Top 10 Smartphone Cameras: In the past decade, smartphone cameras have gained features and capabilities formerly reserved for high-end DSLRs. There are still major variations between the two types of cameras, and which one you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. Smartphone cameras are convenient and portable. They are perfect for travel, social networking, and everyday photography. Most smartphones provide editing tools and filters for instant image enhancement.
However, DSLR range cameras remain superior in terms of image quality and adaptability. The bigger image sensors of DSLR range cameras allow for greater light capture and result in photographs that are both crisper and more detailed. However, there are some smartphone cameras are beginning to catch up to DSLR range cameras. For instance, Xiaomi has come up with Xiaomi 13 Pro that possess the all new Sony IMX 989, the infamous 1-inch sensor. IMX 989 is currently the largest smartphone camera sensor. In addition to Xiaomi, other major brands like Samsung and Vivo have started perfecting their sensors. These brands are investing heavily in research and development to improve the quality of their sensors. It will enhance the overall user experience and increase their market share.
As a result, in the coming years, there is a chance that smartphone photography might catch up to DSLR photography. However, as far as 2023, here are some smartphone camera systems that can produce DSLR-like images.
Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 11 Ultra smartphone will debuted in April 2021. Although, it was released 2 years back, the smartphone still shoots like a king. It boasts a triple-lens camera system with a 50MP wide lens, 48MP ultra-wide lens, and a 48MP periscope telephoto lens. In addition to that, it comes with 5x optical zoom and 120x digital zoom capabilities. The camera system also features dual pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization, and up to 8K video recording at 24 frames per second. With all of those features, you can bet it will outperform some of the 2023 smartphone releases.
Take a look at how massive the camera setup is. Almost a third of the smartphone’s back was hidden by it. Mi 11 Ultra still got what it takes to be on the list. This smartphone is an excellent option to consider if you are looking for a device that can compete with new releases. In addition to that, you can purchase this smartphone in a refurbished state right now for a very reasonable price.
9. Vivo X80 Series( X80 & Pro)
Vivo X-Series is a line of high-end smartphones from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo. One of the standout features of the X-Series is its camera system. The devices in the series have advanced camera technologies such as gimbal stabilisation. This feature reduces camera shake and allows for smoother video and photo shooting. Both of these smartphone has got some amazing camera configurations so far. The Pro version is equipped with a 50MP + 48MP + 12MP + 8 MP setup, and the X80 comes with 50MP + 12MP + 12MP system. Both of them will impress you when it come camera quality.
One of the most stand out features of these models is their low-light camera performance. Vivo has made significant improvements to its low light photography capabilities in recent years and you can see that in both models. The phones uses advanced algorithms and was able to capture multiple images at different exposures and combining them to create a single, well-exposed image with minimal noise and improved detail. These are solid contenders for the best smartphone camera category.
8. Oppo Find X5 Pro
Oppo has released X5 Pro in 2022 and it posses a cool triple lens system with 50MP wide-angle, 50MP ultra-wide and 13MP telephoto cameras. The model was co-developed by Oppo and Hasselblad. The collaboration has made it a good contender, even in 2023. The flagship cameras also boast glass lenses for the first time, which Oppo says reduces chromatic aberrations. On top top of these, Oppo Find X5 Pro boasts a wide range of feature like Hasselblad Color Calibration, Five-axis optical image stabilization, and Mari Silicon NPU.
NPU stands for Neural Processing Unit. It is built into the mobile processor to utilize advanced neural networks and provide new levels of visual intelligence. It helps to boost up the AI features in your camera. Up until now, the AI features working in your camera depending upon the capability of your processor. This, in turn, has created some boundaries to fully unleash the performance of AI since the processor has to take care of many things in mobile. However, this situation is now going to change with the introduction of a separate processing unit for it which is called the NPU.
7. Pixel 6A
Google’s Pixel A-Series is a line of mid-range smartphones that it developed and released. These phones are intended to be a more inexpensive alternative to the high-end Pixel flagship devices, while still providing many of the features and experiences that users love about the Pixel brand. Apart from having the same set of features as the high end pixel series, the Pixel 6A boasts a well-optimised and outstanding camera system. The primary is a 12.2MP shooter while it has a 12MP ultra-wide lens. The lens supports optical and electronic image stabilisations. Gogole has opted for the tried and tested Sony IMX363 sensor for Pixel 6A. In addition to the well-optimized camera system, Google provides several interesting features such as Photo unblur and Magic rubber. When all of these aspects are combined, this smart phone photography may bid farewell to even the most expensive flagships.
Despite having the lowest megapixel count of any smartphone on our list, the Pixel 6A has proven that megapixel count does not matter. The phone has even scored the highest percentage of votes in “Blind Smartphone Camera Test” conducted by MKBHD. On top of it, this smartphone is the only affordable smartphone in this list.
6. iPhone 14 Pro
Apple is well-known for emphasizing camera technology in its iPhone handsets. Each new generation often features improvements and refinements over the prior iteration. The iPhone 14 Pro took a major leap with its processor when it came to camera improvements. It features a triple camera system with 48 MP f/1.78 (Main), 12 MP f/2.2 (Ultra Wide) and 12 MP f/1.78 (Telephoto) with autofocus. On top of that Apple’s deep fusion technology and ProRAW allows you to take some amazing shots with ease.
In addition to that, the A16 Bionic chip enables faster processing of images and videos, resulting in better image quality and enhanced video stabilization. Additionally, the camera system has been upgraded with new lenses and sensors, allowing for improved low-light performance and increased zoom capabilities. Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro is a camera marvel and it deserve to be on this spot.
5. Pixel 7 Series
Google’s Pixel handsets’ camera technology has been constantly acclaimed, with several reviews citing it as one of the best smartphone cameras available. Pixel 7 series would continue to prioritize camera quality and innovation, potentially incorporating features like improved low-light performance, enhanced zoom capabilities, and more advanced image processing software. Pixel 7 Series boast almost the same camera configuration (50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide) except the pro version has got an extra 48MP telephoto lens
When it comes to pixel smartphone, software reigns supremacy. We’ve already seen how Google managed to outperform certain flagship smartphones with its mid range smartphone 6A. The standard Android was optimized to a larger extent so that the camera and software work in tandem to give you the best shot possible. Therefore, Pixel series deserve to be in this spot.
4. Xiaomi 13 Pro / Vivo X90 Series
Xiaomi 13 Pro set the saga for “1-inch” sensors in smartphones. The Sony IMX989 or the infamous 1-inch sensor is a powerful and versatile image sensor. It offers a range of advanced features for high-quality photography. With an impressive DXOMARK Camera score of 136, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is by far one of the best camera smartphone released in 2023.
The 13 Pro camera has some similar hardware to the Xiaomi 12S Ultra which is also deserved a honorable mention. This is one of the smartphone that said to utilize the full capacity of 1-inch sensor. This smartphone has scored an impressive 136 points in DXOMARK ratings.
Vivo X90 is equipped with 50.3 MP Wide Angle lens, 50 MP Telephoto and 12 MP ultra wide lens. On the other hand, X90 Pro+ has quad camera system with 50.3 MP Wide Angle and 48 MP Ultra Wide lens. On top of these, it is equipped with 2X48 MP telephoto lens. This phone also has advanced gimbal stabilization technology and superior night mode capturing features.
3. S23 Series
The Samsung Galaxy S series is Samsung’s flagship line of Android smartphones, featuring top-of-the-line specs, premium materials, and innovative features. One of the most innovative feature of this smartphone is its camera system. The S23 Series features a typical triple (50MP + 12MP + 10MP) camera system and quad camera system (200MP + 12MP + 10MP + 10MP ). They are the epitome of smartphone cameras in 2023. They surpassed every smartphone released in 2023 and stood as favorite for everyone. If the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera has one feature, it’s megapixels. Its main camera is equipped with Samsung’s latest Isocell HP2 sensor. The main camera, as expected, will pixel bin by default, but you can get the full resolution if you like. The change is the Ultra camera’s first big update since it adopted the 108MP sensor in 2019 in their S22 series. The model, by the way, deserved an honorable mention.
Take a look at the ‘Behold’ by Sir Ridley Scott. Sir Ridley Scott directed a promotional video showcasing the phone’s features and capabilities. The whole video was shot on S23 Ultra and it showcases the camera prowess of this smartphone.
2. Xiaomi 13 Ultra
Xiaomi 13 Ultra features an impressive camera setup that includes a quad-camera system on the rear of the device. Interesting, all lens (Wide, Periscope, Ultra-Wide and Periscope Telephoto) posses the same 50 Mega Pixel count. The camera system of Xiaomi 13 Ultra seems like a dream come true. It has a combination of two powerful lens in the market, Sony IMX989 and IMX858. This camera system is capable of producing stunning photos and videos.
It offers features like 5x optical zoom, 120x digital zoom, and 8K video recording. The primary camera on this phone has the same 1-inch sensor that is found in the 13 Pro and the 12S Ultra; however, it now boasts a two-step aperture that can go from f/1.9 all the way down to f/4.0. Also, Xiaomi partnered with Leica for this as well and both of them made a beast that can compete against DSLR’s. This smartphone has scored an impressive 141 points in DXOMARK ratings.
1. Oppo X6 Series
This smartphone is the epitome of smartphone photography. It is absolute wonder and can make DSLR’s cry like a sissy girl. With their advanced camera features and capabilities, this smartphone has revolutionized the way we capture and share our memories. It offer unparalleled convenience and quality, making them a go-to choice for photography enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Oppo X6 series comes with the same set of camera configuration with triple lens system (50MP Wide+50MP Periscope Telephoto + 50MP Ultra-wide lens). This mobile is equipped with Hasselblad color calibration unit that can capture a wide array of color profiles.
This configurations itself can make your jaw drop on the floor. There is yet another thing you might not know about this smartphone. This smartphone was also equipped with the infamous 1-inch sensor. A 1-inch sensor is the size of an image sensor in a camera. It is commonly seen in high-end compact cameras and some drones. This smartphone has scored an impressive 153 points in DXOMARK ratings. It is currently the on top in the hierarchy.