On paper, the cameras are essentially identical: 12-megapixels with an f/1.7 aperture, 26mm focal length lens, phase detection autofocus, and optical image stabilization.
Although the megapixel count hasn’t gone up, Samsung is technically using a new sensor in the Galaxy S8. Add to that improved software optimization, and the S8 should provide users with the best camera experience we’ve ever seen in a Samsung phone.
We haven’t analyzed the phone enough to say whether the Galaxy S8’s camera is indeed better than what came last year, but we wanted you to quickly see how it stacks up next to the Galaxy S7 Edge.
What I can tell you is there’s a noticeable difference in speed of operation. The Galaxy S7 Edge is by no means a slouch, but the S8—perhaps thanks to its newness—feels zippier and more responsive. A big component of taking photos is timing, so the quicker a camera operates, the better pictures you’ll get.
In terms of software, the two devices offer almost identical experiences. Most people will be more than happy to leave everything on auto, but there are pro settings, too, so you can tweak features like ISO, exposure, and more. Using the pro mode is good for capturing a certain emotion—say, you want a photo to look more dramatic by using a faster shutter to emphasize shadows.
Check out the gallery above to see these images side-by-side. As we’ve always said, our methodology isn’t all that scientific, but it gives you a quick idea of what these puppies can do. And it closely matches how most consumers will be using their Galaxy S8 when it arrives next week.