The Magnificient 7s have arrived.
On one side, we have the Samsung Galaxy Note7, the Korean tech giant’s leading device. Based on what we know so far, we can surmise that the company wanted to launch this phone so badly, it rushed it to the market. How do we know? Well, last year’s model was the Note 5, and Samsung skipped the 6 to bring us the Note7.
On the other side, we have the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, the first iPhone to use dual camera lenses. It’s also the first iPhone to be water resistant. It is also the first iPhone to offer 32GB as the base storage model. It is however not the first smartphone to carry any of these features, as others have come and gone. It is however the first smartphone to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack.
But we’re not here to debate the pros and cons of Apple v. Samsung, Android v. iOS, or any of the usual debates that normally follow the release of phones in Sept. Instead, we are focusing on the cameras that these two titans have, and the pictures that they produced. Both are claiming to be the best smartphone cameras in the market and both are backed by some amazing technologies. But if we were to be all Highlanderish about it, there is a clear and distinct winner this time around, and we’ll state it here. Sorry Apple. While the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is amazing, it cannot beat the amazing shooter on the Samsung Galaxy Note7.
In the series of photos below, move the slider from left to right to see each version. The photos on the LEFT are from the Samsung Galaxy Note7 and the ones on the RIGHT are iPhone 7 Plus.
Both cameras perform admirably indoors, but check out the Starbucks and Watsons logo in their respective stores. The Samsung Galaxy Note7 takes greater care in highlighting the colours and details of the logos that are further away.
Some might argue about the rather artificial looking colour of the blue sky taken on the Samsung phone, but that was the colour of the sky that day. If you are questioning that, take a closer look at the colour of the leaves on the trees. The shot taken by the iPhone 7 Plus makes the scene look overcast, instead of bright and sunny.
We could point you to the red No Entry sign in the foreground, which looks a deeper shade of red in the shot taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note7, or the exterior of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which looks cleaner and sharper in the Samsung shot. How about the greater details in the shrubbery and trees in the shot on the left, compared to the more pedestrian one on the right?
Here is the same shot, taken from another angle. Check out the bright green, shiny blue and deep red in the shot on the left, versus the one on the right.
In both shots, the green First Aid tent looks the same, but the difference is in the green leaves on the tree behind the tent, and the green in the mini garden beside the tent. Next, look at the red lines in the signs on the fence by the F1 track. The colours are more obvious in the shots taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note7.
The results here are not that obvious, until you get to the details. The colour of the Marina Square sign looks dull on the shot taken with the iPhone 7 Plus, and the building on the far left looks pale when in fact, it has a glass window exterior. The overall sheen of the buildings shining through on the shot taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note7 just looks more inviting.
This was lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The order was for a 24 ounce steak, done Pittsburgh Rare. See the gleaming butter on the side of the plate on the shot on the left, as well as the rare state of the steak. Doesn’t the shot of the meat taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note7 look way more enticing than the brown slab of meat shown on the camera from the iPhone 7 Plus?
This is a shot of Suntec City from Marina Mandarin. Take note of the blue sky, and the exterior of both Suntec City towers in the background.
And here we have the interior of Marina Square, with natural sunlight seeping in. Note the rather vintage and worn look in the photo on the right, versus the brighter one on the left.
Forget about the colour of the truck or taxi, or the trees. Instead, look at the details of The Concourse in the background. The shadow details are lacking in the shot taken with the iPhone 7 Plus.
Pay close attention to the details in the stairway at Suntec City. The tiles in the wall behind the staircase on the left of the photo are more focused, and there is better lighting represented in the shot taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note7.
And we are back at the F1 track. Just take a look at the tree trunks, and the details of the bark. There are also more details of the treetop itself in the shot on the left, instead of the dark mess in the shot on the right.
And finally, we leave you with the indoor area of Marina Square. Notice the distinction of the chairs and tables at Coffee Bean in the shot taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note7, as opposed to the dark shadows that can only be seen in the shot taken from the iPhone 7 Plus?
Bonus: Samsung Galaxy S7 v Apple iPhone 7 Plus Night Shots
Geek Culture was at the preview of Halloween Horror Nights 6 and it was a chance for us to test out the prowess of the new phone. Alas, we no longer had the review set of the Galaxy Note7. However, the camera modules on the Galaxy S7 and Note7 are identical, so we took photos using the Samsung Galaxy S7, and you can use these results as a reference of how capable the Note7 is, in taking low light shots.
Both these photos came out well, but you can see slightly more details in the Entrance and Fast Pass Entrance signs hanging under the Old Changi Hospital frame.
Both shots here are pretty amazing, with details on the landing and within the dome itself. Take note of how both cameras are capable of capturing the details on the two pillars on the right – the purple one in the forfront, and the black and white one in the background. But notice the greater depth in the tapestries on the ground in the photo taken by the Galaxy Note 7.
In both instances, the cameras were not able to capture the man walking with great clarity. However, the folks in the background are captured in great detail, and both cameras have managed to capture the shadows and lighting across the entire scene.
Now that you’re seen the camera comparisons between the Samsung Galaxy Note7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which camera gets your seal of approval?