Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: camera sample comparison


Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08468

We’ve already seen how the Samsung Galaxy S6 compares to the iPhone 6 in terms of its physical attributes, but we wanted to get an even better idea of how the two devices stacked up in terms of performance. Using what we had on hand, we put the camera of each phone to the test.

[In all subsequent test images, the Galaxy S6 appears first followed by the iPhone 6. Click to make each larger.]



The immediate takeaway? There is definitely a difference in default white balance for the two. You can decide for yourself, but the iPhone 6 certainly has a more natural-looking color profile. The whites captured by the GS6 take on a off-white, almost yellow hue.

Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo11-DSLR Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo11-DSLR-IPHONEVERSION



The Galaxy S6 on the whole seems to produce images that are slightly darker than its iPhone counterpart, a quality that is very apparent given the shooting conditions we had (lots of bright lighting, a tony of shiny/reflective white surfaces). The impression is that the iPhone 6 camera is a bit more effortless than the Galaxy S6 when it comes to point-and-shoot photography. For the S6, getting the perfect shot will likely take a bit more fiddling around with settings and scene.



One area where the S6’s camera excels is resolution. The phone’s 16MP shooter provides clarity beyond the iPhone’s sensor at close zoom levels. You can see a comparison in the two images above.



Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo5-Selfie Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo5-Selfie-IPHONEVERSION

The Galaxy S6 clearly offered the better front facing camera, as seen in the side-by-side photos above. Strangely, the selfie cam didn’t seem as plagued by white balance issues, and it offers photos of superbly higher resolution and clarity than that of the iPhone. Compare to the images of Chris’ mug just prior to the front-facing shots. Captured with the rear camera, they give a good comparison of how the skin tone and other colors look across the two devices and their multiple camera sensors.

Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo7-LowlightCabinet Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo7-LowlightCabinet-IPHONEVERSION

Above is the best we could get to replicating lowlight conditions at Samsung’s demo stations (we tucked the above Android pins into a cabinet). As you can see, this was far from the darkest of shooting conditions, but the iPhone 6 (right) was a bit more up to the task than the Galaxy S6.

The final photographic results are important, but there are other things that go into making a smartphone camera unique or useful. As with previous releases, Samsung offer far more robust camera software than Apple, giving users a plethora of options. The scene settings and other tweaks add flexibility to the GS6 that isn’t really present with the iPhone 6 (though Apple has slowly been beefing up the software side of their camera in recent releases). The Galaxy S6 also promises super fast shooting with a camera app that Samsung claims can be launched in 0.7 seconds after double-tapping the phone’s home button.

A camera’s performance often comes down to how you use it, so mileage will always vary. While we think it’s pretty clear that Apple’s phone plays nicer with lighting and gives us photos with truer whites, it can’t match the clarity or versatility of the Galaxy S6. Check out more camera samples below.



Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo10-People Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo10-People-IPHONEVERSION
Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo6-GearVR Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo6-GearVR-IPHONEVERSION



Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo9-SelfieChris Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo9-SelfieChris-IPHONEVERSION
Kevin Krause
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  1. iPhone much better

    1. agreed – that is terrible auto white balance – samsung seems to be really just throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks – there is no defining character to them – just an iPhone clone alternative – I had th3 the s3 and loved it – had the s5 and was disappointed.

      1. Samsung does throw many ideas at the wall to see what sticks (a waste of time, money and effort a fair amount of the time) but they’re no iPhone clone or alternative. Their real CEO is somewhat sane and alive for one (and not declaring war on the iOS while frothing at the mouth about actually not winning every time in everything).

        1. I guess what i meant to say is that they seem to GO after and replicate features of the iPhone more closely then defining themselves instead.

          1. All companies do that. The iPhone has taken so many features straight from Android.

          2. Like 5.5 inch screens and rounded corners and and widgets… You bastards lol

      2. No one in the comments can judge the white balance of these photos lol. How do you know the room didn’t have a warm look to it in real life like the S6 photos show? You don’t.

        1. Making the decision based on 2 phones then this is the conclusion drawn. I am sure there are more factors but based on the samples here I stand by my opinion. And that’s just it its my opinion.

  2. It’s weird that the S6 pics look so bad when compared to the iPhone’s given that the Note 4’s pics are as good or better than the iPhone’s.

    1. It is software. The note 4 has S805 that people test and the image processing is good. This software need work.

      1. Makes sense.

    2. This just looks like white balance issues… either the auto feature is still not final or someone manually set it incorrectly on the sample model. Samsung usually makes good cameras, I have photos people still can’t believe I took with my old S3. Besides, the iPhone shots are too cold for my liking anyway.

  3. Can’t you guys not apply a title=”descriptive name of photo” in WordPress to each of these pop-up photos in lightbox or prettyphoto or whatever you use? It would help when I a photo to know instantly “iPhone” or “S6”. Yeah, I know what the article says is the order, but using a “title” tag is pretty common for pop-up photos.

  4. iPhone wins, but really? no one should be comparing yet. this all seems like software tweaks. I dont like samsung but after seeing the Note 4 pictures it produces, I am pretty confidence that the final release will be pretty solid. Still waiting for the G4 tho.

  5. It’s all personal preference when it comes to lighting. I personally prefer the lighting in the S6 pic

    1. do samsungs usually produce that type of image?? its a real question. if so, I guess its for the norm. but I would think the final product is going to be tweaked to be better than this.

      1. Idk. My dslr is a Sony and I typically like a lot of light in my pics; absent of a flash.

  6. Tbh I’m as far away from an iPhone fan as possible but it’s looks way better.

    1. I’ve always been jealous of the mad app support they got on the App Store. Soooo many quality camera apps there.

    2. “Way” better? Because the WB defaulted to a different setting? I think a software update will completely change things.

      1. Because it is the natural white balance in the very bright room, filled with fluorescent lights. There is no reason for it to be taking yellow pictures like that.

      2. In the context of this article..
        Regardless of what Samsung does later, iPhone looks way better.

  7. Ouch, that it bad.

  8. Wow iPhone 6 does a nice job, it’s better in every shot except when zooming way in you see a megapixel advantage. Most of this is color balancing issues that could be improved in software though.

    1. hate myself for agreeing with you haha

  9. Not final software.

    1. Agreed. I think the white balance issue is more or less an easy fix.

      1. Agreed. This has NOTHING to do with optics and EVERYTHING to do with software.

    2. A thousand times this!

    3. Check the noise, it’s very decent results now. Just the white balance is on warmer side, which can be fixed through software. Also don’t forget iPhone also takes a bit cooler route to WB, hence the difference between them is accentuated. Even if it has double resolution, the noise is very much under control.
      Samsung always does decent camera, nothing to worry about it.

  10. One shall not forget that f1.9 give better low light but will blur more the out of focus objects like background.
    I did see a more yellow tint in S6 pics and iPhone more bluish, depending on illumination and screen calibration can’t tell witch is closer to real scene but it should all be a matter of adjusting white balance.
    As for compression defects, the iphopne it’s already showing up some, more noticeable in black tones of last image. I’s say if both images are to be shown in a high resolution display like a 4K TV the S6 should easily win due to higher resolution, better low light and less noise/artifacts.

  11. Comparing them to the iPhone had me searching for yet another downfall parody and I wasn’t disappointed:


  12. Well they have one month to refine the camera software…

  13. Wonder how the Lenovo Vibe Shot would rate against these?

  14. The white balance thing is no issue for me personally. I edit pretty much everything i share or want to keep permanently. The increased detail from the S6 is noticeable, and that’s what really matters to me. Noise levels also seem to be very good. Can’t wait to see full reviews for the retail units with final software. Nonetheless, this is promising stuff!

    1. Because they are not raw image adjusting white balance has an impact on image quality. (Raw images have no white balance so you can move them warmer or bluer) however In a processed image where white balance is already attached its a pain. You are not really changing white balance any more you are applying color casts and hoping that the final color looks ok.

  15. holy poka-dot shirt man!

    1. My gf picked it out for me :/

  16. iphone 6 definately

  17. Since it’s already been reported that the camera software in the S6 isn’t final, this entire comparison is a waste of pixels. As are all the comments below finding fault with the S6 images.

    Phandroid must really be struggling to attract eyeballs if it has to resort to this kind of crap.

    1. It’s nice to see this comparison now as it means people like me will take the time to check this problem is rectified before seriously considering an S6.

      1. Wouldn’t you wait to see details on the final device before purchasing anyway? Publishing meaningless comparisons doesn’t provide any real value to anyone, except maybe Phandroid. This article is nothing but click bat.

        1. I understand your opinion, but respectfully disagree to a certain extent. While I will wait to see what the release firmware is like, I find it useful and somewhat useful to know what the potential weaknesses are going in. I can’t imagine Samsung not addressing this light balancing issue however, as it’s so awful.

  18. Not surprised.
    This guy is the biggest Apple bootlicker.
    That’s all he does on the MobileRoar podcast

  19. Odd that the camera is showing some issues considering it’s the same sensor as the Note 4.

    1. software issue

  20. iPhone 6 clearly has a better camera.

    1. No, it clearly had better white balance in the pictures taken (was the S6 white balance tweaked or something? We don’t know.). As far as actual image quality, the S6 was better in some areas and the iPhone 6 was better in others.

      They both took good pictures and with some white balance tweaking the S6 pictures would look great for a smartphone.

      1. he’s a troll clone account, don’t bother

    2. might better FINAL software but in no way is this going to be the final code written in the S6’s software. This happens every year when phones are released. =)

  21. The s6 pics look likes someone peed all over the white color. Im sure this is a result of the beta camera software

  22. Reset the white balance back to default?

  23. I’m amazed at how anyone can think the iPhone camera is better. Certainly the iPhone automatic white balance has handled this artificial lighting better, but white balance is completely controllable and if you look beyond that the S6 has an enormous advantage in the level of detail it captures. I’m actually quite shocked at how much better the S6 camera is.

    There a 100% crop in the article that clearly shows this, but in case anyone missed it here it is again side by side.

  24. When you took the low light shot I bet you didn’t turn on the night shot mode on the S6 which is a big mistake many make when trying to show low light performance on Samsung devices and makes all the difference in the world

  25. I wonder if they will send out an update to fix the white balance.

    It’s clearly a software issue. At least to me the whites are far too warm. Perhaps the i6 is too bluish but it appears more natural (the i6)(without seeing the subjects in real life..

    It would be a pity it we had to fix everything post production cos I don’t have time for that (or should not expect for a smartphone),

  26. The guy who posted this article must not know how to take photos because in gsmarena’s photo comparison and other cameras, the S6 destroys the iPhone 6.


    S6 may have a white balance issue but that’s easy to fix in a software update. Look how the first two photos, the S6 captures the light emanating at the bottom of the S6 letters next to the lady much better than the iPhone. That alone shows me the S6 is better because that’s only possible with a 1.9 aperture vs. iPhone 6’s 2.2 aperture.

  27. Do you all just assume it can capture 4k video in HDR mode? together with OIS that would be a first AFAIK in a smartphone.. can some one confirm this? and I mean try making a 1080p video with HDR off, then another 1080p with HDR on (check they are indeed diferent when using HDR) and then a 4k with HDR on so see if tones are using HDR or not…
    The note 4 has the same IMX240 sensor and can’t do 4k HDR, so please can some one test this out in S6?

  28. None of them look good. Samsung is too warm, the Apple is too cold.

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