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Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra vs Z Flip5: Can you tell which Samsung device took these photos?

Something I’ve always found amusing is whenever people (especially those of an older generation) use a whole tablet as a mobile camera.

However, after testing out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, I was shown just how good a tablet camera can actually be nowadays. The pictures taken on it were so good that I could’ve easily believed they were taken by a standard smartphone.

For those who don’t believe me, do try and see if you’re able to tell which photos were taken on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 versus the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

Interestingly, the tablet has a 13MP main camera, which would theoretically seem better than the phone’s 12MP camera, but would the photos prove that?

Do note that these images have gone through some compression for uploading purposes.

Test 1

For our first test, here are some photos taken in a relatively well-lit indoors environment. One image does appear darker than the other, but can you tell which device took the darker image?

The answer

One was the Z Flip5, two was the Tab S9 Ultra.

Perhaps due to the amount of light let into the camera, the Tab S9 Ultra’s images tend to skew a bit darker, or perhaps it has to do with the image processing too.

This may a good hint for the upcoming tests… but perhaps it’s also a red herring?

Test 2

These images were taken outdoors, sometime around the evening hours. Perhaps the image quality is a big giveaway here.

The answer

One was the Z Flip5, two was the Tab S9 Ultra.

The Z Flip5 performs much better in low lighting compared to the Tab S9 Ultra, and thus gives a much crisper and focused image. For the lighting conditions at the time, which were a bit gloomy, the tablet still did a fantastic job, in my opinion.

Test 3

Here’s another set of outdoors images taken around the same time as the previous image.

The answer

One was the Tab S9 Ultra, two was the Z Flip5.

The quality of the water streams shot by the Z Flip5 do seem a bit sharper, and once again, the image overall is brighter on the phone.

Test 4

Taking backlit images can be very telling for a camera’s capabilities. In both images, the foreground does appear quite shadowy, and to the untrained eye it might look rather similar.

The answer

One was the Z Flip5, two was the Tab S9 Ultra.

The tablet performed better than I expected, without too much detail lost in the foreground as I focused on the light source.

Test 5

The answer:

One was the Z Flip5, two was the Tab S9 Ultra. The Z Flip5’s processing quality does help to sharpen the text on the wall.

Test 6

Taken in a bright environment, the details of the plant are pretty crisp and clear.

The answer:

One was the Z Flip5, two was the Tab S9 Ultra.

Once again, the crispness of the images (particular for objects further away from the camera) kind of gives the answer away, but the saturation was really nice on both images.


Ultimately, when it comes to crispness and quality, the Z Flip5 did provide more depth and control over the focus. Plus, the tablet did not do so well in dim lighting. Regardless, the Tab S9 Ultra held its own ground and was impressive for a tablet camera.

And when it comes to the front camera, the tablet actually has the higher specs with 12MP instead of the phone’s 10MP, making it pretty great for virtual meetings.

Of course, both devices boast extremely different USPs and use cases, but this just goes to show that the Tab S9 Ultra doesn’t fall short when it comes to its camera. Its convenience as a camera may be questioned, but the quality is certainly there.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra comes in a Graphite colourway and is available for RM6,499.

Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra here. Read other articles we’ve written about Samsung here.

Also ReadHere’s how M’sian SMEs can get 1,000GB of high-speed data at RM50/month to boost their biz

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