The design, screen and lack of familiar Samsung features might grab headlines, but it’ll be the camera that ultimately determines whether or not this is Samsung’s best phone yet. The Korean company has shown it can do cameras, so our expectations are very high. We haven’t yet made our final judgements, but we wanted to show you some of the results. So far we’re impressed, but the experience hasn’t been perfect.
In the right lighting conditions, the images produced by the Galaxy S6 are quite beautiful. The details aren’t lost when zooming in, and the exposure seems to mostly be right. Bokeh looks soft, and colors are just about spot on (maybe a little oversaturated).
The one thing I will say is that auto-focus so far has been more annoying than useful. There have been more than a few instances when I’ve fired the camera up, and it just doesn’t pull focus at all. I can quickly fix the problem by tapping where I want the camera to focus, but I shouldn’t have to, especially when a subject is right in front of me. Something I’ll have to keep an eye on going forward.
The camera, however, is very snappy, and there a lot of great manual options if you want to get more technical. To be honest, we mostly just leave it on auto because that’s what most consumers do, giving us the kind of results we’d get in real world use.
If you’ve used Samsung phones in the past, you’ll be familiar with the camera experience—no real major surprises here. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed so far. Not something you could say for HTC’s recent flagship.
This test is in no way exhaustive of what the Galaxy S6 can do, but it does give you an idea of what to expect. What do you think so far? Compared to the Galaxy S5, Samsung has made some obvious improvements—pictures look more natural, and the processing doesn’t look quite as aggressive.
We’ll have many more thoughts on the experience when we share our review. Small spoiler: this is probably one of the top smartphone cameras out there. The best? We’ll find out over the coming days.