5 Smartphone Cameras that Guarantee DSLR Like Pictures

Smartphone cameras are the subject of debate everywhere you find smartphones. Majority of Pakistanis that own a smartphone think that the iPhone 6s has the best camera out there while some think Samsung’s Note series comes out on top.

To settle the debate, we put the bring you this detailed comparison of the best cameras on phones and their respective pros and cons.

The lineup

We selected the phones based on popular opinion and availability in Pakistan

Here’s the list of phones used in this comparison

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
  • Apple iPhone 6s plus
  • Google Nexus 6p
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
  • Huawei P9

Other phones such as the HTC 10 and LG G5 were not added to the list due to not being officially available in Pakistan.

For an in depth comparison, photo samples comparing the phones in the list are linked at the end of this comparison.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge


The S7 edge offers the best in terms of camera performance for the layman. The detail preservation of the shots taken by the S7 edge are the best in the category and is good even in low light conditions.

It offers the best autofocus compared with all the other phones in this comparison and is the fastest and the most accurate.


  • Low noise in every condition for both photos and videos
  • Detail preservation is best in class in bright conditions with good detail preservation in low light conditions for photos. Good detail preservation in videos.
  • Autofocus very fast and accurate for both photos and video with great tracking and convergence while recording a video.
  • Flash offers good color and detail preservation and works really well without additional light source.
  • Exposure and color rendering is good but not the best


  • A warm/yellowish cast visible in tungsten light sources (older tungsten filament bulbs)
  • In very high dynamic range photos the brightest parts lose details.
  • Loss of detail is viewable in low light video captures.
  • Jitter artifacts in low light conditions while recording videos.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus


One of the best on the list, the iphones have been paraded for having the best cameras compared to other smartphones. This comparison aims to verify the opinion about whether its actually the best or not.


  • Good Exposure overall with good white balance in photos and videos both
  • Fast and accurate autofocus which also happens to be really smooth
  • Detail and preservation is good in bright conditions while the white balance is good in almost all conditions
  • Good stabilization while recording video in every condition


  • Rare artifacts like the blue sky saturation and others
  • Luminance noise is visible especially in low light conditions. Noise in general also visible in the corners while recording a video
  • Color inaccuracies in indoor conditions

Google Nexus 6P


Huawei really outdid themselves when they revealed the new Nexus 6P last year. The camera was the same as in the Nexus 5X but it offered more in terms of performance and experience compared with its less expensive sibling. That doesn’t mean that its bad in any way, far from it. It was one of the best cameras on a phone in 2015.


  • The best detail preservation in low light conditions, among all the phones tested in photos
  • White balance and color rendering are good in video and still shots
  • Autofocus is accurate and fast
  • With flash the color rendering and white balance are good with good detail preservation
  • Low noise in videos in all conditions


  • HDR+ mode activation causes irregularities in low light conditions with noise, exposure, color and texture
  • Strong jello effect (causes everything to appear to move in jelly like waves) due to electronic image stabilisation during motion in videos
  • The finer details are absent while recording videos in low light conditions
  • Some shots are taken before the autofoucs has converged completely
  • Refocusing is visible in changing light conditions and loses focus while tracking a moving object

Microsoft Lumia 950XL


Although Windows phones are generally presumed dead in the market, Microsoft is still trying to offer better phones with a more refined OS which still lacks some must have features. The cameras were the one thing that the company boasted about in its latest offerings, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL both of which offer the same camera with all the bells and whistles such as Optical Image stabilisation and triple LED RGB flash.


  • Good detail levels across different light conditions with low noise level in stills
  • Good sharpness overall
  • Allows shooting in DNG Raw format to allow for better control over image processing
  • Efficient image stabilisation
  • Triple LED flash allows for low ISOs while using flash in photography


  • Oversaturation in some scenes while taking pictures with too high contrast
  • Messes up skin tones while using flash for pictures
  • Rich Capture HDR doesnt trigger often and cannot be manually turned on
  • Softer details and slower autofocus in low lighting conditions with occassional jittering

Huawei P9


With its success with the Nexus 6P Huawei sought to add more accolades for itself in the camera department with the Huawei P9.

It features custom made dual 12 MP Leica lenses. One of the lenses is an ordinary 12MP lens while the other captures in just black and white. This is to capture upto 3 times more light for better low light photography and video recording.

You can also capture in just black and white, which results in true monochrome pictures unlike other smartphones which just remove the colors and with it the detail from the images.


  • Images have a good amount of exposure
  • Flash exposure is also good with low noise particularly in the center of the images
  • Autofocus is good in bright lighting conditions
  • White balance is good as well in outdoor lighting conditions
  • Low noise in low light conditions while recording videos
  • Detail preservation is also good in videos in outdoor conditions


  • Luminance noise in low light conditions
  • Autofocus failure when in trigger mode in all lighting conditions
  • A slight halo is visible in HDR pictures
  • Slight pink tint in videos while recording outdoors
  • Autofocus does not repeat in low light conditions in videos
  • Color shading in all conditions in videos

Honorable Mentions

HTC 10 and the LG G5 were omitted from this list, but that does not mean they are behind any of these phones in terms of image and video recording capabilities. HTC 10 even tops the list in the famous dxomark camera benchmarking website which ranks smartphones according to their cameras.

The LG G5 is also the best among these phones in capturing better detail in HDR images and is close to the sharpness and the level of detail offered by the Nexus 6P in terms of low light conditions.

The Verdict

For our final verdict, the Galaxy S7 edge wins in comparison with the smartphones in the list. This is because the level of detail it captures is unrivaled in most lighting conditions. The autofocus speed and the focus tracking is also the best in the category.

The other phones on the list are no losers and offer a level of quality and speed close to the Galaxy S7 edge.

For a more detailed comparison with photo samples from all the phones in the list, you can head to this website for a gallery of photos in different scenes and lighting conditions which put the cameras through every possible lighting/scene possible.

The images in the above mentioned website should be enough to prove which smartphone is the best.

Do you agree with the results? Are their other phones which deserved a mention? Share in the comments

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani.