Choosing the best camera phone isn’t as like shooting fish in a barrel every bit you’d retrieve – we can’t easily betoken our finger at the latest Samsung Milky way or iPhone and say ‘that 1’. That’due south because, while loads of phones are dandy for taking pictures, different models take different strengths.
If you lot await at our list of the best Samsung phones, you’ll find models with fantastic hardware and some cool software modes, while our ranking of the best iPhones has handsets with incredibly AI optimization, and if you’re looking for unique lenses and sensors that you won’t find elsewhere, our guide to the all-time Huawei phone is all-time for you lot.
That is to say, different manufacturers prioritize different parts of the smartphone photography experience, merely in this list of the best photographic camera phones, you’ll find the real peak picks from loads of unlike companies.
Here at TechRadar, we test every single smartphone that’s worth your time and money, and our testing process involves loads of photography. And so we know what these devices are like for selfies, dark photography and zoom shots, and we’ve played with all the unique modes they offer.
This listing shows you lot the best photographic camera phones nosotros’ve used – ones that are easy to use, and produce smashing results. Information technology’south a ranking that’s constantly irresolute, with new photography powerhouses being released all the time, so keep checking dorsum when new models go up for sale to see where they rank.
And if nil seems quite right don’t despair, equally new contenders are arriving all the time. We expect the iPhone fourteen and other upcoming phones to make this list after this year, and then bank check dorsum shortly.
All-time photographic camera phone 2022
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are stunning camera phones, each packing a 12MP f/1.5 master sensor with big 1.9µm pixels, a 12MP f/ane.viii ultra-wide, and a 12MP f/2.viii telephoto, with 3x optical zoom. They both take the aforementioned cameras, and their key difference is the phone screen size, which is why we’ve bundled them into one.
While they don’t have the lens numbers or optical zoom length of some phones on this listing, their performance is sublime, and while they lack a dedicated macro lens, they’re nevertheless competent at taking shut-upwards photos.
Low light performance particularly impressed the states in our tests, and that’s something that iPhones are known for, but whatever blazon of shot you’re aiming for, the iPhone thirteen Pro or Pro Max should exist able to do it justice.
Apple’s smart AI optimization is out in strength here, with the visitor’south Deep Fusion used to tweak your pictures to brand them as wonderful as possible.
The new Photographic Styles feature and Cinematic mode both impress besides, though nosotros suspect they might not exist massively used by most buyers. Simply with an improved Portrait mode, the return of ProRAW, and a great point-and-shoot experience, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are photography beasts.
Read our full
iPhone 13 Pro review
iPhone 13 Pro Max review
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra builds on the success of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It offers a vast assortment of lenses. These include two 10MP telephoto lenses: ane is f/ii.iv with a 36-degree field of view (FOV) and the other is f/iv.nine with an eleven-degree FOV. There’south also a 12MP ultrawide with a 120-caste FOV, and then there’south the 108MP main wide camera (f/1.8) with an 85-degree FOV.
With these four rear cameras, not to mention the super-high-res front end i, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the all-time handset on this list for versatility – you can jump betwixt a broad field of view or a super-zoomed in one easily.
Information technology’s not just the lenses that help here though, with the software helping out massively. Samsung has improved on optical image stabilization, digital image stabilization, and image processing. You’ll notice this especially when zooming in.
3x and 10x optical zoom looks solid and offers clear images of afar objects that enable you to crop in on details with niggling pixelation. However, 30x and 100x Space Zoom images are truly special compared to before, and y’all won’t find the iPhone above to get even close to 100x.
If you similar to edit your snaps, you lot might as well appreciate the S Pen stylus, which we plant to be more precise than a finger so could be really useful in prototype editing apps.
The addition of Adaptive Pixel plus Motorcar-Focus Assist further aid to ensure this is a remarkable camera telephone.
Read our total
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
Google has a addiction of delivering excellent photography experiences on its phones, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro is no exception. In fact, its hardware and software have both seen huge upgrades from the Pixel 5, and so much then that you should just forget its older phones if yous’re a photo fan.
The telephone has a 50MP f/i.9 primary sensor with 1.2µm pixels, and in our tests we found it capable of taking fantabulous photos, with adept detail, and colors that were true to life.
That’southward joined past a 12MP f/two.two ultra-broad camera with a 114-degree field of view, and a 48MP f/three.5 telephoto snapper which offers 4x optical zoom, both of which performed well in our tests, if not quite also as the Samsung above.
Just the Pixel half dozen Pro also benefits from software that you won’t see on rival handsets, such as a Magic Eraser that can remove unwanted aspects from photos, Motility mode for long exposure shots, and Real Tone, which more accurately captures the pare tones of people of color.
Using these modes, you tin can take incredible pictures, and that’s why the handset is number three on this listing. Google’s reliance on software has paid off large time.
Read our full
Google Pixel six Pro review
While Huawei’due south phones can be a mixed pocketbook for general consumers, as camera phones they’re terrific, and the P50 Pro continues this.
The main cameras on this phone are neat, with the 50MP broad snapper joining forces with the 40MP black-and-white one to capture wonderful shots – that’s whether you’re shut or far from the subject, in well-calorie-free conditions or snapping at nighttime, and relying on the AI optimization or not.
There’s also the loftier-res zoom camera, and useful ultrawide snapper, to ensure yous tin take a range of different pictures at ease.
Video recording goes up to 4K and 60fps, a combination of resolution and framerate that we don’t always see in phones, and y’all tin can besides shoot 4K video on some of the other lenses (other than the main one) also.
As a photographic camera phone, this is neat – photographers will love it. As an everyday mobile, you lot might be phased past the lack of apps (due to Google’s Play Store not being available), and that might pose a problem for people who like their photo editing apps (though lots of options, including social media platforms, can be side-loaded).
And so we tin’t rank the Huawei P50 Pro up alongside the Galaxy Ultra or iPhone Pro, because it’s harder to use equally a full general smartphone – merely when looking simply at photography, it’south in the large leagues.
Read our full
Huawei P50 Pro review
The camera on the Oppo Observe X5 Pro is both one of its potent suits and one of its weak suits, as it depends on which lens you’re using.
The principal 50MP f/1.7 snapper is superb, as is the 50MP f/ii.2 ultra-wide one. Both cameras are capable of taking bright, detailed, colorful pictures. Merely switch to the 13MP f/2.iv telephoto photographic camera and things go downhill, with its 2x optical zoom being dwarfed by most rivals.
Still, if yous’re not overly interested in zoom shots then the Oppo Find X5 Pro comes highly recommended for photo fiends, and it’s helped out past its MariSilicon X neural processing bit, and by the company’s collaboration with camera brand Hasselblad.
This collaboration brings tweaks to Pro photography mode, and also a dedicated XPan mode that recreates the experience of using Hasselblad’s cult archetype camera.
You can also record video with excellent stabilization at 1080p, or without that perk at 4K, and in that location’s a capable 32MP selfie camera on the front.
Overall this isn’t quite the most comprehensive or versatile camera setup you’ll find on a phone, only for most photo types and even for video, the Oppo Find X5 Pro does an exceptional job. If Oppo wants to compete with Samsung or Apple in those pinnacle spots though, it’ll need a better zoom solution in the future.
Read our full
Oppo Observe X5 Pro review
The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a camera setup that’s easy to recall, as the rear houses a trio of 50MP sensors. There’s an f/ane.9 chief i, an f/2.2 ultra-wide one, and an f/ane.9 telephoto ane (offer 2x optical zoom).
Of those, the first two impress, and peculiarly the principal snapper. This uses a i/1.28-inch Sony IMX707 sensor which is larger than the sensors in even almost tiptop-stop smartphones, and results in sumptuous shots full of depth, item, impressive sharpness, and natural colors.
The ultra-wide snapper has a smaller sensor but is notwithstanding capable of accurate color capture and a broad 115-degree field of view. Finally, the 2x optical zoom snapper is fine at that range, just 2x leaves it backside the optical achieve of many rival phones. Nevertheless, optical zoom can brand up for that.
All the same, video capture is potent (as long as the lighting is skillful), with decent stabilization kicking in fifty-fifty at 8K resolution, so for most photo types and for shooting video, the Xiaomi 12 Pro impresses.
Xiaomi also offers loads of photo and video modes that will appeal to people looking for a bully entry to a social media pipeline. Its Heaven editing modes, Clone photo or video and Dolly Zoom video options will all let you take novel snaps or shots that you won’t quite observe from other rivals.
Read our full
Xiaomi 12 Pro review
OnePlus’ phones are a mixed purse in the photographic camera section: the devices can oftentimes have rough edges when it comes to the photography experience, but it’due south hard to deny that when they work, they work really well.
The 48MP main camera here is great, particularly in well-lit atmospheric condition, though it carries its weight in the night likewise. We found pictures, whether they were close-ups or cinematic vistas, looked great.
The ultrawide camera is useful too, though you’re not getting the full 50MP – the lens is actually a super-broad 1 used for fisheye shots, just if y’all want normal ultrawide snaps, it’southward cropped quite a bit.
With 3.3x optical zoom, the OnePlus beats other phones from Oppo and Xiaomi on this list with its range, though the 8MP sensor might leave a bit to be desired.
We found that the OnePlus 10 Pro could, when given the opportunity, crush Portrait snaps that would give a Samsung phone a run for its coin – merely sometimes they had pocket-size bokeh errors too.
Video recording goes up to 8K, though for the AI and stabilization features you’ll have to stick to 1080p. There are loads of modes too like fisheye, tilt-shift, XPan (mentioned in the Oppo section higher up) and more.
Nosotros constitute the OnePlus x Pro cameras good simply not peachy – this list is for the all-time camera
though, and we’ve included this entry as a great phone with a decent camera. So if you’re looking for a device with a good camera but that excels in other departments besides, this is a adept pick.
Read our full
OnePlus 10 Pro review
The Samsung Milky way S21 Ultra has exactly the same photographic camera hardware as the S22 Ultra, which sits nearly the top of this list of the best photographic camera phones. And so why isn’t it at the top spot too, and then? Well, because of other changes.
For an authentic explanation of the S21 Ultra’south photography chops, the S22 Ultra’due south entry still stands. But at that place accept been software tweaks to fix smaller bug we had like with autofocus and battery drain.
Plus, this phone is uniform with the S Pen stylus, but one doesn’t actually come with the phone, and then you’re less likely to use it. That means you could miss out on its useful image markup, drawing and remote shutter tools.
With the phone being a year older, it also likely won’t be supported by Android updates for as long.
Still, this is an crawly camera phone, with pinnacle Samsung modes similar Single Take adding to the versatile and impressive feel.
Read our total
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
If you desire a Samsung photographic camera phone but feel the Ultra is likewise top-end for you, then the Galaxy S22 (or Plus, with the aforementioned cameras) might be a amend choice – but as the smaller and more than affordable member of the line, the S22 is our favorite.
This phone has a powerful 50MP main camera which is groovy for taking colorful pictures, fifty-fifty in low-light atmospheric condition, and the software can bound in when necessary to add some vibrancy and saturation.
The ultrawide and telephoto cameras likewise help you lot capture a wider or closer subject if y’all need to, giving you an added edge of versatility to help yous capture your subject field in the best possible manner.
Samsung’southward phones remain fantastic for Portrait fashion shots, and that mode is dorsum here – including other favorites like Colour Point, Single Accept and Dual Video.
Plus, there’due south also video recording at 8K, or 4K at 60fps, another top-end feature that not all handsets offer.
This phone doesn’t stack against high-priced rivals found higher on this list, but with a lower price tag than most, it could be a preferable choice to many buyers.
Read our total
Samsung Milky way S22 review
The iPhone xiii has just two rear cameras – a 12MP f/one.6 main 1 and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide (with a 120-degree field of view), but both of them perform well, and they’re an upgrade on the iPhone 12’s snappers.
For ane thing, you become bigger 1.7µm pixels on the main camera, which in our review nosotros establish made a noticeable difference to the picture quality. In that location’south too sensor shift OIS, which does an first-class task of stabilizing images so they come out abrupt even when the phone isn’t held perfectly still.
In general we plant images besides had less noise than those taken with an iPhone 12, and when it comes to video we were quite fond of the new Cinematic mode, which adds a bokeh consequence and smartly shifts the focus betwixt subjects.
With a new Photographic Styles mode for stills likewise, plus a capable 12MP f/2.ii front-facing photographic camera, at that place’southward a lot to like hither, it’s merely a shame there’due south no telephoto lens. For that you’ll have to opt for a Pro model – or a different visitor’s phones.
Certain, the iPhone thirteen doesn’t quite have all the bells and whistles of the other devices on this list – there’due south no zoom camera, no macro camera, and possibly fewer photography modes than yous’ll notice on the Samsung, Xiaomi or OnePlus rivals above. But for standard pictures it’due south peachy.
Read our full
iPhone thirteen review
How nosotros tested
Nosotros’ve fully reviewed every phone on this list and that includes extensively testing all of their cameras, so nosotros know exactly how they perform. That allows u.s.a. to await beyond specs and create a ranking based on how these photographic camera phones are in practice. We’ve too considered price, value and features when deciding on a ranking.
What should I look for when buying a camera telephone?
When choosing a photographic camera phone y’all should consider the types of photo y’all want to take. If you want to photograph wildlife or other things yous can’t easily get close to then a telephoto lens is essential, while for landscapes a adept ultra-wide is your friend. Bank check out our reviews to encounter how photographic camera phones perform in practice too, equally some audio better than they are.
Which phone has the best camera?
The best camera phone changes regularly, but our current top option will be sitting in the number one spot of this guide. That doesn’t mean information technology will be the all-time choice for anybody though – consider what you actually demand from your photographic camera phone before choosing one.
- Plough your snaps into a cute photo book – nosotros’ve picked out the best