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Best for Bokeh: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G


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Samsung devices have always been a great option for shooting portraits with a background-blurring simulated bokeh effect, and the current top-ranked device for this category, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 5G, is no different. Bokeh results are outstanding, with excellent subject isolation, spotlight rendering, and blur gradient. Texture on faces is particularly good. Noise is also well controlled, giving the Samsung an advantage over the competition for indoor bokeh shots.

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In addition, HDR processing in bokeh mode works very well in high-contrast scenes, maintaining good brightness on faces when the background is much brighter. Spotlights in the background have a good shape and contrast, too.

As on pretty much all devices, depth estimation isn’t perfect, with some slight masking errors and artifacts occasionally visible, but the depth-of-field effect is consistently applied to both portraits and static objects. The overall effect is pleasant and blur transitions look natural, with objects both in front and behind the subject blurred.

The only downside to the Note 10+ 5G’s bokeh simulation is a slight lack of contrast that can make images look a little flat in the shadows, but overall, the Note 10+ 5G is the device to beat in the Bokeh category.

Also consider: Both the Honor V30 Pro and Samsung’s new flagship, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, are very close to the Note 10+ 5G in terms of bokeh performance and worth a closer look if shooting portraits with your smartphone camera is high up on your list of priorities.