December 31, 2015
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samsung galaxy note 5 review aa (9 of 32)

While it’s no secret that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a pretty stellar camera, its quality has now been made official. DxOMark has declared that everyone’s ‘phavorite phablet’ has the third best smartphone camera currently on the market.

DxOMark is something of a touchstone resource for image quality comparisons.  Their analysis of camera quality of devices across the board is widely regarded as both thorough and unbiased. They’ve given the Galaxy Note 5’s camera a score of 86, ranking just below the tied-for-first camera cappos: the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the Sony Xperia Z5. The pair eked out the win by a hair’s breadth with an 87 each.

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What makes the Galaxy Note 5’s camera so outstanding? DxOMark points to the 16 MP rear shooter’s ability to maintain balanced contrast and exposure regardless of whether or not lighting conditions are ideal. The Note 5 has a built-in feature that detects when high-light situations would result in overexposure and activates its HDR mode to ensure that details are retained in both shadows and highlights. They do note that some whites come out a little bit “yellow/pink” in low lighting conditions, however.

Galaxy Note 5 Camera Detail

In terms of detail retention in general, the Note 5 scores very high marks, delivering some of the finest clarity that DxOMark has seen in smartphones to-date. The only area in which the camera flags a bit is in large, single-color areas – like the sky. Shots with broad areas without color variation do come out with a bit of noise in them. However, in lower lighting conditions, detail isn’t compromised at all.

Galaxy Note 5 Camera Detail Low Light

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 looks like it’s got some staying power to continue to be competitive through 2016 and beyond. Although it doesn’t often feel like a spec’ed out power device, it has proven to have not only provide smooth and reliable performance on a gorgeous 5.7-inch AMOLED display, but it also boasts the kind of software and design elements that make interacting with it a very natural experience. And if you’re looking for a smartphone to make a run at replacing your digital camera, look no further.

Are you a Galaxy Note 5 owner? What has your experience been with its camera quality so far? Is your reaction in-line with DxOMark’s analysis, or did the quality leave something to be desired? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Next: Best unlocked Android phones (December 2015)

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