I already knew the Galaxy Note8's camera was good. It was the first phone in the world to have dual optical image-stabilised cameras, for one -- and the photos I've captured with it have been consistently good. But that anecdotal experience is now backed up with hard data, with camera ranking pros DxOMark giving the Note8 top marks in its camera review.
The Note8's dual cameras -- a 12-megapixel wide-angle 1/2.55-inch sensor with a 27mm f/1.7 lens, and a 12-megapixel telephoto 1/3.6-inch with a 52mm f/2.4 lens -- were the first to both have optical image stabilisation for blur-free photos from either sensor, beating out the new iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X -- at least to the announcement, since both the iPhone and Note8 went on sale on the same day.
And now DxOMark's review crowns the Galaxy Note8 as "the best smartphone for zoom", with its testing awarding Samsung's most expensive phone ever a full 100 points for its photography sub-score. The phone scores 94 overall, let down somewhat by its video score of 84 -- beaten out by the Google Pixel's 91 and the iPhone 8 Plus' 89.
But when it comes to photos, there's no unseating the Note8. It's the best phone camera for zoom both with its 2x optical zoom lens and for digital zoom beyond that, with DxOMark's tests showing good performance even at 4x and 8x. Digital noise is also extremely well handled versus its top-tier competitors, and high praise goes to the phone's autofocus in static and fast-moving scenes alike. [DxOMark]
A year after the disastrous Galaxy Note7, Samsung is back with another Note, its flagship big-screen smartphone that is the best it'll build in 2017. Welcome to the Note8 -- it's a masterpiece, an agenda-setting phone that's the first of a new breed of devices that could well replace your entire PC.