In recent years, smartphones have effectively replaced point-and-shoot cameras, and many even outperform them. For many of us, these portable computers have become our main camera, making photo quality a priority when picking a new smartphone. That’s why we made a list of the very best camera phones for Android currently available.

All of these best smartphone cameras are stunning performers, but there are different factors that put them on this list. Some are better in some ways, but fall flat in others. Read through our list of the best camera phones and find out which one is right for you!


Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3 screen

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL aren’t off to the best start, with a slew of random bugs and issues surrounding their launch. Not helping is the comically huge notch on the larger flagship and the fact that they don’t feature as much RAM as every other high-end smartphone currently available.

However, there is one department where the latest Google flagships shine — the camera. They still sport the same single rear cameras as the Pixel 2, but there are a ton of camera software improvements here. Top Shot mode will take multiple pictures of your subject and recommend the best one.

Night Sight, which is now available on Pixel devices, brings next-level low-light photography thanks to computational photography. Finally, there’s a mode called Motion Auto Focus that lets the Pixel 3 focus on a subject in a video, no matter how much they move around.

If you aren’t a fan of the notch or are looking for a less expensive option, the smaller Pixel 3 is the way to go. The only differences between the two are that the Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch Full HD+ screen and comes with a slightly smaller battery. You get all the same specs and features with both, including wireless charging, dust and water resistance, dual front-facing cameras, and an excellent software experience.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are some pretty expensive though considering it doesn’t come with as many bells and whistles as some of the other similarly priced phones on this list. The smaller Pixel 3 starts at $800 while the Pixel 3 XL will set you back an additional $100.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2160 x 1080 resolution (Pixel 3)
  • 6.3-inch AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution (Pixel 3 XL)
  • 2.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64/128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 12.2MP rear camera, dual 8MP front-facing cameras
  • 2,915mAh battery (Pixel 3)
  • 3,430mAh battery (Pixel 3 XL)
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm, 148grams (Pixel 3)
  • 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 184grams (Pixel 3 XL)

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was one of the most anticipated releases of the year and it delivered. The latest Galaxy Note is the epitome of powerhouse. It shares much of its predecessor’s design language, with flatter sides and refinements like better fingerprint scanner placement and a smaller camera visor. The Galaxy Note 9 is the latest example showing Samsung knows how to make a premium smartphone.

The phone doesn’t compromise on its hardware at any point. You get the Snapdragon 845 processor onboard, with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of built-in storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. It’s a power user’s dream. The Galaxy Note 9 features the best smartphone display around, with numbers to prove it. It’s got the exact same setup as the Galaxy S9 Plus, with a few new software tricks to further enhance an already excellent experience.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 uses the exact same set of dual 12MP sensors from the Galaxy S9 Plus, including the dual-aperture secondary lens that was debuted in that device. While images are nearly identical to those from the Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung threw in a couple of software tricks to give the Galaxy Note 9 the upper hand. These include a new scene detection mode and a flaw detection feature that are both powered by classification-based machine learning.

Some may consider the Galaxy Note 9 a slightly bigger Galaxy S9 Plus. That’s not far off, but it ignores the Note 9’s defining feature — the S-Pen. Samsung has brought more value and convenience with the stylus every year, and the Galaxy Note 9’s S-Pen comes with a lot of new features and capabilities.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is as premium as it gets, so it’s no surprise this is reflected in its price tag. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 starts at $800, and goes up to around $1200 for the 512GB iteration of the phone.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB
  • 12MP and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201grams

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro triple camera close up

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of the most anticipated phones of the year, and for good reason. The Mate 20 Pro features an all-glass design and comes with Huawei’s popular gradient color scheme with five color options to choose from. The device comes with the Kirin 980 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a fancy new Nano Memory slot for expandable storage.

However, the reason for it making this list is the excellent camera setup you get. Similar to the P20 Pro, the Mate 20 Pro features three cameras on the back – a primary 40MP one with a f/1.8 aperture; a telephoto 8MP with a f/2.4 aperture and OIS, and a 20MP ultra-wide with a f/2.2 aperture. On the front, there’s a single 24MP camera. It’s a highly versatile camera system that lets you shoot everything from macro details to long-distance, zoomed-in scenery.

It’s blazing fast, has great battery life, and some of the best cameras you can get on any smartphone. That said, it won’t be easy to get your hands on if you’re in the U.S where the phone is unlikely to be officially released. It will be on sale in various European and Asian markets though, priced at around the $1000 mark (depending on the market).

Specs

  • 6.39-inch Super OLED display with 3120 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • Mali-G76 720MHz GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB of built-in storage, expandable via nano memory card slot
  • 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP triple rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • 4,200mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm, 189grams

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HTC U12 Plus

HTC U12 Plus main camera

HTC has certainly come a long way from when the camera was considered one of the more disappointing aspects of its flagship offerings. The HTC U11 and the U11 Plus features some of the best smartphone cameras last year and HTC manages to continue this trend with the U12 Plus.

You get a now almost standard dual rear camera setup this time around – a primary 12MP wide-angle sensor with an f/1.75 aperture and a 16MP telephoto lens with an f/2.6 aperture. Both cameras have both OIS and EIS. The cameras can take astounding shots in well-lit areas, and very good shots in low-light settings.

HTC is slowly but surely but surely adding more features to its camera app. There’s still a pro mode if you want more control over your photos, as well as panorama, hyperlapse, and slow motion video modes. The dual-camera setup allows the U12 Plus to also take portrait shots with a bokeh effect.

Also making its return is Sonic Zoom (formerly known as Acoustic Focus), which lets you zoom in on a subject while shooting video to amplify the subject’s sound. It works really well, and HTC says it’s 60 percent louder and 33 percent more focused this time around.

The U12 Plus has two 8MP front-facing camera sensors, each with an aperture of f/2.0 and an 84-degree field of view. Overall, if you are buying this phone for its cameras, you definitely won’t be disappointed. While there is some excellent competition, the HTC U12 Plus also deserves a place on our best camera phones list. The HTC U12 Plus is priced at $799.99.

Specs

  • 6-inch Super LCD 5 display with 2880 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64/128GB built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 512GB
  • 16MP and 12MP dual rear cameras, dual 8MP front-facing cameras
  • 3,500mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7mm, 188grams

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus

The Galaxy S9 Plus camera placed on a table with newspapers

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus may appear quite similar to their predecessors, but they actually feature quite a few upgrades and improvements across the board. The overall design language remains largely the same, now with reduced bezels above and below the gorgeous infinity displays for a more manageable handling experience. The fingerprint scanner has also been moved to a much better position and no longer feels like an awkward stretch to reach.

Samsung also finally decided to focus on an area with which its struggled in the past — audio. The Galaxy S9 devices are the first Samsung smartphones to feature stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Samsung also partnered with Dolby to add the Atmos codec to the Galaxy S9 to provide an enhanced, immersive experience.

The Galaxy S9 camera is a 12MP super speed dual pixel sensor, while its larger sibling tacks on a secondary 12MP telephoto lens. There a bunch of new software features like multi-frame image processing, and 960 fps slo-mo video capture, and the camera even has a dual-aperture lens.

Apart from the larger display and the dual rear camera setup, the Galaxy S9 Plus also comes with 6GB of RAM, compared to 4GB with the Galaxy S9. If you’re looking for a great camera and don’t want to splurge on the Galaxy Note 9, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are definitely more than up to the task.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S9

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64/128/256GB built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 400GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm, 163gram

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64/128/256GB built-in storage, further expandable via microSD up to 400GB
  • 12MP and 12MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • 3,500mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm, 189grams

Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei P20 Pro camera

Dual rear camera setups have almost become standard in the smartphone space. So of course, Huawei had to push the boundary and tack on a third camera with its latest flagship, the P20 Pro. However, this is more than just a gimmick. The P20 Pro has one of the best smartphone cameras around, offering a DSLR-like experience and quality.

Each camera serves a different purpose. The main 40MP sensor captures rich color, the 20MP secondary monochrome sensor captures additional details, and the third 8MP telephoto lens is used for zoom and additional focal length. A bunch of features like 3X optical zoom, 5X hybrid zoom, 4D predictive focus, 960fps slo-mo recording, and more are available. The camera also has Huawei’s new AI-assisted stabilization (AIS), which lets the P20 Pro take long-exposure shots without a tripod. You also get a great 24MP shooter up front.

However, it’s not all about the camera (though that’s more than enough reason to buy this phone for some). You also get excellent performance, courtesy of its flagship hardware, and an impressive battery life, and a Full HD+ display. The P20 Pro is also a beautifully designed smartphone.

Specs

  • 6.1-inch AMOLED display with 2240 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.4GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP12 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP triple rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm, 180grams

Best camera phones – Conclusion

There you have it – our picks of the best camera phones in the Android family you can buy right now. Which of these devices is your pick for the best smartphone camera? Tell us in the comments!

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