Smartphones are constantly evolving, where manufacturers keep cramming in the best hardware specifications and technology they can while maintaining consumer-friendly prices. Most handsets nowadays are rocking awesome cameras, ranging from the iPhone 6s to the LG V10, but which one captures the best images?
To get things started on the right foot, here’s a comparison chart that’ll give a clear idea of the competition:
|Model||Rear Camera||Front Camera||Video||Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)||Flash||Dedicated Camera Key|
|iPhone 6s||12 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||No||Dual-tone LED||No|
|iPhone 6s Plus||12 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||Yes||Dual-tone LED||No|
|Samsung Galaxy S6, S6, S6 Edge Plus||16 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||Yes||LED||No|
|LG V10||16 MP||5 MP Duo||4k 2160p@30fps||Yes||LED||No|
|LG G4||16 MP||8 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||Yes||LED||No|
|Google Nexus 5X||12.3 MP||8 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||No||Dual-tone LED||No|
|Google Nexus 6P||12.3 MP||8 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||No||Dual-tone LED||No|
|Motorola Moto X Force, Play and Style||21 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||No||Dual-tone LED||No|
|HTC One M9||20 MP||4 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||No||Dual-tone LED||No|
|OnePlus 2||13 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||Yes||Dual-LED||No|
|Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium and Z5 Compact||23 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||No||LED||No|
|Nokia Lumia 950 and 950 XL||20 MP||5 MP||4k 2160p@30fps||Yes||Triple-LED RGB||No|
iPhone 6s And iPhone 6s Plus
The only difference between the two is that the iPhone 6s Plus features OIS, as seen in the chart above. They both can take some pretty decent photos with good sharpness, but compared with the 8 MP that’s packed in the iPhone 6, there’s no significant improvement.
Samsung Galaxy S6, S6, S6 Edge+
Samsung probably had photography enthusiasts in mind when it rolled out the Galaxy S6, as it’s arguably the best of the bunch. However, it does lose a few points because of the 16:9 sensor it has, where other smartphones can cover more areas at the top and bottom of pictures.
Despite falling a bit short on stabilization compared with the others, the Galaxy S6 also takes phenomenal videos.
The LG V10 is capable of taking great photos, but the conditions have to be pretty good for the smartphone to do so, although the dual-front camera does open up better opportunities to take wide self-portraits.
The LG G4 is pretty similar to the LG V10, and the shots it takes are quite murky and lack detail under not-so-good conditions.
Google Nexus 5X
The Google Nexus 5X can take pictures well, and with the HDR+ mode, it’s just an overall excellent smartphone to snap photos with.
Google Nexus 6P
Much like the Google Nexus 5X, the Google Nexus 6P captures similar-looking photos, bringing out shadow detail and generating sharp photos. There’s just one tiny difference between the two: the 6P can make brighter pictures.
Motorola Moto X Force, Play And Style
The Moto X Force, Play and Style do a good job, but they don’t exactly stand out in the competition. Still, they have plenty to offer for a more-than-decent phone camera photo.
HTC One M9
Having the same 16:9 sensor as the Samsung Galaxy S6, the HTC One M9 can’t take a larger picture. In terms of quality, the handset can’t hold a candle to the S6 – or any one on the list, for that matter – because of the dark exposure and heavy noise reduction.
The OnePlus 2’s performance is A-OK as long as owners can get past its tendency to oversaturate colors. With little or no noise in the pictures, the smartphone does well with focus and exposure.
Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium And Z5 Compact
Sony’s smartphones always take these oddly bright photos, but aside from that, it does capture decent pictures despite the wide-angle lens bringing a little distortion. On the plus side, it features a dedicated camera key to boot.
Nokia Lumia 950 And 950 XL
The Nokia Lumia 950 and 950 XL are somewhere in the middle of the competition, where they’re not really great, but they’re not exactly terrible either. Just like the Sony Xperia Z5, it also sports a physical camera button, taking up some extra points over other rivals.
For an all-around smartphone with great photo capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge Plus take the cake, even though the other entries outweigh them in certain aspects.
“Whether it’s at dusk or at your dining table, snap away in the knowledge that each photo will be a crisp capture of what matters to you,” Samsung says.
Bonus: Nokia Lumia 1020
While the Nokia Lumia 1020 wasn’t matched up against the others, it’s worth mentioning. The borderline-camera smartphone has a 41 MP sensor under its hood, allowing owners to take high-quality photos. Overall, it has fallen a bit behind because of poor battery life, even though it has an impressive camera.