The camera inranked 10th place in the DxOMark Mobile test, merely matching the photo and video quality of last year's iPhones.
The DxO Labs tests, which measure factors including exposure, color, autofocus performance, noise control and video stabilization, gave the iPhone 6S a score of 82. That's the same score the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus received in 2014, and it's a step behind the top-ranked Sony Xperia Z5 at 87, the No. 2 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge at 86 and the No. 3 Huawei-built .
Apple's iPhone line historically has had very high quality cameras, but this year's results indicate it's no longer easy for the Cupertino, California-based tech colossus to outpace rival products powered by Google's Android operating system. Photo quality is a critical aspect of smartphone quality as people ditch dedicated cameras for smartphones that let them record any moment and share photos and videos instantly through services such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Check out the impressive outdoor photos from the iPhone 6S Plus's camera (pictures)See all photos
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6S is a solid performer, DxO Labs concluded in its Tuesday assessment: "Overall, the Apple iPhone 6S continues to offer a good balance of performance and top-notch user experience."
But the firm sounded disappointed the new 12-megapixel camera didn't outdo last year's 8-megapixel models. And DxO had some sharp words, too: "Apple's technology is unable to keep noise at competitive levels. Detail preservation in bright light has slightly improved with respect to the iPhone 6, but the overall score remains low compared to the best in its class."
There's still some room for Apple to do better. The larger, with a 5.5-inch screen, includes optical image stabilization that could lift its video score compared to the iPhone 6S. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
specializing in optics and image processing, and more recently is the manufacturer of the that plugs into iPhones. Its tests aim to objectively measure several aspects of photo and video quality.
Your own opinions may differ, of course. Real-world photo comparisons such aspitting the iPhone 6S Plus against the iPhone 6 and can be instructive. Check also CNET's and .