When it comes to taking great selfies, we all know that the better the camera, the better the picture. Wondering who makes the best smartphone camera around? If you’re a diehard Apple user, the result might surprise you. Here’s a comparison of a few of the most popular smartphones on the market right now, to find out who really makes the best smartphone camera.
Who Makes the Best Smartphone Cam? Not Apple
Like most people, I replaced my digital point-and-shoot camera with a smartphone camera a long time ago.
So now that the two-year contract on my worn-out Samsung Galaxy S4 is up, I want to make sure that my next phone has the best camera available.
But with every smartphone maker claiming to have the newest, flashiest camera, how can you tell which is actually the best?
To find out, I took to the streets of Manhattan with some of today’s hottest smartphones and shot pictures of everything from statues to flowers to people. Then I compared how each phone’s camera performed.
Four co-workers and I ranked each photo on a scale from 1 to 6, awarding 1 point to the worst photo in each category and 6 to the best. Scores are based on how clearly detailed the images were and how closely the colors matched those in real life.
It’s important to note that these rankings are based on each person’s personal preferences. As such, a reasonable person can completely disagree with our ratings.
The phones I chose for this matchup were Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4, the LG G4, and the HTC One M9. Each phone is less than a year old and comes with a seriously powerful camera.
The reason for choosing these phones? Beyond being some of the newest phones you can buy, as well the ones you’ll most likely see in stores, they all claim to be the best smartphone for shutterbugs.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both feature Apple’s new 8-megapixel iSight camera. The iPhone 6 Plus adds optical image stabilization (OIS), which helps ensure that your shots are clear even if your hand shakes while taking them.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4 come with a 16-megapixel camera as well as OIS, as does the LG G4. HTC’s One M9 gets a large 20-megapixel camera sensor but no OIS.
It’s important to note that just because one camera has more megapixels than another doesn’t necessarily make it a better camera; that merely means it can take a larger photo.
So if you print a picture taken with an 8-megapixel camera, it will be smaller than a 16-megapixel shot. A higher megapixel count also means you can zoom closer into an image before it starts looking pixelated.
Keep reading — Who Makes the Best Smartphone Cam? Not Apple
Still curious about which smartphone has the best camera around? Here’s a look at a few popular phones from Samsung, LG, iPhone, Sony, and more. Which one will be the best for you?
Best smartphone cameras: What mobiles to buy for photography, from Samsung, Sony, Apple and more
The smartphone cameras on the Samsung Galaxy line, Sony Z range, and Apple iPhones are getting so good it’s now almost not worth carrying a separate snapper for most things unless you have serious uses for it.
For fun out with friends, capturing your kids or just sharing your life with the world on social media, there’s certainly nothing better than a smartphone.
But which handsets are packing the best cameras?
Well, that depends on your definition. To help work out the best for you, you can stare at specs, do high-level investigation, use science – DxOMark is the camera world’s top tester – and look at a selection of images and decide which you like most. Or just browse this list below.
Each smartphone has its own strengths with regard to image quality, usability and, of course, price, but all the phones below are worthy of your consideration.
Best for performance: Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
Samsung’s killer feature might not be the most obvious, but it actually makes a massive difference when you need to take a photo quickly. To activate camera mode, just double-press the home button and you’re in, super-fast.
Of course, getting into the camera quick is no good if the results are rubbish, and, happily, photos on the S6 are consistently strong.
Optical image stabilization means that shots stay sharp and blur-free. The lens is designed to let in loads of light, which makes for good low-light shots, with the results having great color and few compression problems.
DxOMark agrees on this, too – it’s their best-rated phone and is without a doubt the best all-around package for photography and phone combined.
How important is it to you that your smartphone have a great camera? Does your preferred phone rank high on this list? What are the most important features of your smartphone, what are the least?