The Galaxy Note 7 is the greatest camera phone ever -- see for yourself

The Galaxy Note 7 is a beautiful smartphone. And it’s a world-class pocket camera.

At its core, the Note 7 is essentially a souped-up Galaxy S7 Edge — already the runaway best phone of 2016, with the best camera ever installed on a smartphone.

But the Note 7 packs a giant, curved 5.7 inch quad-HD AMOLED screen onto a nearly bezel-free frame with a smaller footprint than the iPhone 6s Plus. So the best camera in phone-land and the best display have come together in a single device.

It’s a freaking pleasure to use.

It shouldn't surprise anyone at this point that the Galaxy camera produces excellent images. Even in confusing situations, like the blue light of dawn, the Note 7 turns up high-contrast, colour-perfect images.

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Colours are rich, details are sharp. And even in images like this, with a bright spot and deep shadows, the sensor's excellent dynamic range retains plenty of noise-free detail.

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The wide f/1.7 aperture on this camera, which helps it shoot in low light, also throws backgrounds nicely out of focus when shooting nearby subjects. You can see the depth-of-focus recession in this shot.

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And the bokeh, or texture of the out-of-focus regions of the image, just looks good. You could easily convince me this shot came from a prime DSLR lens costing several hundred dollars.

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Even when focused far away, the smartphone's shots are tack-sharp.

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You can see how much detail the Galaxy camera captures -- even at the edges of its wide-angle lens -- in this segment of the above shot blown up to full size.

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As always, the Galaxy camera is at its most impressive in low light. This shot of my friends reacting to a wrong answer in bar trivia looks much brighter than what my eyes could actually see in that dark room. Again, this is astonishingly high quality.

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Check out how a more typical 2016 smartphone, the Moto G4 Plus, performs in the same situation.

Meghan McCarter

Even with a bright light shining in its eyes at night -- probably the most difficult situation for any device -- the Note 7 produces a clean, colour-accurate image with plenty of shadow detail.

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And again, no other smartphone camera even comes close.

Meghan McCarter

But none of this is really a surprise. Packing the same hardware as the S7 and S7 edge, it would have been stunning if the Note 7 camera wasn't so good. But what sets this device apart is how nice it is to shoot with this big beautiful screen while you're making these high-quality shots. Even $6,000 DSLRs don't offer this kind of eye candy on their rear panels.

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You've never had a camera this good in your pocket before.

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Though given the high-end-laptop-range $900 price tag this machine commands, it's hard to imagine many people ever will.

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