As in our previous blind test from the middle of this year, Samsung and Apple are once again at the top of the podium, this time with the Note 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. However, Google’s score tanked significantly: The Pixel 2 fell to last place this time. In my opinion, Google should have even had a few penalty points taken away for its limited camera app. But, there will be more on that topic in the detailed evaluation below.
Before we jump into the results, I would like to briefly explain the scoring system. The smartphone whose photo has received the most votes for each scene gets six points. Second place gets five points, third gets four, and so on. In case of a tie, both smartphones get the same higher score, and the following rank is eliminated.
These high-end smartphone are competing against each other in our blind test. / © AndroidPIT
Samsung and Apple at the top
The iPhone 8 Plus secured first place with a total of 28 points, closely followed by the Galaxy Note 8 with 26 points. Apple and Samsung are among the top three in five out of six scenes that we shot. The iPhone 8 Plus had weak results in the night scene, while the Note 8 was unconvincing in the mixed-light scene shot in the AndroidPIT office’s kitchen.
Bottom line, the result is clear: The two smartphone giants have outclassed the assembled competition in this comparison, building on their dominance from our previous blind test.
The big disappointment: Google only shines in the dark
From first place to last place: In contrast to the last blind test we conducted, Google could not impress you this time, at least not in daylight. The Pixel 2 lands once in last place and once in first. The rest of its scores are middling. Only at night was the Google camera able to capture the top spot.
Strong at night: Only with this picture was the Google Pixel 2 was able to prevail against the competition. / © AndroidPIT
While the shots taken by the Google Pixel 2 are good in a technical sense, the results clearly still don’t manage to sway voters. I’m curious to find out what our readers didn’t like about the Pixel 2’s shots. What bothers me most about the Pixel 2 isn’t the results, but the fact that the camera app lacks options for manual adjustment or saving RAW photos. That’s more of a disqualifying criterion than the image quality to me.
Such a disappointment for the Pixel 2 after it was marketed for its good photography.
What do you think?
The rest: OnePlus, HTC, LG and Huawei
Although the Pixel 2 surprised us by taking last place, the gap is not large among the competitors. Only four points separate third place from seventh place. Overall, the trend we’ve seen in our recent blind tests has continued: the ‘little guys’ are increasingly losing ground when it comes to cameras.
Part of the blame lies with Google, which offers a comprehensive software solution with its Android operating system, but keeps some of its own developments under wraps. Developing a competitive camera app is now up to each manufacturer. Samsung and Apple simply have more resources here than HTC or LG.
In this and the fifth scene, the LG V30 made it to second place – below the iPhone 8 Plus, but above the Galaxy Note 8. / © AndroidPIT
The third place goes to the OnePlus 5T, with 18 points. Three devices tied for fourth place, the LG V30, HTC U11 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro, with 17 points each. The distance from the top is clear, as the Note 8 is 9 points ahead and the iPhone 8 Plus is even 11 points ahead of the middle of the pack. The Pixel 2 is dead last, as mentioned above.
The results at a glance
Here you can see the results of the camera blind test at a glance. If you want to know more details about the respective smartphones, then just follow the links to be taken to our in-depth reviews of each.
Expensive phones shoot beautiful photos
Nowadays overall photo quality in the cheaper flagship phones has gone up so much, that without such a direct comparison, it is much more difficult to notice dramatic differences in photo quality, especially during casual, everyday use.
That makes it all the more amazing that the Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus can consistently set themselves apart from the ever-improving competition. Only by testing in different situations and paying very close attention to detail can we see how the premium flagships of these two manufacturing experts really hold the cutting edge of smartphone photography.
What do you think of the results? Will this influence your next buying decision? Let’s discuss in the comments!