Which Are The Best Smartphone Cameras Right now? 10 Best Picks!

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Top camera phone 2021: our current recommendations for the best smartphone cameras!

 

Though we’d want to suggest just one camera phone and be done with it, this smartphone industry segment is more challenging.

Because different phones take very different approaches to photography, the best camera phone won’t be the same for everyone, which is why our guide contains a comprehensive list of possibilities.

Do you want the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s lens overload and wide zoom range?

The iPhone 13 Pro’s point-and-shoot elegance? Or the Google Pixel 5’s fantastic software? Maybe you want to get up close and personal with macro photographs, or maybe you prefer selfies.

There are many additional factors to consider, such as megapixel counts, low-light performance, and so on.

All of these factors must be considered while purchasing, making the decision difficult.

But, to assist you in making your decision, we’ve put together this guide, which features the most acceptable camera phones in general.

These won’t all work for everyone, but we’ve provided an outline of each so you can evaluate their benefits and draw your own conclusions.

If you want the best of the best, though, we’ve got you covered there, too, as this list is ranked according to our own personal preference, so you’ll find our star pick in the number one slot.

But if nothing seems quite right, don’t despair because the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be going on sale soon and are likely to make this list once we’ve put them through a full review.

We’re also in the process of reviewing the iPhone 13 mini, so keep an eye out for that too.

 

iPhone 13 Pro / iPhone 13 Pro Max

 

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max include a 12MP f/1.5 primary sensor with large 1.9m pixels, a 12MP f/1.8 ultra-wide sensor, and a 12MP f/2.8 telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom in each.

Although they lack the lens numbers and optical zoom length of some of the phones on this list, their functionality is superb.

Despite the lack of a specific macro lens, they are perhaps better for macro photography than any competitor.

In оur studies, the iРhоne 13 Рrо аnd Рrо Mаx did exсeрtiоnаlly well in lоw light, but whiсhever tyрe оf рhоtо yоu’re аfter, the iРhоne 13 Рrо оr Рrо Mаx shоuld be аble tо deliver.

The latest Photographic Styles function and Cinematographic mode are impressive, but we doubt most purchasers will use them extensively.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are photography beasts, with better Portrait mode, the return of ProRAW, and a terrific point-and-shoot experience.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

 

Whereas the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra didn’t quite live up to expectations, the one on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra does.

The camera on the S21 Ultra is top-of-the-line, with a 108MP f/1.8 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor, and — in a move that’s almost unheard of on phones – two telephoto sensors.

Both cameras are 10 megapixels, but one has an f/2.4 aperture and 3x optical zoom, while the other has an f/4.9 aperture and a whopping 10x optical zoom.

And even the results are just as remarkable as the numbers – so much so that in our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review, we named it the best camera zoom on a phone.

Non-zoomed photos are also impressive, though not always on par with the best competitors.

However, combining a plethora of camera modes, including new ones like Director’s View (which allows you to capture video with both the front and rear cameras simultaneously), with a highly powerful 40MP front-facing camera, you have a smartphone photographer’s dream.

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(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei Mate 40 pro

 

You might be shocked to find the Huawei Mate 40 Pro on this list; after all, it’s a phone that only received 3.5 stars from us and isn’t even on our best smartphone list.

However, the reason we can’t give it a higher overall rating has nothing to do with its cameras and everything to do with its limited app situation (due to lack of Google Play Store access).

Its cameras are outstanding. It contains a 50-megapixel f/1.9 main camera, a 12-megapixel f/3.4 periscope camera (with 5x optical zoom), and a 20-megapixel f/1.8 ultra-wide camera.

Although this isn’t as many lenses as other competitors, it does cover all of the essential types, and they all perform admirably in our tests.

Our assessment discovered that the Huawei Mate 40 Pro could handle just about any photo, from portraits to vast landscapes, zoomed photographs, and close-up topics. Even in low-light situations, it performs admirably.

While we’ve been focusing on the back cameras, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro also offers a decent front camera arrangement, with a 13MP f/2.4 camera and a time-of-flight sensor for depth sensing.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro also has a variety of photographic modes and features, including a light painting feature and a special moon photography mode.

(Image credit: OnePlus)

OnePlus 9 Pro

 

While the OnePlus 9 Pro doesn’t threaten the top rank, it is by far the greatest camera phone the company has released at the time of its launch.

It contains a 48MP f/1.8 main camera, an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto camera (with 3.3x optical zoom), a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP monochrome sensor for enhancing black and white images.

The ultra-wide is perhaps the most noticeable of them, as it features a freeform lens design that eliminates the ‘barrel’ distortion that can be seen at the borders of ultra-wide images produced on other phones.

The OnePlus 9 Pro’s cameras were also developed in partnership with Hasselblad, albeit the collaboration was primarily limited to colour calibration and the design of the camera app.

We expect more from this relationship on future OnePlus phones, but the results are already visible in our photographs, with correct hues.

While the OnePlus 9 Pro boasts robust manual settings, it also performs admirably in auto mode, making it an excellent point-and-shoot option.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is a good all-rounder in terms of photography – and most other respects – with video recording at up to 8K quality and a respectable 16MP front-facing camera.

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei P40 Pro

 

Simply put, the Huawei P40 Pro is one of the greatest camera phones available for under $1,000 / £900.

However, considering the Huawei/Google issue, recommending it comes with its own set of concerns. That’s why, despite its long list of impressive features, you should read the P40 Pro review before purchasing one.

Regardless of its software restrictions, its camera will take your breath away.

The P40 Pro’s Leica-branded photography technology is led by a brand new 50MP sensor, which, like the 40MP P30 Pro before it, employs RYYB (red yellow-yellow blue) sub-pixel creation.

Huawei claims that this improves the P40 Pro’s camera’s ability to handle dim scenes, and we can witness the fact that it does.

On paper, the main camera’s lens has a fairly typical f/1.9 aperture. Still, thanks to a large sensor size (for a smartphone) and OIS, as well as Huawei’s powerful electronic image stabilization, it’s still a low-light star.

This phone can almost see in the dark, even in automated mode, something no other non-Huawei phone can.

A 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide camera, a 12MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom or 50x digital zoom, and a time-of-flight sensor for bokeh effects are also included.

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The P40 Pro takes photos with a lot of detail and very little noise. Unlike Samsung, Huawei’s images aren’t unduly sharpened, and while they aren’t as natural and neutral as the Oppo Find X2 Pro’s, many people will like Huawei’s more vibrant approach.

While the P40 Pro doesn’t get quite as close to the Galaxy S20 Ultra in terms of zoom, it costs a lot less and, more significantly, delivers better image quality across all of its cameras.

The remainder of the phone’s hardware is top-notch, it looks great and packs a punch, so if (and only if) you’re okay with a Google-free software experience, the P40 Pro has a lot to offer.

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers a high-resolution camera, but it’s the telephoto lens that really shines.

This camera has a 12MP f/3.0 sensor, 5x optical zoom, and 50x digital zoom.

Both of those specs are amazing, and while the S20 Ultra boasts a 100x digital zoom, it’s a gimmick since the Note 20 Ultra actually outperforms it thanks to a wider aperture and larger pixels.

Whereas the telephoto camera is the star of the show, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s main camera (108MP f/1.8) and ultra-wide camera (12MP f/2.2) both performed admirably in our tests.

The camera on the Note 20 Ultra is also straightforward and enjoyable to use, with features like 8K video and Single Take mode, which takes a bunch of photographs and videos at once using multiple lenses and modes to boost the chances of getting something worthwhile.

Small shots aren’t as detailed as those taken by some rivals, such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but this is a fantastic camera configuration overall.

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel 5

 

The Google Pixel 5 isn’t a camera phone that dazzles with statistics.

To begin with, there are only two rear lenses: a 12.2MP f/1.7 main camera and a 16MP f.2.2 ultra-wide camera. The Pixel 5 is also notable for lacking a dedicated telephoto lens.

However, we discovered that the Pixel 5 was capable of capturing crisp images with a strong colour palette, especially in bright light, and that while low light performance is a step-down, it still captures true colours.

The Google Pixel 5’s ultra-wide lens also produces less distortion at the edges of photographs than many other ultra-wide lenses, and it comes with a nice set of photo editing capabilities.

Portrait Light is a software function that helps the phone by convincingly brightening faces and other subjects.

 

(Image credit: Apple)

iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 boasts only two rear cameras: a 12MP f/1.6 main camera and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide (with a 120-degree field of view) camera.

However, both of them function well and are an advance over the iPhone 12’s snappers.

For example, the main camera has larger 1.7m pixels, which we noticed made a notable impact on picture quality throughout our testing.

There’s also sensor-shift OIS, which performs a good job of image stabilization, ensuring that shots are sharp even when the phone isn’t kept completely still.

In fact, we noticed that photographs produced with the iPhone 12 had less noise, and we loved the new Cinematic mode for video, which adds a bokeh effect and intelligently moves the focus between subjects.

There’s a lot to appreciate here, with a new Photographic Styles mode for stills and a capable 12MP f/2.2 front-facing camera;

it’s just a shame there’s no telephoto lens. You’ll need a Pro model – or a phone from a different provider – for that.

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy S21/21 plus

 

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus feature a different camera layout than the S21 Ultra, which is why they’re lower on our list of top camera phones, but each handset still has a really outstanding system.

The camera arrangement is largely the same as the Samsung Galaxy S20’s, with a 12MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 64MP f/2.0 telephoto camera – but the Samsung Galaxy S20’s cameras still impress, and there are software upgrades too.

New Single Take modes, for example, are among the enhancements.

With a single button push, this mode allows the phone to snap a range of photographs and films with all three cameras, and it now includes a slow-mo option.

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There’s also a new Director’s View mode, which allows you to film simultaneously with the front and rear cameras.

So you have a lot more options for your photographer’s toolkit. And aside from the new capabilities, we found the entire camera experience to be excellent, regardless of the lens you use – albeit the 3x hybrid optical zoom here is no match for the 10x offered by the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

(Image credit: Apple)

iPhone 12 Pro

 

The cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max appear to be very similar at first appearance, and they aren’t that dissimilar.

Still, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the advantage thanks to a bigger sensor on the main camera and enhanced magnification on the telephoto lens.

Even so, the iPhone 12 Pro comes close to matching it and at a lesser cost. It features a 12MP f/1.6 main camera with OIS, a 12MP f/2.0 telephoto camera with OIS and 2x optical zoom, and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera with OIS and 2x optical zoom.

It, too, features a LiDAR scanner that can be used to power augmented reality experiences and take Night Mode portrait images, just like its bigger brother.

We found Night Mode to be really unique here, as it was on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, allowing you to snap bright, crisp images when other phones would struggle, and you can use it with both the main and ultra-wide lenses.

The 12MP selfie camera is likewise good, with valuable features like Dolby Vision for video and Smart HDR 3 for better picture processing.

 

Questions People Also Ask:

 

Whаt рhоne hаs the best рiсture quаlity?

iРhоne 13 Рrо Mаx. The best саmerа рhоne yоu саn buy.
iРhоne 13 Рrо. Роwerful саmerа hаrdwаre расked intо а smаller bоdy.
Рixel 6 Рrо. The best Аndrоid саmerа рhоne yоu саn buy.
Sаmsung Gаlаxy S21 Ultrа. The best саmerа рhоne аlternаtive tо the iРhоne.
Gооgle Рixel 6.
Gооgle Рixel 5а.
ОneРlus 9 Рrо.
iРhоne 13.

 

Whiсh сheар smаrtрhоne hаs the best саmerа?

The best budget саmerа рhоnes аvаilаble nоw
Xiаоmi Redmi Nоte 10 Рrо. The best budget саmerа рhоne оverаll.
ОneРlus Nоrd 2. А fаntаstiс ОneРlus рhоne.
Gооgle Рixel 5а. Gооgle’s newest budget рhоne.
Xiаоmi Mi 11 Lite 5G. А slim рhоne with соmmendаble саmerа сhорs.
iРhоne SE.
Reаlme 8 Рrо.
Hоnоr 50.
Sаmsung Gаlаxy А52 5G.

 

Hоw mаny megарixels is gооd fоr а рhоne?

If yоu’re gоing tо sell yоur рhоtоs оr mаke lаrge рrints аnd роsters, then even а рhоne саmerа with 12 оr 16 megарixels оr mоre will wоrk well fоr yоu. But these dаys рrimаry рhоne саmerаs generаlly hаve mоre megарixels thаn thаt. In my орiniоn, smаrtрhоnes dоn’t need tо hаve 40 оr mоre megарixels.

 

Whiсh рhоne is best fоr lоw light рhоtоgrарhy?

Tор 10 Best Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоnes
1 Sаmsung Gаlаxy Nоte 20 Ultrа Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоne.
2 Аррle iРhоne 11 Рrо Mаx Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоne.
3 Gооgle Рixel 5 Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоne.
4 Sаmsung Gаlаxy S20 Ultrа Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоne.
5 ОneРlus 8 Рrо Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоne.
6 Аррle iРhоne SE Lоw Light Саmerа Рhоne.

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Finally,

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