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Reader's Choice best camera phone of 2022: Which phone won our blind shootout?

Four mystery devices, 14 sets of samples, and three days of voting, and thousands of responses later, we have a winner!

Published onDecember 21, 2022

EoY 2022 cameras close saturated
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Four mystery devices, 14 sets of samples, and three days of voting, and thousands of responses later — we asked and you told us which smartphone is Android Authority’s Reader’s Choice for the best camera phone of 2022. It was close, and I mean really close.

To recap, we whittled the selection down to our four highest-reviewed camera phones of 2022 and asked you, dear reader, to vote blind on which snaps you preferred. We have tabulated all the votes and can now reveal which phone is which.

Device A was the Sony Xperia 1 IV. Device B was Google’s Pixel 7 Pro. C was Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max. And Device D was the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Did you guess any of those phones correctly? The full results of the vote are displayed in the graph below.

Missed the vote? You can check out the samples at the end of this article, now with the names revealed!

And the winner is…

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
best of 2022 readers choice award badge

While voter scores between all four phones were extremely close (all falling within 0.4 of each other), two phones stood out to you — Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max and Google’s Pixel 7 Pro. The two ended up virtually inseparable, but some last-minute voting nudged the Pixel 7 Pro ahead (by just 0.02) to win 2022’s Reader Choice award for the best camera phone.

The two received the largest share of results graded four or above, with 63.8% of voters awarding a high score to the Pixel 7 Pro and 62.8% the same for the highest-end iPhone. Clearly, voters were impressed overall. But this is a notable win for the Pixel 7 Pro, given its much more affordable price tag compared to all the other competitors in the shootout.

The Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max received mostly high scores from our readers.

Our readership is clearly quite demanding in the camera department, with the Xperia 1 IV and Galaxy S22 Ultra receiving scores of just one from over 10% of voters, and close to 25% of voters issuing scores of two or below for these phones. Harsh, but we’d certainly agree that Sony’s flagship struggles to provide the consistently bright and vivid shots its competitors deliver, while Samsung’s best has rather poor clear noise and portrait issues in a few of the snaps we took.

A worthy winner

The Pixel 7 Pro has already won the Android Authority 2022 Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice awards for best all-around smartphone, so it’s an outstanding clean sweep for Google’s flagship this year. Though it’s perhaps more surprising just how close the iPhone 14 Pro Max came in the reader’s vote. With the branding hidden, Apple’s premium flagship can clearly impress the Android faithful.

Truth be told, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have been on our, and essentially everyone’s, photography radar since launch. From stunning everyday snaps, as seen here, and industry-leading astrophotography capabilities to impressive Super Res Zoom, and software features encompassing portrait enhancements, Magic Eraser, and more. Google has made photography a core part of its Pixel identity, and that work has clearly paid dividends as it can hang with, and outmatch, the very best.

Google’s Pixel 7 Pro is a worthy winner. Congrats, Google!

Google Pixel 7 ProGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
AA Editors Choice
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best Google camera • High-quality display • Big battery
MSRP: $899.00
The Pixel 7 Pro is the top-of-the-line phone on Google's roster.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro takes the best features from the Pixel 6 Pro, and makes them even better. Enjoy numerous camera upgrades and some fun new software tricks, all for the same cost as the last-gen Pixel phone.

Camera samples revealed!

Just in case you missed the Reader’s Choice vote, below are all of the samples, now with the names revealed so you can compare them knowing which is which! You can check out this Google Drive folder for all the full-res samples.