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Best camera phones in 2024

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Google Pixel 8 Pro in Bay

Today, voice communication is practically an afterthought when deciding on the right flagship device for you. In its place, camera quality has risen to become of the biggest factors in buying a phone. Manufacturers go to great lengths to stuff advanced sensors into seemingly impossibly-sized handsets, and back them up with not just competent, but novel and even cutting-edge imaging algorithms and software features.



This results in a glut of smartphones that take significantly better photos and videos in most settings than the dedicated point-and-shoot cameras that have practically fallen by the wayside in today’s market. With so many to choose from, it’s important to remember that specs aren’t everything, brand loyalty means nothing, and each of these high-end flagship phones has something to offer even the most demanding photo and video enthusiast.


Our picks for the top camera phones right now

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Best overall

Bright, bold, beautiful, and AI-enhanced

The big, bold Pixel 8 Pro makes no compromises, with not only an excellent lens array and imaging software suite, but also an excellent display and above-average battery life. It’s widely hailed for its groundbreaking machine learning-based editing tools.

Pros

  • Industry-leading photo editing abilities
  • Bright, high-resolution, wide-color display
  • Seven years of Android updates
Cons

  • More expensive than last gen
  • Some questionable physical design decisions

In a way, Google’s spent the last couple generations of Pixels trying to redefine what it means to take a picture with a smartphone. Impressively, it’s actually done a pretty good job at this, with experts and users alike praising the Pixel 8 Pro for its seemingly mind-reading ability to take the perfect snaps at the touch of a button, with novel, machine learning-based algorithmic editing tools to smooth over any rough edges that might remain.

Tools like Magic Editor and Best Take, in addition to the Pixel’s other novel AI-powered features, push the envelope in terms of user-friendly photo and video editing.

Google’s also upgraded to a new generation chipset in the Tensor G3. While it still doesn’t quite match the raw performance of the top Snapdragon and Apple chipsets, it’s at least in the ballpark, and suffers from fewer overheating and thermal throttling incidents.


An extreme close-up of the Pixel 8 Pro's camera visor

We’re also extremely happy with the improved display — the Pixel 7 Pro’s panel worked great, but the 8 Pro’s beats everything else on the market. Similarly, Google’s promise of 7 years of Android updates marks a refreshing alignment with long-term device sustainability.

Read our review

Google Pixel 8 Pro review: Living up to its name

If you want to see the future of Google, the Pixel 8 Pro is the phone to buy

With all that said, the Pixel 8 Pro isn’t perfect. Its Tensor G3 can’t quite match other flagship chipsets’ performance, and does still tend to run hot. Plus, not all of those fancy AI features live up to their breathless billing.

There’s also an evolving controversy of stress points arising underneath the display that lead to bumps visible when the screen’s off, due to pressure on the panel from internal components. But Google assures us it’s nothing to worry about, and we’re hesitantly inclined to believe it. That’s partly because the supposed defect appears to be pretty widespread, and Google’s now industry-leading 7-year update lifespan demands good quality control. Overall, we consider the Pixel 8 Pro (and its smaller sibling, too) among the best flagship investments you can make today.


The S Pen, Front, and Back of the Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet on a white background

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Premium pick

Great at pretty much everything

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is one of the few devices that excels at just about everything you could want from a smartphone. It has insanely good performance, an amazing screen, a great camera system, and good battery life. It costs a lot, but you get a lot for your money.

Pros

  • Best display currently on a smartphone
  • Excellent camera system
  • Astounding performance and battery life
Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Cameras can struggle with motion

If you are in the market for a high-end Android device and are willing to spend top dollar to get it, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. With a massive 200MP f/1.7 main lens, a 50MP f/3.4 periscope telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens, the Galaxy S24 Ultra can get an amazing shot in just about any circumstance.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra gives you great flexibility when trying to get a great image of your subject. With a 100x zoom, no subject is too far away. You also get a 5x and 3x telephoto lens to give you even more versatility depending on how you want to frame your subject. The S24 Ultra is great even when the lights begin to dim, making it a fantastic option for night photography.

Its only downfall is it can struggle a bit with shutter lag, resulting in difficult-to-get shots of subjects that are in motion. This can make it much more difficult when trying to get images of your kids or pets.


A close up on the S24 Ultra's camera lenses.

Video recording is also top-notch on this device. It can record 8K at up to 30fps, and 4K or 1080p at up to 120fps. The front-facing camera is a 12MP f/2.2 lens that can record video at 4K or 1080p at 60fps.

In addition to the versatile and generally great camera system, the rest of the Galaxy S24 Ultra is an absolute beast of a device. Performance is excellent thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and 12GB of RAM. With a 5000mAh battery, you won’t have to worry about running out of battery in the middle of a crucial shooting session.

Read our review

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review: Still the best, unless you take photos

Without any meaningful changes, Samsung’s latest phablet feels like a do-over for last year’s smartphone

If your subjects are generally stationary, and you want the absolute best, then it’s tough to do any better than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.


google pixel 7a, front and back views

Google Pixel 7a

Best value

Better than ever, for the price

If you’re looking for a straightforward, effective point-and-shoot experience and don’t need the fancy AI bells and whistles, the Pixel 7a remains the best choice. It runs Google’s own, increasingly streamlined Android implementation and makes it simple to take the perfect shot without any fuss.

Pros

  • Crisp, well-saturated photos
  • 90-hertz refresh rate
  • Appealing color choices
Cons

  • Subpar battery life
  • Relatively slow charging
  • Typical Tensor G2 thermal issues

The Google Pixel 7a introduces an all-new 64MP sensor to the line, and the results are familiarly excellent. Binned down to 16MP, the images look punchy and appealing without being overly saturated. Low-light performance was also very pleasing, distinguishing well between many light intensities at dusk, even if skies sometimes appear slightly bluer than reality.

The ultrawide camera, which has a 13MP resolution, has a 120-degree field of view (larger than that of the Pixel 7), and while it’s another good lens, we found photos to be a shade darker compared to those from the main sensor. There’s no telephoto lens here, but we found that digital zoom is good up to around 2x. Video capture’s also satisfactory, with good stability and detail at 1080p.

Perhaps the best compliment we can pay to this phone is that it’s hard to guess from some of the results where exactly it falls in the Pixel range since the photos could be mistaken for those from a much more expensive device.


Read our review

Google Pixel 7a review: If déjà vu were a smartphone

This year’s A-series is more like its flagship counterpart than ever before — for better and for worse

That said, the more expensive price for the Pixel 7a might turn off certain buyers. In our experience, the phone suffers from poor battery life while also sporting a worse display than the similarly-priced Pixel 7 or even 8. Otherwise, it’s a real winner, especially for the price.

Google Pixel 8 in Rose, displaying front and back against a white background

Google Pixel 8

Point-and-shoot simplicity

Google made the standard flagship amazing this year

The Google Pixel 8 is Google’s best phone yet, and it’s the most distinct regular model when compared to the Pro version. It comes with a wonderful form factor that fits well in the hands and has the usual software prowess that you expect from a Pixel. Its camera excels in both the hardware and software departments, giving you great-looking photos and a ton of amazing features for photography enthusiasts.

Let’s start with the most important feature of Pixel 8 for photo enthusiasts: its upgraded primary sensor, which Samsung claims lets in 21% more light than the previous version. While Google hasn’t disclosed the camera’s make, it looks like the Samsung GN2, a newer and better version than the GN1 found in the Pixel 7.

This high-quality sensor bins 50MP images down to 12.5MP, and performs better in low-light settings than its predecessor. It continues to use the Sony IMX386 ultrawide sensor, but this time it’s the Pixel 7 Pro variant, featuring a wider, 125.8° field of view. It can now take macro photographs too, which the Pixel 7 couldn’t.


fitbit-charge-6-with-google-pixel-8

Google’s software and AI tools including in the camera continue to impress. Magic Editor lets you isolate and adjust individual objects and elements like the sky, sea, or other backgrounds, for dramatically improved photo composition, fantasy-inspired stylizations. Add in other cool features like Best Take, which makes it easy to fix accidental blinks or awkward expressions after the fact, and you’ve got all the tools you need to take amazing photos.

Read our review

Google Pixel 8 review: The Pixel for the masses

The Pixel 8 doesn’t need every feature the 8 Pro offers, it’s packing more than enough

The novel, inventive software suite isn’t quite perfect, of course, and Google’s had a bit of a history with unexpectedly breaking its Android implementation as it pushes the most cutting-edge features. But it’s getting pretty good at ensuring consistency, and there’s a handful of Pixel AI features still awaiting release. So we’re confident not only that it’s stable and dependable, but that it will get even more useful as time goes on.


iphone-15-pro

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Best for video

Worth the move to iOS, for videography

The smaller of Apple’s two top-shelf flagships makes the perfect addition to a videographer’s arsenal. Its unmatched motion handling, and use of the ProRes and LOG color protocols, deliver the best video recording capabilities outside of high-dollar, dedicated video cameras.

Pros

  • Unmatched performance
  • Truly pro-level video capabilities
  • Predictably excellent display
Cons

  • Limited to 3× optical zoom
  • Not everybody likes iOS

We’re not here to convince longtime Android fans to jump ship to an entirely different OS, but Apple’s latest top-tier compact flagship offers some compelling reasons if you’re into pro-quality video capture. As you might imagine, Apple’s still imaging software remains among the best in the business, with excellent motion handling, a refreshingly simple auto mode, and overall intuitive interface. It lacks the bells and whistles of, say, Google’s machine learning enhancements, but it’s great nonetheless at capturing true-to-life images at high resolutions.

Its video recording abilities tell a slightly more interesting story. It’s no accident that people have been shooting entire feature films using an iPhone for years, and the latest lineup makes that a more reasonable proposition than ever. For starters, it uses sensor-shift stabilization rather than the traditional optical image stabilization most Android phones use. That won’t replace a high-quality gimbal for perfectly smooth shots, but it does make a small difference, and indicates just how purpose-built the iPhone is for good imaging.


A render of the 4 different colors of iPhone 15 Pro next to each other

Source: Apple

A different pair of video recording techniques give the iPhone its most notable superiority for serious videographers. Most Android phones shoot video using the HEVC codec, also known as H.265. It’s not bad, and can produce fine recordings, but it is somewhat compressed and doesn’t lend itself well to in-depth editing, especially when done on the device itself.

The iPhone enables use of Apple’s ProRes codec, which, while not lossless, records significantly more data than the HEVC standards most phones resort to. This lets you get the absolute most out of your video in post-processing, particularly when you’re editing on the fly using the phone itself. It also supports what’s called Log color tracking.


Instead of recreating the exact colors you’d see in a video in real life, Log color (short for logarithmic) crunches together the normally visible light and packs on a significant amount of data as to the finer gradations as the video reaches the edges of the visible spectrum. In practice, this makes Log color videos look extremely washed out when viewed unedited, but Log-recorded video isn’t meant to be viewed as is. If you’re on the hunt for the most vivid, consistent, accurate colors after post-production, though, Log color tracking is truly unbeatable.

apple-iphone-15-pro-landscape

Source: Apple


Other than remarkable recording performance, the rest of iPhone 15 Pro represents Apple’s best effort to date, and arguably makes more sense for most people than its larger sibling, the Pro Max. Its A17 Pro SoC outperforms most other chipsets, and often by a wide margin. That does help camera performance, but it’s also great for gaming, multitasking, and ensuring effectiveness over the long lifespan everyone expects from Apple devices.

It is limited to just 8GB of RAM, but iOS’s streamlined nature and locked-down software ecosystem mitigate that with better efficiency than Android in some ways. Combined with the top-quality display and Apple’s iconic, user-friendly interface design, the iPhone 15 Pro might have video-minded Android fans considering the impossible: a move over to the dark side.

OnePlus Open, showing 3 phones, closed and open, on white background

OnePlus Open

Best foldable

A step above the Galaxy Z Fold 5

The OnePlus Open packs the best camera in any foldable right now, making it a better choice than the Z Fold 5 for photo aficionados.

Pros

  • Makes no sacrifices, despite the form factor
  • Great performance and battery life
  • Best cameras of any foldable
Cons

  • Lacks wireless charging
  • OnePlus’ OxygenOS isn’t quite there yet
  • Really expensive

Android Police expert Will Sattelberg had a fantastic time getting to know the OnePlus Open, going so far as to call it “the best folding hardware money can buy.” Granted, it costs quite a bit of said money, but that’s high praise in a field dominated by companies with much more popularity and experience with foldables.


The cameras on folding smartphones don’t typically inspire much awe, to say the least, but shoehorning top-quality lenses into such a novel form factor does pose engineering difficulties. To solidly buck that trend, OnePlus paired with Sony to develop the LYTIA sensor, which uses a novel approach called pixel stacking to effectively double the sensor’s size and let in considerably more light. It also employs a similarly interesting 3× telephoto lens that actually uses hardware wizardry to simulate 6× optical zoom without the grainy, fuzzy results common to digital zoom.

Home screen on the unfolded OnePlus Open

Its duo of selfie cameras do a good job of taking pictures of your own beautiful face, although don’t deliver the richest colors, and have a consistently off viewing angle that didn’t quite look right. But they also aren’t of much consequence, because you can always use the almost peerless main lens with the phone closed and the camera app open on the outer display.


Our extensive hands-on testing left us with zero major complaints about pictures or video, and nothing but praise compared to other foldables. In that same vein, the OnePlus Open excels over competitors in most other ways, too. Its slightly wider aspect ratio and shorter height make it more usable overall, especially when it comes to the outer display. Both screens’ pixel density, brightness, and HDR support roundly defeat other foldables’ of both orientations. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s performance never disappoints, and 16GB of RAM gives you the freedom to use the Open like a real tablet, with plenty of operations running at once. Battery life also exceeds the competition, and by a significant amount.


So the OnePlus Open must be the perfect folding smartphone, right? Well, not quite, as OnePlus isn’t exactly famous for its Android engineering, and its somewhat obfuscated Android 14 development isn’t exactly inspiring. Its OxygenOS skin isn’t terrible — indeed, it offers some novel controls that enhance productivity and usability, especially in terms of the aforementioned multitasking. But it doesn’t deliver the same kind of reliable, easily customizable, intuitive experience companies like Samsung ride on. Also, to much annoyance, the Open doesn’t support wireless charging.

Read our review

OnePlus Open review: What every foldable should be

Leave it to OnePlus to supply the competition Samsung so desperately needs

Despite its (admittedly minor) faults, the OnePlus Open absolutely leads the foldable pack. If you want great pictures from a folding phone, it’s the one for you — if you can stomach the incredible sticker price.

The front and back of an Amber Yellow Galaxy S24 on a white background

Samsung Galaxy S24

Best small phone

Does everything well, including imaging

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is a compact powerhouse that offers good battery life, amazing performance, and a solid camera system. If you love smaller devices, then the Galaxy S24 offers a complete package in a small form factor.

Pros

  • Easy to use one-handed
  • Nearly perfect display
  • Good camera system
Cons

  • Disappointing charging speeds
  • Less-than-perfect motion handling

If you can’t stand the idea of a large device, or struggle to wield one, then the size alone makes the Samsung Galaxy S24 a great choice. Add in its fantastic performance and good camera system, and you have a solid, well-rounded device. The Galaxy S24 has a 50MP f/1.8 main lens, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens.


Samsung has used this triple-camera setup for a while now, but it’s still capable of getting fantastic photos and the inclusion of a telephoto lens gives it decent versatility. The Galaxy S24 excels at taking images of stationary subjects in all sorts of lighting conditions. Like all Samsung devices, it suffers from shutter lag, making it difficult to get a good shot of subjects in motion.

Outside the solid camera system, this device is quite capable. Its 6.2-inch dynamic LTPO display can hit a peak brightness of 2600 nits, and its 4000mAh battery will net you a solid day of usage. The Galaxy S24 is a powerhouse thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and 8GB of RAM.

Read our review

Samsung Galaxy S24 review: Small but super

Bright screen, flat sides, can’t lose

This device would be practically perfect for small phone enthusiasts if it didn’t struggle with subjects in motion. If that doesn’t bother you, or you don’t take too many pictures of things moving, then the Galaxy S24 is a great option for those who want a more pocket-friendly device.


OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald

OnePlus 12

Best from OnePlus

A flagship for less

As flagship devices inch further north of a thousand dollars, OnePlus continues to stick to its philosophy of bringing fantastic specs at a reasonable price. The OnePlus 12 is the latest device from OnePlus to offer powerful performance, a great camera system, and amazing battery life while keeping the price to a minimum.

Pros

  • Great camera system
  • Fantastic display
  • Battery life is second to none
Cons

  • Not available at carriers
  • OxygenOS inconsistencies

OnePlus has once again brought a device capable of taking on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra while keeping the price at a reasonable cost of $800. The OnePlus 12 offers amazing all-around performance, making it tough to overlook.

With a 50MP f/1.6 primary lens, a 64MP f/2.6 periscope lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 48MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens, you are just about guaranteed a great shot from any of its lenses. Most devices see image quality drop when taking photos from a lens other than the primary lens, but that’s not the case here. OnePlus has rightfully touted that all three of its lenses can take equally great photos.

The OnePlus 12 is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and up to 16GB of RAM, making it a performance powerhouse. You can also expect it to last days with its included 5400mAh battery. The OnePlus 12 even sees the return of wireless charging, although you may not need it thanks to its 80W wired charging that can fully charge it in as little as 30 minutes.


Read our review

OnePlus 12 review: All flagship, no AI

This phone leaves nothing on the table, making for a truly complete package

No device is perfect and that’s true here as well. OxygenOS isn’t the most sophisticated take on Android and is a bit lackluster. OnePlus has also not equipped the OnePlus 12 with any AI features. From a camera and performance perspective, the OnePlus 12 is a fantastic device. It’s just missing some of the features that other top-tier flagships possess in 2024.

What should I look for in a camera phone?

The OnePlus 11's camera bump

All of our favorite camera phones start out as excellent, easily recommended phones, even if the camera isn’t your number one concern. When it comes to taking pictures and video, each one offers its own advantages.

Some, like Google’s Pixel lineup, specialize in nearly magical processing that seems to know better than you how to take the best picture. Others deliver straightforward but consistently bold and bright images, with user-friendly interfaces like Samsung’s to match. Still other phones set out to put the smartphone picture-taking process in line with using an actual camera — Sony’s the perfect example of that. And some, like the iPhone in all its versions, make short work of smooth, top-quality video.


What do the different types of smartphone cameras do?

When comparing smartphone camera systems, there are a few different types of lenses to get to grips with. They all have different focal lengths, so the resulting images look very different.

  • Primary sensors, typically with wide-angle lenses these days, sport the highest resolution, best stabilization, and most advanced color capture features. They see the bulk of the use for nearly all users.
  • Telephoto lenses, with longer focal length and optical zoom capabilities, make it easy to capture subjects from far away without sacrificing detail like digital zoom does.
  • Ultrawide angle lenses take wider pictures still than a wide-angle lens, which means that you can capture more in a single frame (think group photos); however, this means that resulting images may also be visibly distorted by fisheye effect.
  • Macro lenses allow you to focus on a subject that is very close to the lens, capturing the finest details at larger-than-life image sizes.


The cameras on a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

How much do high megapixel counts matter?

While megapixel count comes off as the first indicator of a camera’s quality, it doesn’t actually tell the whole story, and in some cases may not matter that much at all. Sure, a picture’s resolution is important, but cramming more pixels into a lens makes each one smaller, and able to take in less light.

Combined with the varying technologies used by each sensor manufacturer, megapixel count is less and less important. That rings especially true with the high-end phone cameras we’ve highlighted, as most primary lenses are in the neighborhood of 50 megapixels, with little variation.

What is pixel binning?

Speaking of high resolutions, most smartphones don’t even take pictures at their primary sensors’ full resolutions by default. Key to understanding the reality of smartphone photography, pixel binning has become ubiquitous among high-resolution cameras. This process combines the light intake from multiple adjacent pixels, improving brightness performance, contrast, and file size.


You can always turn it off, but it might affect low-light performance, and will definitely produce huge image files. If you plan to make posters out of your smartphone pics, a native resolution image works best. But if you’re taking snaps for friends, family, social media, or device wallpapers, pixel binning isn’t just more efficient, it’s often superior.

oppo-find-x6-pro 1

Best camera phones outside the US

Sadly, you’ll find some of the absolute best cameras limited to phones not released stateside. While you can usually import them with a little effort, we don’t necessarily recommend them for everyone. They probably won’t have warranties, may or may not support all the relevant cellular bands, end up harder and more costly to repair, and you won’t get the same kind of customer service support.


For that matter, some of them don’t even run Google services. But if you’re willing to double- and triple-check connectivity support and go through the steps of importing a device, some of these perform even better than our favorite US-released models.

Oppo Find X7 Ultra

The Oppo Find X7 Ultra is a camera powerhouse. With a 1-inch 50MP f/1.8 primary lens, a 50MP f/2.6 periscope telephoto lens with 2.8x optical zoom, a 50MP f/4.3 periscope telephoto lens with 6x optical zoom, and a 50MP f/2.0 ultrawide lens, it may just be the most well-rounded device on this entire list.

Oppo Find X7 Ultra Featured-1

Source: Oppo

It also packs a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor with up to 16GB of RAM, making it a very performant device as well. It also has one of the best displays on the market with a 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED display that can hit a staggering 4500 nits of peak brightness. You can also expect great battery life from its 5000mAh battery.


Getting a 1-inch sensor in a device with four camera lenses at this size is a technical achievement in its own right. If Oppo ever brings this device or one like it to the United States, Samsung and Google may be in some serious trouble.

Vivo X100 Pro

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Vivo X90 Pro, this flagship sports the popular 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor. This remarkable width really lets pixels breathe, and results in images more in line with those from an actual camera than a phone.

It’s the telephoto lens that really impresses though, setting the standard with a 50MP, 4.3x lens with variable focal length and industry-leading stabilisation. That means crisp, detailed zoom shots even in low light — enough for AP’s own Dominic Preston to call it “the best telephoto lens I’ve ever used in a phone.”

Equipped with 16GB of RAM (on the three high-storage models, at least) and the blazing-fast Mediatex Dimensity 9300 SoC, it offers truly flagship performance and costs just north of $1,000.


The camera of a green Xiaomi 13 Ultra directly facing the viewer.

Source: Xiaomi

Xiaomi 13 Ultra

While you won’t find the Xiaomi 13 Ultra at any US stores or carrier locations, its release in Europe makes it a little easier to find one to import. If you’re willing to do that and shell out the immense amount it costs, it’s one of the best phones overall, not unlike its relative the Xiaomi 13 Pro.

We’re particularly impressed by the display, which boasts a world-beating 522ppi pixel density, 1-120-hertz dynamic refresh rate, 1,900-nit peak brightness, and support for Dolby Vision, Pro HDR, and over 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. And the camera’s every bit as good, with the same 1-inch Sony sensor as the Vivo X100 Pro. If it was only officially sold in the US, it’d be on our short list of the best phones of the year.


As good as this device is, you may want to hold off if you are interested in it. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is set to be announced soon and it will be a sizeable upgrade. Especially if you find the camera system as the most important part of a device.

Huawei P60 Pro

Huawei’s P60 Pro swings for the fences and really seems to connect, with unrivaled camera hardware the likes of which we’ve never seen stateside. The 48MP primary sensor sports a variable aperture ranging from f/1.4 to f/4.0, which enables unbeatable low-light performance and image stabilization. Huawei’s night mode exemplifies the camera’s nearly supernatural abilities, able to capture surprisingly clear images in near-total darkness.

Pulling double duty, its telephoto lens takes everything from 3.5× optical zoom snaps to ultra-close-ups in Super Macro Mode. Photography fans worldwide hope something like its novel sensor implementation makes its way into US-released phones as soon as possible, although this kind of advanced hardware doesn’t come cheap.


A ceramic Huawei P60 Pro laying diagonally, mostly in frame, with a focus on the camera facing upward.

Which camera phone should I buy?

To be perfectly clear, every phone on our list takes fantastic pictures and videos, although some are better at some specific things. Overall, the Pixel 8 Pro offers the best combination of an effective auto mode and comprehensive pro controls. It (and the base model Pixel 8) also boasts Google’s ever-expanding and evolving line of machine learning-based editing tools. If you want a user-friendly experience that doesn’t need a ton of extra takes and results in the perfect stills and recordings for social media, it’s hard to top either Pixel.


Those who want the best overall Android device should check out the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Its 200MP sensor demolishes the competition from a technical standpoint, making more difference than a higher-resolution sensor normally would. Samsung’s reputation for saturated, bright photos isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and as the months go by, the company continues to tweak its imaging software for the better. From a performance and interface standpoint, it easily surpasses Google’s flagship.

Thankfully, though, you don’t have to spend that much for a great phone camera. While it isn’t capable of running Google’s AI editing suite, the Pixel 7a is an absolute steal. If you want top-quality photos with no hassle or second mortgage, the Pixel 7a’s an easy choice.

Google Pixel 8 Pro in Bay

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Best overall

Bright, bold, beautiful, and AI-enhanced

The big, bold Pixel 8 Pro makes no compromises, with not only an excellent lens array and imaging software suite, but also an excellent display and above-average battery life. It’s widely hailed for its groundbreaking machine learning-based editing tools.

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