Tech

We tested portrait mode on three of the top smartphones in the world, and there's a clear winner

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

When Apple introduced portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus nearly two years ago, it became a much talked-about and sought-after feature. 

A phone that could give your photos that coveted look of a fancy, expensive camera? It sounded like a dream come true. 

Since then, other premium smartphone makers have added the feature to their own devices. Samsung’s version is called Live Focus, and Google added its own version of the technology to both sizes of the Pixel and the Pixel 2.

I’m not a professional — or even amateur — photographer, but I do enjoy trying to capture beautiful photos on my smartphone. I wanted to put the feature to the test on three of the top smartphones right now: the iPhone 8 Plus, the Pixel 2 XL, and the Galaxy S9. 

Over the course of a few days, I tested the feature in all sorts of conditions and situations, like low light, indoor and outdoor light, and busy backgrounds. While all three phones had their own strengths and weaknesses, one phone was the most consistent. 

Here’s how it went:

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