20 Best Camera Phones to Take Perfect Shots Worth Sharing (2021)

Premium Pick

Apple iPhone 12

Check Latest price

Best Choice

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Check Latest price

Best Value

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Check Latest price
Mobile Phone

Outfitted with the capability to capture aesthetic graphics and photos, today’s camera phones are a great alternative for DSLRs. In this article, we’ve found you 20 of the best camera phones on the market today. With our guide on hand, you’ll be able to decide on the perfect camera phone at your suited budget without any fuss.

 

20 Best Camera Phones (Updated 2021)

1

Apple iPhone 12

Rear Camera 12 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide
Front Camera 12 MP
Video Capture 4K HDR, Dolby Vision @30fps
Battery Capacity 8h 23m (5G), 10h 25m (LTE)
Storage 64/128/256 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  Excellent dual-camera image quality
  • –  Top-of-the-line performance
  • –  5G coverage

 

Cons

  • –  64 GB base storage not enough
  • –  No telephoto
  • – No  LiDAR scanner

It’s no secret that Apple produces some of the best camera phones in the industry. The most recent iteration of Apple’s smartphone, the iPhone 12, is undoubtedly one of the best in smartphone camera technology. This phone features a sharp wide and ultra-wide lens, an impressive 5x digital zoom, and top-of-the-line video capture.

While the iPhone 12 doesn’t have a dedicated telephoto lens, it more than makes up for this deficiency with its other features, such as night mode and pro-level videography.

2

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Rear Camera 12 MP ultra-wide, 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto
Front Camera 12 MP
Video Capture Up to 4K@60fps, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR
Battery Capacity 9h 6m
Storage 128/256/512 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  Triple-camera setup
  • –  ProRAW file format
  • –  LiDAR scanner
  • –  5G

  •  

 

Cons

  • –  12 MP only for a pro-level device



The iPhone 12 Pro is a step up from the baseline iPhone 12 and it certainly shows. Not only does it jump to a triple-camera setup with a dedicated telephoto lens, but it also has a LiDAR scanner. The front-facing true-depth camera also doesn’t compromise on quality, bearing the same 12 MP as the rear lenses.

The iPhone 12 Pro also lets you capture photos in the Apple ProRAW file format for professional photography and photo editing.

3

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Rear Camera 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultra-wide
Front Camera 12 MP HDR
Video Capture Up to 4K@60fps, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR
Battery Capacity Up to 20h stand-by
Storage 128/256/512 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  Battery life
  • –  Large, bright screen
  • –  Amazing camera setup

  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Price
  • –  Bulkier and heavier

If you want the best of what Apple can offer, then the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the right choice. That’s because it combines all the best features from its siblings and goes on to crank things up a notch higher.

Apart from its triple-camera setup and superb videography capabilities, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is also a quality phone in other aspects. Do note that this phone is larger in size and will set you back by quite a bit of money.

4

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Rear Camera 12 MP 
Front Camera 7 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps
Battery Capacity 13h (web browsing) / approx. 1,821mAh
Storage 64/256 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  Budget iPhone
  • –  Excellent 4K video


 

Cons

  • –  Single-lens
  • –  Older camera
  • –  No zoom

While Apple is well-known for its expensive high-end phones, it recently entered the mid-tier market with the iPhone SE (2020). It has everything that is recognizably iOS, albeit with an outdated design and form factor. However, it still packs a punch in terms of overall quality.

Sure, it only provides one rear lens and a lower-end 7-MP selfie camera. However, it still has Apple’s signature software photography using the powerful A13 Bionic chip. It also supports 4K videography, which is respectable for a phone of this caliber.

5

Google Pixel 4a

Rear Camera 12.2 MP
Front Camera 8 MP
Video Capture 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps (front cam)
Battery Capacity 8h 55m
Storage 128 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  Best-in-class software photography
  • –  128 GB baseline storage
  • –  Affordable



  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Sub-par battery life
  • –  Single rear camera

While it’s not Google’s latest smartphone, the Google Pixel 4a is still one of the best camera phones available. That is, in large part, thanks to Google’s signature software photography that makes it stand out despite its lower specs.

The phone’s rear camera provides sharp, crisp images even in darker settings. Furthermore, its super res zoom and live HDR+ are also welcome additions. Factor in its low price of $350 and you get one of the best budget phones you can find.

6

Google Pixel 5

Rear Camera 12.2 MP wide, 16 MP ultra-wide
Front Camera 8 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps, 1080p@30fps (selfie)
Battery Capacity 9h 29m
Storage 128 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  Beautiful design
  • –  Excellent camera system

 

Cons

  • –  Mid-tier performance
  • –  Expensive

Despite its underwhelming chipset and performance, the Google Pixel 5 is still one of the best camera phones around. That’s because it still sports Google’s signature software photography that achieves stunning image quality. This time, Google decided to incorporate an additional ultra-wide lens instead of the previous model’s telephoto.

The Pixel 5 also retains its classic high-resolution quality even in mid and low-light situations. This phone is on the pricier side, however, so it may not be an ideal option for you if you’re on a budget.

7

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Rear Camera 50 MP wide, 20 MP ultra-wide, 12 MP telephoto
Front Camera 13 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps, HDR
Battery Capacity 4,400 mAh
Storage 256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  Excellent low-light photography
  • –  5x optical zoom

 

Cons

  • –  No Google services
  • –  Warm during gaming

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro offers top-of-the-line specs hardware-wise. It’s one of the few high-end models that support a whopping 50 MP on its main camera. Moreover, it also provides a high-resolution 20 MP ultra-wide and a moderate 12 MP telephoto lens.

Apart from its sheer hardware power, the Mate 40 Pro also has a lot of advantageous software features. For example, it provides optical image stabilization and 5x optical zoom for all your photography and videography needs. Perhaps the only downside is that it has no Google services thanks to the dispute between Huawei and the US.

Also Read: 10 Google Play Store Alternatives for Huawei Phones

8

Huawei P40 Pro

Rear Camera 50 MP wide, 40 MP ultra-wide, 12 MP telephoto
Front Camera 32 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps
Battery Capacity 4,200 mAh
Storage 128/256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  Great battery life
  • –  Amazing cameras
  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Limited software
  • –  Bulky camera bump

It’s rare for the best camera phones to provide high-end quality with a sub-$1000 price tag. However, the Huawei P40 Pro achieves just that with its whopping 50 MP main camera. It also has a triple rear camera setup with a high-res selfie cam.

These features alone are enough to make it stand out as a camera phone. However, the P40 Pro goes even further by providing great quality even while moving and in low light.

9

OnePlus 8 Pro

Rear Camera 48 MP wide, 8 MP telephoto, 48 MP ultra-wide
Front Camera 16 MP
Video Capture 8K@30fps
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh
Storage 128/256 GB / expandable

     Pros

  • –  Amazing display quality
  • –  Fast performance
  • –  Great cameras



 

Cons

  • –  Night mode not as good compared to alternatives

While it might not be OnePlus’s latest, the OnePlus 8 Pro still has a lot to offer. Even by today’s standards, it’s a beast of a smartphone with a 120Hz display and a 5,000mAh battery. You can expect this phone to perform beautifully and output buttery-smooth visuals.

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera setup is also nothing to scoff at, as it boasts high-resolution triple-rear sensors and a high-quality selfie camera. Furthermore, this phone can shoot videos up to 8K, which we can’t say for all the other best camera phones.

10

OnePlus 9 Pro

Rear Camera 48 MP wide, 8 MP telephoto, 50 MP ultra-wide, 2 MP depth sensor
Front Camera 16 MP
Video Capture 8K@30fps
Battery Capacity 4,500 mAh
Storage 128/256 GB

     Pros

  • –  5G
  • –  Amazing specifications

  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Telephoto a little lacking
  • –  Expensive



The OnePlus 9 Pro boasts all the high-end specs you’d expect of premium smartphones. Its cameras feature top-tier resolution and best-in-class optical zoom—better than some other high-end camera phones. In addition, it also features 8K video recording and delivers excellent performance overall.

11

Oppo Find X2 Pro

Rear Camera 48 MP
Front Camera 32 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps
Battery Capacity 4,260 mAh
Storage 512 GB / non-expandable

     Pros

  • –  High-speed charging
  • –  Large baseline storage

 

Cons

  • –  No wireless charging
  • –  Pricey

The Oppo Find X2 Pro’s camera serves up detailed images with amazing depth. Its image quality is also top-tier, providing natural-looking photos without compromising realism and sharpness. It also boasts the fastest charging speeds and over 500 GB of storage on the base model.

12

Oppo Find X3 Pro

Rear Camera 50 MP wide, 13 MP telephoto, 50 MP ultra-wide, 3 MP microscope
Front Camera 32 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps
Battery Capacity 4,500 mAh
Storage 256 GB

     Pros

  • –  Large sensors
  • –  Microscope module
  • –  Great overall performance



 

Cons

  • –  Sub-par selfie camera
  • –  Battery life

One of the best camera phones comes from Oppo in its latest Find X3 Pro model. It’s a high-end phone that provides excellent camera quality, with large sensors that perform well under various lighting conditions. The phone’s most compelling camera feature is probably the “microscope” setting that allows you to see the smallest details.

The Find X3 Pro sports a unique design, blending the iPhone 12’s square camera bump and Samsungs 1-metal frame. It also delivers top-of-the-line performance with a beautiful display. The phone does have its shortcomings, such as a poor battery life and a sub-par selfie camera.

13

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Rear Camera 108 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide, 12 MP telephoto
Front Camera 10 MP
Video Capture 8K
Battery Capacity 4,500 mAh
Storage 128/256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  S Pen
  • –  Gorgeous screen

  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Expensive
  • –  Slow charging

The Note 20 Ultra boasts an impressive 5x optical zoom and even a 50x digital zoom—great for concerts in general admission seats. It even has a 100x digital zoom, but it does feel unnecessary and unusable most of the time.

The main cameras on the Note 20 Ultra deliver a stellar performance that is on par with high-end smartphones. The phone can also record videos in 8K, making it perfect for future-proofing your camera quality.

 

14

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Rear Camera 12 MP wide, 16 MP ultrawide, 12 MP telephoto
Front Camera 10 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps
Battery Capacity 4,500 mAh
Storage 256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  Great camera
  • –  Amazing display
  • –  5G

 

Cons

  • –  Exynos version can heat up
  • –  Sub-par battery life (Exynos version)

While it may not be the latest in Samsung’s lineup, the S10 is still one of the best camera phones. It has amazing triple-rear cameras that perform exceptionally well despite the lower resolution compared to rival phones.

You don’t even need larger sensors with the way the S10 produces images. Moreover, it provides future-proof features even in 2021, with 4K video capture and 5G connectivity.

15

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Rear Camera 108 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide, 48 MP telephoto
Front Camera 40 MP
Video Capture 8K@24fps
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh
Storage 128/256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  Large sensors
  • –  100x zoom
  • –  8K video
  • –  5G
  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Battery life
  • –  Gimmicky 100x zoom



While it was first released in 2020, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 is still a solid camera phone with its litany of stand-out features. Not only does it provide high-resolution sensors in its triple-rear setup, but it also comes packed with 5G, 100x zoom, and 8K video. It’s certainly one of the best high-end 5G phones with high-end specifications. However, it does have a few quirks here and there, such as limited 8K video and 100x zoom use cases.

16

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

Rear Camera 12 MP, 64 MP, 12 MP
Front Camera 10 MP
Video Capture 8K@24fps
Battery Capacity 4,000 mAh
Storage 128/256 GB

     Pros

  • –  Versatile camera
  • –  Cheaper than S20
  • –  5G

  •  

 

Cons

  • –  No expandable storage
  • –  Lower-resolution screen

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is one of the best camera phones despite its slightly lower-resolution camera system. While the S21 does sport the same sensors as the previous S20, it comes with improved software features. For example, the S21 has a new Single Take mode that optimizes photo capture using all three lenses.

Moreover, the S21 also has a new slow-mo capture option, which the previous generation didn’t include. There’s a slew of new features here that make the S21 stand out from the previous generation. Above all, the camera quality in both photo and video capture doesn’t disappoint.

17

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Rear Camera 12 MP, 64 MP, 12 MP
Front Camera 10 MP
Video Capture 8K@24fps
Battery Capacity 4,800 mAh
Storage 128/256 GB

     Pros

  • –  5G
  • –  Great camera quality and camera modes
  •  

 

Cons

  • –  No microSD
  • –  Underwhelming screen

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is essentially the same as the S21. Hence, you can expect similar performance and image/video quality as the baseline S21. The only real differences are the larger size, screen, and battery. If you have bigger hands, the S21 Plus is a great choice over the S21. However, it will cost a bit more.

18

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Rear Camera 108 MP wide, 12 MP ultrawide, 10 MP telephoto (3x), 10 MP telephoto (10x)
Front Camera 40 MP
Video Capture 8K@24fps
Battery Capacity 11h 25m
Storage 128/256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  Dual telephoto lens
  • –  S Pen support

 

Cons

  • –  No charger
  • –  MicroSD card slot missing

Samsung’s best-of-the-best smartphone comes in the form of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s the elder sibling of the S21/S21+ and boasts phenomenal hardware compared with the previous two. For starters, the Ultra comes with larger rear sensors for higher-resolution images. It also sports a dual-telephoto lens setup for better image quality at different zoom ranges.

These lenses aren’t like the previous 100x that felt more like gimmicks than usable features. In fact, the 10x zoom can truly impress a camera enthusiast with its amazing quality. Above all, it features some of the best software features Samsung has to offer with photo and video capture. These include Simple Take, Director’s View, and more.

19

Sony Xperia 1 II

Rear Camera 12 MP, 12 MP, 12 MP
Front Camera 8 MP
Video Capture 4K@60fps
Battery Capacity 4,000 mAh
Storage 128 GB

     Pros

  • –  Great video features
  • –  Amazing screen

 

Cons

  • –  More for content creators

If you’re a pro photographer or videographer, then you’d certainly want a smartphone to match. Lucky for you, the Sony Xperia 1 II does just that and meets even professional standards. That’s because it’s able to manually adjust video settings without only relying on software. Moreover, it has the power, display, and performance to match so you’ll never encounter any roadblocks while shooting.

20

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Rear Camera 50 MP wide, 48 MP telephoto, 48 MP ultrawide
Front Camera 20 MP
Video Capture 8K@24fps
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh
Storage 256/512 GB

     Pros

  • –  Great hardware
  • –  Industry-leading photo and video quality
  • –  Selfies with rear cameras

  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Underexposed images
  • –  Bulky

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra combines everything you want in a solid camera phone: amazing sensors, top-of-the-line video capture capability, and a large battery to match. Overall, the Mi 11 Ultra performs well across different lighting situations, although it tends to underexpose images sometimes. Nonetheless, it’s a great camera overall with stunning quality and great smartphone features.

Take Photos Worth Sharing With the Best Camera Phones in 2021

With so many options available on the market today, it’s not difficult for you to find the best camera phone for your needs. You no longer have to turn solely to Apple or Google to find great picture quality. Every other brand is jumping onto the trend by beefing up its cameras to get an edge over the competition. All that’s left is to choose which is right for you in terms of photo/video quality and overall performance.

x