According to tomshardware.com, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Samsung Galaxy Note5 cameras will be available in two variants: one with the Samsung S5K2P2 sensor and the Sony IMX240 sensor. According to the specification comparison page, this was the same with the older model of the S6 edge and I’ve read that it as also for the Note 4.
So what is the differences between the two sensors? Some websites reported the Sony IMX240 to offer better image quality than the Samsung S5K2P2 ISCOELL sensor, will it be the same in the Note5 and S6 edge+ cameras? This certainly poses an issue if one of this variant out performs the other. People paying a lot of money for an high-end smartphone and they won’t the best possible image quality. They don’t want to find out that the same phone in another location has better image quality.
According to this page on dxomark.com, the sensor that was tested for the Note 4 was the Sony sensor, not the Samsung (see Sophie’s answer in the comment section). From what I’ve read in various places on the web, the Sony does perform better than the Samsung overall. I can understand Samsung wanting to use its own homemade sensors in its devices. According to this post on sammobile, the reason is shortage of Sony sensors. So The article also mentioned the differences between the to sensors with sample images. You can certainly see a difference between the two sensors. The IMX240 produces more vibrant and sharper images and it’s quite significant when you view a 100% scales image. On the other hand, in low-light the ISOCELL produced more natural colors than the IMX240.
Now you can understand why this can become an issue for many buyers. If the differences were small nobody would care, but there are visible in the performance. In general, this isn’t a huge difference and both cameras perform very well. So if you planned to buy the Note 5 or S6 Edge+, you probably shouldn’t worry about this issue that much. If you do prefer the Sony IMX240 sensor variant, you probably should ask the online store dealer or your local store salesman which sensor the phone uses for the primary camera.
There is even a VERY long discussion about this topic on xda-developers.com forum. It also shows you how to check the camera firmware on the Note 4 (applicable to the Note5 and S6 Edge+ as well), so you can know exactly which sensor is used for both the rear and front cameras.
Keep in mind that as of the time of writing, nobody actually test the Note 5 vs S6 Edge+ with the two sensor variants side by side. We might see no difference or little difference this time. If the same exact sensors are used as the S6 edge, we might see the same results.
Some people check DxOMark to get to see how good the phone’s camera perform. The problem is that DxOMark measured the performance based on a single sensor, not the to variants from what I’ve seen. So if a customer buys the Galaxy S6 Edge for its high rating, but in fact he got the phone with the S4K2P2 ISOCELL sensor, this can certainly be an issue.
What’s your opinion about it? Is it a problem or are you OK with either? — share your opinion in the comment section below.
More Reviews and Articles
- Sensor Size Comparison: iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Note 4
- LG G4 Camera vs iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung S6 Edge and Note 4
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Camera vs Note 3 (rear and front) Compared
- Why the iPhone 6 Plus Camera isn’t better than the Note 4 vs Galaxy S6 Edge
- Camera Comparison: Galaxy Note 5 / S6 Edge+ vs LG G4, iPhone 6 Plus, Moto X Style
- iPhone 6 Plus Camera vs Galaxy Note 4 Camera
- iPhone 6 Plus vs S6 Sensor and Lens Specs Comparison
- Meizu m2 Camera Specs
- Moto X Style vs Galaxy S6 Edge vs iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4