What phone has the best camera? We’re going to rank the best camera phones to buy by looking at the two essential aspects of camera phones: the camera and the phone. Nowadays, hardware and software both play a huge role in image optimization – so we’ll keep that note in mind when ranking camera phones here. We’re also going to focus on the rear-camera systems of phones as those are the cameras used to shoot the highest quality photos and videos.The phones on this list were ranked by the following criteria: photo quality, video quality, specs, and price. Now without further ado, here’s our list of the best camera phones to buy today.

Classic Phone Camera Lens

10. iPhone SE (2020)

Best Smartphone Cameras iPhone SE

Best Smartphone Cameras  •  iPhone SE

TECH SPECS

  • 12MP Wide camera: ƒ/1.8 aperture.
  • Digital zoom up to 5x, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control, Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High-Key Mono).
  • Optical image stabilization.

Full tech specs available on Apple’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  iPhone SE Review by Marques Brownlee

80%
PHOTO
80%
VIDEO
70%
SPECS
100%
PRICE
83%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Value
  • 4K Video
  • Ease of Use
  • Low-End Specs
  • Okay Photos
  • N/A

Best Budget Camera Phone

Conclusion

Price: $399

The iPhone SE (2020) is one of the best cheap camera phones money can buy.

Good Camera Phones

9. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (2020)

Best Cell Phone Cameras Samsung Galaxy S Ultra

Best Smartphone Cameras  •  iPhone SE

TECH SPECS

  • Rear Camera - Resolution (Multiple): 108.0 MP + 12.0 MP + 48.0 MP + VGA: F Number (Multiple), F1.8 , F2.2 , F3.5 , F1.0, Auto Focus, OIS, Zoom: Hybrid Optic Zoom at 10x , Digital Zoom up to 100x, Flash. 
  • Video Recording Resolution: UHD 8K (7680 x 4320) @24fps, Slow Motion: 960fps @HD, 240fps @FHD.

Full tech specs available on Samsung’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review by Marques Brownlee

Samsung makes phones that nobody else wants to. That’s a good thing and a bad thing – although their phones are unique, they’re also niche. But with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung said, “we don’t care, just put all the best raw specs possible in and we’ll see what happens.”

The results were mixed; the Galaxy S20 Ultra hosts an impressive camera system but its massive 108 MP main camera sensor frequently struggles to capture things in focus and there’s almost no reason to ever shoot in UHD 8k.

80%
PHOTO
85%
VIDEO
100%
SPECS
65%
PRICE
83%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Insane Specs
  • Solid Video Options
  • Good for Certain Uses
  • Bad Autofocus
  • Rolling Shutter Video
  • Overpriced

What Phone Has the Best Camera?

Conclusion

Price: $1399.99

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra attempts to create the ultra smartphone camera, but poor software optimization and ridiculous file sizes keep it from rising to the top of the ranks.

New Phone Camera Lens

8. OnePlus 8 Pro (2020)

Best Cell Phone Cameras OnePlus Pro

Best Cell Phone Cameras  •  OnePlus 8 Pro

TECH SPECS

  • Rear camera - MainSensor: Sony IMX689, Megapixels: 48, Pixel Size: 1.12 µm/48M; 2.24 µm (4 in 1)/12M, Lens Quantity: 7P, OIS: Yes, EIS: Yes, Aperture: f/1.78
  • Telephoto Lens Megapixels: 8, Pixel Size: 1.0µm, OIS: Yes, Aperture: f/2.44
  • Ultra Wide Angle Lens Megapixels: 48, Aperture: f/2.2, Field of View: 120°
  • Video Editor: Features CINE aspect ratio video recording, Video HDR, Cat & Dog face detect & focus, UltraShot HDR, Nightscape, Super Micro, Portrait, Pro Mode, Panorama, AI Scene Detection, RAW Image, Audio Zoom, Audio 3D.

Full tech specs available on OnePlus’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  OnePlus 8 Pro Review by Dave2D

OnePlus phones used to be targeted at consumers as cheaper alternatives to the flagship models of manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Google, etc. – but now OnePlus is a flagship brand too. The OnePlus Pro 8 features everything you’d expect from a smartphone camera, including a three-camera system with wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses. I’d say the telephoto images on the OnePlus Pro 8 are some of the best in the business.

90%
PHOTO
90%
VIDEO
80%
SPECS
80%
PRICE
85%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Image Clarity
  • Decent Price
  • Smooth Video
  • Mid-Tier Specs
  • No “Wow” Feature
  • N/A

Good Camera Phones

Conclusion

Price: $899.99

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a good camera phone – but it’s hard to recommend it over other options on the market.

Best Budget Camera Phone

7. Google Pixel 3a (2019)

Best Smartphone Cameras Google Pixel a

Best Smartphone Cameras  •  Google Pixel 3a

TECH SPECS

  • Rear Camera⁹: 12.2MP dual-pixel, 1.4μm pixel width, Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection, Optical + electronic image stabilization, ƒ/1.8 aperture, 76° field of view.
  • Rear Camera Video: 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps; 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps; 4K @ 30fps.

More tech specs available on Amazon’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  Google Pixel 3a Review by Marques Brownlee

We’re going back a few generations here with the Google Pixel 3a for one reason and one reason only: price. The Google Pixel 3a was priced aggressively at $399 at the time of its release and today it’s even cheaper. The Pixel 3a marked a revolutionary leap forward for night-mode photography in camera phones and it's still a great camera phone today. 

If you can’t find a Pixel 3a for under $300, just go with the 4a. 

95%
PHOTO
85%
VIDEO
75%
SPECS
100%
PRICE
89%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Night Sight
  • Portrait Mode
  • Great Value
  • Low Specs
  • Lacks Bells & Whistles
  • N/A

Classic Phone Camera Lens

Conclusion

Price: Varies by Retailer

Whether you’re looking for a camera phone to take high quality night-mode photos or a camera phone to shoot b-roll for an indie film, the Google Pixel 3a remains a great option.

What Phone Has the Best Camera?

6. Samsung Note 20 Ultra (2020)

Best Camera Phones Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra

Best Camera Phones  •  Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

TECH SPECS

  • 2MP Ultra Wide Camera: Pixel size: 1.4μm; FOV: 120; F.No (aperture): F2.2.
  • 108MP Wide-angle Camera; PDAF, OIS; Pixel size: 0.8μm; FOV: 79; F.No (aperture): F1.8; 1/1.33" image sensor size.
  • 12MP Telephoto Camera; Pixel size: 1.0μm; FOV: 20˚; F.No (aperture): F3.0; Laser AF Sensor; Space Zoom; 5x Optical Zoom; Up to 50x Super Resolution Zoom; OIS (Optical Image Stabilization); Tracking AF.

Full tech specs available on Samsung’s product page.

Best Cell Phone Cameras  •  Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review by Dave2D

Ah yes, we’ve arrived back at another Samsung flagship camera phone – this time as confused as ever by the convoluted nature of its name. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a different phone than the Samsung Galaxy 20 Ultra. In fact, it’s a very different phone; call me crazy but I think maybe they should market these products a little bit more clearly.

Name aside, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a great smartphone camera. It features a detailed zoom system that’s capable of capturing images up to 50x zoom.

100%
PHOTO
85%
VIDEO
95%
SPECS
75%
PRICE
89%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Zoom
  • Crisp Detail
  • Camera Utility (3 System)
  • Overpriced MSRP
  • Obtuse Size
  • N/A

Good Camera Phones

Conclusion

Price: $1299.99

If you’re looking to purchase a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, consider waiting for a holiday sale – the price will likely be slashed by a significant amount.

What is the Best Camera Phone from Sony?

5. Sony Xperia 5 II (2020)

Best Camera Phones Sony Xperia II

Best Camera Phones  •  Sony Xperia 5 II

TECH SPECS

  • Camera 1: 12 MP, 1/1.7" Exmor RS™ for mobile sensor, F1.7 Aperture, 24mm Focal Length, 82° FOV
  • Camera 2: 12 MP, ⅓.4, F2.4 Aperture, 70mm Focal Length, 34° FOV
  • Camera 3: 12 MP, 1/2.55" Exmor RS™ for mobile sensor, F2.2 Aperture, 16mm Focal Length, 124° FOV
  • HDR Movie recording 24, 25, 30, 60, and 120 fps slow-motion, OIS and EIS Video, Optical SteadyShot™ (hybrid OIS / EIS video stabilization) and SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stabilization), Intelligent wind filter.

Full tech specs available on Sony’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  Sony Xperia 5 II Review by Pocketnow

Here’s the thing about the Sony Xperia 5 II: it has an amazing camera system but that’s about it. The whole idea of a camera phone is that it’s utilitarian strength lies in the camera and the phone. The Xperia 5 II is a great camera but not a great phone.

But if you’re looking for a camera phone to serve as your primary camera tool, then maybe the Xperia 5 II is the camera phone for you. For those looking for a supplemental camera, perhaps look elsewhere.

90%
PHOTO
95%
VIDEO
90%
SPECS
80%
PRICE
89%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Pro Tools
  • Vivid HDR
  • Optical Zoom
  • Niche
  • Camera Emphasis
  • N/A

What Phone Has the Best Camera?

Conclusion

Price: $949.99

The Sony Xperia 5 II attempts to turn a camera phone into a cinema grade camera to impressive, yet ultimately middling results. 

The Best Phone With Best Camera from Samsung

4. Samsung Galaxy S20 (2020)

Best Camera Phones Samsung Galaxy S

Best Camera Phones  •  Samsung Galaxy S20

TECH SPECS
  • 12-megapixel (wide-angle)
  • 64-megapixel (telephoto)
  • 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)


Full tech specs available on Samsung’s product page.

Best Cell Phone Cameras  •  Samsung Galaxy S20 Review by The Verge

Many tech reviewers have suggested that the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S20 has a better camera system than the Galaxy S20 Ultra – and honestly I can see it. We touched on the fact that the S20 Ultra struggles with focusing earlier – and it seems like that issue is much less prevalent with the S20 base model. If you’re looking to buy one or the other, the S20 is probably the better option.

95%
PHOTO
95%
VIDEO
85%
SPECS
90%
PRICE
91%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Great Wide Shots
  • HQ Video
  • Reasonable Price
  • Good not Great Specs
  • Okay Zoom Shots
  • N/A

Good Camera Phones

Conclusion

Price: $999.99

The Galaxy S20 is the best Samsung camera phone for most people.

What is the Best Camera Phone from Google?

3. Google Pixel 5 (2020)

Best Camera Phones Google Pixel

Best Camera Phones  •  Google Pixel 5

TECH SPECS
  • Rear camera: 12.2 MP dual-pixel, 1.4 μm pixel width, Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection, Optical + electronic image stabilization, ƒ/1.7 aperture, 77° field of view
  • 16 MP ultrawide, 1.0 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 107° field of view.


Full tech specs available on Google's product page.

Best Smartphone Cameras  •  Google Pixel 5 Review by Dave2D

For the last few years, Google has stood at the mountain top of the Android world as the best camera phone. But how does Google’s latest flagship, the Pixel 5, stack up against the competition? Well, it continues to impress — especially in low-light, but its lead is narrowing over its Android competition.

95%
PHOTO
95%
VIDEO
85%
SPECS
90%
PRICE
91%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Gimbal-Like Stabilization
  • Software Optimization
  • Night-Mode
  • Decent Hardware
  • No Telephoto
  • N/A

Best Phone With Best Camera from Google

Conclusion

Price: $699.99

The Google Pixel 5 is the best Android camera phone on the market – but it’s not leaps and bounds better than the much cheaper Google Pixel 4a with 5G.

Best Cell Phone Cameras

2. iPhone 12 Mini & iPhone 12 (2020)

Best Camera Phones iPhone iPhone Mini

Best Camera Phones  •  iPhone 12 & iPhone 12 Mini

TECH SPECS
  • Dual 12MP camera system: Ultra Wide and Wide cameras
  • Ultra Wide: ƒ/2.4 aperture and 120° field of view; Wide: ƒ/1.6 aperture
  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control
  • HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • Smart HDR 3

Full tech specs available on Apple’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  iPhone 12: A Photographer’s Review by Tyler Stalman

Okay you might be thinking that we’re cheating here by putting the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini together but I can assure you we’re not. Apple lists the 12 and 12 Mini as having identical specs and every tech reviewer I’ve seen has found no differences between the two cameras.

The 12 and 12 Mini are great phone cameras for photography and videography. For 95% of people looking for an iOS camera phone, the iPhone 12 (or 12 Mini) is the best option. The only things missing when compared to the Pro models are a telephoto camera and a LIDAR scanner – but if that’s not an issue for you then definitely go for the standard models.

95%
PHOTO
100%
VIDEO
85%
SPECS
100%
PRICE
95%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Reasonable Price
  • Great Video
  • Crisp Low Light (For Cost)
  • No LIDAR or Telephoto
  • Smaller Sensors
  • N/A

Best Smartphone Cameras

Conclusion

Price: iPhone 12 Mini: $699, iPhone 12: $799

The iPhone 12 standard models prove that Apple continues to be the best in the business at combining  “affordability” with high performance.

The Best Smartphone Camera

1. iPhone 12 Pro Max (2020)

Best Camera Phones iPhone Pro Max

Best Camera Phones  •  iPhone 12 Pro Max

TECH SPECS
  • Pro 12MP camera system: Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras
  • Ultra Wide: ƒ/2.4 aperture and 120° field of view; Wide: ƒ/1.6 aperture; Telephoto: ƒ/2.0 aperture (iPhone 12 Pro); ƒ/2.2 aperture (iPhone 12 Pro Max)
  • HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps

Full tech specs available on Apple’s product page.

Best Camera Phones  •  iPhone 12 Pro Max Review by The Verge

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is hands down, bar none the best camera phone on the market. The 12 Pro Max features a three camera system: wide, ultra wide, and telephoto. It’s worth noting that the ultra wide camera is the exact same as it is on the base iPhone 12 Pro – but the wide camera has a larger sensor and sensor-shift image stabilization, and the telephoto has a larger sensor and wider aperture.

95%
PHOTO
100%
VIDEO
100%
SPECS
85%
PRICE
95%
OVERALL SCORE
  • LIDAR Scanner
  • Dolby Vision
  • Image Stabilization
  • Ultra Premium Price
  • Some Low Light
  • N/A

Top Cell Phone Camera

Conclusion

Price: $1099

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is unrivaled in the smartphone camera market due to impressive specs and insane software optimization – and Apple ProRAW support will only make the system work better.

UP NEXT

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  • Chris Heckmann graduated from Emmanuel College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing, Editing, and Publishing. He now lives in Los Angeles where he writes about sports, film, and television.

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