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Top 19 Best Camera Phones For Photography 2019

If you're looking for the best camera phones to capture high-quality images, have a look at our top 19 best camera phone recommendations.

|  Samsung Galaxy S10+ in Camera Phones
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If you're looking for the best smartphone for photography, then you've come to the right place. 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. The photographic capabilities of smartphones have become such a massive selling feature, that many premium smartphones now support shooting "raw" images, so you can take complete control over image processing.

Some of the weaknesses of small sensor cameras have also been removed by the use of "computational photography" - for example, Auto HDR, combines images for improved dynamic range, "Bokeh mode" produces DSLR-like images with blurred backgrounds for portraits, and multi-shot night modes offer better low-light shots, with reduced noise. 

Here we highlight some of the best camera phones we've reviewed, up until now, and what makes them unique so you can make a more informed purchase next time you upgrade/buy a new smartphone. You'll also find more in-depth comments on each of the smartphones featured in our 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. 

If you want to, you can purchase and find more information about each smartphone listed by clicking the green Amazon buttons featured below each product. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you press our Amazon buttons but by using our Amazon Affiliate links when ordering anything online, you are supporting the site - thank you.


 

1. Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+ 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Green (8)
 

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10 5G offer premium features, excellent results, and a great smartphone experience. Also, considering the recent woes faced by other smartphone companies, if you're looking for a premium multi-camera smartphone, then getting the Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus is a great choice. 

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus delivers a great triple camera setup, with a better than expected selfie camera as well.

Camera features at a glance: 16mp Ultra-Wide, 123 degrees, 12mp Main, with f/1.5 or f/2.4 aperture, with OIS, 12mp 2x Telephoto (S10, and S10+), with OIS, Selfie: 10mp f/1.9 with Dual Pixel AF, Additional 8mp RGB depth camera for the front on the S10+, 6.4inch screen, 4K UHD video recording, 4100mAh battery

Overall Score: 

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2. Huawei P30 Pro


Huawei P30 Pro Smartphone

 

The Huawei P30 Pro is an impressive smartphone that massively improves on the Huawei P20 Pro. There's a triple camera set-up supported by a TOF sensor, 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and a 4200mAh battery powering the whole thing. There's a decent amount of storage, good AI features, an improved portrait mode and the P30 Pro takes better selfies than the P20 Pro did. Combine this with its smart design, great display and improved night mode, you've got a smartphone worth paying attention to. 

As we said in our review, we can clearly see the direction Huawei smartphones are going in which is definitely an exciting one for photographers and with so much progression in just a few years, it will be very interesting to see what they bring to the smartphone world next.

Camera features at a glance: 40MP, f/1.6, 27mm, 20MP, f/2.2, 16mm & 8MP, f/3.4, 125mm. Plus, TOF 3D camera, 32MP f/2.0 dewdrop front-facing camera, 4K, Full HD & HD video, 6.47-inch (1080x2340) with in-screen fingerprint sensor, ISO 50 to 409,600, 4200mAh battery, water/dust resistance rating

Overall Score: 

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Less Money To Spend? Have a look at the Huawei P30 as if you don't want to part with an extra £200, the P30 would be a good choice - 'Recommended'. 

 

 

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Blue (11) (Custom)

With the same cameras as the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is bound to impress, however, Samsung has updated the software to include auto scene recognition which will automatically apply optimum settings to deliver better photos. There's a large 6.4inch screen which makes composing and viewing photos a great experience. There's manual shooting letting you select f/1.5 or f/2.4 apertures with the wide-angle lens. There's also raw support, Auto HDR, and an 8mp f/1.7 selfie camera with autofocus ensuring selfie's are correctly focused. As you'd expect with a premium smartphone, it's waterproof with an IP68 rating. It has plenty of RAM and storage, and comes with a bluetooth stylus that can be used as a remote shutter release! ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO1250 can be used, and there's a large 4000mAh battery for great battery life.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.5-2.4 lens, 26mm equivalent wide-angle, and telephoto f/2.4 lens, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS for both cameras), 4K 60fps video, 8mp selfie camera with AF, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

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4. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S9plus (7)

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus features an ultra bright f/1.5 - f/2.4 aperture lens, and the S9 Plus has a second telephoto camera. Both feature a 12-megapixel sensor and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and the front selfie camera is an 8mp f/1.7 camera with Auto Focus (AF), which is still quite rare. The screen is an impressive 6.2inch Quad HD+ screen that dominates the front of the phone, whilst maintaining a similar size to other phones with 5.5 or 6inch screens. The phone can capture high-speed video at 960fps, 4K video at 60fps as well as 9-megapixel stills when in video mode. It's dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins. With the ability to expand the memory with a microSD card and tough Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen and back on the phone, it's ideal for those who love to get out and about and take lots of images, no matter the weather. It operates at a very impressive speed and you can use the volume control as a shutter button. ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO1250 can be used, and using the manual mode you can shoot raw images. 

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.5-2.4 lens, 26mm equivalent, telephoto f/2.4 lens, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K 60fps video, 8mp selfie camera with AF, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

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5. Google Pixel 3 / 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 (1)

The Google Pixel 3 (and 3 XL) may only have one rear camera but they make up for it by providing some of the best camera software available. This offers a number of intelligent shooting modes that combine a number of shots (often without you even being able to notice any kind of delay). The features include Super-Res technology to give 2x zoom with improved detail. There's a very impressive Night Sight mode, which can give excellent low-light shots. There's a Bokeh effect/portrait shooting mode for portraits, and Auto HDR improves the dynamic range in shots. High-speed continuous shooting may not be new, but the "Top Shot" feature makes it easy to get the best shot, and it all happens quickly, easily, and for the most part automatically.

The Pixel 3 also features dual 8mp front cameras, with an ultra-wide angle, and a wide-angle to let you get more people into group shots. Available in two sizes, as the Google Pixel 3 with a 5.5inch screen or the Google Pixel 3 XL with a 6.3inch screen and larger battery. Like other premium smartphones, the Pixel 3 is waterproof.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.8 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K 30fps video, dual 8mp selfie cameras (ultra-wide and wide-angle), raw.

Overall Score: 

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6. Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy S10e

 

The Samsung Galaxy S10e sounds like it's the "entry-level" S10 from Samsung, but it's anything but entry-level, with an excellent screen, great design, high build quality, and the same processor as the S10 and S10 Plus. It's also got the same great shooting experience, just minus the telephoto lens. If you can live without a telephoto lens on a smartphone camera, and would much prefer an ultra-wide angle lens, then the S10e is an excellent option, and it also saves you money compared to the bigger S10 smartphones. 

Camera features at a glance: 16mp Ultra-Wide, 123 degrees, 12mp Main, with f/1.5 or f/2.4 aperture, with OIS, Selfie: 10mp f/1.9 with Dual Pixel AF, S10 / S10 Plus: 12mp 2x Telephoto, with OIS, S10 Plus: Additional 8mp RGB depth camera for the front, 5.8inch screen, 3000mAh battery, 4K UHD video recording.

Overall Score: 

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7. Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 In Hand

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses the same, already excellent, camera as the S7, with a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel technology and a bright f/1.7 aperture, and improves the phone with an upgraded 8mp selfie camera with Auto Focus (AF). The screen is an impressive 5.8inch Quad HD+ screen that dominates the front of the phone, whilst maintaining the same compact size as the previous phone! The phone can capture 4K video as well as 9-megapixel stills when in video mode. It's dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins. With the ability to expand the memory with a microSD card and tough Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen and back on the phone, it's ideal for those who love to get out and about and take lots of images, no matter the weather. It operates at a very impressive speed and you can use the volume control as a shutter button. ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO800 are selectable in manual mode. 

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.7 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

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8. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro feels, and looks, like a true flagship device, with an abundance of technology crammed into a stylish and relatively compact smartphone, considering the large 6.39inch screen.  

The camera is generally great, there's a good ultra-wide-angle camera, with an impressive 2.5cm macro mode. The main camera is the best of the three, giving good results in a variety of situations. The 3x telephoto camera, as we found with the P20 Pro, can struggle with focus (particularly when capturing video). When you switch between the standard and telephoto cameras, the colour saturation often changes, too, however, when the camera does get it right, results can be very good. 

If you look at the Huawei Mate 20 Pro as a cutting-edge smartphone, with a very good standard camera, with the option of an ultra-wide-angle and 3x telephoto cameras as optional extras, then you have an extremely versatile smartphone. However, if you expect the ultra-wide-angle and telephoto cameras to be as good as the main camera, then you'll most likely be disappointed.

For the dedicated photographer, you can shoot in Pro mode, and get better images by processing the raw files yourself. For everyone else, you can get great results leaving the camera on default settings, and leaving Master AI to sort everything out for you. 95% of people who buy this smartphone will be extremely happy with the cameras. The fussy, or the more serious photographers, may wish it was just a tiny bit better. 

Overall, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a true flagship smartphone, pushing the boundaries of what's considered possible with a smartphone, with a stylish design, in-screen fingerprint reader, face recognition, 3D scanning (coming soon), impressive battery life, extremely fast processor, plenty of storage and more. With three cameras it offers a variety of shooting possibilities, and will certainly keep the majority of people very impressed. 

Camera features at a glance: Leica Triple Cameras (Rear), 20mp f/2.2 Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens - 16mm equivalent, 20mp output, 40mp f/1.8 Standard Lens - 27mm equivalent, 10/40mp output, 8mp f/2.4 Telephoto Lens - 81mm equivalent, 10mp output, with OIS, AI IS, 24mp f/2.0 selfie camera, Dual-tone LEF flash, 4K video, FullHD video, ISO50-102400, 2.5cm macro focus, Super HDR, personalised bokeh

Overall Score: 

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9. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Huawei Mate10 Pro With Leica (7)

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is Huawei's top of the range flagship smartphone, not only does it feature dual Leica f/1.6 cameras with colour and black and white sensors, but also features a top of the range processor, that includes a "Neural Processing Unit" designed to speed up "Artificial Intelligence" (AI), for both smartphone and camera features. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a large smartphone, thanks to a 6inch screen, and it's set up with a 12mp f/1.6 colour camera, and a 20mp f/1.6 black and white camera, both lenses equivalent to 27mm in 35mm terms. The main 12mp colour camera features optical image stabilisation, and there is prominent Leica branding next to the cameras on the back, as well as a Dual LED flash. The camera can record 4K (UHD) video, as well as high-speed video at 120fps at FullHD resolution. 

If you're looking for a large smartphone, with an emphasis on the camera(s) included, then the Mate 10 Pro certainly offers a complete package.

Camera features at a glance: Dual cameras 12mp colour, 20mp black and white, f/1.6 lenses, 27mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: 

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10. Google Pixel 2 XL

Google Pixel 2 XL In Hand (3)

The Google Pixel 2 XL ticks all the boxes for a flagship smartphone, with a large 18:9 screen, waterproof body and optical image stabilisation. It also makes up for the lack of a second camera by producing some excellent images. It's a shame there's no headphone socket, and we'd like to see more manual control in the default camera app, as settings for the ISO speed and raw shooting would be useful, without having to download other apps. Saying that, for most people, the Google Pixel 2 XL will be a great camera as it's easy to use and produces great results.

Overall, the Google Pixel 2 XL delivers impressive portrait shots and images with high levels of detail, thanks to clever technology.

Camera features at a glance: 12mp f/1.8 camera, 1.4um pixels, OIS, Dual pixel autofocus, dual LED flash, HDR+ shooting, 4K/FullHD Video, water and dust resistant. 

Overall Score: 

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dancin 15 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2019 10:36PM
The ratings given in the group give 12 of the 15 the same 4 and half stars each. No much of an in depth analysis If they were tested as a photographer I am sure there would be some variation. May we assume that the first one in the review is the top choice.
31 Jan 2019 8:13AM

Quote:May we assume that the first one in the review is the top choice.

Yes, it is and you can find more detailed information, along with images captured with each phone, by taking a look at the full reviews which are all linked to. Smile

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