A camera phone is something extremely common nowadays. You might have one in your pocket right now! Taking pictures is becoming easier and easier thanks to smartphones, but not all are equipped with exceptional cameras.
From the number of camera sensors to the storage available on your device, there are several factors to consider when shopping for the Best Camera Phone you can get. And we’ll touch base on each in detail in the following reviews.
So let’s go through them and find the perfect camera phone for your needs…
- 1 Top 10 Best Camera Phone To Buy In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Google GA01187-US Pixel 4 – Just Black – 64GB – Unlocked
- 1.2 2 Huawei P30 Pro 256 GB Dual/Hybrid-SIM 4G Smartphone (Crystal)
- 1.3 3 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Enabled 6.7in SM-G977UZAVZW 8GB+256GB Majestic Black (VZW Unlocked) – US Warranty (Renewed)
- 1.4 4 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 128GB 108MP Penta Camera 6.47″ LTE Factory Unlocked Smartphone (International Version) (Midnight Black)
- 1.5 5 Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Dual-SIM 256GB / 8GB RAM (GSM Only, No CDMA) Factory Unlocked 4G/LTE Smartphone – International Version (Ocean Green)
- 1.6 6 Sony Xperia XZ1 64GB Worldwide GSM Unlocked 4G LTE Smartphone w/ 19MP Camera, Fingerprint Sensor, Octa-Core CPU – Black
- 1.7 7 Samsung Galaxy S8 Certified Pre-Owned Factory Unlocked Phone – 5.8Inch screen – 64GB – Midnight Black (U.S. Warranty)(Renewed)
- 1.8 8 Motorola Moto G7 Plus XT1965-2 64GB Unlocked GSM Phone w/ Dual 16 MP & 5 MP Camera – Deep Indigo (Renewed)
- 1.9 9 Google – Pixel 3a with 64GB Memory Cell Phone (Unlocked) – Just Black – G020G
- 1.10 10 Apple iPhone XR, 128GB, Blue – For Verizon (Renewed)
- 2 Best Camera Phone Buying Guide
- 3 More Traditional Camera Choices
- 4 What’s The Best Camera Phone For All Occasions?
Top 10 Best Camera Phone To Buy In 2021 Reviews
1 Google GA01187-US Pixel 4 – Just Black – 64GB – Unlocked
The Pixel 4 from Google starts this review. Google’s Pixel 4 has a 5.7″ OLED display with a resolution of 2280×1080 with a 90-hertz refresh rate. It comes with a Snapdragon 855 processor. And you will also find 64GB of onboard storage and 6GB of RAM to speed things along.
The rear cameras are a dual-type setup that works together and have Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) that leaves you with fantastic video and pictures. The primary rear camera is a 12.2-MP. Sitting alongside it is a 16MP telephoto camera with a 2x optical zoom.
Pictures come out clean and colorful even when using the digital zoom. The telephoto lens leaves portrait shots beautiful and detailed as well.
For those of you that like to take photos at night, then you will want to turn on the Night Sight mode on the Pixel 4. This mode basically detects motion. If you place your phone on a tripod or somewhere pretty steady, Night Sight mode will allow for longer exposure times, thus allowing increasingly more light into the sensor.
It leaves you with some amazingly bright and crisp photos at night without much blur or background noise.
Take a quality selfie…
You will also find an 8MP front camera. Selfie lovers, out there, will be pleased with this camera and find the color and contrast great.
Since this phone comes from Google, you can rest assured that its Android operating system will always be up to date. It runs the purest form of Android with no bloatware that could slow down your phone.
However, we wish this phone did have an SD card slot for expandable storage. However, the Pixel 4 is an excellent performer overall, and with its 6GB of RAM, the phone performs all functions quickly without any lag.
- Dual rear camera setup.
- Crisp 90Hz display.
- Features facial recognition.
- 6GB of RAM.
- Battery life could be better.
- Storage is not expandable.
2 Huawei P30 Pro 256 GB Dual/Hybrid-SIM 4G Smartphone (Crystal)
Huawei’s P30 Pro is a superb all-around camera phone and the first to feature a lossless zoom feature.
The P30 has a rather lovely 6.47 inch OLED display with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels. The display isn’t the sharpest that we have seen on camera phones, but for the average person, the clarity is excellent.
On the front of the phone, you will find a 32-megapixel front-facing camera. Huawei uses what they call Super HDR technology with this selfie cam to increase the amount of detail you get even when you might have a bright light source behind you.
The backside of the phone features a quadruple-camera setup. It combines a 40MP wide-angle camera with OIS, a 20MP ultra-wide sensor, an 8MP telephoto sensor, and even a Time Of Flight lens that helps eliminate any blur behind portrait photos.
This camera is all about the zoom features it has to offer…
You have up to 50x digital zoom, but the cool thing is that you have a lossless 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom. You won’t find yourself losing any fine details up to 10x zoom thanks to Huwaei’s use of AI to sharpen small details.
Featuring 256GB of storage, you will have plenty of room for all of your photos and videos. It runs Huawei’s EMUI 9.1 operating system that is based on Android 9 and is powered by the Kirin 980 chip.
This phone is fast, and we find the battery to last us more than long enough for our average day to regular phone tasks as well as also taking numerous photos. All of the pictures and videos we took came out looking excellent but sometimes a little bit oversaturated.
But there’s a catch…
Google has stopped offering security updates and Play Store access for Huawei phones. The phones currently on the market like this P30 will still have access to these features for the time being, but that could change down the line.
We wouldn’t let this hold us back on buying this phone, though. It really is just that good.
- Lossless Zoom.
- 256GB of storage.
- Night Mode works exceptionally well.
- Lack of possible Google Play and Updates is limiting.
3 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Enabled 6.7in SM-G977UZAVZW 8GB+256GB Majestic Black (VZW Unlocked) – US Warranty (Renewed)
When you are looking for the Best Camera Phone for your everyday use, any list wouldn’t be complete without a flagship Samsung device. We are talking about Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G.
The Galaxy S10 5G runs Android 9 out of the box but is upgradeable to Android 10 with Samsungs OneUI. It is powered via the Snapdragon 855 processor and comes with 256GB of memory along with a massive 8GB of RAM. This makes the phone run extremely smooth even though you do get some of the bloatware that comes with Samsung phones.
As far as the phone’s display goes, it is top-notch. It has a 6.7 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 3040×1440 pixels. You won’t have any trouble seeing the tiniest of details in your photos.
So many cameras!
The S10 5G features four cameras on the rear of the phone and two on the front, and they are all pretty spectacular.
The rear cameras consist of a 12MP primary, 12MP telephoto, 16MP wide-angle, and even a ToF lens and sensor. On the front of the phone, you will find dual 10MP cameras with an additional ToF sensor.
Samsungs camera software comes with a scene optimizer feature that auto-detects the background type and automatically adjusts the contrast for optimal results.
When taking portraits or landscapes with the rear cameras, the quality was spectacular. You can zoom in on the photo and make out a vast amount of detail.
We found similar results using the front camera as well. The ToF sensors on the front and back help get the most out of every photo you take. They act as depth sensors and where you would typically get fading around the edges or blurring these eliminate that leaving you with tons more detail.
Even in the dark, the Night Mode function will leave you taking great pictures as well. The sensor can gather a significant amount of light, providing you nice pictures that don’t have too much background noise.
- 5G enabled for breakneck wireless speeds.
- Dual front cameras.
- Upgradeable to Android 10.
- 8GB of RAM makes for a high-speed and responsive device.
- The operating system comes with a bit of bloatware.
4 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 128GB 108MP Penta Camera 6.47″ LTE Factory Unlocked Smartphone (International Version) (Midnight Black)
Xiaomi has a reputation for offering high-end components at an affordable price. This is a prime example with there Mi Note 10 camera phone.
The Mi Note 10 comes with a Snapdragon 730G processor and 6GB of RAM to speed things along. It has a 6.37 inch curved AMOLED display that produces very colorful images.
When you want a camera phone with as many megapixels as possible, then look no further than the Mi Note 10. It features a large 108MP sensor with five cameras on the rear and one on the front of the phone. The five rear cameras consist of a 108MP, 20MP ultrawide, 12MP portrait, 5MP telephoto, and a 2MP macro camera.
Pictures loose detail in low light…
The 108MP sensor features binning technology that can reduce the quality to 27MP and effectively allows for more light to penetrate the sensor.
In bright light, you will be pleased with the quality of photos the 108MP sensor provides, but when you get into lower light conditions, the pictures lose detail quickly. We recommend switching the camera to its 27MP mode to alleviate this problem.
It is easy to switch between modes on the camera app by just scrolling through the menu at the bottom of the screen. You will also find Nite, Vlog, and Portrait modes, to name a few.
Vibrant, natural-looking pics…
On the front side of the phone, you have a 32MP camera. It stands up there with some of our favorite selfie cameras and leaves you natural-looking pics that are vibrant.
Xiaomi has used there own MIUI 22.214.171.124 software that is based on Android 9 to run this phone. It is a pretty simple interface and shouldn’t take hardly any time at all to get comfortable with.
- 108MP sensor.
- Five rear cameras.
- Excellent 32MP front camera.
- It only has 128GB of internal storage, which isn’t expandable.
5 Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Dual-SIM 256GB / 8GB RAM (GSM Only, No CDMA) Factory Unlocked 4G/LTE Smartphone – International Version (Ocean Green)
The Reno 10x Zoom is next up on our hunt for the Best Camera Phone you can get. This one doesn’t disappoint with its fast Snapgradon 855 processor leading the way. It has a 6.6-inch Full HD+ display that produces beautiful vibrant colors. You will also find 8GB of ram, so running all your favorite apps or games won’t be a problem.
Lots of room to store your pics!
The Reno 10x comes with 256GB of storage out of the box. This is a lot, but if you need extra, you can up add up to 256GB more thanks to the 2 in 1 SIM tray with SD card slot.
You will have plenty of space to hold all of the photos you take. You have three cameras on the back of this phone and one on the front for selfies.
The primary rear camera features a 48MP lens sitting alongside an 18MP telephoto and a 12 MP wide-angle camera. We have seen the same 48MP sensor this phone uses in other phones, and it performs very well taking pictures day or night.
Zoom in on the action…
Interestingly, the 18MP telephoto camera is designed with multiple lenses. This allows for lossless 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom. Throughout our tests, we were pleased with the zoom capabilities, but you will need a steady hand even though optical image stabilization is offered.
A neat thing about the 16MP front camera is that it is hidden inside the phone. It actually pops out from inside the phone!
You won’t see any teardrops or notches on the display thanks to this design feature. It takes some pretty accurate images as well for a front-facing camera and even has OIS.
Easy to use and upgrade…
Running this all is Oppo’s Color OS based off Android 9. We like its straightforward ease of use, and you can even upgrade it to Color OS 6.7, which is based on the newer Android 10.
- Excellent battery life.
- Quality 48MP primary camera.
- It has an SD card slot for expandable storage.
- Display resolution could be higher.
6 Sony Xperia XZ1 64GB Worldwide GSM Unlocked 4G LTE Smartphone w/ 19MP Camera, Fingerprint Sensor, Octa-Core CPU – Black
The Xperia XZ1 from Sony is next up and offers a 19MP rear camera and a 13MP front camera. It comes with a 64GB of internal memory which can be expanded by the micro SD card slot in the sim tray. And features a Full HD display, which is 5.2 inches in size. It runs Android 8 out of the box and is powered by a Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM.
Fancy some slo-mo?
The rear camera takes some decent photos during the day and up close, though, at night, we weren’t overly impressed. What was very interesting is that the rear camera can shoot up to 960 frames per second in slow motion.
On the other side, the 13MP front camera takes some pretty good selfies and works very well for video calls. A nice touch is that while using the front camera, you can easily snap pics via a dedicated shutter button which is on the right side of the device.
The XZ1’s Full HD display is 5.2 inches in size. It runs Android 8 out of the box and is powered by a Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM.
Our thoughts on the XZ1?
Don’t get us wrong. This phone performs well, but for a higher tier camera phone, we expect a bit more. It would be nice to see at least 6GB of ram and more abundant internal storage. However, the attractive price of this phone makes it a desirable choice, nonetheless.
- 960fps slow-motion video recording.
- Phone charges quickly.
- IP68 waterproof body.
- It would be nice to see a higher resolution display.
7 Samsung Galaxy S8 Certified Pre-Owned Factory Unlocked Phone – 5.8Inch screen – 64GB – Midnight Black (U.S. Warranty)(Renewed)
If you are looking for a flagship-level camera phone but want to save some money, this Samsung Galaxy S8 could be the one you’ve been searching for.
Save some cash by buying pre-owned…
This S8 is preowned, but don’t let that put you off just yet. It comes with a new warranty and has gone through rigorous testing to make sure everything works just like new.
Samsung makes some of the Best Camera Phone displays, and this no exception with its Super AMOLED 5.8 inch display with a 2960×1440 resolution. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chip with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
For taking photos, you have a choice between the rear 12MP camera and the 8MP one on the front of the phone.
Only a 12MP rear camera?
Yes, you might not think that a 12MP camera or even an 8MP front-facing camera might not be enough when you have camera phones available that offer way more. However, you would be shocked at how well these two perform.
If you are using the camera during the day, you will receive a considerable amount of detail and color in all your shots. At night you won’t be let down either since this camera phone has excellent low light sensitivity and produces great shots that anyone would be happy with.
Certified by Samsung…
We just want to reiterate that this phone is certified preowned by Samsung, and the company completes over 400 rigorous tests before approving it. It comes out about as new as you can get when buying a pre-owned phone.
This phone runs Android 8 out of the box but can be upgraded to Android 9.
- Excellent lowlight picture quality.
- Good battery life.
- Vibrant display.
- Excellent value for money.
- It comes with some preinstalled apps that take up unnecessary space if you don’t need them.
8 Motorola Moto G7 Plus XT1965-2 64GB Unlocked GSM Phone w/ Dual 16 MP & 5 MP Camera – Deep Indigo (Renewed)
With all the great new phones on the market, you wouldn’t think another preowned phone would be included in a Best Camera Phone review, but this Moto G7 Plus hits a lot of the right spots for us.
This isn’t a flagship device, but you wouldn’t expect it to be at such a great price point. Powering it is a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in memory.
Quality crisp images…
You will find a 6.2 inch Full HD screen that produces some really crisp images and incorporates a 12MP teardrop style camera at the top of the phone. On the backside, both a 16M and a 5MP camera are found.
The rear shooters take some quality photos that have good white balance and saturation. The 5MP camera on the rear also acts as a depth sensor and leads to some pretty cool portrait shots thanks to background blurring and cutout features.
Android 9 is what is included out of the box but can now be updated to Android 10. Motorola does add there own small unique touches to the interface, but it is mostly a pure Android experience.
What a bargain!
We mentioned earlier that this phone is priced competitively. For a phone that is only half the price of some of the phones in our review, you really are getting outstanding value for your money if you decide to purchase a G7 Plus.
- Battery charges very quickly
- The rear cameras take some awesome looking portraits.
- Upgradeable to Android 10
- It doesn’t feel as sturdy as we would like.
9 Google – Pixel 3a with 64GB Memory Cell Phone (Unlocked) – Just Black – G020G
The Google Pixel 3a is another midrange phone with a nice camera. Preinstalled is Android 9, but being that it is a Google phone, you are guaranteed three years of future updates. A Snapdragon 670 is under the hood powering the device. It isn’t the fastest processor out there, but it won’t slow you down throughout the day.
For a phone, at this level, the camera really stands out and isn’t far off from flagship-level devices. You have a 12.2MP camera on the back that has plenty of features like Night Sight and Super Res Zoom.
If you want to take a selfie, you can use the 8MP camera on the front. It does a great job capturing natural-looking faces, but it doesn’t have a wide-angle lens, so group shots aren’t the easiest to take.
Charges very quickly…
The battery lasts quite long on the Pixel 3a and should get you through the day. If you do run low on juice, the quick charger can provide up to seven hours of battery life after just 15 minutes on the charger.
As far as memory is concerned, you have 64GB on board that isn’t expandable. The Pixel 3a also has 4GB of RAM, allowing for sufficient multitasking.
It houses a 5.6 inch OLED display that has a great resolution of 2220×1080 pixels. The screen isn’t the brightest but still looks good enough.
- Extremely fast quick charger.
- The camera can produce low light photos on par with the best of them.
- The screen could be brighter.
10 Apple iPhone XR, 128GB, Blue – For Verizon (Renewed)
An iPhone was due to show up when looking for a great camera phone, and this time it is the iPhone XR.
You have a 12MP rear camera that leaves you with well-rounded photos, but it does sometimes struggle in portrait mode and is not able to provide the most saturated images. The 7MP front camera has TrueDepth technology, and pictures come out pretty good. We did notice that in lower light conditions, you will start to see washout, especially if you are outdoors.
Accurate and detailed…
You can choose from multiple camera modes, but we recommend using Apple’s Smart HDR setting. It left us with the most accurate and detailed images.
Apple has designed its A12 Bionic processor that powers this phone. The operating system is fast, clean, and super easy to use. The 128GB of storage on this phone isn’t the largest you will find, but it should be fine for most users.
Tons of security…
Apple’s IOS features top-notch security to protect your photos and other valuable data. With Apple’s iCloud security lock, you can track your device and lock it and make it completely unusable to anyone else forever, very impressive.
- Very speedy operating system.
- Phone charges quickly.
- Quick autofocus and shutter.
- Excellent security features.
- iOS isn’t as customizable as Android.
Best Camera Phone Buying Guide
Purchasing your next camera phone isn’t that straightforward, and before you do, it’s well worth considering the following…
- Processor and Operating System
The processor is pretty much the brain of the camera phone. You will have noticed Qualcomm Snapdragon processors mentioned throughout this review. There are others out on in the market as well, like Apples A12 Bionic processor, but the thing to consider is the speed at which they run and the number of cores they utilize. The higher, the better in both cases.
Besides the Apple XR, which uses iOS, the rest of the phones in our list all run some version of Android, usually paired with a manufactures unique UI like the Samsung OneUI.
The thing you want to consider here is that unless it is a pure Android phone like the Pixel 4, you will be waiting longer on updates for security and features down the line. We wouldn’t let this really be a concern, though, because you can rest assured that all flagship-level devices will receive updates for many years to come.
With a strong processor and a new OS, your phone will not only be fast but last for years without feeling dated.
- RAM and Storage
The more RAM your phone has, the better it will be at running multiple apps at once without slowing down the device. You will typically find phones with 2GB to 8GB of RAM nowadays.
Storage can very on camera phones from as little to 16GB all the way up to 1TB. However, with the high resolution currently possible for pictures or videos, you can end up going through your allotted memory reasonably quickly.
This isn’t something we would concern ourselves with since you can always upload your files to the cloud or to a PC or Mac. Some phones even have SD card slots, so you can always add more memory whenever you run low.
- Display and Battery Life
Most high-end camera phones have a high-resolution display. The higher the resolution, the crisper everything will look on the device, especially when looking at photos or videos.
With a bright, vibrant screen, though, you will notice that it does use up quite a bit of your day to day battery life. However, even the most power-hungry phones will last you through your typical day without needing you to carry your charger with you.
However, if you do find your self running low on juice, many manufacturers have included quick charging capabilities. Not all use the same technology, but after a 30-minute charge, you will definitely notice a substantial improvement in your battery level.
- Cameras and Sensors
Just because a phone has three or four different cameras on offer, it doesn’t always make it the best at taking pictures.
You can find incredible big 108MP cameras down to 8MP ones. However, the amount of megapixels isn’t always the most important thing to get great pics. From the sensors to the aperture of the lens, you will find that a lot of things can change how well the camera takes pictures.
One thing that phones with multiple cameras do allow for is an increased variety of situations you can take good pictures in. You will commonly find telephoto, wide-angle, and macro cameras on high-end phones. Another thing to keep an eye out for is depth sensor technology or TOF type lenses. These can really add that extra bit of detail to your pics, making them look stunning.
Camera phones also have intuitive software to help make you your photos look as great as possible.
More Traditional Camera Choices
If you’re also looking for a more conventional camera, then check out our reviews of the Best Point and Shoot Cameras, our Best Instant Cameras reviews, our Best Compact Cameras reviews, and our Best GoPro Camera reviews.
What’s The Best Camera Phone For All Occasions?
Throughout all our testing, we really think the…
…is the way to go if you can afford it. It is lightning fast and great looking. You can even access 5G networks allowing for incredible data speeds for uploading your photos on the go.
With so many camera options on the phone, you leave yourself open to being able to take a great photo no matter the situation. Night or day picture quality was superb with excellent detail contrast and color.
It comes with the Samsungs OneUi based off Android 9 but is upgradeable to Android 10 now. The interface is smooth and intuitive even though it will have a few extra apps preinstalled.
You won’t be disappointed having used this as not only your main phone but your primary camera as well.