The iPhone has been considered the go-to smartphone for a great and consistent camera for a few years now, but this year Android smartphones have caught up to Apple’s flagship in terms of consistency and leapfrogged it in the performance department. 2015 brought with it a slew of Android phones with great cameras, and according to DxOMark, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Sony Xperia Z5 have the best smartphone cameras on the market.
The Xperia Z5 was the top performer for DxOMark, a site that tests smartphone cameras thoroughly, until now. But the site has now added the Galaxy S6 edge+ to the top position as well, with both phones achieving 87 points overall. The Galaxy S6 edge+ scored 87 points in the still camera section, which is one less than the Xperia Z5's; it also fell behind by one point in video recording, but DxOMark believes Samsung’s 5.7-inch dual-edge phablet has a camera that is equal to the best camera Sony has put on a smartphone (a feat the Japanese manufacturer took considerable time to accomplish despite using high-resolution sensors long before the Android competition.)
Both the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Xperia Z5 feature high-resolution sensors, but differ in the way photo capturing works. Samsung uses the entire 16 MP resolution for shots, while Sony uses oversampling to capture as much detail as possible in an 8-megapixel image. In still image tests, the Xperia Z5’s impressive stabilization is highlighted, which is notable since Sony doesn’t market the Z5 as having any optical image stabilization, at least not like Samsung or other manufacturers do.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ doesn’t excel in any field that the Xperia Z5 doesn’t as well, but DxOMark believes it’s still great all things considered. Surprisingly, the Galaxy Note 5 is rated second in the site’s database; this is likely because Samsung uses both an ISOCELL and an Exmor sensor in its flagships and DxOMark tested different versions of the sensors with both phones. The difference is only of one point, so it’s also possible the shooting conditions weren’t the same when the devices were tested.
The Apple iPhone 6s Plus, Motorola Droid Turbo and Google Nexus 6P tie for the third best smartphone camera with a score of 84 points.