Smile, Android fans: There are 7 phones with better cameras than iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

The good news for Apple is that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus cameras are at least as good as last year's iPhone. The bad news is that a handful of Android phones have surpassed them.

What a difference a year makes.

In 2014, DxOMark ranked the then-new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as having the best cameras. Now, the company says there are seven better camera options, even when compared with the latest iPhones.

That's not because the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus cameras are worse than than last year's model based on DxOMark's testing.

Indeed, both of the new iPhone cameras scored 82 points, the exact same as last year.

The difference is that a handful of image sensors in new Android handsets scored higher this year. Beating the new iPhones in DxOMark tests were the Sony Xperia Z5, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Google Nexus 6P, LG G4, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Motorola X Style and Sony Xperia Z3+.

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Keep in mind that DxOMark's testing methodology has been a reference for more than 10 years with its DxOMark Analyzer product. It measures the capability of image sensors, providing formalized scores for various attributes such as ISO sensitivity, noise and color saturation, for example.

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The image sensor is only part of the story though.

Software processing can make images from a good sensor even better, or even make a great sensor take marginal images.

Although DxOMark doesn't mention this, it's an important point because in a picture-taking situation, benchmark sensor scores don't mean as much as the final image output and it's hard to argue that pictures from an iPhone are bad or marginal.

Even, so the DxOMark report will make many Android fans happy, and they should be. For years, most Android phones lagged behind the iPhone when it comes to snapping pictures. Now they're at least even, if not better in some cases.

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