When Apple released the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus with an upgraded 12-megapixel main camera last month, consumers believed it would be the best iPhone camera ever. Apparently, it’s not. Lab tests conducted by French image processing firm DxO Labs reveal that the iPhone 6S camera is no better than last year’s iPhone 6 camera. In fact, the iPhone 6S camera is inferior to almost all the flagship Android phones released this year.
Sony Xperia Z5 tops the list
DxO Labs measured the photo and video quality of flagship smartphones on factors including noise control, autofocus, exposure and contrast, and video stabilization. The iPhone 6S scored 83 points in photo capturing and 80 points for video. Overall, Apple’s latest 4.7-inch iPhone received a score of 82, which is the same score the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus received last year.
Sony’s Xperia Z5 topped the list with 87 points, followed by Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with 86 points. Google’s latest Nexus 6P came in third with a score of 84 points. The iPhone 6S tied up with its predecessor at the 9th spot. It reflects the difficulty Apple is facing to outpace its Android rivals. DxO Labs said the iPhone 6S offered a good balance of top-notch user experience and performance.
Negatives in iPhone 6S cancel out improvements
But the French firm expressed disappointment that the iPhone 6S’ 12-megapixel camera couldn’t do any better than 8MP camera in last year’s iPhones. That’s surprising given Apple’s marketing efforts were focused on the camera upgrade and “deep trench isolation” technology that creates more accurate colors. The iPhone 6S offers 4K video and ‘Live Photos’ that capture motion 1.5 seconds after taking a shot. Many rivals already offer 4K video capabilities, and Live Photos does little to improve the camera quality.
The Cupertino company didn’t improve the f2.4 aperture, even though rivals have moved to f1.8 or f2.0 apertures. And the tech giant didn’t include optical image stabilization (OIS) in iPhone 6S. DxO Labs points out that these drawbacks cancel out the improvements in color accuracy and resolution.