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162Picture High quality scoreUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system nameIQImage-High quality based mostly scoring systemCAMERAMobile Excessive EndCategory based mostly on worth2018-08Machine launch dateSamsung Galaxy Notice 9Device model and title

Forward of the Galaxy S10 launch, let’s see the place at this time’s high Samsung Cell Digicam stands. The comparability will likely be fascinating within the coming days. On this assessment, we’ll present a fast overview of the capabilities and examine what the precise picture high quality is. Notice that we’re reviewing the digicam of Snapdragon-based mannequin. For the remainder of the telephone, you may learn our Galaxy Notice 9 smartphone assessment to study the remainder of the telephone.

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 Part Detection AF, OIS
Secondary: 52mm focal size, f/2.four aperture, 12 Megapixel, Mounted-focus, OIS
Ultrawide: N/A

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The Galaxy Notice 9 has a dual-camera setup which has develop into an ordinary baseline on the high-end of the market. The digicam is almost similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9+, however the Galaxy Notice 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 standpoint, each the Galaxy S9+ and the Galaxy Notice 9 obtain an Uber-G Digicam HW rating of 144. That’s at this time’s second-highest rating and was the very best rating when the S9+ was launched one yr in the past.

144Digicam scoreUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system nameHWhardware-based scoreCAMERAMobile Excessive EndCategory based mostly on worth2018-08Machine launch dateSamsung Galaxy Notice 9Device title and model

Picture High quality Evaluation

Vital: 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 adjustments the type (aesthetic) of the photograph.
context photograph: an awesome approximation of what we see
Together with how darkish the scene really is
Solely to offer the context of the shot.

A observe in regards to the Uber-G Digicam IQ Rating: our digicam scoring system is predicated on 4 “Pillars” or sub-scores that gives much-needed nuance: day, evening, zoom and ultrawide pictures.

Daylight pictures: 186

As a high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Notice 9 takes excellent photos, however we are able to push the envelope to see the way it scores when in comparison with the perfect on the market.

Context Shot

On this scene, the Galaxy Notice 9 did fairly effectively, however we did discover some over-exposed areas resembling the road signal, and a few components of the wall which is getting lit by the Solar. That apart, the Galaxy Notice 9 did effectively in the case of HDR, capturing the small print within the shadowed areas in a pure and agreeable method, with out utilizing an excessive amount of filtering.

When in comparison with different handsets, the Galaxy Notice 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 assessments. The daylight picture high quality stays very near different high-end telephones.

The Galaxy Notice 9 photographs are very in keeping with what the consumer 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 type that may be noticed within the Samsung sequence 9. This determination is probably going deliberate and thought out. We are going to speak about OEM filtering methods in an upcoming article.

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

The twin f/1.5 – f/2.four aperture gives 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 resembling f/2.four in very vibrant conditions would possibly enhance the picture sharpness.

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

Meals photographs are one of many Galaxy Notice 9’s energy, 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 Notice 9 photographs are nearly similar to the Galaxy S9+

Night time gentle pictures: 193

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

With regards to low-light, don’t neglect that brighter is just not at all times higher and that photograph filtering destroys your photograph information. Each time doable, filter and save a replica.

The Notice 9’s closest competitor for evening pictures is the Huawei Mate 20 Professional (don’t miss our Mate 20 Professional digicam assessment), we had already in contrast that telephone with the Notice 9, and confirmed that Samsung’s telephone might seize low-light photographs with significantly better coloration and particulars. Examine the cropped photographs beneath.

Context shot: the scene regarded like this

Each photographs look fairly good and also you would possibly discover that the Mate 20 Professional’s photograph is much less natural-looking and doesn’t seize some coloration hues as effectively. The picture tends to be a bit extra monochromatic. Let’s take a better look.

Context shot, crop

Each cameras amplify the brightness, however the principle distinction is that the Galaxy Notice 9 captures coloration 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 Notice 9 dominate low-light pictures, and it’s very noticeable in case you care to look intently.

Context Shot, what the scene seems to be like

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

Context shot: what the scene seems to be like

Context shot: what the scene seems to be likeGalaxy Notice 9Huawei Mate 20 Professional

This scene can also be a superb illustration of the Galaxy Notice 9’s efficiency in what’s a difficult evening shot. However you may be inquisitive about the way it stacks as much as the Google Pixel three, and the iPhone XS.

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The Pixel three represents a reasonably large enchancment from Pixel 2, and provided that its main digicam nearly has the identical spec as Pixel 2, we are able to deduct that Pixel three is generally 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 Notice 9.

Context Shot

In very dim lighting situations, 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 far more noticeable. We discovered this to be fairly constant in low-light scenes.

Context Shot

The iPhone XS is a distinct beast, and whereas it captures very respectable low-light photographs, the colour high quality can’t sustain with the Galaxy Notice 9. Apple is thought for its pure, non-flashy photograph type, and we predict 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 boring for that motive.

Sure, the colours could be boosted by way of picture filtering. Nevertheless, as a result of the colour proportion distribution was not captured very effectively, inflating them by way of filter is just a partial repair. You can do far more with a PC software program, but it surely’s often not acceptable for a telephone consumer.

Context Shot

On this scene, the Pixel three overly exaggerated the colour saturation, which it does regularly as a part of its filtering type. Nevertheless, it overshoots and the reason being that the unique coloration seize was in all probability not so good as the Notice 9, and there was an try to artificially increase it. You too can see a a lot increased noise stage 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

The Notice 9’s low-light efficiency is outstanding as a result of it doesn’t use the largest sensor, however the Samsung engineers have crafted a incredible digicam that makes the perfect of each little bit of it has (giant sensors aren’t at all times used optimally) coupled with a powerful digicam tuning. That mentioned, Samsung must do higher with publicity.


It’s price pointing that we wish 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 in style use case.

Zoom pictures: 88

Context shot, what the scene seems to be like when zoomed in

Geared up with a 2X optical zoom (52mm, 35mm-equivalent), the Galaxy Notice 9 can snap sharper photos than single-lens digicam techniques. In a preview assessment, now we have already confirmed that the Notice 9 can’t 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 coloration” tendency of the Galaxy Notice 9 is pushed to the max, probably due to the orange tone of the fox… It’s very simple to appropriate, however we left it as an example the unintended penalties of filtering types…

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 effectively with its picture processing, it can’t surpass a 2X optical zoom.

It’s not fully shocking, but it surely’s good to see the precise distinction which reveals the upper-limit of such algorithms which retain their worth as a result of they’re relevant to 2X or 3X zoom lenses as effectively.  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 little thing, The iPhone 7 Plus can also be a superb instance of a telephone that has a 2X optical  zoom however paired with a much less performing sensor and older software program.

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

Ultrawide photograph high quality: N/A

Sadly, the Galaxy Notice 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 little thing we’ve seen leak in regards to the Galaxy S10, it looks as if Samsung will remedy this – and we’re trying ahead to evaluating it.

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

Conclusion and Uber-G Digicam IQ Rating

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


Primarily based on the evaluation of those photos and lots of extra, our algorithm did output an Uber-G Digicam IQ rating of 162 for the Galaxy Notice 9, making it the third strongest digicam configuration available on the market, and the perfect dual-lens smartphone digicam.

162Picture High quality scoreUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system nameIQImage-High quality based mostly scoring systemCAMERAMobile Excessive EndCategory based mostly on worth2018-08Machine launch dateSamsung Galaxy Notice 9Device model and title

Uber-G Digicam IQ
Night time

The information reveals that the Samsung Galaxy Notice 9 is the perfect low-light smartphone digicam available on the market, 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 could be filtered later to suit the precise type desired by the consumer.

This offers Notice 9 photographer far more inventive choices when in comparison with handsets that have already got a distinguished built-in picture filtering type.


When you have a look at the Uber-G Digicam IQ scores, you may as well see that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the 2 subsequent finest low-light cameras, which isn’t shocking provided that they had been constructed on the identical platform. The Galaxy Notice 9 is a bit higher in the case 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 Notice 9 can also be among the best smartphone cameras, together with in daylight. It might lack the flexibility of the Mate 20 Professional or the LG V40, but it surely gives a wonderful picture high quality for at this time’s commonest use circumstances: day and evening pictures. You too can learn our full assessment of the Galaxy Notice 9 smartphone.

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Filed in Cellphones >Photograph-Video >Evaluations. Learn extra about Samsung, Samsung Evaluations.


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