Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Mobile Review: A new championBy Paul Carroll - Friday March 18 2016 Mobile Review
Overview & highlights – Excellent exposure and autofocus
Achieving a DxOMark Mobile Score of 88 points the new Samsung Galaxy S7 edge ranks in 1st place on the current DxOMark Mobile database. Featuring a 12Mp rear facing camera and 2160p@30fps video module, Samsung’s latest flagship Smartphone is a great proposition for mobile photography enthusiasts. The 26mm f/1.7 lens delivers very accurate and repeatable exposures, which helped the S7 edges achieve an outstanding Exposure & Contrast score of 90 during our tests. In fact, even in tricky high contrast scenes, it captures great exposures thanks to its built-in auto HDR feature, making it a great choice for landscape or backlit photography. The modest 12Mp resolution also ensures a good compromise between noise and detail on the S7 edge, which secures excellent DxOMark Mobile scores of 91 for Texture and 89 for Noise.
Also scoring 88 points in the Photo sub-category, the new Samsung S7 edge ranks in joint first place for still photos alongside the S6 Edge and Sony Z5. The main strengths of Samsung’s S7 edge photos are its excellent and repeatable exposures in all conditions, fast and accurate autofocus, and a very good compromise between noise and detail.
Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone also offers notable improvements to its video performance, achieving a Video sub-score of 88 points, compared to 84 points for the S6 edge. Again, videos capture nice exposures, with pleasant color and excellent video autofocus and stabilization performance, too.
Outstanding exposures and colors for indoor and outdoor pictures
With an excellent overall exposure score of 90, with good dynamic range captured both indoors and outdoors, the S7 edge is a great camera phone for a variety of subjects. For landscape photography, exposures are consistent and accurate, even on high dynamic range scenes where only the very brightest tones are clipped. A high level of detail preservation is evident, too, with well-controlled levels of noise, which appears only as an inoffensive fine grain.
Colors are also vivid and pleasant in both lighting conditions, scoring 90 in bright light, which drops to a very respectable 76 in low light. White balance outdoors is generally accurate, too, although when shooting indoors under tungsten light source, a warm or yellowish colorcast is noticeable.
Tip: When accurate color indoors is important, try shooting under daylight light sources as opposed to tungsten. Where that’s not possible, some color correction in post-production will help you achieve more natural-looking results.
Excellent detail & texture for indoor and outdoor conditions
With low levels of noise for both indoor and outdoor photography, the S7 Edge is capable of capturing rich and textured images in all conditions. Shooting in good light, the S7 edge’s excellent texture score of 96, combined with its solid exposures, make it a great choice for detailed landscape or street photography. In low light, only the very finest details get lost, but the S7 Edge’s low-light texture score of 86is still excellent for this condition and particularly so considering the low noise levels.
Tip: As some clipping and color fringing is evident on very high contrast scenes, you should avoid shooting directly into the brightest parts of the sky, for better overall exposure with minimal artifacts.
Autofocus: one of the best device available
Autofocus is another of the S7 Edge’s strongest aspects, scoring 98in bright light and 90 in low light. We found it to be fast and accurate in both conditions, making Samsung’s latest camera phone a great choice for restless subjects, such as children or animals, when you need to grab a picture quickly!
Great shot with Flash
When you need to use flash, images are better-exposed in the center, with some vignetting (darkening of the corners) noticeable. Using flash without an additional light source, white balance is accurate, but mixing flash with tungsten renders a warm cast that would benefit from some color correction. Flash exposures in both conditions are good, however, with the S7 Edge continuing to offer high levels of detail and texture when using the built-in LED unit.
Video – Outstanding autofocus and stabilization
The S7 edge’s video results boast good overall exposure, with strong color, together with high levels of detail preservation, particularly in bright light. Video stabilization is often a weak point for many mobile devices, resulting in shaky and jittery movies, even with minor walking movement. Not so on the S7 edge, however, which boasts excellent stabilization scores of 91 in bright light and 88 in low light, ensuring smooth video capture. Some minor jitter artifacts, as well as a loss of very fine detail, are evident in low-light videos, but the S7 edge is capable of correcting minor handheld or walking motion for stable videos. Video autofocus behavior is very good, too, with reliable tracking as well as smooth and fast convergence that helps minimize any annoying focus hunting.
Tip: When shooting video indoors, give the S7 edge the best chance possible by making the room as bright as you can by introducing additional light sources.
Details: Explaining the Score
Exposure & contrast (90)
The S7 edge delivers accurate exposures in a range of different lighting conditions, and exposures are repeatable, producing consistent results for consecutive shots.
Even when shooting tricky high-contrast scenes, the S7 edge copes admirably, rendering good contrast, making it a good choice for strong backlit landscapes or portrait photography.
Shooting under a very low 5 Lux tungsten light source, the S7 edge also produces good exposures, which are brighter than those of its main rivals.
Color rendering is pleasant under all conditions, producing vivid results with strong color while also correctly rendering difficult muted colors accurately. The white balance is generally accurate, too, with consistent and uniform color under most conditions. Under a tungsten light source ,a yellow colorcast is sometimes visible, and while not offensive, it’s a little more noticeable compared to images from the Sony Z5.
Achieving an excellent texture score of 91 points, detail preservation is close to the best in our database and surpasses most of its competitors. In both bright and low light, the S7 edge succeeds in recording fine details, and when capturing images under a low 20 Lux light source, it is close to the best, only just behind Google’s Nexus 6P.
Noise is very fine — in fact, it’s barely visible in all conditions, and Samsung has achieved an excellent compromise between noise, texture, and detail for the new S7 edge. Test shots under a low 20 Lux light source show that noise for the S7 edge is significantly less visible than for its main competitors.
Autofocus is one of the outstanding attributes of the S7 edge, allowing photographers to capture pictures quickly and reliably in all lighting conditions.
The S7 edge’s built-in LED flash is successful in preserving most details and rendering pleasant overall color in all lighting conditions. Flash-only results are accurate, too, ensuring good pictures from the S7 edge even in extreme low-light conditions.
|DxOMark Mobile Photo|
|Exposure and contrast||
- Good detail preservation in low light and very fine detail preservation in bright light.
- Good exposure and dynamic range both in indoor and outdoor conditions.
- Low noise level under all conditions.
- Fast and accurate autofocus.
- Flash: Without an additional light source, very good detail preservation, accurate white balance, and color preservation.
- Under a tungsten light source, a warm/yellow cast is visible.
- In very high dynamic scenes, brightest tone parts are clipped / lose detail.
- Ringing is visible.
|DxOMark Mobile Video|
|Exposure and contrast||
- Very good autofocus behavior with good tracking and fast/smooth convergence.
- Very good stabilization in both bright-light and low-light conditions.
- Good detail preservation in bright-light conditions.
- Good overall exposure and color rendering.
- Low noise level, even in low-light conditions.
- Jitter artifact visible in low-light conditions.
- Loss of detail noticeable in low light.
- Color shading is slightly noticeable in all conditions, particularly in low light.