The Galaxy S9+ is Samsung’s best camera to date, but reinforces Samsung’s habit of oversharpening and blowing out highlights. And because the Dual Aperture approach doesn’t deliver substantial improvements, I’m calling the S9+ camera an evolution, not a revolution. (Yes, the new AR Emoji feature is cool, and we give it props in our review of the entire phone, but it doesn’t have any bearing on actual camera performance, which is what we’re evaluating here.)
So, winning four out of four categories, and continuing its reign is Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro.
The Mate 10 Pro has been a blast to shoot with over the last couple months. It’s a huge improvement over the Mate 9 that came before it, building off of the strength of Huawei’s unique two camera system. Add on top of that the Leica partnership and impressive AI algorithms, and you have a camera system that might stay in the top spot for a while.
In its future smartphones, I’d love to see Samsung be less agressive in its processing, specifically when it comes to sharpening and dynamic range. Also, the Dual Aperture feature needs to deliver more tangible results. It’s an impressive feat of engineering, but I don’t see any hard evidence that f/2.4 is that much sharper than f/1.5, and low-light performance is great, but not revolutionary.
Either way, the S9 family has some of the best cameras out there. And even though it didn’t beat the Huawei Mate 10 Pro in our testing, you can still get world-class images from it.