Let's move onto one of the very, very big highlights of the Samsung Galaxy S6: the camera is simply brilliant. From the instant start to the range of modes to the extraordinary photos, this has the capability to be the phone of choice for even the hobbyist photographer.

The image specialists over at DXO Mark were similarly impressed with the camera, giving it a score of 86, which was enough for it to top the charts. It's since been topped by a number of phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but nothing has more than an 89, so it's not far behind.

The options are simple yet powerful, the choices great and the ease with which you can get a great picture amazing. There's a range of ways brands approach the camera technology in their phones, from the Nokia Lumia 1020 with a 41MP sensor and three camera apps at launch to the iPhone 6, with an 8MP sensor and limited options.

Both of those listed above yield great snaps, but Samsung has combined the simplicity of Apple and the power of Nokia (well, Microsoft now) to make a really powerful snapper.

Samsung Galaxy S6 review

The main thing to note about this phone's camera (other than it protrudes from the back of the handset quite markedly) is that it's instantly able to take a good snap.

The colors are rich (although only on the phone screen - they can look a little washed out on the monitor as Samsung looks to make them look better on the handset), the shutter speed instant, and most importantly the auto focus is very quick and accurate.

That was one of the big things that got in the way with the HTC One M9, and I'm glad that Samsung has improved the speed from the Galaxy S5.

The really powerful thing here is the ability of the S6 in low light. It's very good indeed, better than the iPhone 6. And yet it's got a 16MP sensor. This is impressive because the more pixels you pack in, the harder it is to get a decent shot in the dark.

Image 1 of 4

The main interface is simple, with options laid out nicely
Image 2 of 4

You can lose the settings for a cleaner interface
Image 3 of 4

Pro mode is really useful
Image 4 of 4

A variety of snapping modes on offer

And yet Samsung's got something that's better than the rest. The pro mode is genuinely useful, allowing manual focus and control of the sensor's sensitivity, and Bokeh effect (letting you take three shots of the same thing so you can set the focus after the snap) is really strong too.

The HDR mode on the iPhone 6 is often used as a shining example of the power of its camera (and if you're not using it, you should be, as it takes a range of photos of different exposures and intelligently mixes them together to get bright and clear photos of whatever you're shooting) and yet Samsung has done it better.

In auto mode, the HDR option activates more readily, which improves the clarity of snaps without having to do anything. The macro mode is so good too, allowing you to get so close to whatever you're thinking of shooting.

Samsung Galaxy S6 review

Pro mode is really useful

Of course there are some extra elements that aren't needed: virtual object asks you to walk around something while keeping your camera pointed at it. This then lets you swipe the picture and see all the angles... but it's like just taking a video of it and fast forwarding or rewinding. Not sure what that's for.

It's doubly odd as the cool thing Samsung has done this year is strip out some of the camera modes and made them downloadable, with things like Sports Shot not on there from the start. I'd like to be able to tailor the experience better, which means getting rid of the superfluous options.

The fast and slow motion video is OK as well - the latter especially works at 240FPS, but is nowhere near the smooth clarity Apple brings on the iPhone 6. It's there as an easy to tag option though, and you'll be able to take some fun videos with it.

4K video shooting it also included, but still lacks a real USP given there are few monitors that can show it off, and eats up valuable storage (a key consideration given there's no microSD slot on board the Galaxy S6).

The selfie mode is there, and it's pretty good as cameras go. There's all the same features you'd expect and more, with HDR, beauty mode, effects, voice capture and full 1080p video recording, as well as 'wide selfie' to get more people in. The resulting picture is a wider ratio than the phone screen, so you'll get more info from it too.

It's got a decent field of view as well, in case you want to have more people in the shot... but don't do that. Just focus on how powerful the rear cam is.

Check out the samples below to see what I mean - but I've not enjoyed using a camera this much since some of those before Microsoft took over Nokia, and the pictures are some that I've genuinely wanted to show off to friends.

Camera samples

Image 1 of 12

The bokeh effect is great, although images look a little washed out on the computer screen

Click here for the full-res image

Image 2 of 12

Selective focus offers some great pics

Click here for the full-res image

Image 3 of 12

This flower is tiny, and yet the autofocus got it instantly

Click here for the full-res image

Image 4 of 12

The close up ability is amazing

Click here for the full-res image

Image 5 of 12

This was quite a dark scene, but it's bright and not over-processed

Click here for the full-res image

Image 6 of 12

I can't explain how dark this scene was. I could take a picture... but that's what I did.

Click here for the full-res image

Image 7 of 12

In varying light, the S6 can over process and make elements over exposed and muddy (like on the bag).

Click here for the full-res image

Image 8 of 12

Exposure can be locked by long pressing. Here it's on Daisy...

Click here for the full-res image

Image 9 of 12

And exposure tagged outside

Click here for the full-res image

Image 10 of 12

The range of effects can lead to some interesting shots

Click here for the full-res image

Image 11 of 12

The fast moving rain was well captured

Click here for the full-res image

Image 12 of 12

I enjoy how Samsung also decided the carpet was my face

Click here for the full-res image