Top 10 Best Budget Android Camera Phones For Photography Under 300 2018

Top 10 Best Budget Android Camera Phones For Photography Under £300 2018 - We round-up the best budget smartphones for photography, the best budget camera phones with a good camera. Under £300 sim-free.

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Huawei Honor 9 in Camera Phones

Cameras in smartphones have come a long way over the last few years, with a number of features that have greatly improved the quality of images produced by smartphones, including optical image stabilisation (OIS), larger sensors, bright lenses, and even optical zoom making them even better for photography. But you don't need to spend a fortune to get a good camera on your smartphone, here we look at the best camera phones available for under £300 sim-free.

You'll also find more in-depth comments on each of the smartphones featured in our list over in reviews, plus, take a look at our technique and feature sections where you'll find a range of articles, including our 8 DIY smartphone photography tricks you must try feature and our food photography basics, that'll have you snapping top smartphones shots in no-time. 

 

1. Honor 9

Honor 9

The Honor 9 offers dual cameras, one colour and one monochrome, there are manual controls, as well as DSLR style photos thanks to a "wide-aperture" mode and a portrait mode with background blur (bokeh). You'll also find a number of creative shooting modes, including light painting, time-lapse, slow-motion video and more. The camera can record 4K video, and offers raw shooting, as well as 10fps continuous shooting. You can shoot at ISO100 to ISO3200, and there is a 2x hybrid zoom. It's the currently the closest you can get to a premium smartphone for under £300.

Camera features at a glance: Dual 12mp f/2.2 colour / 20mp f/2.2 monochrome cameras, 8mp f/2 selfie, 5.15inch screen (FullHD), 4K video, 64GB storage, raw.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

2. Moto X Play 

Motorola Moto X Play XT1562 Product Shot1 Front

The Moto X Play is positioned between the Moto G and Moto X Style as a mid-range model in Motorola’s current smartphone range. The X Play has a 21Mp rear f/2.0 camera and 5Mp front-facing camera and is fronted by a large 5.5-inch display. Images from the X Play’s 21Mp sensor are vibrant, well-exposed and have plenty of dynamic range. If the camera detects a high contrast scene, the automatic HDR mode makes a noticeable difference to highlight and shadow intensity, whilst also boosting colour vibrancy. The effect is very noticeable, although in some instances it can look a little too intense. Things are less impressive in low light, where noise becomes more obvious as the camera requires higher ISO sensitivities to compensate for the lack of image stabilisation, and the lack of control over ISO settings disappoints. Storage can be expanded with the MicroSD card slot. Available for around £260.

Camera features at a glance: 21mp, f/2.0 lens, 27mm equivalent, FullHD video recording, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

3. Moto G (3rd Generation)

Motorola Moto G3 Product Shot1 Front

The third generation of the Moto G features a 13Mp 1/3-inch back-illuminated image sensor, 28mm-equivalent lens, f/2.0 with 4x digital zoom and a 5.0-inch IPS LCD screen. The fixed focal length, 28mm equivalent lens produces distortion-free images, while corner sharpness is almost a match for the centre of frame, although there are limited controls with the built-in camera app. The front-facing selfie camera generates good enough image quality for social media sharing or 6x4 prints, but when viewed any larger, the lack of fine detail is clear to see. Panoramas are a little disappointing but video, captured at 1920x1080, is well detailed, vibrant and well exposed. The Moto G is one of the cheapest waterproof smartphones available, and storage can be expanded with a MicroSD card. Available for around £150.

Camera features at a glance: 13mp, f/2.0 lens, 28mm equivalent, FullHD video recording, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

4. Nokia 6.1

Nokia 6.1 Smartphone

 

The Nokia 6.1 is a very reasonably priced smartphone that is capable of producing good images and excellent video in most situations. Yes, it does struggle a bit in low light and when scenes have a wide dynamic range, results can be disappointing but overall, it did a decent enough job. Plus, when you consider how reasonably priced it is, you can almost let slip its low light performance issues as in all other situations, it's a really great smartphone camera. 

If you're looking for a smart-looking smartphone that can take good photos, has 4K video built in and captures awesome selfies then the Nokia 6.1 might just be for you. It's a budget-friendly smartphone that surprised us and we reckon you won't be disappointed with how it performs either.  

Camera features at a glance: 16mp, f/2.0 lens, 27mm equivalent, 4K video, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

5. Moto G4 Plus

Moto G Plus Black Front Back

The Moto G4 Plus features a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, FullHD video recording, a fairly bright f/2.0 lens. There's a 5.5inch FullHD screen. The front camera is a 5-megapixel camera. Detail and colour reproduction in shots is good, and we were impressed by the colour performance of the dual-tone flash. The ISO range is from ISO64 to ISO3200. There is a MicroSD card slot, so you can add additional storage when needed. Available for around £210.

Camera features at a glance: 16mp, f/2.0 lens, FullHD video recording, MicroSD slot.

    Overall Score: 

    Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

6. Huawei P8

Huawei P8 (1)

The Huawei P8 features a slim metal body, large 5.2inch fullHD screen and a 13-megapixel camera with a bright f/2.0 lens. The phone also has a number of advanced photography features including a light painting mode and optical image stabilisation. Image quality is reasonably good, but not as sharp or as detailed as competitor phones but for those who don't want to spend as much money, but still want a premium smartphone camera, then P8 is well suited. The camera has a Sony sensor designed for better low light performance, and an ISO range from ISO64 to ISO1600, and the storage can be expanded with a MicroSD card. Available for around £270.

Camera features at a glance: 13mp, f/2.0 lens, 28mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), FullHD video, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

7. Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 White (1)

The Galaxy S5 will shoot at an impressive six frames-per-second for a 30-second burst and it’s got enough oomph to record 4K, Ultra HD video. The S5 is also certified dustproof as well as waterproof to a 1-meter depth and is available with 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded with a MicroSD card. As for its picture-taking capabilities, the S5 sports a fixed, 31mm-equivalent f/2.2 lens and features digital image stabilisation. The Galaxy S5 captures good levels of detail from both close range and distant subjects at ISO400 and below, with the maximum ISO speed ISO800. It also maintains impressively low levels of detail smoothing and image noise at higher sensitivities. Colour reproduction is accurate and matrix metering reliably produces well-exposed shots with decent dynamic range. Available for around £250.

Camera features at a glance: 16mp, f/2.2 lens, 31mm equivalent, 4K video recording, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK  | Buy On Amazon USA

 

8. BQ Aquaris X5

BQ Aquaris X5

The BQ Aquaris X5 features a 13-megapixel camera, an f/2.0 lens, twin LED flash, along with a selfie LED flash for the 5mp front camera. The smartphone has an aluminium frame, 2900mAh battery, and MicroSD card slot. HDR shooting is built-in, and the camera records FullHD video. Available with a 5-year warranty. Available for around £180.

Camera features at a glance: 13mp, f/2.0 lens, Dual LED flash, FullHD video recording, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK 

 

9. HTC U Play 

HTC U Play Camera

The HTC U Play features a 16-megapixel camera, a lens with an f/2.0 aperture, and optical image stabilisation (OIS). There's a dual LED flash, and a 5.2inch FullHD screen. The front camera is also 16 megapixels and has an f/2.0 aperture. Ram is good with 3GB, and the phone's storage is 32GB. There's a stylish glass rear and a fingerprint sensor on the front. Now that the price has dropped to around £249, this is one of the cheapest smartphones available with OIS. 

Camera features at a glance: 16mp, f/2.0 lens, OIS, Dual LED flash, FullHD video recording, MicroSD slot.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA

 

10. Moto X4

Moto X4 (12)
 

The Moto X4 has some nice features, in a fairly compact smartphone (by today's standards), with a waterproof body, and dual cameras. The ultra wide-angle camera has obvious distortion and image quality issues, but as a second camera, it’s quite good fun.

4K video can be recorded with the main camera, and FullHD video with the ultra-wide-angle, so you could use the smartphone as an action camera if you wanted, particularly as it's waterproof.

Compared to other smartphones such as the Honor 7X and HTC U Play, the Moto X4 feels a little overpriced. However, it’s one of few waterproof smartphones, so you may find this worth the price.

Camera features at a glance: Dual 12mp f/2.0, 8mp f/2.2 (UWA), 16mp f/2.0 selfie (with LED), 5.2inch screen (1080p), 4K video, 32GB storage.

Overall Score: 

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA

 

Others to look at include the following smartphones:

 

You're going to need a MicroSD card to expand your phone's memory so have a look at our complete guide to memory cards to find the right MicroSD card for your smartphone, or you can take a look at more camera phone reviews if you haven't found what you're looking for.

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