DxOMark is a recognized way — even if it doesn’t really mean all that much — to know how one mobile camera compares to another. Recently it’s been awarding higher scores than ever before to cameras hitting the market. Just last month the iPhone 8 Plus was crowned the king of mobile photography by a pretty solid margin, and today, the Galaxy Note 8 has just matched that camera.

This really shouldn’t come as any surprise. Samsung’s past several smartphones have had absolutely killer cameras, and they just keep getting better with every release. Like the iPhone, the Note 8 managed to score a solid 94/100, making it the best Android option currently ranked by the site.

DxO specifically praises Samsung’s work with digital zoom on this device, specifically calling it “the best smartphone for zoom.” It also points out that the “live focus” bokeh effect is a stunning feature, when it works, which isn’t all of the time.

Bokeh simulation on the Note 8 does a pretty consistent job in both low and bright light conditions. Its strengths are a strong blur or depth-of-field effect, which can make for some striking portraits… Repeatability is also a bit hit and miss, and although the bokeh effect kicks in more often when shooting static subjects, we found the effect wasn’t applied on around a third of our portrait shots.

That said, it really shouldn’t come as a shocker. Samsung’s camera sensor choices are excellent, the company’s post processing is solid, and the new dual-camera system offers a lot of flexibility with shots. However, the camera does suffer in video, scoring a “mere” 84 in that department.

Again, these scores don’t really make or break anything, as even if the device had scored lower than its competition, it still features one of the best mobile cameras you’ll find on the market today. However, what’s important to remember is that one of last year’s champions is about to make a return in the Pixel 2.

The original Pixel blew just about everyone away with its stellar picture and video quality, and it still held up one of the highest scores on DxO’s list until the release of the latest crop of iPhones.

Tomorrow, Google will be debuting the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and needless to say, we’re expecting some improvements. One immediate benefit from the new design will be the lack of lens flare, and we also can’t wait to see what Google is going to do with the extra processing power in the Snapdragon 835 chipset. Come tomorrow, there very easily could be a new winner…

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to schoon@9to5g.com or encrypted to benschoon@protonmail.com.