It’s 2021, and just about every cell phone you can get your hands on has a camera. In some cases, the cameras on your phone rival ones used by professional photographers and filmmakers. But for most of us, the cameras that come on a cell phone do just enough to satisfy. As such, we have provided a list for you to look through, featuring the best cell phone cameras available today. For your convenience, we have ranked them in order of price, from lowest to highest.

Best Cell Phone Camera

1. Google Pixel 3a ($150-$299)

Google Pixel 3a review

The cheapest of the options on this list, the Google Pixel 3a is a mobile phone with quality camera features. It may only have a 12 megapixel sensor and f/1.8 aperture lens, but it can still take great photos. It even comes with a Night Sight option that works for low light situations, meaning you can make nighttime look a bit more like night.

It’s not the most high tech mobile phone, and it’s not even directly sold by Google anymore, but it’s a great choice if you’re on a tight budget.

Google Camera Phone Features

Key Features

  • Inexpensive but solid camera
  • 12MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture
  • Night Sight camera mode for low light

Popular Cell Phone Camera

2. Apple iPhone SE ($399)

Best Cell Phone Camera  •  Apple iPhone SE

The most economical iPhone on the list, the Apple iPhone SE combines the body of an iPhone 8 with the power of an iPhone 11 Plus. This combination creates a camera with f/1.8 aperture, 12 megapixels, 4K and 60 fps capability, and Smart HDR, all of which help make your photos and video look more than satisfactory. For a price around $400 that even includes wireless charging, the iPhone SE is one of the best cell phone camera deals out there.

Just keep in mind it’s priced low for a reason, as it does not have all the super high tech construction as some of other phone cameras.

Apple Phone Camera

Key Features

  • Inexpensive iPhone
  • 12MP and f/1.8 aperture
  • 4K and 6 fps capability
  • Smart HDR

5G Cell Phone Camera

3. Google Pixel 4a 5G ($499)

Google Pixel 4a with 5G

Stepping into the middle of the Google Pixel phones, the Google Pixel 4a 5G camera comes with a nice 6.2 inch OLED screen, between 12 and 16 megapixels, and an aperture between f/1.7 and f/2.0. 

While it is not as powerful as the Pixel 5, it still comes with similar hardware and 5G reception. Not only that, but the larger screen makes taking and editing photos and videos that much easier. 

Google Pixel Phone Camera

Key Features

  • OLED screen
  • 5G reception
  • f/1.7 and f/2.0 aperture
  • 12MP to 16MP

Samsung Cell Phone Camera

4. Samsung Galaxy S10 ($600-$1,000)

Best Cell Phone Cameras  •  Samsung Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 gets a lot done for around $600. Mainly, it has multiple camera functions (wide/ultra wide/telephoto) that range from 12 to 16 megapixels and f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture. This makes it a terrific choice for those looking for a less expensive Samsung Galaxy that still has varied camera functionality. It also comes with 4K video capability, which you can learn even more about in our best 4K video cameras list. There’s also HDR10+ support, meaning your footage should look stellar on a television monitor.

Galaxy Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • Multiple camera options
  • 12MP to 16MP
  • f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture
  • 4K video capability
  • HDR10+ support

Google Phone Camera

5. Google Pixel 5 ($699)

Google Pixel 5 review

The high end of the Google phone camera family, the Google Pixel 5 is perfect for those who are in the mood for a nice and simple click-and-go camera phone. It comes with a six-inch OLED display, 12 to 16 megapixels, and f/1.7 to f/2.2 aperture.

On top of all that, it comes with Google’s software that includes cool features like Portrait Light (to better brighten faces) and Night Sight (for nighttime photography). If a Google cell phone camera is what you want, the Google Pixel 5 is your best bet.

Best Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • Six-inch OLED screen
  • 12MP to 16MP
  • f/1.7 to f/2.2 aperture
  • Software features for brightness and nighttime photography

Apple Cell Phone Camera

6. Apple iPhone 12 Pro ($999)

Best Cell Phone Camera  •  Apple iPhone 12 Pro

The Apple iPhone 12 line has great camera tech across the board, but if your budget allows for the full experience, you’ll want to go Pro. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro is a stellar camera, as it brings with it, not two, but three options. 

Wide f/1.6, ultra wide f/2.4, and telephoto f/2 aperture options. Along with 5G capability, the iPhone 12 Pro can shoot in 4K HDR in frame rates ranging from 24fps to 60fps, and features Apple ProRAW, which lets you shoot and edit RAW photo and video files.

Top Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • 6.1 inch display
  • Three camera options (wide/ultra wide/telephoto)
  • f/1.6 to f/2.4 aperture range
  • 5G capability
  • 4K HDR (multiple frame rate options)
  • Apple ProRaw software

Top Cell Phone Camera

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus ($1,000-$,299)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

With 12 to 16 megapixels, f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture, and three camera options, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is already on par with other high end cameras. However, as it is a Note, it comes with a stylus and large screen to take advantage of, both of which are some of the best in their class. 

One of the only real hindrances this phone has (outside of a high asking price) is the lack of a headphone jack.

Best Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • 12MP to 16MP; f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture
  • Wide, ultra wide, and telephoto camera options
  • Stylus and large screen with top of the line OCR (for handwriting recognition)

Galaxy Cell Phone Camera

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ($1,299)

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

As the number implies, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the successor to the Note 10, and comes with a slew of great features to justify it. For one thing, the Note 20 Ultra’s wide camera is 108 megapixels (f/1.8); the ultra wide is 12 megapixels (f/2.2), and the telephoto lens is 12 megapixels with 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom (f/3.0).

For a phone that knows how to zoom in and out, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Just be aware it’s on the pricier side.

Samsung Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • Ultra wide (108MP, f/1.8), wide (12MP f/2.2), and telephoto (12MP f/3.0) lenses
  • 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom
  • 6.9 inch display
  • Stylus

High End Cell Phone Camera

9. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G ($1,399)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

If you want the very best Samsung has to offer, look no further than the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. The primary rear camera features 108 megapixels (f/1.8), while the telephoto lens is 48 megapixels (f/3.5); the front camera is 40 megapixels (f/2.2). This cell phone camera also comes with 8K video and 100x zoom capability, along with 5G functionality.

Samsung Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • 108MP (rear primary), 48MP (telephoto), 40MP (front)
  • f/1.8 to f/3.5 aperture
  • 8K video
  • 100x zoom capability
  • 5G

Sony Cell Phone Camera

10. Sony Xperia 1 II ($1,048)

Best Cell Phone Camera  •  Sony Xperia 1 II

As the most expensive cell phone camera on this list, the Sony Xperia 1 II does not kid around. While it’s obviously a cell phone, it is also very much a film camera, with aperture f/1.7 to f/2.4. However, it’s in the lenses and features — not to mention the display — that this cell phone camera shines. It features a 16mm, 24mm, and 70mm lens, each at 12 megapixels. Along with a slew of tools (real-time auto focus, auto exposure, dual photodiode sensor), and a 21:9 aspect ratio display, the Sony Xperia 1 II is truly a filmmaker’s cell phone.

High End Cell Phone Camera

Key Features

  • 21:9 display
  • 4K resolution
  • 16mm, 24mm, and 70mm lenses
  • Aperture range of f/1.7 to f/2.4
  • Auto focus and auto exposure tools built in
  • Works with Sony Alpha cameras

UP NEXT

Best video editing apps

You’ve looked at some of the best cell phone cameras around, so now would be a good time to look over the best video editing apps, too. Our list goes into detail regarding features, benefits, and more, along with knowing which is best and available for which type of operating software.

Up Next: Best editing apps →
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  • Rafael Abreu received his B.A. in English from Florida International University, along with certificates in Film Studies and Asian Studies. He’s written reviews, scripts, and analytical essays focusing on all aspects of cinema. He can’t stop talking about aspect ratios.

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