Google Pixel 5 taking a photo 4 1
David Imel / Android Authority

Smartphones have effectively replaced point-and-shoot cameras, and many outperform them. These portable computers have become our main cameras, making photo quality a priority when picking a new smartphone. That’s why we made a list of the very best camera phones currently available.

The best camera phones are all stunning performers, but different factors put them on this list. Some are better in some ways but fall flat in others. Today we are here to find out which best suits your needs.

Also: These are the best Android phones you can find right now

The best camera phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best camera phones regularly as new Android devices launch.


1. Google Pixel 5

The Pixel line-up has been known for sporting the best specs, including the latest processors and all the features you need. The Google Pixel 5 takes another approach by cutting some corners and making the phone more affordable. The good news is Google didn’t skimp out on the camera department, something the Pixel lineup is famous for.

You still get a pretty basic camera selection compared to other flagships, featuring a dual-camera set-up in the back. These are a 12.2MP main camera and a 16MP ultra-wide shooter. There’s a notable change here, as the Pixel 4 series used to have a telephoto lens instead of that ultra-wide one.

In terms of other components, the search giant has opted to go with the Snapdragon 765G, which still performs very well. In our tests, we found that this chipset is comparable to the Snapdragon 845. Other specs are as good as you would expect. You get 8GB of RAM, an amazing dual-camera setup, a large OLED display, and a nice 4,080mAh battery.


Google Pixel 5 specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,080mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Google Pixel 4a series

Google has set the standards yet again with the Pixel 4a. This phone succeeds and surpasses the Pixel 3a with better performance, an amazing camera performance, and an even lower price point. This phone costs a mere $349, which is a surprising price for a phone that can take such nice photos. It might very well be the very best budget camera phone around, but you can learn more about that in our full review.

Also read: These are the best budget camera phones

The 12.2MP camera is the same Sony IMX363 sensor you find in the Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a series. What really takes these otherwise mundane camera specs to the next level is Google’s software enhancements, though. Their level of computational photography is on another level. The Pixel 4a adopts features from the Pixel 4 series, such as Astrophotography Mode, Night Sight, and the dual exposure sliders.

If you want something with slightly better specs and an extra ultra-wide lens, check out the Pixel 4a 5G. This phone strikes the right balance between the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5. It’s slightly less expensive than the Pixel 5 and only sacrifices on specs minimally. Meanwhile, it offers better performance and a camera set-up more similar to the Pixel 5. Of course, as the name entails, it supports 5G networks.


Google Pixel 4a specs:

  • Display: 5.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 730G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,140mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Google Pixel 4a 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,885mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series

The Samsung Galaxy Note line has always been known for great performance, amazing designs, and outstanding camera quality. It’s no surprise the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are also some of the best camera phones the industry has to offer.

If money is no object, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the obvious choice for gamers. It sports a huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 12GB of RAM. The cameras on this model are also top of the line, with a triple camera setup led by a wide-angle 108MP sensor. This phone also has a 12MP periscope zoom camera and another 12MP ultra-wide shooter.

Meanwhile, the regular Samsung Galaxy Note 20 has 12MP wide and ultra-wide cameras, while a 64MP sensor takes care of zoom capabilities. Of course, the difference here is that the regular Note 20 uses hybrid zoom instead of optical zoom. Regardless, these are both great options, and are considered among the best camera phones around.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, WQHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 108MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Samsung Galaxy S21 series

The Galaxy S21 family arrived as expected at Samsung’s January Unpacked event, and the three models will likely set the tone for phones throughout 2021. You get everything you’d expect, and, in the case of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you get even more. Most importantly, these are definitely among the best camera phones available in the market.

More: Samsung Galaxy S21 buyer’s guide

The Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra are all great phones, but if you want the ultimate photography experience, you will want to go for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It comes with four cameras, making it the most versatile of the trio. This device also features laser autofocus and 100x hybrid zoom! Not to mention it’s also a beast in terms of all other specs.


Samsung Galaxy S21 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP
  • Front cameras: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12 or 16GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256, or 512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 10, 10, and 108MP
  • Front cameras: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra presents a unique use case and design that definitely makes it one of the best camera phones, at least in some ways. For starters, it comes with a small screen in the rear, which can be used as a preview for the main cameras. Selfie shooters will absolutely love this, and the camera system happens to be a pretty good one too.

Related: The best Chinese phones you will find

We had a bit of an issue with yellow color reproduction during our full review, but that was the only small problem we encountered. Otherwise, it’s a great camera phone with versatility and quality in mind. We also love that Xiaomi ditched the macro camera for a telephoto lens, proving to be much more useful for most users.


Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 48MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus didn’t use to make the best camera phones, but things have been changing with the latest generation handsets. If you liked the OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera, you will absolutely love the shooters in the OnePlus 9 Pro. It comes with a versatile lens selection and great hardware.

Read: Want a phone with a great camera? Here’s what to look for

This device is the product of a partnership with photography goliath Hasselblad. This is one of the best-known companies in the photo industry. The Swedish company has been around since 1841, and their brand loyalty goes on par with their product quality. How does all this help the OnePlus 9 Pro, though? This phone takes advantage of Hasselblad’s natural color calibration, which is applied at the sensor level.


OnePlus 9 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Sony Xperia 1 III

The Sony Xperia 1 II has been on our list of the best camera phones for long, and now it’s time for its successor to take its place. The Sony Xperia 1 III is here, and it comes busting doors, shooting some of the “best-looking pictures out of all the phones we’ve tested,” according to our full review

Our very own Robert Triggs reports great image quality, with colors and white balance that are “among the best in the business.” The main camera provides plenty of detail, and processing is much more subtle than the competition’s, making for more natural photos. Consistency has also been improved, though we wish the camera did a bit better in low-light conditions. 

You get a good package, including a periscope lens with 70mm and 105mm switchable focal lengths. There’s also a 16mm wide-angle lens camera with pretty nice performance. And it also happens to double as a macro shooter! 

It’s not all about photos, though, and Sony excels in the video department. This phone can shoot 4K video at up to a whopping 120fps. Quality is great, and stabilization is decent. 


Sony Xperia 1 III specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 4K
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, 12, and 3D TOF
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Huawei Mate 40 Pro series

It’s hard to recommend any current Huawei phones because of their lack of support from Google. Living without the search giant’s services can be a daunting idea, given many of us are so invested in the ecosystem. With all that said, it’s hard to put together a list of the best camera phones without mentioning Huawei. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro and Pro Plus cameras are among the best in the industry.

Read also: The best Huawei phones you can buy right now

Both Pro variants sport a 20MP ultra-wide lens compared to the standard model’s 16MP snapper. But the Pro has a 12MP 5x periscope lens, while the Pro Plus has a 12MP 3x telephoto camera and an 8MP 10x periscope shooter for superior zoom shots. The standard Mate 40 has to make do with an 8MP 3x telephoto lens.


Huawei Mate 40 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.76-inch, 2,772 x 1,344
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 20, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 13MP + 3D ToF
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Huawei Mate 40 Pro Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.76-inch, 2,772 x 1,344
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 20, 12, and 8MP + 3D ToF
  • Front camera: 13MP + 3D ToF
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Software: Android 10

9. Apple iPhone 12 series

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying Apple makes some of the best camera phones you can buy. These include the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest and baddest of the bunch, but it’s also the most expensive. It offers the best camera, but the differences aren’t huge. Just hit the link below, and you will find out the differences between the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro aren’t as big as they seem.

Here: Camera comparison between the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini drop the telephoto lens, but keep the standard and wide-angle cameras. These still take amazing shots and offer a much more portable body.


iPhone 12 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,815mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

iPhone 12 Mini specs:

  • Display: 5.4-inch, 2,340 x 1,080
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,227mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

iPhone 12 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,815mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

iPhone 12 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, 2,778 x 1,284
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,687mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

10. Apple iPhone SE

Budget premium phones were all the hype in 2020, and we can’t deny the iPhone SE is one of the best camera phones you can get at a more acceptable price point. It offers tremendous value for money, which is not something you usually hear when talking about Apple products.

The iPhone SE includes the familiar glass and metal design we saw on the iPhone 8 and has a very competitive camera. Users will also love that Apple didn’t skimp out on the processor, as the iPhone SE uses the same Apple A13 Bionic processor we see in iPhone 11 handsets. Other benefits include wireless charging and an IP67 rating, two features the Pixel 4a phone lacks.

Also: Which is the best iPhone for you?

However, there are a few drawbacks you have to keep in mind. The phone has a small 4.7-inch display with a low resolution. It also has large bezels that make it look dated and lacks Night Mode, so low-light photography isn’t anything to write home about.


iPhone 12 SE specs:

  • Display: 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750
  • SoC: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Camera: 12MP
  • Front camera: 7MP
  • Battery: 1,821mAh
  • Software: iOS 13

Also, keep in mind that having a great camera smartphone is only half the battle. Getting familiarized with the fundamentals of photography and training your skills will go a long way. Check out our guides below for more tips on how to capture the perfect photo!