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Here are 2015's smartphones with the fastest cameras: speed is crucial

Here are 2015's smartphones with the fastest cameras: speed is crucial

In photography, the difference between a masterpiece and a total failure can be measured in seconds or even fractions of a second. Let's be honest here, folks, 90% of the pictures you take in a hurry turn out to be totally unusable and quickly get deleted so that you don't get embarrassed before anyone who wants to explore your gallery. 

Photography, as you are certainly aware, is complex. There's are so many factors that determine the quality of a given photo that we are not sure if we can list them all at all. That said, there is one crucial aspect of modern smartphone's cameras that truly gives a meaning to the "hit or miss" phrase: the speed with which our handsets take pictures.

The vast majority of phones that have ever ventured in our HQ have had their cameras extensively tested, not only regarding the quality they produce, but also their photo-taking speed. We measure this manually, by calculating the amount of time for opening the camera app, taking a picture, and being ready to take another one.

Now, have in mind that we are not measuring the auto-focusing prowess of these devices. Yes, this important metric also affects the speed of the camera, but it's not the subject of this article. Without further ado, here follow 2015's phones with the fastest cameras. 

Taking a pic (sec)
Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6s 1.7
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 1.6
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 2.1
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 2.1
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 2.3
Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015) 2
Samsung Galaxy S6 2.2
HTC One M9+ 2.3
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active 2.4
ZTE Axon Pro 2.4
View all

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posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:38 35

1. VVayne (Posts: 101; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)

Well, the data does not include the time to start the camera application. S6 family with doublepress to start to camera wins hands down. on iPhone you have to do at least 3 separate touches across the screen (unlock, start app, take picture).

Other than that, iPhone takes pictures really fast.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:47 28

6. Finalflash (Posts: 3527; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

It's a fluff piece as usual. They have to fill their quota of iPhone praising so they picked an aspect of the camera that literally matter the least to most buyers. Would have looked less suspicious if they compared several camera aspects between flagship phones. But when you pick that one single characteristic that the iPhone wins on (the only aspect that it wins this generation) to base a whole article on, you might as well label it a fluff piece and save people time.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 03:12 12

13. AlikMalix (unregistered)

There are other tests that PA does on mobile cameras... just scroll down... why are you always complaining and whining everytime Apple takes the cake... "PA fill their quota", "paid by Apple", "PA buncha iSheep" and so on.. stop acting like such a butthurt crybaby. I dont agree with everything on PA, and many times PA doesnt post news that I find huge compared to some little stuff that no one cares about... for example, just today: 1. Apple lowers prices for Australian app store, 2. iWork and iCloud apps are out of beta (finally), 3.Adobe just got hit by huge Flash Player vulnerability.. but guess what - there are many other news-sites out there... -- if you dont believe anything PA states and they're all so freaken biased - why even waste your time here? Huh?

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:17 3

39. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14522; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

"why are you always complaining and whining everytime Apple takes the cake..."

Same thing you do, when they don't. RIGHT?

Look who's calling the kettle black. LMAO.

I'm not going to fret over a few seconds. I know as a matter of fact the camera on the S6 models and the Note 5 all open faster and take pictures faster than the iPhone. I can only assume this is after the application is open.

But side by side tests have show the S6 to be considerably faster.

Not only is it faster, the S6 has better quality. This guy always does a fair comparison of Galaxy vs iPhone.


The quality of the video is better, the quality of the photo is better, the mic recording is better...all on the S6.

For me this is what I suggest of all readers of biased blog sites. Go on YouTube where the reviews are not based on bias. Where the person isn't getting paid by one side or the other. Where the reviewer is reasonably fair.

Because facts are facts and the facts show the S6 camera even being 8 years old and being used on several Galaxy devices including but not limited too, all the S6 models, Note 5, A9 and more. In fact "some" 20MP cameras arent even as good. The Lumia is still the king, but no phone really has 40MP cameras as a standard yet. But once they do and it gets compared, the Lumia will look ancient.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:21

40. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14522; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

You can see in the video I posted where the guy did a side by side of 2 objects in low light and you can see the S6 focused in faster vs the iPhone.

So I dont know what PA does and I really don't care. They can claim whatever they want...but videos don't lie.

For the 6S to be brand new, it should be smoking a camera that is nearly a year old and it simply doesn't.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:37

41. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14522; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0AAcE1l5BE - FAIR SPEED TEST. NO BIAS

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:42 4

42. Ninetysix (Posts: 2671; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

All I hear is Galaxy S6 reload reload reload reload reload.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 03:33 5

18. VVayne (Posts: 101; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)

Not really. Taking correctly focused and exposed pictures on iPhone is super easy and super fast. So the results of the test are believable. But to get to point where you can actually start taking pictures, you have to keep in mind that is can take some seconds fo fire up the camera application.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:56 5

8. AlikMalix (unregistered)

Why do you need to "unlock, start app, take picture" on the iPhone?

Just swipe up from the lock screen (see camera icon on bottom of right corner)... (Double tap on home button opens Apple Pay - which I use as frequent as a camera...)

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 03:29 5

16. VVayne (Posts: 101; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)

Have you used one of the 6S phones?
It's a bit complex than that.

Touch ID is extremly fast, you can't press the home button with the finger you've mapped your touch ID to, then even when you unlock it, there has to be the animation of unlocking and after that you can start taking pictures. If you use touch ID and disable it for unlocking the phone, you have to put in the PIN everytime. You can stop using touch ID globally, but then you won't have the benefit of one-touch-purchase, and your phone's data won't have encryption, which is on only with touch-id configured.

And Apple Pay is enabled in supported countries.

I see your point. It can be done like you think it can be done, Samsung is still faster when launching the camera.

My point was not to raise an argument, it's just that the numbers don't tell the whole story. Like the Antutu results for S808, like the battery tests for different A9 chips, like the specs on Z5 compact, which make the phone stutter.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 03:42 3

19. AlikMalix (unregistered)

That's fair. The Touch ID is extremely fast - most of the time it unlocks before you see the lock screen. But I've been using it for a few days now and the muscle memory does suggest not to place finger on Touch ID if u want to see lock screen but instead clock on power button either way the swipe up will bring up either the camera or the control center that does have a camera there.

And I don't disagree with you, double press on home button is convenient, but I prefer it to enable Apple Pay.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:08

34. j2001m (Posts: 3005; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)

I take the one step longer it take to turn on Samsung pay over having the faster cam load on Samsung phones

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 16:06 1

54. darkkjedii (Posts: 24915; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

I now use my thumb tip to turn it on. I can't believe how friggin fast Touch ID is, crazy fast, and reliable.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:58 5

10. Leo999 (Posts: 25; Member since: 15 Feb 2015)

iOS has a camera shortcut on the lock screen.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:09 1

35. j2001m (Posts: 3005; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)

Hm, I. Think you need to see pocketnow review of the iPhone, to se you have a problem with that

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 09:10 1

36. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14522; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

It also is on the S6. Point?

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 12:52 3

51. AlikMalix (unregistered)

Stop replying out of context, you fandroids always do this. Read the damn post that he replied to and stop asking stupid questions.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 13:11

52. chromoid (Posts: 19; Member since: 03 Oct 2013)

You can make the iPhone Launch the camera from the home button with ios 9 nit sure if this applicable in older versions

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 16:14 1

55. darkkjedii (Posts: 24915; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Yeah, turn on, swipe up and take pic.
Note 5, double click, and take pic. That's 3 for both.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:41 2

2. QWERTYphone (Posts: 654; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)

LG G4?
LG v10?

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:46 3

4. PeterK. (Posts: 314; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)

LG G4 - 2.7s.
We have not reviewed the V10 yet.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:48 5

7. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

and what about Z5 Peter?

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:56 2

9. PeterK. (Posts: 314; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)

After we review the Z5, it shall be added in the list if it's camera is fast enough, don't worry.

posted on 17 Oct 2015, 02:14

59. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 2195; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)

yeah, Z5 of the 0.03 sec auto focus should be fast to take pics.hopefully.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 07:10 1

30. AndroidStuff (Posts: 47; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

WTF PA ? MY LG G4 takes a pic in less than 2 seconds for sure ... in any mode. what kind of results do u always show ? and im pretty sure you guys are seriously behind apple in everything. every article is being biased

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 02:44 14

3. TyrionLannister (unregistered)

The difference in time between S6, Note 5, S6 edge+ and S6 edge tells us how unreliable PA's tests are.

You guys should do more than 10 runs and take the mean. That's how you test anything statistically to reduce the error. The same is true about your benchmarks.

I'm not bashing, just constructive criticism. Hope you guys listen and improve; that's all I want.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 03:04 6

12. phonearenarocks (Posts: 551; Member since: 26 Mar 2015)

Hey! I like most of you comments over these months that I am in here...but I dont think PA guys give throw numbers with a single test. Me, not bashing you either, these are just the thoughts in my head.

Even if it has been told that the Camera on S6 Edge+ and Note 5 is same as one on S6 and S6 Edge, since Sammy had around 5 months time, they could have improved the camera on them.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 03:16 1

14. TyrionLannister (unregistered)

Even if the ones on Note 5 and /s6 edge+ are better, there shouldn't be a gap between the S6, edge and the active.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 05:00 2

23. Shocky (unregistered)

Different firmwares can account for that, it's not that strange.

posted on 16 Oct 2015, 11:09

47. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14522; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

I would agree. PA seems to assume that just because all devices use identical hardware, that a newer device using it wont have any improvement. Facts show that a newer device sporting the same hardware, simply handles hardware differently.

For example, even tho the S6, S6 Edge, S6 Active, S6 Edge+ and Note 5 are all using the same CPU, maybe even the same internal storage type, same RAM type; each device isn't going to work exactly the same.

Considering the Note has to lift a heavier version of TouchWiz, Samsung could have did other thinsg to improve its speed to compensate, that wouldnt need to be done with the S6 models.

Also with the S6 Edge+ being larger even though it sports the same resolution display, again Samsung could have done other things to optimize the firmware as you stated to compensate.

The fact is, PA keeps choosing the S6 likely because it physical size is very similar to the iPhone 6.

So I say a better test of the camera would be the iPhone 6S Plus vs the S6 Edge+ vs the Note 5. That way we are testing 3 devices that have a release gap of only a month vs comparing device where the S6 is already 7 months old vs a device that just came out about a month ago.

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