with Samesung, it was 1 size S series and if you wanted the larger phone, you went and got the larger Note. Then Apple came out with the iPhone and the iPhone PLUS, and what does Samesung do. They Come out with their S and S+. Yet they still have their Note. What's the point of the Note now? Seems like it's just a S+ with a Stylus and for a lot more money. If you don't give a crap about the Stylus, you might as well just get the S+.
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 44
    Of course the reviews would be good. Did anyone expect them to be bad? Or say the Note 8 was a piece of junk?

    The phone itself is good. It's just saddled with a horrible OS.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 44
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,998member
    The facial recognition software works excellent!!!!

    https://twitter.com/meltajon/status/904058526061830144
    tmayviclauyycboltsfan17Rayz2016boogerman2000
  • Reply 11 of 44
    macxpress said:
    The facial recognition software works excellent!!!!

    https://twitter.com/meltajon/status/904058526061830144
    I don't get it. That phone is in demo mode, it has no registered user, hence it will unlock to anything.

    I'd be curious to see if that would actually work with a real user.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Any explosive reviews?
    macseekerAvieshekboltsfan17lolliverwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 13 of 44
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,673member

    Folks, when looking at these pictures you need to consider some photographic techniques. The iPhone 7+ is in Portrait mode as such you would not expect to have fine details. If you have even gone to professional photographer and get a portrait done, they use a little bit of soft focus, the image is a little softer to look at. I am not going to argue the color correctness, as one person pointed out, you would have to see the original to know which one is closer. I tend to lean toward the iPhone since it is more soft and muted to the Samsung which is bright and sharp. Apple most likely consulted professional photographer and image processing people and had them advise on what look correct from the professional stand point not use laymen who have no clue what we may or may not be looking at.

    Again Samsung is playing tricks with the pictures, the model has a different pose so your eyes are drawn to different things in each photo so people are not reacting to what is the actually better technical photo, but to what they find pleasing to the eye such as the model's smile. These are all games Samsung is playing to make it look like they have a better camera. Most people are reacting emotionally to the photos not to the quality of the photo.

    patchythepiratelolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 44
    maestro64 said:

    Folks, when looking at these pictures you need to consider some photographic techniques. The iPhone 7+ is in Portrait mode as such you would not expect to have fine details. If you have even gone to professional photographer and get a portrait done, they use a little bit of soft focus, the image is a little softer to look at. I am not going to argue the color correctness, as one person pointed out, you would have to see the original to know which one is closer. I tend to lean toward the iPhone since it is more soft and muted to the Samsung which is bright and sharp. Apple most likely consulted professional photographer and image processing people and had them advise on what look correct from the professional stand point not use laymen who have no clue what we may or may not be looking at.

    Again Samsung is playing tricks with the pictures, the model has a different pose so your eyes are drawn to different things in each photo so people are not reacting to what is the actually better technical photo, but to what they find pleasing to the eye such as the model's smile. These are all games Samsung is playing to make it look like they have a better camera. Most people are reacting emotionally to the photos not to the quality of the photo.

    These photos are from Macworld's comparison, not Samsung.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    EngDev said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    In this case the iPhone is applying blur and Note 8 isn't.  The iPhone is attempting to do a very thin DOF with focus only on the face.  It's as the more aggressive of the two in terms of attempting bokeh.  Also, it appears that the iPhone missed focus in this capture.  I wonder if she was moving during the shot.

    Whether her chest would be in focus or not in a real DSLR depends on how busty she is.  Not very so likely in focus.  

    The Note 8 is obviously less aggressive as seen in this comparison where the iPhone gets it more right but the Note doesn't


    viclauyycredgeminipa
  • Reply 16 of 44
    nht said:
    EngDev said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    In this case the iPhone is applying blur and Note 8 isn't.  The iPhone is attempting to do a very thin DOF with focus only on the face.  It's as the more aggressive of the two in terms of attempting bokeh.  Also, it appears that the iPhone missed focus in this capture.  I wonder if she was moving during the shot.

    Whether her chest would be in focus or not in a real DSLR depends on how busty she is.  Not very so likely in focus.  

    The Note 8 is obviously less aggressive as seen in this comparison where the iPhone gets it more right but the Note doesn't


    Both seem to have problems with blur depending on the scenario. I think Macworld did a decent job outlining these cases. They're right about the iPhone focusing too much on the face.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,045member
    I like the model in 7 Plus.  She is prettier and natural. 
    Metriacanthosaurus
  • Reply 18 of 44
    tzeshan said:
    I like the model in 7 Plus.  She is prettier and natural. 
    Plus they are not even the same photo. When Apple does these comparisons they are indentical shots. Of course they don't bother comparing to Samsung because Apple doesn't care, nor needs to, what Samsung's top product looks like. It really has no bearing on their own.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,291member
    From the photos in the article I thought the iPhone shot looked more natural in terms of colour but also thought it looked a little sharper than the Samsung. 

    Just a first, gut reaction. The first impression. Then when EngDev posted the close-ups it was clearly the other way around on the sharpness. As has been mentioned, without a reference it's tough to evaluate colour.

    It looks like they both do a good, dare I say, excellent job. The option of retaining both images on the Note is nice.

    I'm a rear sensor lover and having it recessed makes it very easy to detect (just like my current phone). What I don't get is the placement. I can't see a reason for not centering it.

    I'm not sure how many they will be able to at the asking price though, although I'm sure some are holding off because they know prices could be adjusted or new promos for Christmas.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    EngDev said:
    nht said:
    EngDev said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like the iPhone 7+ picture is sharper.


    Source: Macworld
    In this case the iPhone is applying blur and Note 8 isn't.  The iPhone is attempting to do a very thin DOF with focus only on the face.  It's as the more aggressive of the two in terms of attempting bokeh.  Also, it appears that the iPhone missed focus in this capture.  I wonder if she was moving during the shot.

    Whether her chest would be in focus or not in a real DSLR depends on how busty she is.  Not very so likely in focus.  

    The Note 8 is obviously less aggressive as seen in this comparison where the iPhone gets it more right but the Note doesn't


    Both seem to have problems with blur depending on the scenario. I think Macworld did a decent job outlining these cases. They're right about the iPhone focusing too much on the face.
    Not when it's called "Portrait Mode".  Typically the face is the thing you want to get in focus for portraits.  In particular, the eyes.  With a thin DOF even ears are out of focus.  Here's an example.  Eyes in focus, ears not.



    Often pros do additional post processing to make the eyes pop even more.



    Eyes in focus, ears and shirt not.



    Eyes in focus, ears and blouse not.  The DoF is an inch or two deep at most.

    Post processing includes upping the exposure just for the iris to enhance eye colors, increasing sharpness and contrast, etc, cleaning up the whites of the eyes, artificially adding light reflection or enhancing the light reflection in the eyes.

    In basic portraiture you focus on the eyes.

    Saying that the iPhone focuses too much on the face for portraiture is plain stupid.  

    The primary criticism for that iPhone 7 shot is that it missed focus...not that it focused too much on the face.  It actually got the blur correct but the eyes and face are a bit muddy focused.  Since the iPhone nailed focus in other shots I mark that down as user error.

    Frankly, the entire piece from Mac World is shoddy.  The model is posed differently for each phone.  Adam, despite being "Video Director & Photographer, MacWorld", apparently doesn't own a DSLR with a prime lens to shoot for reference.

    Adding a reference would have taken a few extra moments...it's literally "hold the pose" Snap, switch, snap, switch, snap.  Not let me be a dumbass and shoot each camera in series and then end up with different poses, distance and worse...lighting.  

    What did we learn from Adam's comparisons?  That he doesn't actually know how to run photographic comparisons.

    TL;DR;  Its called Portrait Mode.  Focusing on the face is entirely the point.
    tmaywonkothesaneboltsfan17patchythepirate2old4funredgeminipa
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