Samsung’s last flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4, was the closest to match the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as the best all-round smartphone camera. Now that we know it has fitted the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge with the Sony IMX 240 camera sensor, how well does it perform this time?
Samsung may have preloaded some original camera samples supposedly taken with its latest smartphone on each of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge on display, but that’s not going to satisfy those present at the ongoing Mobile World Congress. Here are some samples we took of the new 16MP rear and 5MP front-facing cameras.
Each image was taken in Automatic Mode, and was uploaded without any editing. Click on each image for full resolution (5312 x 2988).
In each of the images above, the camera correctly reproduced the surrounding ambience, though the images’ warmness were slightly exaggerated – the actual surrounding is slightly more neutral. The detail preserved in the final image was pretty impressive, given the ambient lighting.
Focus times, despite the low-light environment, were impressive – but the lack of an AF indicator is one of the UI changes that I’m not too comfortable with. I suppose this is Samsung’s way of saying “trust me” and just snap away – some (including myself) may not be fine with that.
You can, however, tap to focus – but that will enable AF tracking (whenever there’s a moving object). Tapping on the screen to focus on a particular point when the camera is facing a static frame will, disappointingly, not have an AF indicator.
One key thing to note that we cannot show from these images is the speed at which the camera app ran. Galaxy S5, S4 and S III users will all be familiar with the notorious lag that plagued the camera app, but the Galaxy S6 that I was using was really fast.
I used the quick-launch shortcut to launch the camera, and it was up in an instant. Samsung says that this is because the camera is deliberately set to be always on standby, allowing it to be exceptionally quick to launch.
On the other side, the front-facing camera is on a same level as the Note 4’s front shooter. Wide Selfie again stitches the frame exceptionally well, while the HDR Auto mode means you can take decent selfies with bright backgrounds.
But, this device I was using is likely not yet the final software that will ship with the Galaxy S6 when it ships next month, and I’ll reserve my judgement until then. That being said, my brief time trying out the S6’s camera is making me pretty excited – will this finally be the smartphone camera Android users have been waiting for?