Google Pixel 5 taking a photo 4 1

Credit: 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 there are different factors that 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

Google Pixel 5 on windowsill

The Pixel line-up has been known for sporting the best specs, including the latest processors and all the features you could 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 when 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 Pixel 4a 5G next to 4a

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 this 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

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra together

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, as opposed to optical zoom. Regardless, these are both great options, and are considered to be 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

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus backs

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. Oppo Find X2 Pro

Oppo Find X2 Pro back against orage - Best camera phones

The Oppo Find X2 Pro is another device with a super versatile camera system. Packed inside are three shooters: a 48MP standard camera, a 13MP sensor with a telephoto lens, and a 12 MP wide-angle. The periscope zoom camera gives you about 5x optical zoom, but you can also take advantage of 10x hybrid zoom and 60x digital zoom.

Related: The best Chinese phones you will find

This is one of the best camera phones, offering natural colors, good sharpness, and superior dynamic range. Its specs are also nothing to scoff at, and during our testing we found the Find X2 Pro to be “outrageously fast.”


Oppo Find X2 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 48, 13, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,260mAh
  • Software: Android 10

6. OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro camera array

The OnePlus 8 was a formidable handset at a great price, but the company really went above and beyond with the OnePlus 8 Pro in the camera department. The 8 Pro offers the older 48MP Sony IMX586 as the wide camera in its system, the new 48MP Sony IMX689 as its main sensor, and a 12MP telephoto sensor that outputs 8MP images. You’ll also find a Color Filter camera for a specific filter in the camera app and a 16MP selfie shooter on the front.

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

The OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t only a phenomenal shooter. It also comes with specs and features to keep day to day operations smooth. The 120Hz display is gorgeous, it features super-fast 30W charging (wired and wireless), and the cameras are pretty versatile. You can’t go wrong with this one, and it’s certainly one of the best camera phones around.


OnePlus 8 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 48, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,510mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Sony Xperia 1 II and Xperia 5 II

Sony Xperia 1 II macro of back cameras at angle

Sony has become one of the best camera manufacturers. The company’s mirrorless cameras are beat by none, and the idea behind the Sony Xperia 1 II was to bring that level of performance to the smartphone world. Sadly, Sony couldn’t make a device that truly competes against the best camera phones in terms of pure image quality, but they have done something amazing in certain departments.

Sony’s mirrorless cameras are known for their super fast burst modes and amazing autofocus prowess, something the Sony Xperia 1 II inherits. This phone can shoot at 20fps. Autofocus is also insanely fast by offering up to 60 calculations per second, and you even get cool features like eye autofocus.

Three lenses adorn the back, making for a perfect trifecta of shooting capabilities. These cover all zoom ranges. Sony went with a 16-24mm, a 24-70mm, and a 70-200mm lens. Of course, these aren’t optical zoom lenses. It’s still just a 16mm, 24mm, and 70mm, but hybrid zoom can do miracles nowadays.

You can certainly get better quality photos from some of the other phones listed here, but an important part of great photography is capturing the right moment at the exact right time. The Sony Xperia 1 II’s burst mode and amazing autofocus capabilities will help you do that.

The Sony Xperia 5 II looks, feels, and performs just as well as the Xperia 1 II. It also has a very similar camera system. The only thing missing is the depth sensor, which the higher-end version sports.


Sony Xperia 5 II specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Sony Xperia 1 II specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 4K
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, 12, and 3D iTOF
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

8. Huawei Mate 40 Pro series

Huawei Mate 40 Pro taking a photo

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 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

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 Max camera 3

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

iPhone SE review header

Budget premium phones are 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!