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You told us: Robust zoom or realistic portraits? Here's what you prefer.

This was a relatively close race, but only one pick could be the winner.

Published onOctober 14, 2022

google pixel 7 pro cameras 2
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We’ve seen some impressive zoom tech on smartphones in recent years, with 3x, 4x, 5x, and even 10x cameras popping up. Google has also stepped up with the Pixel 7 Pro, going from a 48MP 4x camera to a 5x shooter.

However, our own Rob Triggs argued that Google’s decision to embrace long-range zoom cameras means that portrait photography suffers by looking less realistic. So with that in mind, we asked Android Authority readers whether they valued robust zoom or realistic portraits.

Do you prefer phones with more robust zoom or more realistic portraits?


We posted the poll inside our opinion piece last week, attracting just over 1,500 votes to date. The winning pick? Well, it turns out that 54.51% of polled readers would pick robust zoom over more realistic portraits.

Meanwhile, 45.49% of respondents said they’d prefer more realistic portraits instead of more robust zoom capabilities. We can understand this stance if you often take photos of loved ones to begin with.

Then again, phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and vivo X80 Pro have two telephoto cameras, with one being used for short-range zoom and portraits while the other is used for longer-range shots. So you don’t necessarily have to choose between polished portraits and long-range zoom these days.


  • bull3946: I want my telephoto to be actually useful for telephoto, not to limit it so that portrait shots come out better. Portrait photography isn’t something I’m overly concerned about for a pocket point and shoot camera because I want to be capturing moments, not face-on posed photos. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for a good portrait with nice bokeh, but it’s dubious to compromise other functions of a camera to optimize for that.
  • Rick: There’s a reason so many film 35mm cameras shipped with 35-70 lenses. Perhaps phones aren’t such great cameras after all if they ship with 25mm base lenses, which is possibly economics rather than utility.
  • The Mr. Globe: I’d rather have two focal ranges. This is why I applaud Sony’s solutions, even if flawed. That said, I really like telephoto on Pixels especially with super rez. It helps on a lot of non closable occasion. Maybe they can slap back their 2x on future flagship.
  • bptryp: Waiting for a 15x optical
  • jimv1983: I’d rather have good zoom. I care about portrait mode about the same amount as the ultra wide which is not at all.
  • Peter S: We’ve lived with highly distorted smartphone photos on the wide end for many years. The optimal focal length for a portrait is a highly debated topic. My favorite focal length is 135mm, but I used to shoot all my headshots at 200mm. 50mm is good for environmental portraits, as pointed out, but having something longer would be neat and give me less ammo to dis smartphone cameras with.
  • Joseph Murphy: Joke’s on you, a lot of professional photographers consider some of the best portrait focal lengths to be either 85mm or 135mm full frame equivalent. Literally Google “best portrait focal length”. The 4x slots right in between those, and the 5x leans toward the 135mm length. If you want the 50mm equivalent, the Pixel 7 will take a 12MP crop out of the center of the main sensor, just like the iPhone. You lose a bit of low-light and noise performance, but it could be worse.

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