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Review: Huawei P10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+ Camera (Video)

Thanks to Huawei, managed to try out the Huawei P10 Plus. This post is specifically focused on the camera aspect of the smartphone. And of course, to make it more interesting, the camera will be compared with Samsung Galaxy S8+.

p10-s8

As you can immediately see from the above picture, it is not an apple-to-apple comparison. The P10 Plus with Leica lens is a dual lens (12MPX and a 20MPX Monochrome) system while the Galaxy S8+ is a single lens (12MPX) system.

Both are great with low light photography. To test them out, I tried my best to take pictures from the same angle using the various camera features of both phones. Here are the results.

How the comparison is conducted

All pictures taken from the smartphone are NOT edited. They are resized (using the traditional Paint app on Windows 10) to 950 pixels to fit into this post. Due to different modes on the P10 Plus, some of the original pictures are in 20MPX, 12MPX or in 16:9 format. All of them are then resized to fit side-by-side to the Galaxy S8+ pictures.

As much as I tried, not all pictures are at the same angle or same lighting conditions as they are not controllable at times.

In each comparison, the image on the LEFT is SAMSUNG GALAXY S8+ and on the RIGHT is HUAWEI P10 PLUS. All the opinions are mine and you may or may not agree. So bear with me while I try my best to share my thoughts.

So, enough of my justification. Let’s start.

Comparison

Comparison 1 - Cleaning equipment under a bridge

The S8+ seems more contrasty as compared to P10 Plus. Both are equally good as they captured most details. Those over-exposed portions are common in such lighting conditions.

cleaning-equip

Again, another shot under the bridge. As mentioned above, those over-exposed areas are normal in such lighting conditions.

underbridge_comparison

Here is another picture that was taken in a bright area.

cage-compare

Comparison 2 – Overcast sky

In this comparison, the sky is cloudy with some dark clouds lingering. The picture from S8+ appears to be a little pinkish. Details-wise, both are equally good.

building

Comparison 3 – HDR

One of my favorite features on smartphones is the HDR mode. Both smartphones have this feature. However, the P10 Plus will resize the picture to 16:9 format. Not sure what is the reason.

In this picture, without HDR mode, the buildings in the background will be washed-out (not shown). With HDR, you can see the details.

To take good HDR, my opinion is that you need to take a few shots. Because most smartphones are automatic, some lighting conditions are calculated the moment you press the shutter. It may not be the results that you want. Take a few shots and shift the angle or position a little. You can immediately see the difference.

bridge-tree-hdr

To prove how useful HDR mode is, here is a shot taken by the P10 Plus. It has very challenging lighting conditions but with HDR mode, you just need to press the shutter.

bridge-tree-man

To test out the HDR mode, I took some pictures in challenging conditions. In these few shots, you can see the reflection of the water, the sun and etc. It is not easy to take a well-exposed picture without HDR in such conditions.

Taken with Huawei P10 Plus

p10-hdr2

Taken with Samsung Galaxy S8+

s8-hdr2

The P10 Plus seems to outperform the S8+ in this picture. However, after looking closely, I think one of the most disrupting factors for the S8+ is the sun. It is very strong. Therefore, overall, the picture seems less contrasty or less balanced as compared to P10 Plus.

Here is another picture taken in challenging lighting conditions.

Taken with Huawei P10 Plus

p10-hdr3

Taken with Samsung Galaxy S8+

s8-hdr3

Looking through these pictures, my vote goes to P10 Plus.

Comparision – Macro

I love macro mode on smartphone. In this comparison, I found that the S8+ actually performed a little better than the P10 Plus. And the focusing distance is shorter than P10 Plus (means I can take closer close-up of object).

macro

Comparison – Low Light Condition

These pictures were taken in low light. Both cameras are able to capture in low lights.

night-natural-light-compare2

night-natural-light-compare

As it is difficult to determine based on the above pics, I selected an area and cropped them for easy comparison (without resizing). The difference in scale is because the S8+ is taken at 12MPX and the P10 Plus is taken at 20MPX.

night-natural-light-zoom-compare2

night-natural-light-zoom-compare

After looking carefully at these pics, my vote goes to S8+.

Comparison – Depth of Field

This depth-of-field (DOF), in layman term, is the blur background on subject that is commonly achieved on DSLR camera with a bigger sensor. With software manipulation and the use of dual lens system, you can get similar effect on smartphones.

Although S8+ does not have a dual lens system, it has a “selective focus” feature that tries to analyze the picture to provide the similar blur background effect.

Here is the screenshot of the DOF feature on the P10 Plus. Just press on the icon (in yellow) to activate the feature. You can then use a slider (picture on the right) to adjust the effect of the aperture you want. A lower aperture means more blur background (in layman term).

aperture-adjustment

As you can see in the picture below, the S8+ is not consistent in blurring out the background due to the grilles. On the other hand, the P10 Plus did very well with its dual lens system.

simulated-dof

Another example that Dual Lens is better. S8+ has inconsistent blurring effect due to the single lens.

dof2

Here are some other DOF pictures.

Taken with Huawei P10 Plus

For a bigger object like a bicycle, the S8+ is not able to produce the blurring effect as the maximum distance away from the subject is 50cm. However, for P10 Plus, there is no restriction. Check out the image below taken by P10 Plus

p10-bike-dof

Here is a clear example of the good (P10 Plus) and the bad (S8+)

p10-dof

Taken with Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Selective Focus)

Managed to activate the feature on the S8+ but the result is simply horrible.

s8-failed-dof

The S8+ Selective Focus works well in some areas but is limited. The P10 Plus is the clear winner in this comparison.

Comparison -  OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer)

This is the last comparison. Both cameras have OIS. I did a short video to show how effective is the OIS on each camera.

The S8+ is a clear winner. However, I believe it also uses some software stabilization to achieve the good results. Nevertheless, it is the final results that count, right?

Summary

Because of the short period that I am testing the phone, it may not be a good comparison. In my opinion, both the Huawei P10 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ have very good cameras.

With the dual lens system, the P10 Plus actually makes my heart flutter because of the quality of the pictures. It is easy to use and to achieve DSLR-like quality with just a click.

Overall, if you are seriously looking to taking portraits of people, the P10 Plus might be a better choice. If you take a lot of videos, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the better choice.

To choose one that you like, you need to look at your lifestyle and usage of the phones. Hope that you like my review. If you have questions, feel free to comment below.

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