Cameras are undoubtedly one of the most features on a smartphone at the moment but with so many similar-yet-different approaches to smartphone cameras, it can be difficult to pick the winner. Should you have more megapixels or larger pixels? Do you need Optical Image Stabilisation? Is a single camera better than a dual camera?
With so many questions to answer, we conducted one of the largest camera shootouts ever, featuring the seven best smartphones on the market. For just over a week, you all voted for which handset you thought took the best photos and now – over 100,000 votes later – it’s time to reveal which smartphone you’ve voted as the best smartphone camera of 2016!
Before we reveal the results and the winner, let’s hand it over to Edgar Cervantes – our Head of Imaging & Photography who knows a thing or two about smartphone cameras – to take you through each gallery.
When calculating the winner, we ranked each smartphone from 1st to 7th per gallery (based on the number of votes in that gallery) and awarded them points (7 points for 1st, 6 points for second etc). The overall winner is the smartphone with the most votes in total.
Our expert: It is in pictures like this one where you see the biggest difference in camera quality between multiple devices, as there is much going on in the image and there are plenty of factors to consider. I did notice devices like the Microsot Lumia 950 XL and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge tend to take pictures that are more on the warmer side.
As for which phone offered the better image, most of you picked the iPhone 6S Plus. Meanwhile, I happen to be more of a fan of the LG G5’s image. It is pretty crisp, seems to show more detail than the others and colors also seem more accurate. If you are a fan of those vibrant, deep colors, you may want to go with Nexus 6P. By the way, the Huawei P9 definitely needs to do better here. The image is underexposed and it seems blurrier than the others. There is no excuse when you are taking a picture like this, in broad daylight.
Our expert: Once again, the iPhone 6S Plus seems to have taken the best picture, according to our readers. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Lumia 950XL seems to have taken the most vibrant colors, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge did better capturing more realistic hues. The Galaxy S7 Edge’s camera also did great getting rid of motion blur and keeping things crisp.
Our expert: It is in images like these when we really test a camera’s potential when it comes to dynamic range. These have the sun in the frame, meaning there is a chance everything else in the image will become a silhouette. And for the most part it did, but a couple phones managed to grab more detail from everything in the foreground. These would be the LG G5 and the Nexus 6P, but I am leaning more towards the LG G5.
Our expert: The iPhone 6S Plus definitely provided a better view of the little details in the frame. You seem to be able to notice much more crispness and edges in the bark, and even the building in the back looks cleaner. Furthermore, the sky is not too saturated, but vibrant enough to keep it both realistic and aesthetically pleasing.