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Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus: The most detailed camera shootout we’ve seen

Galaxy S8 Vs iPhone 7 Plus

It seemed like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ took forever to actually launch, especially since these two hot new Android phones have been leaking like crazy for months. But today, April 21st, is officially Galaxy S8 release day. You’ll now find Samsung’s hot new flagship handsets in carrier stores and electronics retailers across the country, and Android fans are quite excited. What’s more, their excitement is completely warranted because the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are incredible.

You’ve read our in-depth Galaxy S8 review and you’ve likely seen our supplemental coverage in which we said that the best thing about the Galaxy S8 other than its fantastic design is the camera. Now, the most detailed camera shootout we’ve seen between the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 7 Plus has been published, and the results are quite surprising.

Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is widely recognized as being one of the best camera phones in the world, perhaps bested only by the Google Pixel in some scenarios. In our own testing for our Galaxy S8 review, however, we found that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 camera actually outshines the 7 Plus as well in a number of different scenarios — especially in good outdoor lighting.

Now, however, an extensive new camera test paints a different picture. Published this week by Tom’s Guide, the camera comparison offers side-by-side image samples taken by both flagship phones in a number of different scenes. There’s no question that both the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 Plus feature fantastic cameras. There’s also no question that each camera outshines the other in certain situations. But overall, the iPhone 7 Plus seems to have a clear edge in this particular test.

Here’s an outdoor camera test, and the clear winner is the Galaxy S8:

But here’s an outdoor macro, and you can see that the color reproduction in the iPhone 7 Plus photo is clearly superior:

There are definitely some checks in the win column for each phone in the showdown, and here’s where things get interesting. Tom’s Guide gives the edge to the Galaxy S8 in the end, but we actually disagree based on the site’s own photo samples.

A few of the comparisons where the blog named Samsung’s phone the winner were actually better on the iPhone 7 Plus, to our eye at least. And the most interest comparison might be the selfie taken with the front-facing camera on each phone. The rear camera on the Galaxy S8 is the same camera from last year’s Galaxy S7, but Samsung did upgrade the front-facing cam on this year’s new model. Despite the new and improved optics, the iPhone 7 Plus captured a much better selfie in this test.

Definitely check out all of the comparisons on Tom’s Guide. They’re interactive, so you can slide the bar from side to side to display each photo.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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