Your results may vary: Samsung's Galaxy S6 uses camera sensors from different vendors

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,056   +130
Staff member

galaxy s6 samsung sony smartphone camera image sensor sony imx240 imaging sensor samsung isocell

The Galaxy S6 is already being hailed as Samsung’s best smartphone to date. Similarly, the camera found on the back of the handset is regarded by many as the best among any Android device currently available.

It has come to light, however, that not all Galaxy S6s are equal in the photography department. As SamMobile points out, some phones are equipped with a Sony IMX240 imaging sensor while others come with Samsung’s homegrown ISOCELL sensor.

When questioned on the matter, Samsung said the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge utilize camera sensors from several different vendors and that like all of the technology used in their products, they meet strict global quality and performance standards.

galaxy s6 samsung sony smartphone camera image sensor sony imx240 imaging sensor samsung isocell

The company declined to comment on why a universal component isn’t being used across all phones or which regions are getting which sensors (or if it even comes down to regional differences). The general consensus is that Samsung ran into supply issues with its first sensor choice and had to fill orders using a secondary sensor. As for which sensor was Samsung’s first choice, your guess is as good as ours.

The big question here is the impact that each sensor will have on the overall quality of your photos. The publication happened to get their hands on both versions and put them to the test. While there does appear to be a tiny bit of difference in some of the images, I can’t imagine most people would notice a difference as both sensors do a great job.

For more on the Galaxy S6's camera, be sure to check out our full review of it and the Galaxy S6 Edge later this evening.

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Posts: 8,645   +3,288
Whichever sensor they use wouldn't bother me in the least, a phone camera is something I hardly ever use and if the picture looks good to my eyes, I'm happy.


Posts: 2,113   +918
Phone camera's are good for taking quick pictures to reference people, I use mine constantly at work to send pictures of parts to customers of sales people. It's the most convenient thing ever, picture straight to email, takes seconds. However, for personal use and quality pictures I still prefer the sensor on a proper point and shoot camera, it's just so much better in just about every situation, and frankly am not surprised.

For S6 owners I'd be amazed if any of them could tell which camera they had by looking at their pictures, even side by side could be difficult if the specs are the same on the sensors being used.