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Which cell phone has the best camera? We put the best Android and Apple phones to the test to become the ultimate champion
Phone That Takes The Best Pictures
Here at Expert Reviews, we test hundreds of smartphones every year. From the most expensive flagships to budget phones you buy out of sheer necessity, we run a series of pretty rigorous benchmarks to make sure we’re as informed as possible. That’s why we’ve taken test shots of every phone that comes in, so we know which phone has the best camera for your Instagram food/pet/vacation photos.
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If you enjoy taking photos or videos with your phone, or just want to know if you have a smartphone that’s great for vacationing, then you’ve come to the right place. Below is our regularly updated list of the best phone cameras on the market and a helpful camera buying guide – so you know exactly what to look for when browsing the Carphone Warehouse website.
Crowned the “best phone camera ever” in our roundup below, the Google Pixel 7 Pro sets new standards for smartphone photography. It packs a 50-megapixel main camera, 5x 45-megapixel telephoto and a 12-megapixel ultrawide option. Whether you’re shooting portraits, landscapes or low-light shots, the Pixel 7 Pro produces some of the best mobile phone photos out there right now. While it normally retails for £849, you can pick it up now for just £771.
As mentioned below, Sony’s latest smartphones have some impressive camera specs, and while we’ve chosen a different model for our roundup below, the Xperia 1 III’s trio of camera setups really impressed us when we reviewed its 12-megapixel cameras. . Delivers crisp, vivid results and boasts rarely seen features like variable optical zoom. With an average retail price of £1,015, the phone comes in at just £675 off Amazon’s lowest price.
The first thing to note is that megapixels aren’t everything. Visit Carphone Warehouse and you’ll see the megapixel count on the side of the phone, but that’s not really an indication of whether a smartphone camera is good or not. The higher megapixels may seem like a bonus, but it mostly boils down to the technology inside.
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What is the eye opening for? A number before an f/ looks a bit confusing at first, but says a lot about the camera you’re holding For example, an f/1.4 aperture is wider than an f/2.0 aperture, meaning the camera lets in more light and therefore more detail.
Pixel and sensor size are just as important as that f-number. In short, the size of each pixel (measured in µm) determines the image quality. Unlike aperture, bigger is better in terms of pixel and sensor size. Do you have a large camera sensor? More information can be collected, resulting in better dynamic range and less visual noise, while a larger pixel size lets in more light and performs better in low light.
Jumping to the top of the podium, the Pixel 7 Pro’s cameras are nothing short of amazing. With a 50-megapixel sensor, dual 12-megapixel ultrawide and 48-megapixel cameras with 5x optical zoom, the Pixel 7 Pro’s top-notch photographic prowess sits comfortably in first place once again. And considering how well priced this handset is, there’s really no point in choosing anything else.
The Pixel 7’s large f/1.9 aperture and twice as fast shutter speed make it ideal for low-light shooting, and in good light the Pixel 7 produced images with excellent dynamic range and color saturation, while white balance was excellent and accurate. Advanced features like Magic Eraser let you remove unwanted objects and people from your photos with a simple tap, and Face Unblur also does a great job of reducing blur on a moving subject.
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Something else that makes this phone stand out is its portrait mode capability. Whether you’re using the front-facing or rear-facing camera, every portrait shot is beautifully captured, with beautifully blurred backgrounds and sharp, defined edges around the subject. The Pixel 7 offers the best camera for your Instagram vanity shots and that 5x optical zoom third camera is a real treat to sport as well.
The Pixel 7 Pro truly sets a brand new benchmark for smartphone photography. Especially considering other flagship phones on this list are priced lower.
Google Pixel 7 Pro – Unlocked Android 5G Smartphone with Telephoto Lens, Wide Angle Lens and 24-Hour Battery – 128GB – Obsidian
The regular Pixel 7, meanwhile, offers the same camera system as the Pro at a steep discount. For £250 less than its big brother, you also get the excellent 50MP main camera and 12MP ultrawide, but miss out on the 5x telephoto zoom lens.
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If you’re not worried about that, the good news is that everything else is the same, with the same camera features and shooting modes in a more compact frame.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro is one of the most expensive phones on the list, but it does a great job of capturing reliable photos at 60fps and crisp, stable 4K video.
The 14 Pro has three cameras on the back. The original camera once again offered sensor-shift stabilization on a smartphone – to keep your videos as stable as possible – and now in its second generation, Apple improves the way it processes images in low and medium light. The main camera has received a huge increase in resolution to a massive 48MP with a 65% larger sensor, while the 12MP ultrawide sensor has doubled in size. The 12MP 3x telephoto module is the same as last year.
While image quality is still excellent – with the 14 Pro building in Apple’s excellent portrait mode – the iPhone 14 Pro’s video capabilities are at their best. Again, footage is recorded in 4K resolution at a maximum of 60 frames per second with Dolby Vision support. No other smartphone comes close to this quality when it comes to video efforts. Cinematic Mode – which lets you shoot with shallow depth of field and automatic focus transitions – gets a resolution boost to 4K, and the brand new Action Mode applies action camera-like stabilization to your video.
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It’s an expensive choice, no doubt, but that’s the sky-high price you pay for great quality video on the go.
Key Specifications – Rear Camera: 48MP, 12MP (Wide), 12MP (3x Telephoto); Aperture: f/1.8, f/2.2, f/2.8; Stabilization: sensor and optical; Video Resolution: 4K at 60 fps with Dolby Vision; Front camera: 12 MP
Like its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra raises the bar for smartphone photography.
Not only is it still the only smartphone to support 8K resolution video recording (with remarkable results), but the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s zoom capabilities are second to none. With a hybrid zoom range of up to 100x, the Galaxy S22 Ultra shines when it comes to telescopic photography, and the 108-megapixel main camera is no problem either. In our tests, we found the Galaxy S22 Ultra to capture detailed images in well-lit environments, with excellent dynamic range and rich, bold colors that appear to jump right off the screen. The phone’s night mode did a great job of enhancing image brightness without adding annoying visual noise and turning off street lights.
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Useful photo features like the ability to take a photo directly from any frame of 8K video footage are also a big bonus, as is the ability to print in both JPEG and DNG formats simultaneously in the Galaxy Store record specialist RAW app. So if you need a flagship smartphone that can do a lot in the camera department, as well as knock things out of the park with telephoto shooting, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the ideal candidate.
Apple might prefer its customers to spend more on the iPhone 13, but the lower price point of the iPhone SE 3 (2022) is worth looking at in the camera department. Powered by the same top-end chipset as Apple’s flagships – the A15 Bionic – the iPhone SE may only come with a single 12-megapixel rear camera, but the image quality is truly exceptional for the price.
It also finally benefits from Apple’s Deep Fusion technology, which improves low-light images, as well as Smart HDR 4, which allows the camera to detect and adjust exposure for each face in group shots. The photos we were able to take with the iPhone SE were consistently very good.
Once again, Apple’s portrait mode makes the most of the 12-megapixel sensor, with crisp detail and a rich color palette. In low light, the iPhone SE 3 actually holds up surprisingly well
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