Best Smartphone Cameras 2015
by SAM RUTHERFORD Sep 10, 2015, 10:02 AM – Source: Tom’s Guide US
With their high-quality sensors, powerful shooting modes and multitude of camera settings, smartphones have shown point-and-shoot cameras the door. There are even some flagship smartphones that give lower-cost mirrorless cameras and DSLRs a run for their money. But some smartphone cameras are simply better than others.
Right now, Samsung’s high-end Galaxy lineup (which includes the S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus and Note 5) holds the crown for top smartphone camera. Its 16-megapixel rear camera captures super-sharp photos, offering bright and vivid colors in both bright and low-light conditions. It edged out competitors such as the LG G4 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus in our head-to-head comparisons.
However, other smartphones take great pictures and video. Check out our all of our top picks below.
BEST SMARTPHONE CAMERA OVERALL
Samsung Galaxy S6
The S6 is the best camera we’ve seen yet, unseating even the great iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung has taken a break from the megapixel race (staying with the same 16 MP sensor as the Galaxy S5) and zeroed in on image quality. An infrared sensor helps the camera gauge lighting conditions for better white balance, which results in more accurate colors in both bright and low-light situations. Samsung’s smartphone camera also has optical image stabilization, so that even in dimly lit environments you can still get super-crisp pics. If you prefer your phone with a productivity-focused stylus, sexier curved-edge display or a larger screen, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge and S6 Edge Plus all share the same sharp superb camera module.
Samsung Galaxy S6 By Carrier: AT&T |Sprint | T-Mobile | Verizon
BEST SMARTPHONE ACTION CAMERA
iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone 6 Plus’s killer feature is superfast phase-detection autofocus (what Apple calls “focus pixels”) that blows away the competition. Point the camera at someone or something, and they appear sharp instantly. You really notice the difference under low light, where it beats even the best rivals, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6. Face-detection autofocus is superb, recognizing a person’s mug even under low light or if they are turned to the side. Optical image stabilization even smoothed out video we shot when panning quickly to follow animals scurrying around the Bronx Zoo.
If this 5.5-inch-screen phablet is too giant for you, try the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Other than image stabilization, it offers all the same camera features.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus By Carrier: AT&T | Sprint | T-Mobile | Verizon
BEST SMARTPHONE CAMERA FOR OUTDOORS AND UNDERWATER
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
Take the superb camera on the Galaxy S6 and wrap it in a nearly indestructible body. That’s what you get in the S6 Active. In addition to enduring drops down a staircase and smacks against a banister, the S6 Active also survived being submerged for 30 minutes. Samsung made it easier to take photos and video underwater by making the volume buttons act as triggers for the shutter so you can shoot with physical keys. This is the best smartphone to capture your active lifestyle.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active By Carrier: AT&T
BEST SELFIE SMARTPHONE CAMERA
HTC Desire Eye
For many people, the images taken with the front camera are as important as those from the “main” back shooter. HTC is the first phone maker to recognize this, by releasing the Desire Eye, which features 13-megapixel cameras on both the back and the front. The front cam’s extra-wide 22mm-equivalent lens keeps your selfies from being selfish, as you can pack your friends in as well. Though 13 MP may sound like overkill, this high resolution allows you to crop way into the picture — for example, to zap photobombers — and still have a high-res photo to show off.
HTC Desire Eye