Sony Xperia X vs Samsung Galaxy S7: which has the better camera?


Remember how back in the old days people took pictures of their dinner, brought the film to Wallgreens to have it developed, then sent dozens of copies to their friends over the mail? No, of course you don't because nobody was crazy enough to bother. Then smartphones came along, and all of a sudden, we started sharing more than just food photos. We now document every major and not-so-major event – be it a birthday party, an exercise routine, or the act of walking the dog in the morning – all accompanied by the appropriate #hashtags, of course. This is why camera quality is of utmost importance to most smartphone buyers. This is also why we do camera comparisons all the time.

The Sony Xperia X is now the star of another camera comparison. On its back resides one of its key stand-out features – a 23MP camera with super-fast autofocus and extra-wide lens. In the opposite corner, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will be standing its ground with its 12MP shooter. Samsung's flagship is known for its excellent camera and image quality, but who knows, perhaps the Xperia X might give it a run for its money. That's what we're here to find out.

Here's an overview of what these two phones have to offer in terms of camera specs:

Camera Specs
Sony Xperia XSamsung Galaxy S7
Resolution and
aspect ratio
23MP @ 4:3
5520 x 4140 pixels
12MP @ 4:3
4032 x 3024 pixels
Sensor and
pixel size
1/2.3"
1.12 μm
1/2.5"
1.4 μm
Focal length
and aperture
24 mm
F2.0
26 mm
F1.7
Focus and
stabilization
Phase detection AF
Object tracking
Optical stabilization
Dual Pixel AF
Object tracking (off by default)
Optical stabilization

It should be noted that while Xperia X boasts a 23MP camera sensor, we've taken the photos at 8MP of resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. This is the default shooting mode set on the device and the one most people are likely to use. Also, the slide-over galleries used below contain cropped-scaled down photos for easier general comparison. The original, full-resolution photos can be found in a gallery at the very bottom of this article. With all of this cleared up, let us comment on some photos.

Scene 1: Ivy



The original, full-resolution photos can be found in the gallery below.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: more pixels don't always translate to a better camera. The Xperia X is an ideal example of that. Despite the higher megapixel count, its camera has not resolved details very well, especially if we look at areas far from the center of the frame. Of course, the image is perfectly usable, but the better detail captured in the Galaxy S7's photo should be easy to see. As far as color accuracy goes, it could have been better with both cameras. The warmer hue presented by the Galaxy S7 looks somewhat artificial, while the Xperia X has gone for a colder, somewhat overexposed look. Overall, the Galaxy S7 scores a point this round for its clearer, sharper image.

Winner in Scene 1: Galaxy S7

Scene 2: At the cozy corner



The original, full-resolution photos can be found in the gallery below.

We took this photo later that day, right after a moment of chillaxing at the office's cozy corner. Disappointingly, the Xperia X has captured a colder image, which isn't particularly eye-pleasing. this is why the red firetruck looks pink and the white cabinets at the bottom appear blueish. On top of that, details aren't particularly great. This makes it an easy round for the Galaxy S7, which is providing us with both better details and better colors. 

Winner in Scene 2: Galaxy S7

Scene 3: Pretty in pink



The original, full-resolution photos can be found in the gallery below.

This time around, we're finding it much harder to name a winner. Both photos have turned out great, with life-like colors and plenty of detail to be explored – the petals, the raindrops are just begging us to zoom in on them for a closer look. We must also point out that colors are life-like in both photos. If we could change anything about any of them, we would have added a bit of sharpness to the Xperia X's image, but we would have also reduced the amount of sharpness applied by the Galaxy S7. 

Winner in scene 3: tie

The gallery below contains all of the photos used in this comparison – uncompressed, in their original resolution. On PCs, use double-click to zoom and the fullscreen option to get a closer look at the images.



Related phones

Xperia X
Galaxy S7

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