The Biggest Thing Missing From the Galaxy S8

Staff Writer

The LG G6 has 'em. So does the iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei's P9 and P10 and even budget phones like the ZTE Blade V8 Pro. But you won't find them on the Galaxy S8.

So what big feature did Samsung forget to include in its new flagship phone? Dual rear cameras.

One camera is good, but two would be better.One camera is good, but two would be better.Every month, more and more smartphone makers are finding ways to put dual cams on the back of their phones, and it's not really hard to guess why. Two rear cameras open up a whole new world called computational photography, which uses info from multiple lenses to produce results that can surpass the boundaries put in place by single sensors and thin smartphone bodies.

MORE: Tom's Guide's Top-Rated Smartphone Cameras

Dual rear cams can be used to deliver true optical zoom (as opposed to inferior digital enhancement), stunning portrait modes that simulate the bokeh effect and shallow depth of field you'd get from a traditional camera, or offer up lenses with varying varying fields of view — just to name a few possibilities.

If this camera module looks familiar, that because it's pretty much the same as the 12-MP shooter on the Galaxy S7.If this camera module looks familiar, that because it's pretty much the same as the 12-MP shooter on the Galaxy S7.But shockingly, Samsung is sticking with a single camera on the back of the Galaxy S8, a departure from what nearly every other flagship phone has done over the last few months. Even more shocking, the camera module on the S8 is pretty much the same as the one we got on last year's Galaxy S7, except for some tweaks Samsung has made to the camera's image processing.

That's especially disappointing considering the S7 was our favorite smartphone camera of 2016. With the S8 essentially staying pat in the camera department, it's almost assured to fall behind Apple or Google's upcoming nest handset. 

It's clear Samsung knows dual cameras are the future. In fact, the company just received a patent for a super thin dual-camera system. Unfortunately, it seems we might have to wait until the Galaxy S9 to actually see a dual camera on one of the company's devices.

So while the S8 may have a new Gear VR headset and the fastest processor this side of the Android/iOS divide, we're not expecting huge improvements in the camera department. And that's a real shame, because aside from better battery life, a good camera is the number one desire for new smartphone buyers.