Scene 8: At the bar



Here's a scene that really puts a camera's low-light performance to the test. The poor conditions, however, did not hold back the Galaxy S7 from snapping a decent image. Its photo is clear and detailed despite the high sensitivity setting, which makes it well worthy of its high score. The Galaxy S6 also did well. Its image, however, is noisier compared to that of the Galaxy S7, partly because of the higher ISO used. The LG G4's photo could have used a bit more clarity, but is also very good-looking overall. Alas, we can't say the same about the photo shot with the iPhone 6s. Its biggest drawback is that it lacks in exposure – it is usable, but darker, especially in the shadowy areas.

Scene 8: EXIF data
Samsung
Galaxy S7
iPhone 6sSamsung
Galaxy S6
LG G4
ISOISO800ISO1000ISO1000ISO1000
Shutter speed1/101/171/81/10



Scene 9: Out at night



Once again, the iPhone's low-light performance is lagging – we see Apple's smartphone delivering a usable, but overall darker image. The Galaxy S7, on the other hand, manages to deliver a well-exposed image shot at a low ISO setting. This is why its photo is very clear and low on noise if you take a close-up look. The Galaxy S6 does not disappoint either. In fact, it has gone for an even more brightly exposed image for an overall very attractive look. The LG G4, despite slightly skewing the white balance, is treating us to a pleasing, likeable image.

Scene 9: EXIF data
Samsung
Galaxy S7
iPhone 6sSamsung
Galaxy S6
LG G4
ISOISO250ISO500ISO500ISO850
Shutter speed1/101/171/101/13



Scene 10: The cathedral



This time around, it is the iPhone that has produced the most natural-looking low-light photo. All of the lights illuminating the streets and the cathedral have been captured with their actual color tone. We're not suggesting that the other phones' photos look bad. They're pretty good as well, but aren't as close of a reproduction of reality with their exaggerated look. 

Scene 10: EXIF data
Samsung
Galaxy S7
iPhone 6sSamsung
Galaxy S6
LG G4
ISOISO200ISO250ISO200ISO650
Shutter speed1/141/171/111/20



Scene 11: Flash performance



And lastly, we'll take a look at a photo taken indoors in complete darkness, with solely the phones' LED flashes providing light. The good news is that all four phones managed to set the right focus from the very first try. We did not have to retake a single photo. We must also mention that the iPhone was probably twice as fast at focusing and taking the photo compared to the other three phones. It is not the best performer in the scene, however, as the colors it has produced aren't exactly accurate. It is the two Galaxy smartphones delivering the best colors. The LG G4, on the other hand has captured the best details out of all phones, but its colors are very inaccurate. 

Scene 11: EXIF data
Samsung
Galaxy S7
iPhone 6sSamsung
Galaxy S6
LG G4
ISOISO125ISO160ISO200ISO200
Shutter speed1/241/171/241/24



Conclusion


We can't deny that we were expecting the Samsung Galaxy S7 to be a strong performer in this comparison. It is the newest smartphone in the bunch, after all, packing all that great camera technology under its hood, not to mention that its maker has traditionally been a force to be reckoned with in the cameraphone arena. Alas, the Galaxy S7 didn't quite blow our socks off – perhaps we had our expectations set too high – but nevertheless, that 12MP shooter it comes with is definitely one of the best we've ever handled. Sure, it still sharpens the image a tad more than we wish it did, but we're willing to live with that minor quirk, knowing that we'll be getting mostly great images out of Samsung's new top phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 may be a year old by now, but its camera is not one to be underestimated. In fact, it is nearly as good as its successor in favorable lighting conditions, delivering very similar levels of detail and color accuracy. Still, the Galaxy S7's lead in low-light performance is there. More often than not, the Galaxy S7 will manage to snap a clearer, brighter, less noisy image compared to the Galaxy S6 from last year. 


As for the LG G4, its 16MP camera is one we've always had fond feelings about. It captures images in really great clarity not only due to the sensor's high resolution, but also because LG's camera algorithms are tamer, leaving more of that finer detail mostly untouched. White balance and color accuracy, however, are a hit or miss with LG's former flagship, and we hope that's one thing the G5 is going to improve upon.

And lastly, there's the iPhone 6s – a smartphone that's well-known for its great camera and polished shooting experience. Apple's smartphone may have finished in last place this time, but the score gap between it and the leading Galaxy S7 is anything but vast, and the imperfections that shaved points off its score were mostly minor. Perhaps the iPhone will give the S7 a harder time in our next camera comparison?

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1 inches 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo Samsung TouchWiz UI
G4
  • Display 5.5 inches 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow LG UX UI
Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1 inches 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 7 Octa 3GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2550 mAh
  • OS Android 7.0 Nougat Samsung TouchWiz UI
iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7 inches 1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A9 APL0898 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1715 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x

FEATURED VIDEO

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless