Camera

The 16-megapixel OIS camera on the Galaxy S6 is a great performer in daylight and sports an impressive 4K video recording capability, but the iPhone 6 does a bit better in low light.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is equipped with a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front, selfie cam, while the Apple iPhone 6 comes with an 8-megapixel main camera and a 1.2-megapixel selfie shooter.

Both cameras protrude slightly (more so on the S6), and this is explained by the larger-than-average size of the camera module, as well as the very thin profile of the phones. The S6 main camera uses the Sony IMX240 sensor. It’s a large, 1/2.6” sensor, but the high megapixel count results in a small size of around 1.1micron for the pixels. The iPhone 6, in comparison, features a smaller, 1/3" sensor but opts for a more conservative 8-megapixel resolution, which results in fairly large, 1.5micron pixels that should theoretically be an advantage for low-light shooting.

Samsung has done a remarkable job with the camera app that now starts up in less than a second. A new double-click shortcut on the home screen also allows you to quickly start up the app from anywhere. The iPhone 6’s camera app is also quick to start but not as fast as the one on the S6. Samsung has also shred the fat off the camera interface leaving the essential options clearly visible and getting rid of the tedious long menus and submenus in favor for clearly labeled buttons. This makes it much easier to make your way around the countless modes and options on the S6. As rich as the camera app is, its new manual mode still does not support control over shutter speeds. On the other hand, the iPhone 6’s camera app is traditionally simplistic and user friendly. You can manually tweak exposure, but pretty much all other manual controls - including shutter speed - are available via third party apps like ProCamera 8.



With all this in mind, let’s get to the main question: image quality. Right out of the box it’s clear that the Galaxy S6 captures great-looking images with especially strong performance in bright sunlight. Problem is, the Galaxy S6 faces one of the best cameraphones on the market, the iPhone 6, which captures similarly great images. Colors in images on the iPhone look richer, a bit overblown to be realistic, but overall images have a livelier, more dynamic appearance than the S6 images. However, due to its higher resolution, the Galaxy S6 manages to capture a higher level of detail, compared to the iPhone 6's 8MP shooter.

Turning over to low light conditions, noise and color inaccuracies start to creep into the images from both devices. It's often a hit-or-miss affair, with the Galaxy S6 faring better in some scenes, and the iPhone 6 coming out on top in other. The Galaxy S6 still dominates in the details department, though blurriness in some photos causes it to sometimes lose to its adversary in that very department.

The single LED flash on the S6 is sufficiently powerful to light up the central part of an image without being too harsh, but it does introduce a slight cold color cast to images, while the iPhone 6’s dual LED flash can be a bit too harsh from up close, but it preserves colors in a much more natural way.

The front camera on the Galaxy S6 is a big step forward: selfies turn out very good, with a lot of detail, and it’s neat that you can tap on the heart rate sensor with a finger as a quick shortcut for selfies. The iPhone 6, on the other hand, features very low-res images that don’t look nearly as good.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 2.2
2.4
No data
No data
Apple iPhone 6 1.9
2
619
432

In terms of video, we are genuinely impressed with the quality of the Galaxy S6 recordings: with super-detailed 4K video capture at 30 fps, with optical image stabilization and a seriously impressive super-quick auto-focusing, the S6 captures absolutely stunning footage. It can also record in 1080p at 60 fps for lovers of those high frame rates that make everything look kind of flowing very smoothly on the screen. The iPhone 6, on the other hand, is capable of recording only in 1080p (at either 60fps or 30fps), and while it also has super-fast auto-focusing, it lacks the optical stabilization and recordings are often noticeably shaky.


Multimedia

The new minimalist media apps in TouchWiz look and feel great. Speakers on both the S6 and iPhone 6 are loud, but lacking in depth.



Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 0.54
Apple iPhone 6 1.017
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 73.7
Apple iPhone 6 74.5


FEATURED VIDEO

31 Comments

1. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

S6 ftw!

2. TyrionLannister unregistered

PA, redo your benchmarks FFS.

10. seven7dust unregistered

benchmarks are pointless !!! even a nexus 5 will not slow down with any game or task you can through at it. Phones are all about efficiency and battery life , samsung has 14 nm which is good improvement over the iPhone.

3. donfem

Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Thanks for the big improvements. Respect to true inovations. Sammy for the world.

5. bello

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

Samsung is on the top right now with the most powerful beautiful durable smartphone ever good luck sammy

17. seven7dust unregistered

powerful yes , most durable ? , lets wait for tests , plastic>glass in terms of duarbility.

25. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

We've seen some tests, and they're pretty impressive.

6. SamsungEU

Posts: 147; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

Is the S6 on final software?

8. Mitsjke

Posts: 29; Member since: Mar 28, 2015

Imagine people arguing at the grocery store about whether a complete stranger should buy bananas or oranges...

9. g2a5b0e unregistered

Such a good analogy. +1

12. jesusnexo unregistered

but bananas have potassium :(

16. walkman800

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 26, 2014

bananas are better pre-workout meal. Suck it, orange!

24. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

And they can be used as a size comparison. Oranges suck.

27. jesusnexo unregistered

guh f**king fanboys.... your outdated banana cant compete with the orange master race

32. zacsaturday

Posts: 262; Member since: May 09, 2014

What if I dislike Oranges (or are allergic to them) :)

11. iphonexus

Posts: 130; Member since: Jan 04, 2015

Galaxy s6 can beat iphone 6 in anydepartment except for gpu due to quad hd resolution

13. Flippyphone

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

They're both great phones, main difference being the iPhone is better if you don't want to use your brain and the S6 is better if you do.

14. yick04

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I love how with all of these S6 vs iPhone 6 articles that I see around the web, no one has the balls to make a conclusion. They all end in "oh whichever phone works for you is the right phone for you".

15. g2a5b0e unregistered

That's because it's true. Do you need validation to make you feel better about your purchase? It's all subjective. Get over it.

29. yick04

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

That's not the point. Obviously people are going to draw their own conclusions, even if the writer did actually make a decision. But no writer has yet found the nerve to declare their own winner because they fear the fanboys on either side.

18. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

LOL PA when will you ever get unbiased????? Every iphone 6 vs S6 I have seen, the S6 completely trashes the iphone. Suddenly it performs utterly crap. Is that because you guys in all of the low light photos, point the S6 directly into a lightsource? OMFG, you guys dont have be objectiveness to get over that the crap iphone got beaten badly by an android phone..... And in gaming performance/3D, how about showing real life fps while gaming, instead of those benchmarks? You guys are just exactly like apple themselfes, only pointing out things where apple does well, and hide things where they dont perform well......Its gettin to the point where one is gettin sick.....

19. kotan24

Posts: 311; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I have an iphone 6 plus as my daily driver. I work at a Tmobile store been using the s6 for a week now, and in all honesty this time sammy beat the crap out of iphone in all departments except of course the app quality and games, besides that the iphone got owned, sorry apple fans. ;)

23. CtK4949

Posts: 35; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I never understood why its Samsung fault if it doesnt have the app or games?? That is Android/developers fault??

21. CtK4949

Posts: 35; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

WTF is 750 x 1334 resolution?!?!?!

26. tmcr7

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

PhoneArena, your reviewers don't have the balls to say that the Galaxy S6 is the clear winner.

30. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I wouldn't buy either of these phones. I think that wide top and bottom bezels are ugly and the physical home button is so mechanical and obsolete, makes these phones look old fashioned and inelegant.

31. mirexcool

Posts: 65; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

I like this one :http://goo.gl/zT9ZFv and Aliexpress deliver without problems and the price is lower

33. Doooo

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 11, 2015

"Last year’s Galaxy S5 had a display with an annoying greenish tint that spoiled Samsung’s AMOLED efforts." ... WHAT?? -_-

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

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