Best Camera Phone For Night Photography

By | 19/10/2022

Your phone is the photographic camera y’all always carry. If you oasis’t upgraded information technology in a few years, you should be pleasantly surprised past how much telephone photographic camera functioning (particularly low-light image quality) has improved. In fact, we’ve pretty much reached the point in which you can leave your sometime point-and-shoot at home.

But not all telephone cameras are equal. Nosotros put every telephone we review through a rigorous series of photographic camera evaluations to decide the all-time performers on the market and gathered our top picks hither. You never have to worry virtually carrying a separate camera if you’ve got ane of these in your pocket, and each is a stellar smartphone, too. Read on for our peak picks, followed past what to await for in a proficient photographic camera phone.

More About Our Picks

Google Pixel six Pro

All-time Android Camera Phone

Lesser Line:

Google’s Pixel half dozen Pro is a class-leading flagship phone thanks to killer battery life, fast performance, excellent cameras, and unbeatable Android software.


  • Incredible battery life
  • Intuitive Pixel-exclusive features
  • Excellent durability
  • Solid connectivity


  • Fast wireless charging not available at launch
  • Some camera features aren’t easy to utilize

Why We Picked It

The Pixel 6 Pro’s combination of sensors, lenses, software tweaks, and Tensor processor algorithms keep Google firmly planted at the top of the smartphone camera game. Top features include Magic Eraser (to erase photobombers), Existent Tone (to capture authentic skin tones), and Face Unblur (to remove blur from faces in move.)

Who It’s For

Serious smartphone photographers who prefer Android and don’t need the S22 Ultra’s superzoom should become for the Pixel vi Pro.

Read Our Google Pixel half-dozen Pro Review

Apple iPhone fourteen Pro Max

Best for Content Creators

Bottom Line:

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best iPhone overall, with fantabulous functioning, stellar battery life, sharp cameras, and a number of useful features you don’t get with the standard models.


  • High-quality hardware
  • E’er-on display includes widgets
  • Top-notch cameras
  • Stellar wireless performance


  • Pricey
  • Dated design and Lightning connector

Why We Picked It

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the meridian of iPhones, including its camera. It has it all: optical zoom, stabilized lenses, a big screen for editing, and excellent battery life for extended shooting. The iPhone platform also tends to have the best third-party photographic camera and social media apps, making this the prime pick for content creators.

Who It’s For

People who are serious about their photography—and specially well-nigh their videography—should jump for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Read Our Apple iPhone fourteen Pro Max Review

Google Pixel 6a

All-time Midrange Android Camera Phone

Bottom Line:

The sub-$500 Google Pixel 6a leads the midrange phone pack with solid functioning, incredible battery life, and a standout design.


  • Excellent overall value
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Vibrant OLED brandish
  • Solid camera


  • Lacks microSD carte slot and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Doesn’t back up wireless charging
  • Weak cellular performance in some areas

Why We Picked It

Pro-level photographic camera phone quality doesn’t accept to cost over $600. Google’southward Pixel 6a uses the same Tensor fleck for processing photos every bit its more expensive brethren, which means the same super-fast autofocus, smart color judgment, and AI-enhanced editing features. It does lack the Pixel six Pro’s optical zoom, however.

Who Information technology’s For

The Pixel 6a is best for buyers a budget who still want the best possible camera quality.

Read Our Google Pixel 6a Review

Samsung Galaxy S22+

All-time Android Phone Overall

Bottom Line:

The Samsung Milky way S22+ blends top-notch connectivity and performance with the all-time mix of features and size for the price, making it the flagship Android phone to trounce.


  • Tiptop-of-the-line performance
  • Excellent cellular reception
  • True 3x zoom camera


  • Photos can look a little washed out
  • 45W charging doesn’t make a big difference in speed

Why We Picked It

The Milky way S22+ doesn’t actually stand out in this current lineup equally a
phone. It’s very good, make no mistake, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro have better cameras. Regardless, this phone still produces very skilful images and it’southward our top all-around choice for an Android telephone based on price, functioning, and features.

Who It’southward For

The Milky way S22+ is the mainstream Android choice, peculiarly if camera quality doesn’t outweigh everything else.

Read Our Samsung Galaxy S22+ Review

Apple tree iPhone xiii mini

Best Phone for One-Handed Operation Overall

Bottom Line:

The iPhone 13 mini is Apple’s most affordable and pocket-friendly flagship, merely you lot’ll probably desire to spend an actress $100 on the larger iPhone 13 for meliorate battery life.


  • Nigh powerful small smartphone
  • Cute build
  • Better battery life than iPhone 12 mini


  • Shortest battery life of iPhone 13 family

Why Nosotros Picked It

The iPhone xiii mini is past far the smallest expert photographic camera phone on the marketplace. From a photographic camera perspective, that means yous tin hands hold it in one hand and hitting the shutter push button while doing something with your other hand—which can exist really difficult with a lot of other handsets right now.

Who It’s For

Anyone who regularly tries to shoot photos with one mitt should check out the iPhone 13 mini. Your thumbs will cheers.

Read Our Apple iPhone 13 mini Review

Samsung Galaxy S22

Best Android Phone for One-Handed Performance

Bottom Line:

The Samsung Galaxy S22 fits comfortably in ane hand and is as powerful as its larger siblings, but its small size makes for less battery life.


  • Excellent signal strength
  • Premium power
  • True 3x zoom photographic camera
  • Loftier-quality build and design

Why We Picked Information technology

Many Android phones are at present so big that one-handed photography and video recording tin get pretty awkward—especially if you’re trying to hold the device in one hand and press the on-screen shutter button with the other. The Galaxy S22 is the smallest relatively new Android flagship bachelor in the Usa, which makes information technology the closest you lot tin can get to a comfortable i-handed phone with premium specs.

Who It’s For

The standard Galaxy S22 is for people who often demand to take photos of something they’re holding in one hand with the other hand. It’south also a proficient selection for parents who often need to hold their child’south hand. A smaller telephone can come up in handy in all of these scenarios. Make sure to check out the iPhone 13 mini if you aren’t committed to Android.

Read Our Samsung Galaxy S22 Review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Most Zoom Power

Bottom Line:

The S22 Ultra is the truthful successor to the Galaxy Note line, delivering all the excellent Samsung phone features while making no concessions for size, weight, or price.


  • S Pen integration
  • Long bombardment life
  • Brilliant screen
  • Excellent reception in low-signal environments


  • Very large
  • Expensive
  • Dorsum scratches easily
  • Few camera improvements over predecessor

Why Nosotros Picked It

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the just Usa phone with a 10x optical zoom lens. You lot can fifty-fifty become to 100x digital zoom, through a combination of the device’s 108MP main lens and 10MP ultrawide optics. Information technology’s a lot more than zoom ability than you can get anywhere else, even if those 100x zoom shots aren’t perfect.

Who It’s For

The S22 Ultra’s killer zoom lets you become closer to the action than any other camera phone. If you photo a lot of sports, for case, you will really appreciate its reach.

Read Our Samsung Milky way S22 Ultra Review

Which Telephone Has the Best Camera?

1 thing nosotros notice frustrating with modern smartphones is that often the best cameras aren’t bachelor on phones in the Usa. At that place’s intense camera innovation going on from manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi, but, for diverse reasons, these manufacturers don’t sell their phones stateside.

In the U.s., Apple, Google, and Samsung phones accept the best cameras. College-end devices tend to perform better, but the gap is closing, peculiarly if you primarily take photos in good calorie-free. Sony phones also have skilful cameras, simply their latest models are frequently very expensive and difficult to arrive the U.s..

Apple’s latest cameras tend to exist the benchmark in the artistic industries. They’re expressionless simple to utilize and offering first-class focus and balanced colors. Google’s Pixel cameras are like the Apple of Android: fast, simple, and counterbalanced.

Samsung’due south phones typically have more lenses, modes, and options than Apple’s or Google’s. Samsung’s top innovation right now is super-zoom: The S22 Ultra has a 10x optical zoom with decent resolution at upwards to 30x digital zoom. Neither Apple nor Google can match that feature. Only, in our feel, Samsung phones don’t focus as quickly or intelligently as those from Apple and Google. Samsung also tends to amp up colors more than Apple, which causes some controversy.

The near important gene in any photograph isn’t the camera—it’southward the photographer. No matter what phone y’all take, following our photographic camera expert Jim Fisher’s tips and tricks for camera telephone photos tin make your images meliorate.

Cropped image of Galaxy S22 Ultra's camera stack

The S22 Ultra offers 10x optical zoom (Credit: Molly Flores)

Which Camera Telephone Features and Accessories Exercise Yous Need?

A few years ago we saw a blossoming trend of phones with lots of lenses and it’s still in total blossom. Many phones now have a standard lens, a magnifying zoom lens, and a wide-angle lens. Monochrome or infrared time-of-flight sensors can aid estimate depth for bokeh furnishings. Less successful lenses and sensors we’ve seen include color filters (you lot can do this very well in software) and macro lenses for close-ups (slowly improving).

Truck in front of a building

The Pixel half dozen Pro’south primary lens takes crisp photos with excellent depth of field (Credit: Steven Winkelman)

Although super-high-megapixel photographic camera phones are becoming more than popular, the options are scant in the US. The 108MP sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the exception. The advantage of that many pixels is that you lot tin zoom and crop images afterward the fact, or perform lossless digital zooming in your camera app without relying on an extra magnifying lens. The disadvantage is that the private pixels can sometimes be very minor, creating bug for color capture or low-light photography.

Superzoom lenses are also popular. Phones are now combining high-megapixel sensors, optical magnifying lenses, and avant-garde software to give yous 30x, 50x, or—in the case of the Milky way S22 Ultra—100x zoom. In general, anything much higher than 10x shows heavy digital artifacting. But a practiced 10x zoom, as y’all get on the Milky way S22 Ultra and Google Pixel six Pro, is notwithstanding a big step frontward from what we used to have.

Sensor size is a separate matter than megapixel count.
Unfortunately, about of the phones bachelor in the United states of america fall behind their international competition. The Samsung Milky way S22 Ultra’due south 1/1.33-inch primary sensor and the Apple tree iPhone 14 Pro Max’s ane/i.28-inch sensor are among the biggest you can purchase in the US. Compare those with the Huawei P40 Pro’s large 1/1.128-inch primary sensor and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s massive i/one.112-inch primary sensor and you can see we still have a way to go. Larger sensors are arguably more of import than a higher megapixel count considering they capture more than low-cal in a shorter amount of time. That translates to less blur and sharper photos, particularly in challenging calorie-free.

The well-nigh advanced nighttime modes now combine nearly a dozen successively shot frames to burnish upward photos and improve clarity. They appear to have long, multi-second exposures, merely they utilise AI software to reduce blur by aligning the diverse images together. (Yous notwithstanding shouldn’t apply them for moving subjects, though.) Google’due south Pixel phones, Apple’s iPhones, and Samsung’s Galaxy S phones all have first-class night modes.

Google’s camera software likewise has top-notch features such as Magic Eraser (removes unwanted objects), Real Tone (ensures authentic pare tones), and Confront Unblur (leans on the other lenses to make sure everyone’s face up in an prototype is abrupt).

A practiced Pro mode can necktie all these individual facets together and make for a powerful shooter. Virtually phones have manual settings that allow you to tweak exposure, aperture, and the focus point to get exactly the shot you want. If yous’re but getting into smartphone photography, take some time to learn how manually adjusting things like aperture, ISO, and shutter speed can ameliorate your photos. If y’all need a fast shot, nevertheless, all the phones on our listing use car learning and other software tweaks to take incredible photos without whatsoever manual tweaks.

Railroad tracks over water in park

Epitome from iPhone fourteen Pro Max (Credit: Eric Zeman)

Why do so many photographers rely on iPhones? The availability of tertiary-party photographic camera apps plays a large role. Some are bachelor for Android, merely apps that professionals apply notwithstanding tend to come out first and encounter more frequent updates on iOS.

For more, see our story on the best telephone and camera gimbals.

Recommended by Our Editors

Which Telephone Is Best for Video Recording?

In the era of TikTok and Instagram Reels, video is more important than ever. Here are some features to expect for.

Optical prototype stabilization is ever meliorate than electronic or digital image stabilization considering it leads to less jittery videos. Many high-end phones now use both, giving a Steadicam-similar effect.

The corner of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, showing many camera lenses

The iPhone 14 Pro Max lets you lot record video in Dolby Vision HDR (Credit: Eric Zeman)

Although 1080p video is still good enough for most people, many phones can record in 4K. 8K recording is pretty common on Android flagships now, too. 8K requires a massive amount of storage—virtually 600MB per minute—and right now, its chief utilize is for editing videos on a PC after the fact, especially if you want to exist able to crop and zoom. If you’re not sure how to do that, see our tips for how to go images off your phone.

Deadening-motion videos can make for some exciting furnishings. Although most phones can at present capture up to 240fps (1/8 speed), some tin can go up to 960fps (ane/32 speed). Continue an eye on how long a phone tin can tape slow-mo, though, considering it can be tricky to take hold of a scene if yous only take 0.2 seconds of recording time. Many phones also accept other video tricks similar fourth dimension-lapse, hyper-lapse, and video bokeh or HDR modes.

Camera Phones vs. Standalone Cameras

For the ultimate in image quality, the all-time possible low-light operation, killer optical zoom, or a good macro shot, y’all still need a dedicated SLR or mirrorless camera. Our listing of the best digital cameras is a great place to start. And be sure to check out our beyond-basic photography tips.

If yous don’t need to accept professional shots, however, a top smartphone photographic camera should suit y’all just fine, and you lot tin can’t go incorrect with whatever of our picks hither.