How does the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera compare to other top smartphones? We took a close look.
Move over, iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy S6 takes the crown as delivering the best cameraphone photos in our tests.
If you're looking for the ultimate sharpness in different conditions, the Samsung Galaxy S6—with its 16-megapixel main camera and 5-megapixel front camera—tops the iPhone. (The iPhone's camera launches a little faster and its autofocus is a bit more reliable, which we didn't look at here.)
Here's how they shook out. We scored the phones on five images in terms of image quality. On each one, we assigned one point to the weakest and five points to the strongest.
Backlit Main Camera
Without any manual metering, the S6 wins this one handily. The Sony comes in second, even with the blown-out background, while the iPhone, LG, and HTC all underxpose the books by a lot.
Samsung - 5 Sony - 4 iPhone - 3 LG - 2 HTC - 1
Daylight Main Camera
The quality of these images is resolution-dependent, so you're going to have to decide whether you prefer the iPhone's slightly more pleasing color and exposure balance, or the S6's additional pixels. We'll go with the iPhone by a nose. The LG and HTC are a little lacking, and the Sony is the worst.
iPhone - 5 Samsung - 4 LG - 3 HTC - 2 Sony - 1
Low Light Main Camera
This is where all cameraphones tend to fall apart, and all the cameraphones do, in fact, fall apart here. Blurring is always a problem in low light—even when mounted on a tripod, like you see here. The best of the bunch is actually the LG G3 , with clean text but a bit of a green cast. That's followed by the S6, iPhone, HTC, and Sony.
LG - 5 Samsung - 4 iPhone - 3 HTC - 2 Sony - 1
Low Light Selfie
The Samsung, HTC, and Apple phones all show different strengths here. Samsung has the widest angle—great for group shots—but it's smoothing out a lot of detail. The iPhone goes the opposite direction, showing tons of noise but also tons of detail. The HTC falls in between. The LG and Sony front cameras aren't worth discussing.
Samsung - 5 iPhone - 4 HTC - 3 LG - 2 Sony - 1
The S6's superior pixel count pays off here, delivering more detail than the iPhone's 8-megapixel sensor can pull off. The iPhone is doing well, but it doesn't quite match up. The Sony shows plenty of detail, but the sky is a bit blown out. LG and HTC trail the pack.