The 10 Best Camera Phones Compared for 2024

The best camera phone comes with 2-4 camera setups with different megapixel counts, capable of producing sharp, clear images. Modern phone cameras are getting closer to professional cameras with better apertures, quick shutter speeds, bigger sensors, and different in-built photography modes.

However, choosing one out of the many camera phones available today is a challenging task. Worry not. We’ve crafted a list of the best camera phones based on criteria like pricing, megapixel count, battery life, storage capacity, and processors. Dive in as we discover why the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Xiaomi Redmi Note 11, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are among the best camera phones to get in 2024.

The Top 10 Best Phones for Camera Quality

Based on several factors, we’ve ranked the best camera phones and provided a quick outline of why each one has made it on our list to give you an overview of your leading options in 2024:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra — Overall, the best camera phone thanks to its ultrawide lens and its 4-set camera at the back, where you get different lenses – with the main one being 200MP with 100x zoom.
  2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 — The best budget camera phone that comes with fast charging and a unique 2MP depth camera for more defined images.
  3. iPhone 14 Pro Max — A high-end camera phone and a trendsetter with its use of OIS in the front camera and Action Mode, which enables people with shaky hands to take clear pictures and stabilized videos.
  4. Google Pixel 7 Pro — Popular mid-range phone that’s ideal for visually impaired users thanks to features like voice prompts and vibration cues, which help these users take selfies on their own.
  5. Oppo Reno 8 — Popular for using RGBW filters for clicking pictures, which boosts the light content in images and makes them look bright and clear.
  6. Google Pixel 6a — Over $200 cheaper than the Pixel 7 Pro, and it boasts the same Real Tone image processing technology that makes every skin tone look natural and true to the original shade.
  7. iPhone 13 Pro Max — A huge upgrade over the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini as it comes with a bigger image sensor and a spectacular night mode.
  8. Realme GT 2 Pro — A top choice for capturing close-ups of distant objects as it comes with an impressive magnification range of 40x and a 150-degree field ultra-wide camera.
  9. Xperia 1 III — Popular for wildlife photography as it offers a variable telephoto lens to adjust the magnification as needed and 256GB of storage.
  10. One Plus 10 Pro — Perfect for professional photographers because its 10-bit photos leave enough headroom for editing, and its wide, wide-angle camera has a 150-degree field of vision.

Is the Samsung Camera Better Than the iPhone?

Both the iPhone and the Samsung are excellent camera phones. The choice between the two will depend on the features you want to use when taking photos.

Samsung devices have stronger zoom capabilities, while iPhones are better at taking low-light photos. However, the Samsung camera can be more appealing if you want a higher level of customization settings.

With a Samsung Galaxy, you get ample camera mode options, including pro photo and video, single take, slow motion, food, and night mode. However, the iPhone edges it for its unmatched portrait mode. But overall, you certainly can’t go wrong with either for taking pictures at night, macro photography, and everything in between.

Choosing isn’t easy when they’re both so good. So, which camera is better? iPhones are best for portraits, video recording, and the cinematic mode, while Samsung offers more versatility, and the ultra-wide mode and zoom provide a stronger overall photo-taking experience.

The Best Phone Cameras Reviewed In-Depth

What phone has the best camera? Read on, as we’ll now discuss in detail each of our top recommendations, including their best features, prices, pros, and cons, to help you make an informed decision.

Alternatively, feel free to skip ahead to our comparison table to see a head-to-head comparison of everything from pricing to camera specs and RAM.

1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra — Best Camera Phone in 2024

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is easily Samsung’s best camera phone, and its biggest selling point is that it comes with 2 telephoto cameras. They zoom into objects at a distance without distorting the image quality.

Besides this, the phone has an ultra-wide camera, a main camera, and a selfie camera, bringing the total number of cameras to a staggering five. We also like how each camera has different types of lenses that can cater to different needs. For example, if you need a wide-angle view of a landscape, the ultrawide lens will do the job for you.

On the other hand, if you’re a wildlife photographer and need sharp close-ups of an animal but from a distance, the telephoto lens will be your friend as it’s known for its ability to focus on objects at a distance and make them look closer than they really are in the final picture.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$999.99 Android 13.0 12 MP 200MP+ 10MP+ 10MP+ 12MP
  • 2 telephoto lenses
  • 200 MP main camera
  • Cinematic 8K recording
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O QHD+ Edge Screen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 50 8 GB 256 GB 5,000mAh

A major USP of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the 200MP main camera, which is the best camera on an Android phone. Since other camera phones on the list, such as Xperia 1 III or Oppo Reno 8, swing between 12MP to 50MP, it’s quite obvious that a 200MP camera can produce much better results.

Now, the phone comes with a higher price tag, sure, but if you can afford it, you’re not going to regret it. In short, a 50MP camera will have 50 million pixels — more pixels means more detailed and sharper pictures.

The main camera offers much more than just clear photos. Usually, if you want to take sharp pictures in low light, you’re required to switch to night mode. However, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has an auto Night Shot functionality that automatically adds some extra processing to the photo if it finds the lighting to be insufficient.

Pros

  • Decent battery life
  • Cell phone with the best camera (200MP)
  • 8K smooth video recorder
  • 2 telephoto cameras for up to 100x zoom

Cons

  • It’s expensive

2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 — Best Cell Phone Camera for Those on a Budget

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is the best bargain pick, priced at just a little more than $200. It’s perfect for a beginner who might not be able to take advantage of all that a feature-loaded camera setup like that of the Galaxy S23 Ultra or the Pixel 7 Pro has to offer.

However, despite the low price tag, the Redmi Note 11 gives premium phones a run for their money as far as the camera is concerned. It comes with 4 lenses at the back and one in front for selfies. The main rear camera is 50MP, followed by an 8MP ultrawide one, 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro camera — a lens designed to take close-up shots.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$204.99 Android 13 MP 50MP+ 2MP+ 2 MP+ 8MP
  • Depth camera for better focus
  • Macro camera for close-ups
FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 6 GB 128 GB 5000 mAh

You’ll also find a Super Macro mode which accentuates the finer details of your subject. However, among the different types of cameras and lenses, what caught our eye was the depth camera. You can’t take a picture only using a depth camera, but it helps the other lens judge the distance from the object better to accurately adjust the focus.

What’s more, many popular and expensive smartphones, such as the Google Pixel and One Plus 10 Pro, don’t have a depth camera. So basically, you’re getting a pro-level camera tool for a pocket-friendly price.

Despite a battery life that’ll last 1-2.5 days, the phone comes with a 33W fast charger that takes the device from 0% to 60% in 30 minutes — and expandable storage of up to 1TB with a micro SD card (not included in the package).

In all honesty, the 128 GB internal storage capacity, against popular claims, is fantastic for the price. And although the lack of 5G support may be a deal breaker for some, it’s understandable that the manufacturers had to compromise somewhere to make this one of the best cheap smartphones.

Pros

  • Best camera budget phone
  • 1TB expandable storage
  • Long battery life of 1-2.5 days
  • A macro camera for taking better close-ups

Cons

  • No 5G support (only 4G)

3. iPhone 14 Pro Max — Premium Camera With Unbeatable Quality

For many, the iPhone 14 Pro Max stands tall as the best phone for camera quality. It’s one of the few smartphones in the industry that has added OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) support to the front camera. This component helps stabilize a photo and minimize the effects of any shaking that might have occurred during the shoot.

This feature is a godsend for people who don’t have a stable camera stand or simply have shaky hands. While many phones, such as Galaxy S23 Ultra, come with OIS in their rear camera, not many phones have this feature on their front camera.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$1,120 iOS 12MP 48MP+ 12MP+ 12MP
  • Quad Bayer color filter for better clarity
  • OIS in the front camera
  • Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto modes
OLED display Hexa-core – Apple A16 Bionic chipset 6 GB 128 GB 4323 mAh

Another first for this iPhone is the Quad-Bayer color filter. Usually, phones have a regular Bayer filter which is basically a mosaic of red, green, and blue used to capture colored photographs. Without them, your phone will only click black and white pictures.

A Quad-Bayer color filter, on the other hand, uses the same but puts 4 pixels behind each color instead of the standard 1, as is done in regular Bayer filters. These additional pixels make the photograph look alive with better clarity and sharpness.

Also, compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, this new version boasts quite a few upgrades. For example, the peak brightness when indoors is 1600 nits — 400 nits more than the older version. In direct sunlight, the brightness can go as high as 2000 nits, meaning screen visibility will not be an issue in the slightest.

The refresh rate of 120Hz is also quite an upgrade over the standard 60Hz, so the screen refreshes 120 times/second, giving you a smoother, lag-free display.

Pros

  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • The best iPhone camera
  • Brighter screen with 2000 nits
  • Optical image stabilization in the front camera
  • Multiple storage options to choose from

Cons

  • No improvement in battery life compared to older versions

4. Google Pixel 7 Pro — Best for Visually Challenged People

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is one of the few phones that have a special set of features — such as Guided Frames — to help visually impaired users take stunning selfies with audio cues and vibration signals.

With the Talkback feature enabled, the audio cues will help them frame their face inside a dotted circle, and the vibration cue will let them know when their face has been registered successfully by the phone.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$519.99 Android 13.0 10.8MP 50MP+ 12MP
  • Cinematic blur
  • Wider ultra-wide lens compared to previous versions
AMOLED Google Tensor G2 8 GB 128GB 4,355 mAh

While the main camera isn’t significantly different from the previous versions, there are some note-worthy improvements. For example, if you’re a sucker for landscape photography, you’ll certainly appreciate the ultra-wide lens at the back, which is 21% wider than the Pixel 7.

Plus, it comes with autofocus, a feature that automatically adjusts the lens to focus on the right object. This isn’t a massive upgrade or a completely new feature, but it’s just a little bit more refined. Overall, the Pixel 7 Pro is a fantastic phone. The battery lasts for 24 hours on normal usage but 72 hours on the new and highly power-efficient battery saver mode.

Speaking of the body, the phone is both water-resistant (IP68 rating) and scratch resistant. To protect the screen, this Google camera phone covers the display with the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, a chemically toughened glass that’s drop-resistant, even if it falls on hard surfaces.

Pros

  • A wider ultra-wide lens than previous models
  • Covered by scratch-resistant gorilla glass
  • Audio and vibration photography cues for visually challenged people
  • An extreme battery saver mode for up to 72 hours of battery life

Cons

  • Only two cameras at the back

5. Oppo Reno 8 — Uses RGBW Filters for Clicking Pictures

Where most Android phones use the standard RGB (Red-Green-Blue) filter, the Oppo Reno 8 stands out for its RGBW (Red-Green-Blye-White) filter. The difference is simple, you get more white light with the Oppo Reno 8. That’s because regular RGB produces white light by mixing the three primary colors in a 1:1:1 ratio. However, some portion of the white light usually gets filtered out in the process.

On the other hand, RGBW adds white light separately so that there’s no overall loss in the final image. Since white light is known to imitate natural light’s behavior, it makes your photos look brighter, sharper, and more aesthetically pleasing.

Oppo Reno 8

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$499 Android 12.0 32MP 50MP+ 8MP+ 2MP
  • Omnidirectional PDAF for faster focusing
  • RGBW filter adds more white light
AMOLED MediaTek Dimensity 1300 8 GB 256 GB 4500 mAh

Another benefit of using the Oppo Reno 8 is its omnidirectional PDAF that detects pattern changes in the visuals in front of the camera both horizontally and vertically, which in turn helps it collect more image data and focus faster.

While some of the other phones, like Xperia 1 III, use dual PD sensors where the pattern changes are detected only on two sides, i.e., left and right, Oppo’s multi-directional PDAF is a huge upgrade. And although it doesn’t have an over 100MP camera, it does offer an Extra HD mode.

Using this, the 50MP main camera at the back clicks the picture at 50MP and then upscales it to 108MP. The results aren’t as good as photos taken on an original 108MP camera — you’ll notice a slight increase in the noise level — but it definitely looks better than a native 50MP camera picture.

If you’re constantly worried about scratching your selfie camera, Oppo’s pop-up camera will pique your interest. It’s mounted on a hinge that neatly tucks the lens inside the phone’s body when not in use.

Furthermore, it comes with a built-in fall protection feature, so whenever it detects a fall, the hinge automatically retracts, pushing the front camera back inside the phone. Lastly, the 32MP selfie camera beats most on our list in terms of sheer megapixels, so clearly, this is a phone designed for selfie fanatics.

Pros

  • Durable aluminum body
  • A high-resolution selfie camera of 32MP
  • Brighter pictures with more white light
  • A protected pop-up selfie camera

Cons

  • The Extra HD mode doesn’t make up for its lower-resolution camera

6. Google Pixel 6a — Comes With Unique Real Tone Image Processing

The Google Pixel is going out of its way to help you capture images as realistically as possible. That’s why starting with Google Pixel 6 and 6a, the company has adopted the Real Tone technology that helps the lens process different skin colors accurately.

Historically speaking, smartphone cameras haven’t been quite inclusive. And since they’re not tested on people of color, the final images are not usually true to the actual skin tone of those users. Google Pixel aims to change this narrative with its new image-processing AI that has been tested on racially diverse skin tones and hence is more accurate.

Google Pixel 6a

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$306 Android 8MP 12MP+ 12MP
  • Night Sight and Face Unblur for sharper selfies
  • Real Tone technology for more accurate skin tones
OLED display Google Tensor Titan M2 6 GB 128 GB 4410 mAh

You’ll also appreciate its fast processing speed, especially compared to some of the older versions, such as Pixel 5a. That’s because the Pixel 6a uses a new Tensor chip which boosts its processing power and makes it more responsive — not just in terms of the photos this phone churns out.

In fact, it also speeds up other processes, such as app launches and page loading. Switching between multiple apps takes less than a second now, and you can continue from where you left off with an app, even if you’re opening it after hours of it remaining in the background.

Just like most Google Pixel phones, the 6a too comes with the Live Translate feature built in. Just point your camera to whatever text you wish to translate, and you’ll have the results instantly. It can translate text into 55 languages, including Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Japanese — a nifty feature for travelers.

Pros

  • Faster processing with Google Tensor
  • Runs up to 72 hours on the battery-saver mode
  • Real Tone image processing captures the true tone of people of color
  • Comes with a Live Translate feature that can translate up to 55 languages

Cons

  • The refresh rate of the display is capped at 60Hz

7. iPhone 13 Pro Max — Right Behind the 14 Pro Max With Proprietary Apple Features

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with a lot more features embedded in its camera than other models of the same lineup, including the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. That said, the differences are slight and tough to gauge by the naked eye, especially if you have no photography experience.

The 13 Pro Max comes with a larger main camera sensor — 44 mm2 as opposed to the iPhone 13’s 35.2 mm2. A larger camera sensor gives you a better dynamic range and better resolution and helps you take clearer pictures in low light.

This phone’s low-light performance is also boosted by its ultra-wide lens. In tandem, these two features work well for realistic, natural-looking night photos. This is because it doesn’t unnecessarily light up the background as it’s commonly done in post-processing. It’ll simply adjust the white balance and color saturation so that the picture captures the same view your eyes can see without any dramatization.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$820 iOS 12 MP 12 MP+ 12 MP+ 12 MP
  • True Tone flash with Slow Sync
  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh
Super Retina XDR OLED A15 Bionic chip 6 GB 128 GB 4,352 mAh

Apple’s smart AI also comes in handy while shooting videos. Often when your camera isn’t very stable while shooting, you might have noticed the focus auto-adjusting. And the worst part is that the focus transition during the adjustment becomes very evident in the final video. Well, this isn’t an issue with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Smart, as always, the algorithm automatically balances the focus and exposure, so there’s no way you can mess up those settings at any point. However, the entire iPhone 13 lineup lacks the new “Action Mode,” which is, so far, an iPhone 14 exclusive, making the 14 Pro Max the best video camera.

While the iPhone 13 and 14 are almost the same, the same cannot be said about the 13 Pro Max and its 14 counterparts. But on the camera front, we wouldn’t, by any stretch, call the 13 Pro Max a compromise. If anything, it presents a fantastic value-for-money proposition which will only get better now that we’re nearing the release of the iPhone 15.

Pros

  • Superb low-light photography
  • Smart AI that auto-adjusts focus
  • Comes with a bigger image sensor than the iPhone 13
  • You can choose a locked device with a fixed network carrier or an unlocked device

Cons

  • All the cameras at the back are only 12MP

8. Realme GT 2 Pro — Best Magnification for a Budget Camera Phone

Although it’s not on par with the S23 Ultra’s 100x zoom, the RealmeGT 2 Pro is best known for its high magnification. In native mode, you get up to 20x zoom, but with the microlens camera, you can get up to 40x zoom. The only other mid-range phone on the list that offers 40x zoom is the Oppo Reno 8.

Also, the GT 2 Pro lens comes with autofocus which further adds to the clarity of distant photos, and the ultra-wide camera at the back is a showstopper. It comes with a 150-degree field ultra-wide camera, just like the One Plus 10 Pro, which helps it capture a much wider frame — almost too much — in one shot.

Realme GT 2 Pro

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$579 Android 12 32MP 50MP+ 50MP
  • 40x zoom
  • 150-degree field of view
2K Super Reality Display with LTPO 2.0 Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 12 GB 256 GB 5,000 mAh

Although it doesn’t have a telephoto lens, it tries to make up for it by cropping out the center of the 12.5 MP photo and then upscaling it back to 12.5 MP. So the end result isn’t as satisfying as a regular 2x telephoto lens, but it’s good enough for regular use, and rest assured that the pictures are Instagram-worthy.

That said, the best thing about the display is that it’s big enough for you to enjoy movies and gaming yet compact to fit snugly in your palm. Measuring 163.2 x 74.7 x 8.2 mm and weighing just 189g, the Realme GT 2 Pro is a delight to use.

However, a drawback is that it doesn’t have an IP rating which is quite surprising for a device of this range. But we’re quite certain the phone is water resistant — to what extent, now that’s unknown, so we’d watch out near sinks or pools.

Pros

  • 40x zoom with the micro camera
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Excellent RAM of 12 GB
  • Wide ultra-wide camera with a 150-degree field of vision

Cons

  • No IP rating

9. Xperia 1 III — Stands Out for its Variable Telephoto Lens

The Xperia1 III proudly recognizes itself as the world’s first smartphone to offer a variable telephoto lens — a magnification tool that lets you capture the fine details of the subject. While some phones, like the Google Pixel 6, like to maintain a fixed magnification power, the Xperia 1 III lets you adjust it as per your needs.

Xperia 1 III’s Sony cameras might not be powerful, high-definition lenses like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but even with its 12MP camera, it produces surprisingly high-quality pictures with negligible noise. Noise in a photo refers to the grainy layer that covers it and reduces overall clarity.

It’s usually a result of poor lighting conditions or a faulty image sensor. And unfortunately, noise is very common in pictures. Even if you have an iPhone, you can expect to see some level of noise (although low) in your pictures.

Xperia 1 III

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$898 Android 10.0 8 MP 12MP+ 12MP+ 12MP
  • SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode
  • Real-time Eye AF
4K HDR OLED display Snapdragon 888 processor 12 GB 256 GB 4500 mAh

However, the pictures taken on the Xperia 1 III have a non-existent grainy texture. The details are vivid and focused, and every photo has a smooth finish. Furthermore, this phone is extremely efficient at image processing, so the colors look very natural and realistic — no unnecessary dramatization.

Also, the dynamic range, which is the difference between the darkest and brightest zones of the photo, is perfectly balanced, but it can also be adjusted. Other notable features include the front-facing stereo speakers that boost volume by 40%.

It’s also the world’s first smartphone to use 360 Reality Audio — a new technology that provides an immersive music experience by creating a multi-direction sound environment like you’d get with one of the best soundbars, making you feel like you’re in a concert and the music is flooding in from all directions.

Pros

  • Non-existent noise
  • Long battery life of 3+ days
  • Efficient image processing that makes every photo look natural
  • 360 Reality Audio provides an immersive sound environment

Cons

  • Overheats quite easily

10. One Plus 10 Pro — Superb Picture Camera for Professionals

The OnePlus 10 Pro is ideal for landscape and long-distance photography, thanks to its 150-degree field of view on the ultra-wide lens, which is one of the highest in the industry. It allows you to capture more into the frame while keeping all the parts of the picture equally sharp and clear.

It’s also one of the few phones to shoot 10-bit images both at night and during the day. The biggest difference between a 10-bit and the usual 8-bit photo is that you get 1.07 billion colors with the former and only 16.7 million with the latter. Clearly, 10-bit photos are far more vibrant. But that’s not all.

One Plus 10 Pro

Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
$629 Android 10.0 32MP 48MP+ 50MP+ 8MP
  • Smart Scene Recognition
  • 150-degree field of view
Fluid AMOLED with LTPO Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 8 GB 128 GB 5000 mAh

10-bit photos also come with extra headroom for editing, and although the difference in headroom isn’t very significant, it certainly makes a difference for professional photographers.

Another notable feature of the phone is its smart algorithm. It’ll take some time to understand your preferred brightness settings and then start auto-adjusting it as per the environmental lighting conditions so that you can enjoy consistent brightness throughout.

The refresh rate is 120Hz, which is impressive, especially for the price, so you’ll get faster visuals with zero lags and seamless transitions. Just like brightness, the refresh rate too can be auto-adjusted. When playing a game, it’ll jump up to 120Hz, and it can go down to 1Hz when the phone’s not in use. This auto-adjustment will preserve your battery.

Pros

  • Responsive interface
  • Vibrant pictures full of color
  • Takes less than an hour to fully charge
  • Ideal landscape photography camera with a broad ultra-wide lens

Cons

  • Storage could be better

Compare Phones with the Best Cameras

Here’s a quick comparison of the best camera phones for a bird’s eye view of the key differences between each of our picks to help you arrive at a quick decision:

Camera Phones Starting Price OS Front Camera Rear Camera Special Camera Features Display CPU RAM Storage Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra $999.99 Android 13.0 12 MP 200MP+ 10MP+ 10MP+ 12MP
  • 2 telephoto lens
  • 200 MP main camera
  • Cinematic 8K recording
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O QHD+ Edge Screen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 50 8 GB 256 GB 5,000mAh
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 $204.99 Android 13 MP 50MP+ 2MP+ 2 MP+ 8MP
  • Depth camera for better focus
  • Macro camera for close-ups
FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 6 GB 128 GB 5000 mAh
iPhone 14 Pro Max $1,120 iOS 12MP 48MP+ 12MP+ 12MP
  • Quad Bayer color filter for better clarity
  • OIS in the front camera
  • Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto modes
OLED display Hexa-core – Apple A16 Bionic chipset 6 GB 128 GB 4323 mAh
Google Pixel 7 Pro $519.99 Android 13.0 10.8MP 50MP+ 12MP
  • Cinematic blur
  • Wider ultra-wide lens compared to previous versions
AMOLED Google Tensor G2 8 GB 128GB 4,355 mAh
Oppo Reno 8 $499 Android 12.0 32MP 50MP+ 8MP+ 2MP
  • Omnidirectional PDAF for faster focusing
  • RGBW filter adds more white light
AMOLED MediaTek Dimensity 1300 8 GB 256 GB 4500 mAh
Google Pixel 6a $306 Android 8MP 12MP+ 12MP
  • Night Sight and Face Unblur for sharper selfies
  • Real Tone technology for more accurate skin tones
OLED display Google Tensor Titan M2 6 GB 128 GB 4410 mAh
iPhone 13 Pro Max $820 iOS 12 MP 12 MP+ 12 MP+ 12 MP
  • True Tone flash with Slow Sync
  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh
Super Retina XDR OLED A15 Bionic chip 6 GB 128 GB 4,352 mAh
Realme GT 2 Pro $579 Android 12 32MP 50MP+ 50MP
  • 40x zoom
  • 150-degree field of view
2K Super Reality Display with LTPO 2.0 Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 12 GB 256 GB 5,000 mAh
Xperia 1 III $898 Android 10.0 8 MP 12MP+ 12MP+ 12MP
  • SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode
  • Real-time Eye AF
4K HDR OLED display Snapdragon 888 processor 12 GB 256 GB 4500 mAh
One Plus 10 Pro $629 Android 10.0 32MP 48MP+ 50MP+ 8MP
  • Smart Scene Recognition
  • 150-degree field of view
Fluid AMOLED with LTPO Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 8 GB 128 GB 5000 mAh

Factors to Consider When Buying a Camera Phone

How can you go about selecting an ideal camera phone? Let’s explore the key things you need to consider before purchasing your new phone.

Different Cameras

Last year, smartphones with three cameras were the rage, but now, even mid-range phones have four-camera setups. So what’s with all the cameras? In general, the more cameras and lenses your phone has, the greater its depth and color processing capability.

Different cameras provide your smartphone with varied features: telephoto lenses let you zoom in more precisely; monochrome cameras offer crisper, sharper images; depth sensors are used for a more realistic background blur; and Ultra wide-angle sensors provide wider views of a subject.

Several cameras also have a macro lens, making taking up-close, sharp, and detailed pictures of minute objects easier. Think about your lens preferences and select a phone based on them.

Megapixel

The number of pixels in your camera defines the resolution, or level of detail, in an image. Higher megapixels are essential for enhanced definition when printing and displaying your photographs.

On the other hand, if a sensor has too many megapixels, the pixel size will naturally decrease to fit them all in the given space. To compensate for this, a decent camera phone typically uses pixel-binning technology, which unifies data from several pixels into one.

In short, a 5 MP camera can capture images with 5 million pixels, and an 8 MP camera may capture images with 8 million pixels. The best cell phone (particularly flagship phone models) will have cameras of 12 megapixels or more, an incredible leap from when the first iPhone debuted in 2007 with a 2MP camera.

High megapixel counts can be a sign of quality, but they shouldn’t be used to justify a purchase. Considerations like sensor and pixel size are also crucial and significantly impact image quality.

Image Stabilization and Auto-Focus

Autofocus is exactly as it sounds; it automatically zooms in on the image. But beware: some smartphones do this quickly while others do it incredibly slowly, so you might miss that amazing shot you were going for.

Some camera phones can even identify faces and be programmed to capture pictures only when everyone smiles. That said, image stabilization is another essential feature that’s often overlooked. This ensures that even if you shake, you’ll shoot non-blurry photos. Macro-focus is also useful as it lets you shoot up-close, sharp photos.

Aperture

The aperture of a smartphone is an important but sometimes overlooked feature. It shows you how much light your smartphone sensor can capture; therefore, it’s something you must consider when picking your smartphone camera. More light means better photos, especially in low-light settings.

Apertures on smartphones typically range from f/2.0 to f/2.4. Even though this might not seem like much of a difference in numbers, it is. In fact, f/2.0 is twice as effective as f/2.4 at transmitting light through the lens. This difference is crucial when photographing in low light. Therefore, choose a bigger aperture for better images at night, in the evening, or indoors.

Zoom

Smartphone cameras come with two types of zoom: digital and optical. Digital zoom is a software technique that enlarges and crops a specific area of an image, often producing pixelated results. The “optical zoom” refers to the real optic lens used by a camera to close the distance between it and the subject, generating a better-zoomed image.

Then there’s a technique referred to as hybrid zoom, which is best for smartphone photography. Manufacturers aim to create the finest zooming experience and outcomes by combining optical, digital, and software zoom. Optical lenses are preferred over digital lenses when selecting an excellent camera phone.

Sensor Size

Your image quality is determined by how precisely the sensor pixels or photosites can identify the intensity of light falling on them. Larger sensors and pixels offer a wider dynamic range, performing better in low light and producing less noise.

Beyond increasing sharpness, color vibrancy, and low-light performance, larger sensors are required for higher megapixel counts. Sensor sizes for smartphones range from Full Frame 36 X 24mm to 6.3 X 4.7mm. Sensors are important, but they don’t complete the picture, and large sensor phones are typically heavy and difficult to carry in your pocket.

Shooting Modes

The most recent Android phones come with a variety of built-in photography options. Some common functions that modify lighting and improve image quality include ISO adjustment, white balance, and exposure correction. HDR modes enable the capture of high-contrast photographs in backlit conditions while minimizing glares and shadows. Here are some smartphone photo editing options:

Exposure

ISO Shutter speed
Choose how bright you want an image to be by manually changing the exposure. This is a measurement of the image sensor’s sensitivity. The more sensitive your camera lens is to light, the higher the ISO number, making it perfect in low-light conditions. This can be manually changed. This controls how long a phone’s shutter stays open. A fast shutter speed means your shutter will only be open for a little time. This makes it easier to capture moving objects.

Conclusion | What’s the Best Camera Phone to Buy in 2024?

Our list of the best camera phones is all-inclusive. From phones with professional camera-like advanced features with in-built photography modes to budget phones for everyday photography needs – our comprehensive rundown has it all.

However, no matter what you’re looking for, it doesn’t get better than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. With a 200 MP primary camera supported by three other rear cameras for crisp low-light photography, coupled with a 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED display, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best camera phone you can get right now.

Camera Phone FAQs

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Krishi Chowdhary

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.