The best smartphone cameras in 2021

Update: Updated for 2021
The best smartphone cameras in 2021

A picture is worth a thousand words, but how much in dollars? Choosing a phone is hard work. More often than not, the camera is one of the main deciding factors. 2021 has seen the advent of several new smartphones with impressive cameras and it was about time we updated our list of best smartphone cameras for this year. Check out our picks for the best cameraphones for 2021!

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Editors' Choice: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Best Camera Smartphone on the Market

As of now - exactly at the first half of 2021 - the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is our pick for the best camera smartphone you can buy in 2021. Note that we came to this conclusion following long-drawn discussions among our editorial team members. In fact, we believe that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is also among the best smartphones money can buy.

NextPIT Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Noble, chic and powerful - the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra! / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • Chic design
  • 120 Hz WQHD+ AMOLED display
  • Excellent performance
  • Versatile camera setup
  • Highly effective 10x zoom
  • Good battery life
  • OneUI 3.1 fluid and feature-rich
 

Cons

  • Exynos variants still cannot match the SD888 version
  • No charger included
  • No microSD port
  • Fast charging capped at 25W
  • Expensive!

Camera module of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:

  • Main camera: 108 megapixels at 1/1.33" at f/1.8
  • Ultra wide-angle: 12 megapixels at 1/ 2.55" at f/2.2
  • Telephoto: 3x with 10 megapixels at 1/ 3.24" at f/2.4
  • Telephoto (2): 10x with 10 megapixels at 1/ 3.24" at f/2.9
  • Front camera: 40 megapixels at 1/ 2.8" at f/2.2
  • 100x space zoom, hybrid optical zoom, 8K video snap, motion view, director's eye view
  • 8K video at 24fps

As mentioned in the intro, we unanimously think that as of July 2021, it is nigh impossible for any other smartphone to match the sheer camera quality and versatility offered by the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Galaxy S21 Ultra's super-advanced camera is absolutely one of the highlights of this top-of-the-line smartphone. In addition to an improved 108-megapixel sensor, there's an ultra-wide-angle camera here, as well as two (!) telephoto cameras at once.

So zooming in at 10x magnification finally works without significant loss of quality, and you can still get pretty usable results with Samsung's 100x space zoom if you wish. The camera is versatile and also logically benefits from all the camera features Samsung introduced with the S21 series.

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review photo zoom day 1
Unlike many of its competitors, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a really powerful zoom / © NextPit

However, we wouldn't be praising the camera so highly if only the telephoto lenses performed so well and the rest fell significantly short. Therefore, we also want to talk about the main camera and the sensor for the ultra-wide-angle here.

In daylight, the main camera does exactly what we expect from a Samsung flagship: Churn out images that have excellent detail, well-managed dynamic range, and eye-pleasing color. Focusing is also much faster than in the predecessors.

When it comes to the ultra-wide-angle lens, Samsung sticks with last year's technology: it's based on a 1/2.55"-12MP sensor with 1.4-µmm pixels and uses a 13mm lens with an f/2.2 aperture that offers a 120-degree field of view. What's new here, though, is that Samsung is offering autofocus, unlike last year's models. When it comes to low-light images, we think only the Huawei Mate 40 Pro captures better night-time images.  

Read our Galaxy S21 Ultra Review

The best alternatives that NextPit recommends

After the editorial selection, which is necessarily subjective and probably won't please everyone, let's move on to the rest of the selection. 

Huawei Mate 40 Pro: The top alternative for the best camera smartphone

NextPIT Mate 40 Pro
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is still a standout photo smartphone / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • 5x periscope zoom with no loss of detail
  • 50 MP main lens that captures a lot of light
  • Ultra wide-angle lens that limits distortion
  • Very good night shots even without night mode
  • Very versatile camera module
 

Cons

  • Warm overall white balance
  • Missing Google services

 

 

 

Camera module of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro:

  • Wide-angle main lens 50 MP, f/1.9, 23 mm, 1/1.28", 1.22 µm, PDAF omnidirectional, AF laser
  • Periscopic telephoto lens 12 MP, f/3.4, 125 mm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
  • Ultra wide-angle lens 20 MP, f/1.8, 18 mm, PDAF
  • Video: 4K at 30/60 fps, 1080p at 30/60/120/240/480 fps, 720p at 960 fps, 720p at 3840 fps,
  • 13 MP, f/2.4, 18 mm ultra-wide-angle selfie lens
  • 3D ToF sensor
  • Video: 4K at 30/60 fps, 1080p at 30/60/240 fps

Well, we know it's a bit tricky getting the Huawei Mate 40 Pro in the US given the sticky situation between Huawei and the US government. However, we had to include this phone as our top mention in this section because of its sheer awesomeness. Almost a year since it was announced, it remains one of the most powerful camera smartphones money can buy in 2021.

It offers the same camera module as the excellent Huawei P40 Pro, with a lower resolution at the ultra-wide-angle range (20 MP instead of 40 MP). The 'periscope' telephoto lens nearly outperforms the competition, causing almost no loss in quality at 2x, 5x, and 10x magnification. Beyond that, the drop in detail is noticeable but remains much better contained than competitors. While it has more or less the same performance as the P40 Pro, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro has the advantage of being equipped with the latest, more powerful Kirin 9000 SoC as well as a 90 Hz OLED waterfall display.

Everyday life with a Huawei smartphone restricted by the US ban is quite doable, as we were able to explain in our EMUI 11 review. That said, the lack of Google services is still a barrier to purchase for many users, I'm aware.

Click here for the review of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: An affordable alternative to the S21 Ultra

NextPIT Mate 40 Pro
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best alternative to the Galaxy S21 Ultra from Samsung's own ranks/ © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • 5x and 10x effective zoom
  • 108 MP main sensor
  • 48 MP telephoto lens with good optical zoom
  • Effective night mode
  • Versatile camera module
 

Cons

  • Slightly saturated colors
  • The hybrid x100 zoom is a gimmick

 

 

 

The camera module of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra:

  • 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.33", 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS wide-angle main lens.
  • 48 MP, f/3.5, 103mm (telephoto periscope), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 4x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultra-wide), 1.4µm, super-stable video
  • 0.3 MP, TOF 3D, f/1.0, (depth).
  • Video: 8K to 24fps, 4K to 30/60fps, 1080p to 30/60/240fps, 720p to 960fps
  • 40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm, 0.7µm, PDAF wide-angle lens with self-timer
  • Video: 4K at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30fps

If you simply do not have enough cash to splurge on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it is advisable you settle for the now cheaper - but nearly as good  - Galaxy S20 Ultra from last year.  The S20 Ultra gets a 108MP primary sensor (Samsung Isocell HM1). This sensor combines not four, but nine pixels into one "superpixel".

Above the 108-megapixel main sensor, Samsung has an ultra-wide-angle module. The native resolution is 12 MP and the field of view is one of the widest among today's smartphones at more than 120 degrees. The lowest of the three modules is the famous Sony IMX586 48 MP sensor with a periscopic zoom that provides 5 x 5 optical magnification. This is a far better than average configuration for a telephoto lens.

As long as you don't go beyond 5x magnification, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus's zoom is effective and maintains good detail, but if the smartphone crops in the base image to offer magnification levels, you'll lose detail at 10x magnification. So the "100x" zoom is nothing more than a superfluous selling point.

Click here for the review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

 

iPhone 12 Pro Max: The people's choice!

NextPIT iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro is the best camera smartphone from Apple / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

- Camera test pending

 

Cons

- Camera test pending

The iPhone 12 Pro Max camera module:

  • 12 MP wide-angle prime lens, f/1.6, 26 mm, 1.7µm, dual-pixel PDAF, IBIS stabilization
  • Telephoto lens 12 MP, f/2.2, 65 mm, 1/3.4", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.4, 120˚, 13 mm, 1/3.6" ultra-wide-angle lens
  • ToF 3D LiDAR sensor
  • Video: 4K at 24/30/60 fps, 1080p at 30/60/120/240 fps.
  • Selfie wide-angle lens 12 MP, f/2.2, 23 mm, 1/3.6" selfie lens
  • 3D depth sensor
  • Video: Video: 4K at 24/30/60 fps, 1080p at 30/60/120/240 fps.

The main difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max is the size of the main sensor, which is 47 percent larger on the Pro Max. This larger sensor logically offers better dynamic range, better low-light performance, and overall better image quality.

But the big highlight of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, according to my colleague Julia, is that for the first time, the iPhone offers 2.5x optical zoom (Apple calls it a "5x optical zoom range"), HDR 3. The phone also takes impressive photos in low light thanks to the LiDAR scanner.

One difference from the 11 Pro Max is the night mode available in the ultra-wide angle mode. With iOS 14.3, Apple has also included the new Apple ProRAW photo format, which allows for more thorough post-processing of iPhone images.

In fact, Apple claims that the Pro Max's low-light performance is 87 percent better than older devices. The larger physical size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max has also allowed the telephoto zoom to increase to 65mm. This means that the 12 Pro Max has a very wide zoom range, from 13 mm ultra-wide to 65 mm zoom.

It also uses sensor stabilization via IBIS or "in-body image stabilization" technology, which is found on traditional hybrid cameras. The sensor can make 5000 micro adjustments per second, and this stabilization means you can get up to two seconds of hands-free exposure in low light.

Recently, we invited the NextPit community to take part in a blind test to compare and rate photos from smartphone cameras. And, what can we say: the iPhone 12 Pro Max saw off the entire Android competition. Reason enough to include the iOS smartphone here as a high-end alternative in the list.

Click here for the review of the iPhone 12 Pro.

OnePlus 9 Pro: OnePlus can finally do camera!

NextPIT OnePlus 9
The OnePlus 9 Pro benefits from the collaboration with Hasselblad / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pros

  • The Fluid Amoled 120 Hz display
  • Snapdragon 888
  • 65W wired charging and 50W wireless charging
  • The versatile camera module
  • Significant advances in image processing
  • IP68 certification
  • 65W charger included
 

Cons

  • Stylish design, but too conventional
  • The zoom is still too limited
  • The "Gaming Pro" mode is too gadgety

 

 

The camera module of the OnePlus 9:

  • Main wide-angle 48 MP: Sony IMX789, 1/1.43" (sensor size), 2.24μm (pixel size with 4-in-1 binning), EIS/OIS, f/1.8 aperture, 23mm equivalent
  • 50 MP ultra-wide: Sony IMX766, 1/1.56" (sensor size), free-form lens, f/2.2 aperture, 14 mm equivalent
  • Telephoto 8 MP: f/2.4 aperture, 1.0μm (pixel size)
  • 2 MP monochrome
  • Dual LED flash
  • Front camera: Sony IMX471, 16 MP, f/2.4, 1.0 µm, fixed focus
  • Multi-autofocus: PDAF+CAF for all pixels, omnidirectional
  • 8K video at 30 FPS, 4K video at 30/60 FPS
  • Super Slow Motion: 720p at 480 FPS, 1080p at 240 FPS
  • Time Lapse: 1080p 30 FPS, 4K at 30 FPS

We don't need to discuss the fact that OnePlus can build excellent smartphones. But then, most of the time, it was the camera that couldn't quite keep up with the competition's top models. OnePlus has recognized this and has taken it upon itself to now deliberately focus on improving the camera sensors.

For this purpose, the Chinese manufacturer has tapped Hasselblad, a true camera legend, for a joint partnership. The OnePlus 9 Pro already benefits from this, although in this case the collaboration between the companies is still limited to the software side.

The highlight of the 48MP main sensor is support for native dual ISO, 12-bit RAW, and DOL-HDR. DOL stands for "Digital Overlay" and means that multiple shots are taken at different exposures and then combined to optimize the dynamic range. As far as daylight shots go, we have to say we were blown away by how confidently the complex dynamic ranges were handled.

Normally, we knew from previous OnePlus flagships this annoying tendency to draw a veil over shots, usually due to too aggressive smoothing. The AI clumsily tried to reduce digital noise, and one of the key improvements in the OnePlus 9 Pro is the near-total absence of this haze.

If we look at night and wide-angle shots, we'll notice that the OnePlus cameras are just not yet where Huawei and Samsung are, for example. The zoom also falls behind the rest of the camera features.

Click here for the review of the OnePlus 9 Pro

Google Pixel 4a 5G: The best mid-range cameraphone

NextPIT Pixel 4a 5G
The Google Pixel 4a 5G is the cheapest camera phone from 2020 / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • Best value for money
  • Unmatched image quality in this price range
  • Spectacular NightSight mode
  • Double exposure and contrast management
  • Wide dynamic range
 

Cons

  • Aging main sensor
  • Limited digital zoom
  • Not the most versatile camera module

 

 

The Google Pixel 4a 5G's camera module:

  • 12.2 MP wide-angle lens, f/1.7, 27 mm, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual-pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 16 MP ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 107˚, 1.0µm
  • Video: 4K at 30/60 fps, 1080p at 30/60/120/240 fps
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, 24 mm, 1/4.0", 1.12µm wide-angle selfie shooter
  • Video: 1080p at 30 fps

The Google Pixel 4a 5G is a smartphone that offers the main qualities of the Pixel flagship but at a more affordable price. Google has added a wide-angle sensor to the famous 12.2-megapixel main camera, instead of a telephoto lens like on the Pixel 4.

In his review of the smartphone, my colleague Ben found that the camera duo on the back delivers very good to excellent results and Google manages to maintain the performance level of its predecessors. Especially with the cheaper Pixel 4a 5G, it's a real joy to use, because for little money you get a lot of beautiful and crisp memories.

The brightness and contrast of the images are controlled separately with Dual Exposure Management and White Balance, allowing you to control both the brightness of the images and the intensity of the HDR effect. Instead of just telling the smartphone to optimize the dynamic range, you control the efficiency of the dynamic range, which makes the dark areas more or less prominent. It's a useful tool for creating images that almost makes you forget there's no Pro mode, including controlling exposure time.

Click here for the review of the Pixel 4a 5G

Samsung Galaxy A72: Samsung's mid-range alternative

NextPIT Samsung Galaxy A72
The Galaxy A72 offers an additional telephoto camera on the back / © NextPit

Review

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • Durability thanks to 4 years of updates
  • IP67 certification
  • Good battery life
  • Versatile camera
  • Headphone jack
 

Cons

  • No adaptive refresh rate
  • Fast charging at 25 watts

The camera module of the Samsung Galaxy A72:

  • Main lens: 64MP with f/1.8 and OIS
  • Ultra wide angle: 12MP with f/2.2
  • Telephoto lens (3x): 8MP with f/2.4
  • Macro: 5MP with f/2.4
  • Selfie: 32MP without AF
  • UHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) @30fps
  • Slow motion: 240fps @HD

The Samsung Galaxy A72 is yet to arrive in the U.S - but we have already managed to review it in Europe. The Galaxy A72 impressed Camila in the review, especially in terms of media consumption. This is not the least due to the 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with its refresh rate of 90 hertz. The battery capacity is also larger compared to the A52 5G. Samsung uses a 5,000 milliamp-hour battery in the A72.

This makes it interesting for Samsung fans who don't want to pay four-digit sums for a smartphone. The A72 is available for as little as 449 Euros.

But the device is also interesting for our overview of the most recommendable camera smartphones. The 64 MP main cam with optical image stabilization is a really nice all-rounder that not only convinces in good lighting conditions, but also in night shots, for example.

Additionally, Samsung should be congratulated for the decision to omit a rather pointless depth sensor and offer a telephoto sensor instead. The optical magnification is a nice surprise, especially in this price range, and so Samsung has put together a really nice overall package for the mid-range.

Read the review of the Samsung Galaxy A72 here.

Background knowledge

HDR and night mode: The importance of software processing

All your smartphone photos are subject to software image processing by the device's AI. This processing can be more or less aggressive and can affect the image quality, which may be different from what you saw with the naked eye at the time you took the photo.

HDR

HDR or High Dynamic range is the ratio between the darkest and lightest areas of a scene. The lower the dynamic range of a photo sensor, the more difficult it becomes to correctly see elements at opposite ends of the range at the same time.

Specifically, this manifests itself in skies that are too white and burned by light, or buildings that are too dark and drowned in shadow, which greatly affects exposure and/or contrast. So you'll never be able to have all the elements of a scene with perfect exposure at the same time in one shot.

With HDR, the smartphone takes several consecutive shots, each with a different exposure, to combine them and get a "balanced" rendering. However, this feature can also be problematic if you move too much during the exposure - the shot will be blurry.

It's more or less the same process smartphones use for their famous night mode.

Automatic scene detection

The first form that software processing can take is also the most basic: scene detection. The smartphone automatically detects elements (sky, grass, face) in the shot and adjusts the image processing according to the identified elements. For example, the blue of the sky or the green of the vegetation in a landscape photo can be emphasized more, and the face in a portrait photo can be sharpened.

AI: "Deep Learning"

The AI of a Google Pixel or a Deep Fusion mode on the iPhone are even more advanced, integrating the notion of Deep Learning into image processing. Specifically, to beautify your image, the smartphone compares it to a huge database of similar shots to adjust settings and suggest the appropriate rendering for that type of shot.

While this feature is popular with newbies who swear by automatic mode, it can be frustrating if the processing is too aggressive and decides for the photographer what is or isn't beautiful in a photo.

Samsung, for example, has long had an unfortunate tendency to oversaturate colors, resulting in images that are anything but natural. Night mode in Google Pixel causes night photos to lose their natural look, giving the impression that the photos were taken during the day (e.g. a sky that is too bright).

The aperture explained

Strictly speaking, the terms aperture (also called f-number) and f-stop ratio are generally used incorrectly. The correct term would be "aperture ratio", which describes the focal length of the system in relation to the diameter of the entrance pupil of the lens.

This ratio is usually expressed as a fraction in the notation "f/1.8" or "1:1.8". It's fairly counter-intuitive, but the larger the aperture, the smaller the number after the f. Thus, f/16 is a small aperture, while f/1.4 provides a larger aperture.

Aperture is particularly useful in conjunction with sensor size to play with background blur and low-light performance. The larger the aperture - and therefore the amount of light captured - the blurrier the background behind the subject being photographed. This is a parameter that can be interesting to highlight in portraits but is also a good indicator of low light performance.

The emphasis is more on light intensity. An improvement from F2.4 to F1.7, for example, means that the smartphone has twice as much light to shoot with. This, in turn, paves the way for optional lighting:

  • A photo taken at half ISO sensitivity. Half sensitivity means less amplification of the image signal and therefore less image noise.
  • A photo taken at half shutter speed. This reduces the risk of camera shake when moving quickly or in low light.

Optical zoom and focal length

To understand what optical zoom really means in a smartphone, first look at focal lengths. The focal length of a lens indicates the distance between the lens and its focal point, where all the light rays converge.

An optical system with a very long focal length therefore focuses the light very far behind the lens. A long focal length therefore means a small angle of view - or in more colloquial terms, a "strong zoom".

If you really want to know how far a smartphone can zoom without compromising image quality, three values are important:

  • The focal length of the telephoto lens in 35mm equivalent.
  • The image sensor under the same telephoto lens
  • The aperture of the telephoto lens

The telephoto focal length in 35-mm equivalent indicates the smartphone's ability to zoom in on distant subjects through optical magnification. If the ratio between the fancy magnification and the actual optical magnification goes too far, the phone has to digitally zoom in - and the image quality suffers.

This is where the image sensor under the telephoto lens comes into play: the larger the sensor, the more light it captures - and the better the image quality. A very large image sensor not only delivers better images when optically magnified by the lens, but also provides more room for the digital zoom.

Finally, the aperture of the telephoto lens also plays a role. The aperture describes the amount of light available to the sensor for the image. In general, the more light, the less noise and the lower the risk of camera shake. Telephoto lenses in smartphones in particular are notoriously weak on these points.

What is the optical zoom?

A focal length in 35mm equivalent defines exactly the size of a given object imaged on the sensor at a given distance from the camera. Now, an optical zoom means that the camera is able to achieve different image angles or image sizes by varying the focal length.

Early photo smartphones with two lenses were usually equipped with a dual optical zoom - the focal lengths of the two lenses were about 25 and 50 millimeters. Then came the increasingly powerful telephoto lenses, and the double zoom eventually became an "x5" in the camera application.

Then, when the ultra-wide-angle lens made its way into the great mass of LG smartphones, the gigantic angle of view was silently referred to everywhere as "x0.5" or "x0.6" - that is, 0.5x zoom to the main camera, halved.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, for example, optically renders focal lengths equivalent to 13 to 103 millimeters - and therefore has an optical zoom of about x8. It's interesting that this number is not on the spec sheet.

In short, a 3x optical zoom means, for example, that the longest focal length of the camera system divided by the shortest focal length is exactly three. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has eight times more optical zoom.

Why is the 100x zoom a gimmick?

So where does the "x100" come from that a Galaxy S20 Ultra wears so proudly? Logically, for a 100x optical zoom, a smartphone should cover a focal length range of 13 to 1300 millimeters in 35mm equivalent.

The answer to the question "where does 100x come from?" is simple: from the imagination of Samsung's product managers. Unlike the optical zooms of "real" cameras, this "x100" has absolutely nothing to do with the optical capabilities of the camera system. Instead, Samsung has chosen a fantasy value as the upper limit for the camera.

Specifically, smartphones are technically limited by their size, and more importantly, the size of their camera modules, and therefore cannot offer a zoom comparable to that of an SLR, with a set of progressive lenses within the same lens, in short, a true "optical" zoom.

In reality, smartphones don't zoom, they play with their multiple lenses. Most models currently come with a wide-angle main lens and a telephoto lens with a different focal length.

How did NextPit choose the best photo smartphones?

As explained in the introduction, this list is arbitrary as it is based on the preferences of the author (in this case me) and the rest of the editorial team (the list is discussed among all testers).

We decided to select the best photo smartphones on the market in 2021 based on several categories: the editors' choice or the best ever, the best value for money, the most affordable, with possibly the best alternatives.

But the goal is not to sequence the choices too much. Buying a smartphone is the product of multiple buying criteria. Rarely do people choose their smartphone based on a single criterion like battery or screen.

As for a test, this list is the product of several subjectivities but is always partially supported by objective and verifiable elements. We also remain attentive to the community by taking into account the recommendations of readers in the comments, which are incorporated into the selection.

Specifically, only models that have already been tested are selected. The smartphone is placed in the context of the current market situation, taking into account possible price cuts, the release of new competing models, availability for purchase, etc. If a model is not available, it will be replaced by a new one.

What do you think of this selection? Which models do you think we have forgotten and should be included? Do you find the advice and methodology sections useful? Give us your feedback in the comments!

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  • Ant Kan 7 months ago Link to comment

    I think Xiaomi is the best one to capture very nice photos without spend a lot of money.


  • Adrian Palmer Edwards 7 months ago Link to comment

    How narrow minded can you be, every true photographer online says this new Sony Xperia 1 ll has the best camera by a mile, they all say it every single one. But, tech reviewers stick to what they are spoon fed, very narrow minded. People read these reviews before they spend $1k+ on a new smartphone, waste of time, by the way I have a Blackberry.


  • S K 9 months ago Link to comment

    this article is great with all the relevant information required for mobile photography.thanks


  • Dean L. May 23, 2020 Link to comment

    I have a Sony alpha 6000 and love using it for taking pictures. Bottom line is I always have my phone with me which I probably take >90% of my pictures with. So I have both sides covered. The other key feature I love with my phone is I can shoot video and take pictures at the same time. Just my two pfennig...


  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    May 22, 2020 Link to comment

    If your interest is photography then you need a real camera


    • Franz Fifty May 22, 2020 Link to comment

      no, unless you can shoot with a "real" camera by taking it out of your pocket, point towards something and take great night pictures without a tripod... but since smartphone cameras have become more versatile and far superior in processing, that statement is not true anymore


      • Rusty H. May 26, 2020 Link to comment

        I take night photos without a tripod. If your d-slr/lens has great stability, it can be done. I've taken some fantastic moon photos without a tripod. Now, if you are talking more than 1/2 second exposure, yeah, you'll need a tripod.


  •   46
    Deactivated Account May 22, 2020 Link to comment

    If you want the best pictures buy a DSLR camera. No smart phone with a tiny lens can ever compete with a real quality camera. They can replace the old point and shoot camera but that is about it


    • Franz Fifty May 22, 2020 Link to comment

      didn't know a DSLR can make phone calls or browse the internet..or did i miss something in an article talking about "camera PHONES"?


  • storm May 22, 2020 Link to comment

    You've managed to pick no phone of interest to me. A camera isn't everything.


  • MirandaStown Aug 25, 2019 Link to comment

    Samsung phone models take truly superb photos and videos. The quality is excellent!


  •   4
    Deactivated Account May 31, 2018 Link to comment

    S9+'s Variable apeture is fire tho


  • harshatecordeon May 25, 2018 Link to comment

    i think Huawei is the best one to capture


  • Rusty H. May 25, 2018 Link to comment

    Another vote for the Mate9, VERY good camera. Using Camera FV-5 or Open camera, it does very well.


  • CJ Brown Mar 21, 2017 Link to comment

    ZTE Axon 7
    20 Megapixel Back

    #nuffsaid


  • Marius Viney Mar 21, 2017 Link to comment

    What about the LG G5 camera?

    Dean L.Deactivated Account


  •   54
    Deactivated Account Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

    The Mate 9 is doing very well, and also the nubia Z11, both have excellent cameras, but I can not say how good they are in comparison with the Pixel or Galaxy S7. But anyway they are better then my old S6 edge plus and the honor 5x :)


  •   46
    Deactivated Account Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

    Really no LG phones. This is a very biased incomplete article.


    • Dean L. May 26, 2018 Link to comment

      The article has been updated and now has the LG v30 and iPhone X as well as other 2018 models. For what it's worth I still like the photos I'm getting with the Pixel 2.


  • Chad_Higgins Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

    LG V20


  • Andrew Burgin Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

    S7 Edge is a Super Camera phone


  • Peter Harwood Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

    Z5 for me, best natural colours.


  • nathan chisholm Jan 10, 2017 Link to comment

    My samsung s7 camera is so fast to focus it's unreal! Plus the photos are stunning. The other day my friend had a promo on at his bar and i took some pics and they looked awesome the low light photos came out great...


  • Kari Melby Jan 4, 2017 Link to comment

    Sony xz har det beste kamera 🎥 men man må lære å bruke det 😊 😊


  • Siniša Ružičić Oct 2, 2016 Link to comment

    LOL first site that doesnt claim that s7 is the best camera phone. i mean the fastest autofocus is found there not in z5 are you blind? the best low light performance, best camera app along with v10. best detail and sharpness. you must be paid from sony for this kind of shit


  • Denys Zaiats Sep 9, 2016 Link to comment

    I found amazing resource www.facey.top with photos from mobile devices.


  • Terie Mumby Aug 16, 2016 Link to comment

    Ahem! No mention of the LGG5. Not sure why not. The camera's at least as good as the S7. Besides.. It's got that extra-wide second camera that should put it on the list for sure. You guys are so biased. I'm shocked, Scott. I don't know why I keep reading this stuff.


  • Atli Örn Hilmars Aug 16, 2016 Link to comment

    Fine review. I had almost bought Samsung 6 edge plus yesterday but thougth better wait and read more about it and see if 7 is a better choice and worth the diffrence in price. Upgrading from Samsung Galaxy 2 gt plus. Maybe older Galaxies could serve as well or another brand. I mostly use it for pictures, surfing, seeing news and videos, skype and orientering (maps). I not into games and talking to my phone or jerking it around. Which models should I check first?


  • Hans G Aug 11, 2016 Link to comment

    You can add one very soon. The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe.. Great camera 👍


  •   45
    Deactivated Account Aug 1, 2016 Link to comment

    DxOMark has given 88 to Xperia X Performance. Z5 has 87.


  • Peter Harwood Aug 1, 2016 Link to comment

    Sony phone's are shit and over heat some people say! Well I've just spent 3 hours none stop on the Internet and my Z5 isn't bearly warm never mind hot, think some people don't like Sony! thats OK stick with a phone that your happy with but don't rubbish a phone just because you don't like it or more likely you've never had one?As for the Sony Ericsson arc what you expecting from a low budget phone with low end specs? But then you jump up to the Z5 premium! problely just in your mind!


    • Chad_Higgins Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

      Nobody has Sony in USA. Dont even offer them anywhere to buy. But i know they are good.


  • btyce Jul 30, 2016 Link to comment

    Sony phones are shit stacked they should stick to playstations. Was using experia arc which kept corrupting boot partion and z5 premium same thing and alwaus over heating esp when m using Internet


  • btyce Jul 30, 2016 Link to comment

    I choose to have a Samsung any tyme not the sony Z series. They all die the same way


  • Peter Harwood Jul 29, 2016 Link to comment

    Looks as if the Sony x has just gone to the top of Dxomark so looks like Sony has done it again.


  • Dummy_001 Jul 29, 2016 Link to comment

    Everyone is blabbering on how good the camera of Samsung.

    Sony be like: Aren't those phone's using my Sensor?
    d - .. - b


    • nathan chisholm Jan 10, 2017 Link to comment

      Samsung doesn't use sony sensors


      •   24
        Deactivated Account Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

        The s6 edge does I know for a fact not sure about the s7/edge though.


  • Kodiak Dog Jul 27, 2016 Link to comment

    What about the Nexus 5x?


    • Robin van Dijke Aug 1, 2016 Link to comment

      The 5X has the same camera as the 6P, so don't worry buddy, it's also the best!


    • Chad_Higgins Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

      Its o.k. nothing great about it!


    • cybertec69 Mar 21, 2017 Link to comment

      I own both a Nexus 5X and a Samsung S7, both take great pictures, the S7 is just faster, the Nexus 5X pictures look more natural than the S7 pictures. I also shoot with a DSLR Nikon D500, and no smartphone comes close to the larger sensor DSLR.


  •   46
    Deactivated Account Jul 26, 2016 Link to comment

    I find it hard to believe you put the P9 on the list. It is a marginal picture taker at best. The monochromatic lens does nothing unless you are taking black and white pictures. Leica had nothing to do with this camera except maybe making the lenses. It is all hype and BS.


  • peter Jul 25, 2016 Link to comment

    The best camera on my opinion Spny xperia zx 5

    Deactivated Account


  • JD Weaver Jul 16, 2016 Link to comment

    Keep in mind the LG G4 Panorama setting is not as good as on the Samsung phones. Also the megapixel rating is only part of the equation. You need to consider aspect ratio. My 16MP S5 isn't any better than the S7 12MP due to the S7's aspect ratio.


  •   6
    Deactivated Account May 5, 2016 Link to comment

    Z5 camera over crapsung trash 13MP slow autofocus garbage.

    Deactivated Account


    • Luke Thorpe Jun 13, 2016 Link to comment

      The S7 has the fastest autofocus on any phone, and possibly the best camera. I'm not a samsung fanboy - I've never even owned a samsung phone or tablet.


      • Andrii Gritsevskyi Jul 27, 2016 Link to comment

        No, it is not. You should try it yourself for a day or so, and I bet you will change your opinion. And, honestly, I can imagine it is not so much camera problem but combination of driver/library/software.


      • Peter Harwood Jul 27, 2016 Link to comment

        Thought the S7 has an autofocus speed of 0.05 think you'll find the Z5 has a speed of 0.03


    • Mikio Jul 28, 2016 Link to comment

      Hahahahaha😂
      Trashsung


  • Mikio Apr 30, 2016 Link to comment

    Unfair.

    The photos are need to be same to compare.

    ~I wish there are original downloadable photos taken from those phone. Especially from XPERIA Z5


  • CJ Brown Apr 24, 2016 Link to comment

    Still impressed by the Nexus 6P, although every Android smartphone mentioned in this article has a top notch camera ... I guess it's only a matter of time before the HTC 10 is reviewed and added to the list


  • Admire You Apr 19, 2016 Link to comment

    s7 is the best sodar forget all others but htc 10 could be as good or better we have to wait and find out

    xperia z is crap phone brake easy camera r blury i had xperia z3 dead sfter 2months will never byt sony mobile again previously i had sony experia same storry brake easy stay away from sony mobile


    •   6
      Deactivated Account May 5, 2016 Link to comment

      My S5 was a plastic piece of crap that got water leaking in and rusted all the internals, so much for IP58. I bought a Sony Xperia Z5 Premium and I will never buy Samsung phones again. This Xperia camera destroys Galaxy phones any day.

      Deactivated Account


    • Andrew Albano Jul 26, 2016 Link to comment

      You should treat your GIFTS with great care young man!


    • Peter Harwood Jul 28, 2016 Link to comment

      look after them they don't break?


  • LatinoMicz Apr 16, 2016 Link to comment

    Really? Z5 is good? I had a Z3 and hated it so bad. The camera with 20mp was dreadful. Felt so much worse than my 4ultra pixel M7 that I switched from. That plus horrible bluetooth connection issues made me ditch the phone quick and vow never to touch a Sony phone again.


    •   6
      Deactivated Account May 5, 2016 Link to comment

      I had a Z3 and I rooted it. Everything improved with the Marshmallow update but I bought a Z5 Premium now. All those problems are now gone and Sony listens to all our suggestions and their development community hosts votes and requests for features. Yes, the Z3 has issues but if you're vowing not to buy Sony phones again, you're at a big loss.


  • surya kumar Apr 16, 2016 Link to comment

    I think s7 have lesser resolution than 6P.But you mentioned 6p has the lowest resolution in this list


  • Alex W. Apr 15, 2016 Link to comment

    So the best camera award goes to Z5, but what about it's overheating issues and is the software ok? Cause I heard something about lags.

    Deactivated Account


    • tariq Apr 15, 2016 Link to comment

      I had Sony phones for past 3 years. They have some heating issues, but opening all of the ports helps it cool down or u can just put it under cold water for a few secs. And the camera; its great and all but only outside, the camera on Sony phones is awful in the dark and flash doesn't help since the camera can't auto focus quick enough... S7edge wins camera test for me, especially in the dark!


    •   6
      Deactivated Account May 5, 2016 Link to comment

      No overheating issues for me on my Z5 Premium. Software is running excellently. All problems were fixed after the marshmallow update.


  • Peter Harwood Apr 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Just love the camera of the Z5 so easy to use and pictures are very good in all situations

    Deactivated Account


  • Precision Apr 15, 2016 Link to comment

    All the cameras aren't as good as they should be. But if they were, how many people would upgrade ?

    I think there was a wasted opportunity here also because cameras perform differently in different lighting conditions. And comparisons were not made.

    People should also be aware that reviewers often get sent better models with better components than the ones that get delivered to people.


  • lianne john Apr 15, 2016 Link to comment

    LG makes a good choice!


  • Matt Schutte Feb 7, 2016 Link to comment

    My Fruit Loops cereal box pin-hole-camera may be a bit older than the smart-cam competition of 2016, but megapixels and sensor size can't beat the tiny Gnome behind the lens that renders crayon sketches in 64 colors, all in less than 5 minutes!


  • walter white Jan 29, 2016 Link to comment

    This review is so dense, and biased toward SHAMESUNG it's sad. The v10 is the most innovative, and includes the most features people actually want, plus it's military drop test specced. Applesung offers nothing but cheated benchmarks, and touchpizz. This site is weak, Android central ftw.


  • Khalid Jan 24, 2016 Link to comment

    you should name this Samsung Pit/Huawei Pit instead Androidpit


  • Hariyanto Sahabuddin Jan 22, 2016 Link to comment

    Unfortunately most of those phones are very expensive ones. I wish I could buy one.


  • Parvind Chahal Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

    u cant make people fools s6 camera is better than v10 moto and nexus 6p.....i can bet


  •   46
    Deactivated Account Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

    Best cameras of 2016? They are all 2015 phones. The 2016 phones have not even been released.


  • Michael Cook Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

    I got my LG V10 last week, and it really does have an awesome camera!


  • bharath Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

    u didnt mention about lenovo vibeshot


  • chetan Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

    my canvas knight has also the best camera to use for 4ever


  • hotspring21 Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

    How about Panasonic DMC-CM1? True this is 2014 phone, but it still beats any android camera out there for sensor size and stills picture quality


    • Guto Nobre Jan 14, 2016 Link to comment

      Yep, but Android version has stopped in 4.4... No update....


  • James Rodwer Dec 24, 2015 Link to comment

    I have to go with Galaxy Note 5. It is the best phone you can have at this moment and it provides you with anything you ever wanted from a smartphone.
    The screen is really great and you can easily watch your favourite tv show on it without realising you are on a smartphone.
    The camera is awesome! It has a 16 MP Rear Camera and 5 MP Front Camera. However, the clarity of the phone is very clear and the additional features make the photos even more interesting.


    • Michael Cook Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

      Except it has a back made of very breakable glass (who thought that was a good idea?), and they removed the removable battery and SD Card, they took form over function, the Note 5 is basically a blown up S6 with an S Pen. It's sad to see Samsung go the Apple route.


    • walter white Jan 29, 2016 Link to comment

      Obviously you've never used a v10.


  • William K. Dec 15, 2015 Link to comment

    My M9 takes just fine pictures. I think all flagship phones have cameras basically on par with one another and the average person can't tell the difference. I don't understand the obsession with smartphone cameras.


  • Tamara C. Dec 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Wow! With SoOooo many ideas n inventions in your head how do you you get it to Industry??? I would really love to help the plant be a better place for all life. Good for you, for putting this out there. It's still in it's Infancy..Give it time to grow. It's a Brilliant idea


  • Peter Harwood Dec 12, 2015 Link to comment

    all i can say is I've had a z5 now for a couple of months and i think it's probably the best out there at the moment


  • Kong Ling Dec 12, 2015 Link to comment

    Bad author for mentioning Samsung name in Nexus/LG Pit.


  • rick Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

    i have the the S5, i think the camera is as good as any. At least for a phone camera.


  • Ian Shore Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

    Interesting that the Note 5 missed the cut.


    • Chavanel Dec 27, 2015 Link to comment

      S6/S6 Edge/S6 Edge+/Note 5 all use the same camera sensor and image processing. In other words, they are all the same.


  • James William Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

    What I really like is Sony Xperia Z5's snap. It was just cool. I liked it a lot.


  • Josee Bouthillette Aug 4, 2015 Link to comment

    LG G3 does also great pictures even better than Samsung Galaxy Alpha


  • SNault Aug 3, 2015 Link to comment

    Is this a paid Samsung ad or have you never heard of the LG G4? The G4 beats the heck out of the S6 camera.


  • Lau6304 Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Where is Sony? Where is LG?


  • wasimariflone Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    i compared s6 and xperia z3c side by side , only thing i liked about s6 was more details when zoomed in, other than that z3 wins


  • wasimariflone Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    No Sony ? certainly they take good pictures


    • Chad_Higgins Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

      Never saw anyone in USA with a Sony? But I'm sure given there reputation they take GREAT pictures.


  • Chad_Higgins Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Anyone who has a HTC Desire 816 will tell you, this phone also takes incredible pictures, whether you use the front or back camera. 5mp, 13mp


    • Elena R Jun 8, 2016 Link to comment

      Agree! I'm on prepaid with Virgin mobile and love the camera of the Desire 816, unfortunately I was running out of memory so I "upgraded" to the Galaxy J7, the camera is awful in the J7, a lot of noise and blurry pics and takes a long time to focus and on top of that I got a defective phone, LOL, so I have to return the galaxy, now I'm checking which phone I will get


  • Sebastian Marr Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    I agree with everyone else. There are a lot of better cameras, and not necessarily Samsung, Apple and all of this big names.


  • Miguel Gonçalves Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    The title should be: "Samsung advertisement"


  • prince kesarwani Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    how abt thinking of sony xperia z3+


  • otillee lee Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    It's all about Samsung! Bad joke you make in this article! -1!


  • Randy Walsh Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Where is the LG G4? Most every Android site and it's reviewers say it's Camera is as good or even better than the S6.


  • Miguel Gonçalves Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Where is Huawei P8???


    • Chad_Higgins Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

      They don't sell those here in USA. Is it any good?


  • Moni Mihailov Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    I can't believe you didn't mention the Galaxy S5 :/ It's the 2nd best camera after the S6.


    • walter white Jan 29, 2016 Link to comment

      Are you joking? That phone flat out sucks donkey balls.


  • Paolo Jul 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Did you just legitimately give an 'Honorable Mention' to 4 Megapixels, aggressive software processing, and a gimmicky dual lens setup that creates a poorly created Bokeh effect? My Note 3 camera is much better than, I dunno, every 2013-onwards HTC phone ever?

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