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iPhone 8 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 8 video shootout: Can Apple top Samsung’s flagship?

Published Oct 2nd, 2017 8:00PM EDT
iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8 video test
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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While the iPhone X might be the most buzzworthy of Apple’s new phones, its specs are basically on par with those of the iPhone 8 Plus. As such, the iPhone 8 Plus is being stacked up against other top handsets on the market — most notably Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. We have seen the two phones duke it out over speed and photography, but on Monday, CNET shared the results of its video shootout, and the results may surprise you.

CNET notes that both phones are comparable when it comes to capturing still photos, which has been backed up by several other publications as well. But when it comes to video recording, there are significant differences.

CNET began by comparing the exposure, color and autofocus of the two phones. After filming a short video on each phone, the publication compared screengrabs from the videos and found that while both performed admirably, the 8 Plus produced warmer colors and while the images on the Note 8 looked flat by comparison. On the other hand, the iPhone blew out highlights as the lighting became more difficult while the Note 8 “adjusted exposure more fluidly.”

In general, the strengths and weaknesses of the two phones continued to balance each other out through most of the remaining tests. For example, while the iPhone’s autofocus appeared to be more smooth than the “jerky” autofocus of the Note, the combination of optical and digital image stabilization on the Note meant that footage filmed while on the move appeared smoother on Samsung’s phone than on Apple’s.

Listening back to footage from a concert, the audio reportedly sounded better on the Note with a pair of headphones than it did on the iPhone. But the front-facing camera on the Note features a narrow field of view and far worse color accuracy, so if you take a lot of selfies, this might be an issue for you.

Two areas where the iPhone may have taken the lead were in 4K video recording and low-light recording. Though the lack of stabilization on 2X zoomed video stood out, the mere fact that the iPhone can record 4K video in 60fps versus the Note’s 30fps gives it the edge. And in low-light situations, the iPhone’s image “looked cleaner,” “was much more pleasing to watch” and had less noise than the video produced by the Note.

At the end of the day, the range of additional features and the seesaw of strengths and weaknesses make it difficult to declare a winner, but at the very least, it’s clear that the 8 Plus can hold its own against the Note 8.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.