Image quality rating website DxOMark gave the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ an impressive score, putting the phablet at the top of the list of smartphones with the best camera. The Samsung phone now sits with the Sony Xperia Z5 at the No. 1 spot on the benchmarking team's Mobile database.
DxOMark is the voice of authority when it comes to camera and lens image quality testing. It rates the performance of phone cameras based on seven divisions: Color, Texture, Exposure and Contrast, Autofocus, Artifacts, Noise and Flash.
In September 2015, the benchmarking team named the Xperia Z5 the "brand-new leader" of its database of smartphone cameras, with a score of 88 for photo quality and 86 for video quality. The Xperia Z5's average score of 87 was the highest DxOMark had ever given to a smartphone.
In December, it was the Samsung phablet's turn to be tested at the hands of DxOMark and surprisingly, the Galaxy S6 edge+ got the same average score as the Xperia Z5.
"These Samsung and Sony top-of-the-range devices are setting a new standard for mobile image quality," reads DxOMark's review.
What makes the results a little odd is that the Galaxy Note 5 and the S6 edge+ are supposed to have the same camera. When the Note 5 was first reviewed by DxOMark, it earned an average score of 86, a point below the current average of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+.
It is likely that the test units make use of different camera sensors and there is no telling which one will get to you – it could be the Sony IMX240 or the Samsung-made ISOCELL. The curious part is that DxOMark did not point out which of the two sensors were present in the smartphone they used for testing.
Nevertheless, DxOMark praised the Samsung handset for its outstanding exposure in all lighting conditions. The white balance and color accuracy of the phone were hailed as excellent while the detail preservation got a high rating. Of course, there remains the caveat of overexposure, especially in high contrast scenes.
"High levels of detail preservation were recorded too, with intricate details such as brickwork clearly visible," says DxOMark. "The downside of this great detail however is that a buildup of noise is noticeable even when shooting in good lighting conditions."
Aside from the top spot with the Galaxy S6 edge+, Samsung now occupies three other spots in the first 10 high scores in the DxoMark Mobile database. The Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy Note 5 are at No. 2 with a score of 86 points; the Note 4 is at No. 4 with 83 points; the Galaxy S5 takes the No. 6 spot with 79 points and bringing up the rear at No. 10 is the Galaxy S4 with 75 points.