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. 

These 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. Read through our list of the best camera phones and find out which one is right for you!

Editor’s note: We will be updating this best camera phones list regularly as new devices launch.

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

The  Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro may not be coming to the United States, but the rest of the world is in for a treat. These are, without a doubt, the best Huawei phones the company has produced so far, and the best camera phones ever made. 

The Huawei P20 has a Leica dual camera setup, with a 12MP RGB and 20MP monochrome sensor combo, but the P20 Pro is the first smartphone with a triple rear camera setup. In addition to the 20MP monochrome sensor, the RGB sensor on the Pro goes up to a whopping 40MP, and is joined by the third sensor, an 8MP telephoto lens. The Pro also has a five-times hybrid zoom feature.

The Huawei P20 sports a 5.8-inch LCD display, while the Pro version boosts it up to 6.1 inches and a OLED panel. Yes, both phones have notches on top, but if you hate this current phone trend, the handsets do allow you to turn it off in the setting menu so it looks more like a regular phone.

Both phones have Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor, with its NPU chip that adds AI features, including ones that help improve taking pictures with their impressive cameras. These phones are not cheap, however. The Huawei P20 will be sold in Europe very soon for 650 euro (around $800), while the more powerful Huawei P20 Pro will cost 900 euro (around $1100). There’s also the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS variant of the P20 Pro that includes a in-screen fingerprint sensor, a 6-inch screen, and you can get one with a massive 512GB amount of onboard storage for  2095 euro ($2600). That’s the price that must be paid for the best camera phones ever released.

Specifications

Huawei P20

  • 5.8-inch Huawei FullView IPS LCD 18.7:9 display 2,244 x 1,080 resolution
  • Octa-core Huawei Kirin 970 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 128 GB of on-board storage
  • Dual 20 and 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,400 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 149.1 mm x 70.8 mm x 7.65 mm, 165 g

Huawei P20 Pro

  • 6.1-inch Huawei FullView OLED 18:7:9 display 2,240 x 1,080 resolution
  • Octa-core Huawei Kirin 970 processor
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • Triple 8, 12 and 40 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 155.0 mm x 73.9 mm x 7.8 mm, 180 g

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

While the design of the 5.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S9 and the 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus are similar to the year old Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, there are many camera hardware difference in the newest flagship phones from Samsung.

The Galaxy S9 includes a single rear 12 MP camera, which includes a dual aperture mode. The main mode has a f/1.5 aperture, but you can press a button to activate mechanical blades that close down over the sensor, which offers a f/2.4 aperture mode for taking better pictures in bright daylight.

The Galaxy S9 Plus has the same 12 MP rear camera with the dual aperture mode as the S9, plus a secondary 12 MP rear sensor with a f/2.4 aperture. It is used as a telephoto lens for the S9 Plus, and also supports a proper portrait mode in Live Focus. If you love to take slow motion videos, the rear cameras on the S9 and S9 Plus can do so at an amazing 960 fps at 720p resolution. Both phones also have a front facing 8 MP camera at f/1.7 aperture. The improvements make both handsets excellent choices for our best camera phones list.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S9

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 processor (depending on region)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 400 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm, 163 g

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 529 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 processor (depending on region)
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 400 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera and 12 MP secondary camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,500 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm, 189 g

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8

best camera phones

The latest flagship phone from Samsung is an excellent choice. It’s one of the best camera phones you can get. The rear camera setup for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 scored very high on DxOMark’s smartphone tests, with a final score of of 94 (100 for photo and 84 for video — neither scored out of 100). The firm noted the phone’s excellent autofocus features, along with its ability to achieve the “bokeh effect” (blurred background and focused subject) shots. Samsung calls this feature “Live Focus” because it lets users adjust the background blur in the image before taking the photo. Even after the image is taken, Live Focus allows you to continue to tweak the amount of blur in the photo.

The camera hardware for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 includes a dual rear camera, with a 12 MP wide-angle sensor with f/1.7 aperture lens combined with another 12 MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture lens. It also supports 2x optical zoom, dual-tone flash, Optical Image Stabilization, and phase-detection autofocus. It can take 4K video at 30 fps. The front facing camera on the Note 8 has an 8 MP sensor that supports smart autofocus for better selfie images. This is a welcome addition to our best camera phones list.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 521 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor (depending on region)
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 64/128/256 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm, 195 g

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Google 2 Pixel and Pixel 2 XL

Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones have arrived, and much like the original Pixel phones in 2016, the next generation handsets have some excellent cameras. These are definitely among the best camera phones out there right now. Google decided to put in just a single rear camera on the Pixel 2 phones, instead of joining in the current dual camera trend for flagship phones. However, that didn’t stop the rear camera from getting an overall 98 rating (99 for photo, 96 for video) in DxOMark’s smartphone testing, which is the highest overall score the firm has given a mobile camera so far, but there’s more to a camera than just DxOMark scores.

The rear camera has an 1/2.6-inch 12.2 MP sensor and an f/1.8 aperture, along with electronic image stabilization and optical image stabilization technology. All of that means you should get better static shots and solid video clips even if the phone is moving. The front facing camera has an 8 MP sensor with a 1.4 μm pixel size, an f/2,4 aperture, fixed focus, and support for portrait mode. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also have support for unlimited full-size image uploads to Google Photos for three years.

As good as the cameras are on the new Pixel 2 phones, they may get even better very soon. Google revealed that the phones have a new Pixel Visual Core chip inside. This secondary chip, designed by Google, will compile HDR+ images 5x faster while using just 1/10th of the power compared with running on an application processor. The Pixel Visual Core will also handle complex imaging and machine learning tasks related to the camera. The phones won’t be able to get all of these updates until Google launches Android 8.1 Oreo, but it shows that owners can expect to get even more out of these new Pixel 2 handsets well after their launch. They could stay on our best camera phones list for a long time to come.

Specs

Google Pixel 2

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 441 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.2 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,700 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Nougat
  • 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm, 143 g

Google Pixel 2 XL

  • 6-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.2 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,520 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Nougat
  • 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm, 175 g

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HTC U11

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The HTC 10 was one of our favorite Android phones of 2016, and for good reason. The Taiwanese company absolutely nailed the design of the 10, and it worked hard at scaling back the software to make it feel like the bare-bones Android experience we all know and love. And while it didn’t have a bunch of gimmicky extras, that was okay. The HTC 10 was a solid Android phone that nailed the basics.

Now HTC is back with the HTC U11. With an eye-catching, glossy design, all-day battery life, and a smooth and snappy software experience, the U11 competes toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 when it comes to performance. It also has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, according to DxOMark.

The U11’s main camera comes with a 12 MP “UltraPixel 3” sensor, with an f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. Overall, the U11’s camera lives up to the hype and is capable of taking some impressive photos. There’s plenty of detail in each shot, and color reproduction is natural and not overly vibrant. Photos taken in low-light conditions are incredibly sharp and detailed, too. Noise levels are kept under control, and the noise you do see is very fine and compact. Low light photos aren’t splotchy at all, which is something we don’t see too often in smartphone cameras.

Although this is a new sensor, it does suffer from one issue in low-light situations that we also saw with the U Ultra. Highlights are very heavily overblown and snapping photos that have light sources causes a lot of streaking, lens flares, and floating light particles. This was also a pretty big problem with the U Ultra, which is why we believe this might be caused by the phone’s reflective back. If that is the case, there isn’t really a permanent fix for it, other than using a case. Still, it’s not an issue many people will find to be bothersome.

To read more about the U11’s camera, head here.

The standout feature on the U11 is something HTC calls Edge Sense. The sides of the phone are pressure sensitive, and this allows you to physically squeeze the phone to activate a specific function or open an app like the camera or web browser. Having to squeeze your phone to make it do something does sound a bit odd, but we’ve really found this feature useful.

Before you go out and spend $650 on this baby, there are a few things you should know. For starters, this phone doesn’t have a 3.5 mm headphone jack, meaning you’ll either need to use Bluetooth headphones or carry around the included headphone adapter everywhere you go. Also, while HTC’s Sense is one of our favorite Android skins out there, it is feeling a bit dated at this point.

If you can get past those few caveats, though, the U11 will certainly not disappoint.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4/6 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 16 MP front camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm, 169 g

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

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It should come as no surprise that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature top-of-the-line specifications, an all-new design, and of course great cameras, which is why both of them are on our best camera phones list.

Both phones have the same camera hardware, with a 12 MP rear sensor and an 8 MP front-facing sensor. The rear cameras include features like large dual pixels, a f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, and an LED flash. They also support multi-frame processing, which allows the rear camera to take multiple shots of the same image and put them all together. This is supposed to give images better color and detail. The front camera support Smart Autofocus for better selfie pictures.

All in all, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are two of the best smartphones that launched in 2017, and their image hardware and software make them easy picks for our best camera phones list.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S8

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor (depending on region)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm, 155 g

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 529 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor (depending on region)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm, 173 g

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LG G6

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Throughout 2016, the LG G5 struggled to take on the Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and all the other flagships released that year. It’s not a bad phone, per se, it just lacks the level of polish we normally expect from top-tier smartphones nowadays. The phone would have been more widely accepted if it nailed the modular implementation, but unfortunately the whole module-swapping process was wonky and the three “Friends” that launched with the G5 weren’t all that appealing. With the G6, LG has gone back to the basics.

Certainly the most standout feature on the G6 is its 5.7-inch Quad HD LCD display, with its interesting aspect ratio of 18:9 and rounded corners. It also comes with a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4 GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage, and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s worth noting that not all LG G6s are created equal. For example, the G6 that’s coming to the U.S. is the only variant that supports wireless charging, while the Hi-Fi Quad DAC is exclusive to South Korea and certain markets in Asia. What’s more, the G6 with 64 GB of storage is only available in a handful of markets.

The LG G6 also comes with a really impressive 13 MP dual camera setup on the back, which is why we selected it for our best camera phones list. The two sensors around back might share the same resolution count, but they’re behind two very different lenses. The standard angle is an f/1.8 aperture lens with optical image stabilization and 71-degree field of view, while the wide-angle is an f/2.4 lens with 125-degree field of view, which is lacking in both OIS and autofocus. That’s not the only change from last year, with LG also opting to drop the color spectrum sensor as well as swapping out laser autofocus for phase detection autofocus, which works just as well, if not better.

The camera app is mostly the same as previous years but thanks to the 18:9 screen, you have the addition of one of our favorite LG G6 features – the camera carousel. Essentially, this provides a preview on the side of the regular viewfinder that lets you see literally every photo you’ve taken, versus just the one you’d normally see hidden in the corner on other smartphones. The camera carousel is one of the best uses of the wider screen and shows just how useful 18:9 can be.

As fun as the wide-angle lens is, it’s not great in low light which is to be expected from the narrower aperture and lack of OIS compared to the main sensor. In low light conditions, we recommend using the regular angle which can take some equally fantastic shots and produces a much sharper, more colourful and much cleaner image over the wide-angle lens. We personally feel that there’s still a lot to be desired from the low-light performance on the G6. To learn more about the LG G6’s camera, head here.

This isn’t a phone that introduces a bunch of gimmicky features that you’ll never use. It’s simply a solid, well-built smartphone that nails the main areas users care most about and is a worthy addition to our best camera phones list.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2880 x 1440 resolution, 564 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 13 MP rear cameras, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm, 163 g

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Sony Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact

The Sony Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact are the latest flagship smartphones from the Japanese electronics company. Not only do both pack in some high-end hardware, they also have some impressive camera hardware and software as well, which made them an easy fit in our best camera phones list. Both come with a 19 MP rear camera with a 25 mm-wide G lens, an f/2.0 aperture and a pixel size of 1.22 µm. They also use Sony’s triple image-sensing technology, predictive hybrid auto-focus, steady-shot 5-axis stabilization and include support for taking 960 fps super slow-motion video.

One of the reasons they are on our best camera phones list is that Sony has put in what it calls Sony Motion Eye technology in the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact. It is supposed to let the  phones’ camera capture photos a couple of seconds before you take the actual photo. The camera’s predictive focus mode is supposed to help create pictures that are still in focus, even if there is some motion on the phone.

Both phones also support Sony’s Motion Eye 3D feature, which lets owners map and create a 3D image of any object in a photo. This kind of technology can be used to create avatars of people for games, or you can import the image to a 3D printer.

The smaller Xperia XZ1 Compact has a 8 MP front-facing camera, but it can also switch in between two modes. One is a wide-angle mode (also available on the  XZ1’s 13 MP front camera) with a 22 mm focal length and a 90-degree field of view. However, you can quickly switch over to a super wide-angle mode on the XZ1 Compact, with a 12.5 mm focal length and 120-degree field of view, if you want to capture the background of a selfie photo. Both phones are available unlocked from Amazon, with the Xperia XZ1 selling for $699 and the Xperia XZ1`Compact priced at $599. They are expensive, but they’re among the best camera phones you can buy too.

Specs

Sony Xperia XZ1

  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 424 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 19 MP rear camera, 13 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,700 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 48 x 73 x 7.4 mm, 155 g

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

  • 4.6-inch IPS LCD display with 720 x 1280 resolution, 319 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 19 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,700 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 129 x 65 x 9.3 mm, 140 g

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Best camera phones – Conclusion

There you have it – our picks of the best camera phones in the Android family you can buy right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!

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