The ultimate Android camera comparison

We're looking at how five of the finest Android smartphones compare when it comes to their camera's ability.
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The ultimate Android camera comparison

Today we’re celebrating nature photography day by comparing the biggest Android smartphone cameras out there. We’ve got our hands on the LG G4, Sony Xperia Z3+, Samsung Galaxy S6, Huawei P8, and last but certainly not least, the HTC One M9. Let’s see how they got on.

Macro focus

Image Map

Click to enlarge individual photos

In this first shot, we wanted to see how much detail each of the cameras could pick up. So we got really up-close and personal with a bunch of brightly coloured flowers, and as you can see, the results vary a lot.

The LG has managed to pick up an outstanding amount of detail, while the colour quality in the Samsung Galaxy S6’s shot are real rich. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the Huawei, which has struggled with overexposure – the Z3+ has suffered a similar problem.

The HTC One M9 is a little dark, but the amount of detail it’s picked up is impressive.

HDR

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HDR stands for high dynamic range, and allows the camera to capture more accurate colours in a range of lighting. Nothing should be overexposed and nothing underexposed, because the camera adjusts different parts of the picture depending on whether it’s in the light or shade.

In the snap, we’ve pointed the camera phones skywards through an oak tree canopy, where the sun is just breaking through the leaves.

The M9 in this comparison had no chance, and clearly hasn’t been able to deal with that amount of light, resulting in a really dark photo.

The Samsung has again produced something rich and bright, but there looks to be too much red in the image. This wouldn’t be as noticeable if it wasn’t up against the likes of the LG, which has again done well, picking out the colour of the leaves and balancing the image as a whole.

Wide landscape

LG G4 full sized imageSony Xperia Z3+ full sized imageSamsung Galaxy S6 full sized imageHuawei P8 full sized imageHTC One M9 full sized imageImage HTML map generator

Click to enlarge individual photos

In this wide landscape shot, we set all the cameras to their standard automatic modes, allowing them to make the call on how to get the best results.

The Sony’s image doesn’t look as warm as the others, but it’s still a nice shot. The whole image is a little paler than others, but at least it’s let in a lot of light. The P8’s image looks a little lacklustre on the colour front, especially next to the S6, which is a great example of how rich and warm tonality can make a photograph.

The G4 stands out yet again. It hasn’t only highlighted the variety of colour, but also picked up on more detail than its competitors.

Our verdict

The LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6 have really stood out in this comparison. Colours are accurate, details have been highlighted and most importantly they’ve portrayed an accurate representation of what we were looking at.

Huawei struggled in such bright sunlight to correctly reproduce the colours, all coming out a little washed out and greyer than we’d hoped, whereas the HTC One M9 didn’t let enough light into the lens.

The Sony Xperia Z3+ was a bit of a mixed bag, producing good quality images on the whole, but not quite a rich in tone as the LG and Samsung.

If you want us to compare more smartphone cameras, or shoot in different situations, let us know in the comments below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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