162Picture High quality scoreUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system nameIQImage-High quality primarily based scoring systemCAMERAMobile Excessive EndCategory primarily based on value2018-08System launch dateSamsung Galaxy Observe 9Device model and identify

Forward of the Galaxy S10 launch, let’s see the place right now’s prime Samsung Cell Digicam stands. The comparability shall be attention-grabbing within the coming days. On this evaluate, we’ll present a fast overview of the hardware capabilities and test what the precise picture high quality is. Observe that we’re reviewing the digicam of Snapdragon-based mannequin. For the remainder of the telephone, you may learn our Galaxy Observe 9 smartphone evaluate to find out about the remainder of the telephone.

Be taught extra: what’s our Digicam IQ rating?

Key Digicam specs and Uber-G HW Rating

Rear Digicam System (2 cameras)Major: 27mm focal size, f/1.5-2.four aperture, 12 Megapixel, Twin-Pixel Section Detection AF, OISSecondary: 52mm focal size, f/2.four aperture, 12 Megapixel, Fastened-focus, OISUltrawide: N/A

The Galaxy Observe 9 has a dual-camera setup which has turn out to be a typical baseline on the high-end of the market. The digicam is sort of similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9+, however the Galaxy Observe 9 did get a noticeable tuning replace that improved its HDR picture high quality. The first digicam has a novel twin aperture system.

From a hardware standpoint, each the Galaxy S9+ and the Galaxy Observe 9 obtain a really excessive Digicam HW rating. That’s right now’s second-highest rating and was the very best rating when the S9+ was launched one yr in the past.

144Digicam hardware scoreUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system nameHWhardware-based scoreCAMERAMobile Excessive EndCategory primarily based on value2018-08System launch dateSamsung Galaxy Observe 9Device identify and model

Be taught extra: what’s our digicam hardware rating?

Picture High quality Evaluation

Essential: let’s make clear some terminology we’ll be utilizing:

“picture processing”: software program work that improves the picture information high quality“picture filtering”: software program work that modifications the fashion (aesthetic) of the photograph.context photograph: an awesome approximation of what we seeTogether with how darkish the scene really isOnly to supply the context of the shot.

A be aware concerning the Uber-G Digicam IQ rating: our digicam scoring system is predicated on 4 “Pillars” or sub-scores that gives much-needed nuance: day, night time, zoom and ultrawide images.

Daylight images: 186

As a high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Observe 9 takes excellent photos, however we will push the envelope to see the way it scores when in comparison with the very best on the market.

Context Shot

On this scene, the Galaxy Observe 9 did fairly properly, however we did discover some over-exposed areas similar to the road signal, and a few components of the wall which is getting lit by the Solar. That apart, the Galaxy Observe 9 did properly on the subject of HDR, capturing the main points within the shadowed areas in a pure and agreeable method, with out utilizing an excessive amount of filtering.

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When in comparison with different handsets, the Galaxy Observe 9 usually produces sharper photos than the Huawei Mate 20 Professional, however it may be challenged and barely surpassed by the iPhone XS or the OnePlus 6T in our checks. The daylight picture high quality stays very near different high-end telephones.

The Galaxy Observe 9 photographs are very in step with what the person is taking a look at, though we did discover that the colour hues can generally be hotter than the scene really is. That is in all probability a tuning fashion that may be noticed within the Samsung sequence 9. This resolution is probably going deliberate and thought out. We’ll speak about OEM filtering methods in an upcoming article.

Though Samsung does use picture filtering to intensify sharpness, it doesn’t achieve this in a scientific method by including ringing round objects that don’t have to be additional sharpened. We’ve seen different OEM make that mistake, which results in the photograph trying synthetic.

The twin f/1.5 – f/2.four aperture supplies a method for Samsung to carry out higher in daylight and low-light. Whereas f/1.5 is nice in dim lighting, having a smaller aperture similar to f/2.four in very vibrant conditions may enhance the picture sharpness.

Ideally, it could be greatest to have a variable aperture for intermediate circumstances as a result of f/1.eight or f/2.2 might be higher in some scenes, however with this specific setup, Samsung has managed to search out a superb trade-off.

Meals photographs are one of many Galaxy Observe 9’s power, with clear, sharp and well-saturated photos which can be prepared for sharing, whereas trying comparatively pure. Comparatively is the important thing phrase right here, as a result of Samsung Galaxy telephones are likely to course of the colours considerably (saturation, heat), however customers don’t often complain about over-processing. In that regards, the Observe 9 photographs are nearly similar to the Galaxy S9+

Night time mild images: 193

That is what Samsung has been optimizing the first digicam for, due to its dual-aperture it will possibly open to f/1.5 in dim lighting, so let’s see how efficient it truly is.

In terms of low-light, don’t neglect that brighter isn’t at all times higher and that photograph filtering destroys your photograph information. At any time when doable, filter and save a replica.

The Observe 9’s closest competitor for night time images is the Huawei Mate 20 Professional (don’t miss our Mate 20 Professional digicam evaluate), we had already in contrast that telephone with the Observe 9, and confirmed that Samsung’s telephone may seize low-light photographs with significantly better colour and particulars. Verify the cropped photographs under.

Context shot: the scene seemed like this

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Each photographs look fairly good and also you may discover that the Mate 20 Professional’s photograph is much less natural-looking and doesn’t seize some colour hues as properly. The picture tends to be a bit extra monochromatic. Let’s take a more in-depth look.

Context shot, crop

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Each cameras amplify the brightness, however the principle distinction is that the Galaxy Observe 9 captures colour hues and particulars significantly better. The context photograph, if brightened would look a lot nearer to the Samsung photograph. That is very consultant of “why” the Galaxy S9/S9+ and Observe 9 dominate low-light images, and it’s very noticeable if you happen to care to look intently.

Context Shot, what the scene seems like

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Within the scene above, the Mate 20 Professional photograph can, luckily, be filtered again to a extra pure state, however when zooming in, the Galaxy Observe 9 reveals particulars extra constantly. That is notably seen on the branches wooden element, and the home’s siding.

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Context shot: what the scene seems like

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This scene can also be an excellent illustration of the Galaxy Observe 9’s efficiency in what’s a difficult night time shot. However you may be interested by the way it stacks as much as the Google Pixel three, and the iPhone XS.

The Pixel three represents a fairly large enchancment from Pixel 2, and on condition that its major digicam nearly has the identical spec as Pixel 2, we will deduct that Pixel three is usually a digicam software program feat. Nevertheless, Software program can solely assist a lot, and Pixel three photos usually don’t stand as much as a close-up inspection when dealing with the Galaxy Observe 9.

Context Shot

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In very dim lighting circumstances, the Pixel three low-light picture high quality will fairly often show softer particulars, and better, extra seen noise ranges. This isn’t at all times apparent on a ~6-inch 2K display, however when taking a look at photographs on a PC, it’s rather more noticeable. We discovered this to be fairly constant in low-light scenes.

Context Shot

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The iPhone XS is a distinct beast, and whereas it captures very first rate low-light photographs, the colour high quality can’t sustain with the Galaxy Observe 9. Apple is thought for its pure, non-flashy photograph fashion, and we expect it’s nice. Nevertheless, cameras ought to ideally seize the tones which can be seen to the attention, and the XS photographs usually appear a bit uninteresting for that cause.

Sure, the colours will be boosted by way of picture filtering. Nevertheless, as a result of the colour proportion distribution was not captured very properly, inflating them by way of filter is simply a partial repair. You would do rather more with a PC software program, nevertheless it’s often not acceptable for a telephone person.

Context Shot

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On this scene, the Pixel three overly exaggerated the colour saturation, which it does incessantly as a part of its filtering fashion. Nevertheless, it overshoots and the reason being that the unique colour seize was in all probability not so good as the Observe 9, and there was an try to artificially enhance it. You may as well see a a lot greater noise degree within the sky, even on a resized photograph.

To the Pixel three credit score, the publicity administration of town is best, even with the unnatural colours. That is the place Google’s huge reliance on multiframe HDR pays off, as the place Apple appears under-exposed and Samsung doesn’t have sufficient HDR frames to cowl the dynamic vary of town.

Context Shot, Crop

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The Observe 9’s low-light efficiency is exceptional as a result of it doesn’t use the largest sensor, however the Samsung engineers have crafted a improbable digicam that makes the very best of each little bit of hardware it has (giant sensors aren’t at all times used optimally) coupled with a formidable digicam tuning. That stated, Samsung must do higher with publicity.


It’s value pointing that we want to see a long-exposure mode, which is 100% software program as a result of that might cater to a small however more and more common use case.

Zoom images: 88

Context shot, what the scene seems like when zoomed in

Geared up with a 2X optical zoom (52mm, 35mm-equivalent), the Galaxy Observe 9 can snap sharper photos than single-lens digicam techniques. In a preview evaluate, we’ve already confirmed that the Observe 9 can not contact the Huawei Mate 20 Professional and P20 Professional in a zoom context. Nevertheless, we discovered the iPhone XS to be the closest competitor, with comparable efficiency.

See how the “heat colour” tendency of the Galaxy Observe 9 is pushed to the max, presumably due to the orange tone of the fox… It’s very straightforward to right, however we left it as an instance the unintended penalties of filtering types…

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It was additionally very insightful to see how the Pixel three and its very intelligent zoom algorithm would stand as much as an optical zoom. The end result was with out enchantment: whereas Google does very properly with its picture processing, it can not surpass a 2X optical zoom.

It’s not utterly stunning, nevertheless it’s good to see the precise distinction which exhibits the upper-limit of such algorithms which retain their worth as a result of they’re relevant to 2X or 3X zoom lenses as properly.  Kudos to Google for that, however Pixel customers would love getting an optical zoom too.

And to remind you that the lens isn’t every thing, The iPhone 7 Plus can also be an excellent instance of a telephone that has a 2X optical  zoom however paired with a much less performing sensor and older software program.

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Context Shot, we’re going to zoom on the road artwork

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Ultrawide photograph high quality: N/A

Sadly, the Galaxy Observe 9 does not have an ultrawide (~16mm) lens, which is a pity as a result of that’s a beautiful functionality to have, however from every thing we’ve seen leak concerning the Galaxy S10, it looks as if Samsung will resolve this – and we’re trying ahead to evaluating it.

We known as ultrawide cameras an “an incredible differentiator” in 2016 when the LG G5 got here out, and in our Galaxy S8 evaluate (2017), we stated, “unsure how lengthy Samsung can abstain from including that [ultrawide camera].” It is going to lastly occur in 2019.

Conclusion and Uber-G Digicam IQ Rating

ULTIMATE 2019-01mobileUBER-G SCORECAMERAIQBESTLOW-LIGHTSpecific class being thought of


Primarily based on the evaluation of those photos and plenty of extra, our algorithm did output an Uber-G Digicam IQ rating of 162 for the Galaxy Observe 9, making it the third strongest digicam configuration in the marketplace, and the very best dual-lens smartphone digicam.

Be taught extra: what’s our Digicam IQ rating, and full rankings

162Picture High quality scoreUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system nameIQImage-High quality primarily based scoring systemCAMERAMobile Excessive EndCategory primarily based on value2018-08System launch dateSamsung Galaxy Observe 9Device model and identify

Uber-G Digicam IQSub-scoresDay186Night time193Zoom88UltrawideN/A

The info exhibits that the Samsung Galaxy Observe 9 is the very best low-light smartphone digicam in the marketplace, producing natural-looking photographs with glorious information high quality. For a lot of customers, low-light is the place the true battleground is. Samsung makes use of a lot much less filtering than its close to opponents to provide photographs, which will be filtered later to suit the precise fashion desired by the person.

This offers Observe 9 photographer rather more inventive choices when in comparison with handsets that have already got a distinguished built-in picture filtering fashion.


If you happen to have a look at the Uber-G Digicam IQ scores, it’s also possible to see that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the 2 subsequent greatest low-light cameras, which isn’t stunning on condition that they have been constructed on the identical platform. The Galaxy Observe 9 is a bit higher on the subject of picture high quality, seemingly due to a software program replace – we’ll attempt to discover the time to focus on these variations later.

In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy Observe 9 can also be top-of-the-line smartphone cameras, together with in daylight. It could lack the flexibility of the Mate 20 Professional or the LG V40, nevertheless it supplies a superb picture high quality for right now’s commonest use circumstances: day and night time images. You may as well learn our full evaluate of the Galaxy Observe 9 smartphone.

Extra in-depth cell digicam opinions are coming, so join with us on Instagram, Fb, and YouTube to be notified of latest scores, and extra. For the newest handset opinions and information, add us to your Google Information by clicking on the “Observe” button there. Thanks on your curiosity!

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