Scene 7: The university

Results are a bit more consistent in this scene, which is expected, as light is plentiful. Aside from some slight color deviations, we're very pleased with the results as a whole. All four images contain a lot of detail, as seen if you take a close look at the façade's decorations. Overall, we're most satisfied with the LG G5 and HTC 10's photos. Both phones have captured the scene in a very natural way. The Galaxy S7 would have pleased us more if it didn't add so much sharpness to its image.

Scene 7: EXIF data
HTC 10iPhone 6s PlusGalaxy S7LG G5
Shutter speed1/201/81/181/20

Scene 8: Under the tree

For this last set of photos, the only significant light source nearby was a street light behind us. This, apparently, wasn't enough for any of the four phones to take a compelling photo. All of the images are rather soft in detail, which is to be expected looking at the high ISO values they've used. Overall, the Galaxy S7's image is the one we find best. It looks like its camera has captured the most light, and the photo has a good amount of detail in it. The other three photos look decent overall, but nothing more.

Scene 8: EXIF data
HTC 10iPhone 6s PlusGalaxy S7LG G5
Shutter speed1/61/41/61/9


Now is the time to sum the scores and to announce the winning smartphone, but before we get to that, we want to congratulate HTC on stepping up its game. At long last, we have an HTC flagship with a camera that's in the same league with its high-end rivals. True, the HTC 10 did not win today's comparison, but it gave its opponents a good run for their money. Great job, HTC!

We're no less excited to say that the LG G5 dominated this camera comparison. Scene after scene, it kept on delivering clear, detailed shots without us having to do anything more than pressing the shutter. No less importantly, it is impressive to see it producing constant results – almost every night shot that we took with it turned out really, really good. 

The Galaxy S7 holds great potential with its camera, and we can't deny that we're pleased with the images it takes. Room for improvement is present, however, as the camera software has the tendency to exaggerate certain aspects of the photo, such as contrast and color saturation. Still, when it comes to low-light photography, the camera on the S7 is one of the best performers you'll come across.

As for the iPhone 6s Plus, it may have finished in last place, but the score gap between it and its rivals is slim. It is almost negligible, we'd say. As usual, the iPhone excels in speed and ease of use, which makes it an excellent choice for photographers of any level of expertise. 

Note: Below are the full-resolution photos we took for this comparison. The high-res samples in the previous galleries were smaller in size to load faster.



1. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Gotta be honest here, you cant really go wrong with any of these phones in the camera department.

2. tedkord

Posts: 17413; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yep. It's amazing how far these things have come.

20. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Espcially amazing how HTC has closed the huge gap which seperated them from Samsung in the photography side of smartphones. Really impressed!

31. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Would've loved to see Nexus 6P with the rest.

67. TheUnbiasedGuy

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 21, 2016

I would like note 5 to be added to the mix, to see how previous generation Samsung hold their own against these new guys.

97. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I'm waiting for the 2016 Nexus Lots of reviewers are saying HTC's camera software is still quite inconsistent Would be nice to see HDR+ and the IMX377+OIS+f1.8

78. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

The G5 outdid the others. I have the 6P and would have loved to see how it performed

175. WGACA

Posts: 132; Member since: May 08, 2015

Watch some more reviews will ya, like their own blind comparison or ANY other review. And DxOMark.

121. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

That's too kind to HTC. They're still inferior. Anyways, I like how HTC stepped their game but isn't really 'amazing' to be honest.

144. doejon

Posts: 411; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

for me is the s7 still the king of these phones cuz its overall the best cameraphone non of the other phone has the crazy fast focus hands down the s7 destroys every phone on the market when it comes to focus speed ;-) and actually its less noisy then the others (in low light)

155. Beijendorf unregistered

The S7 is "less noisy" because it applies a CRAZY amount of sharpening to the image - to the degree where it actually destroys image information. You're better off getting a photo with gentle noise and clearing it up with proper photo editing software at home if you really feel its necessary.

176. WGACA

Posts: 132; Member since: May 08, 2015

You nobody does that. 99% of pictures taken are for social media and S7 makes them look good instantly and does it for you. That's why it's called a smart phone.

33. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I know some disagree but I use my phone as the family camera now. Having shared albums between family member, cloud syncing to pc and Apple TV/android box automatically, portability and 2 seconds from pulling it out of your pocket to taking a pic makes it so easy to enjoy photos. I still print out important pictures for albums though.

61. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Google photo do the same you take a picture and all device with google photo or google drive ( pc or mac by example ) you take the picture and everyone can look at it. And wana know what best? its work on all mobile and desktop OS :)

77. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Not forgetting unlimited cloud storage

81. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

When I sold phones my selling point was the fact that they're more than just a phone now. I'd even ask customers when was the last time they bought a wallet with a picture holder in it.

9. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

You're right, but the differences can affect the opinion. There are many points that i can't agree with PA. In scene 4, S7 produced the best photo, sharpest and nice colour to me. In scene 1, I prefer the balance of S7 than the overexposed G5.

29. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Well, personal preference i guess.

84. valiymt

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

Wow buddy you have overexposed eyes to say that S7 is natural colors ... Samsung does most processing

100. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I said scene 4 only, and I say the colour was nice, not natural.

106. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I think PA should give us the links to raw, sooc files so we can download, compare and see them all in one device, an FHD tablet or maybe a calibrated pc monitor.

177. WGACA

Posts: 132; Member since: May 08, 2015

They won't, because then it would show the S7 is actually the best and they don't want that. iPhone Arena hates Samsung. Always has been that way.

10. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

But like , S7 ALWAYS sharpest , most detailed pic and still low score , wtf ?

13. LikeABauss

Posts: 29; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

I think people often confuse the sharpness of focus with excessive sharpening to the point where it looks unnatural. Some images here the S7 has a sharper focus (a good thing), but in others it goes further and applies an additional level of sharpening in post that look unnatural.

24. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Yes, also Samsung's colour-boosting algorithm. It makes the S7's photos look nicer, but it's fake and unnatural.

120. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

There is actually no such term as "colour-boosting algorithm", you made that up. It's just saturation and vibrance.

134. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Okay... But still, you get my point.

172. WGACA

Posts: 132; Member since: May 08, 2015

So when the G5 overexposed and captures an unrealistic scene at night it's a good thing, yet it doesn't work that way for Samsung?

178. WGACA

Posts: 132; Member since: May 08, 2015

S7 colours are often more true to life than the G5. G5 colour sensor often incorrectly compensates.

102. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Sharpening cannot make the photo more detailed. Details don't lie, it's what the sensor capture.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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