The camera quality of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge received near-universal praise when the two devices were released. In fact, a recent DxOMark test found that the two devices produced the best image quality out of any smartphone on the market—even besting Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But it turns out there’s a bit of a discrepancy among Samsung’s new Android kings.
A discussion over on the XDA forums first brought the issue to light, and it was later picked up by SamMobile. It appears Samsung’s new flagships are shipping with two different sensors; some sport Samsung’s own ISOCELL sensor, while others come equipped with a Sony Exmor sensor. Users report you can check what sensor your device has by entering “*#34971539#” in the dial screen (don’t actually dial the number), though it hasn’t worked on any devices here in our office.
After getting its hands on both sensors, SamMobile took some comparison shots, which you can see in the gallery below. Is there a major difference between the two sensors? There does appear to be a small gap in quality, with Sony’s sensor displaying the superior quality. You can make your own judgments by checking out the photos below. It looks to me that S6 and S6 Edge users are getting a solid sensor (and optics) no matter what.
Here is what SamMobile had to say about the matter:
After a first glance, we think that the images shot using the IMX240 display vibrant and warmer colors than the ones clicked using the ISOCELL sensor. Also, the images captured using the Sony sensor appear to have more depth in them.
It’s unclear why Samsung would utilize a Sony sensor in some of its devices, and its own sensor in others. Perhaps it couldn’t get its hands on enough Sony sensors to keep up with demand, but that’s just pure speculation on my part. Either way, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, Sony sensor or not, produces excellent image quality, which is all your really need.