Choose the best camera phone with Vodafone

Cameras are standard on most phones today, so it's never been easier to get snap happy.

Whether you're a photography enthusiast with an eye for the technical, or you just want to capture your adventures quickly and simply, there's a camera phone to suit you.

We're here to help you pick the best one to meet your needs, while our 'Good to know' section will give you a starter guide to megapixels, apps, accessories and more.

Two cameras that shoot as one

As you’d expect, it’s high-end all the way when it comes to photography with an iPhone. Apple’s first dual-lens camera phone, the iPhone 7 Plus, has a 12-megapixel dual lens that gives better zoom than single-lens equivalents, and enables some stunning new features such as depth of field effects. Its outstanding colour, tonality and range are backed up by a 5.5-inch Retina display that’s 25% brighter than other iPhone models.

Fun to use and packed with features for customisation, the iPhone 7 Plus makes it easy to take amazing photos and 4K videos. The 7-megapixel front camera is great for FaceTime and selfies, and the phone is also water and dust-resistant.

 

An edge for beginners as well as pros

Whatever your ability as a photographer, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge will appeal. Its cameras are designed to be smooth and simple to use – the front camera for selfies and the rear camera for everything else. The 12-megapixel rear camera is exceptionally good at focusing in low light. Selfies look fantastic on the 5-megapixel front camera. Backed up by a generous 5.5-inch screen, your photos and videos are bound to shine.

If you like to get more technical, the S7 edge has a strong focus on creativity through its photo app. Auto and Pro modes open up a spectrum of options including manual focusing, shutter speed, ISO, metering and saving your favourite configurations. Shoot in RAW and you can manipulate your images later, giving you even more creative control.

For outdoors and action people

Built for outdoors people and action heroes, the Sony Xperia XZ packs an adventurous 23-megapixel camera, giving you jaw-droppingly rich, detailed shots that can stay crisp even when you zoom in. Meanwhile, the 12-megapixel front camera helps you take flawless selfies.

Sony has drawn on its photographic know-how to give the XZ some dazzling camera specs. They’ve even built in a dedicated photo button.

Triple-image sensing means the XZ captures motion without blur – and it’s waterproof and dust resistant, too. All of which adds up to the perfect choice for snapping sports, parties, the great outdoors and just about anything else that gets your heart pounding.

 

Customise your creativity

If you love the idea of customising your phone and its camera, the distinctive LG G5 SE could be the one for you. Its dual rear camera is a strong all-rounder that has both a 16-megapixel lens for exquisitely detailed shots, and an 8-megapixel super-wide angle lens. It’s this second lens that really makes LG’s flagship phone stand out – with a 135-degree field of view, you can capture much more in your photos. It’s ideal for landscapes, group activities and road trips. And you can also record gorgeous 4K video.

The G5 SE can be customised with LG’s range of clever modular accessories, including the CAM Plus camera grip – complete with power, shutter, video and zoom buttons, and an extra 1,200mAh battery boost.

The G5 SE comes with three camera modes, including manual for those who really want to fine-tune their phone photography.

The breath of fresh air

Huawei collaborated with iconic German camera maker Leica to bring the P9’s cameras to life – generating quite a buzz among smartphone photographers.

Unique technology sees the 12-megapixel dual rear cameras working in tandem. As a result, the P9 excels at low-light shooting and high contrast scenes, while full manual mode lets more ambitious snappers get experimental with their photos. Explore dual lens features like simulating shallow depth of field. Or if you just want to dive straight in, 14 shooting modes help you capture all kinds of scenarios beautifully.

It all adds up to one of the best camera phones on the market – powerful, versatile and not afraid to do things a little bit differently.

Good to know

  • Don’t fear the camera

    While phone cameras are continually making amazing technical breakthroughs to create even better photos and videos, the photographic basics remain largely unchanged. Getting into phone photography doesn’t need to be complex – read on for some vital info.

  • Basic build

    All cameras have a lens to let in light. A sensor inside will convert that light into digital data, and the phone’s software turns that into an image file. To delve a little deeper, search online for aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

  • Mapping megapixels

    As for megapixels, it’s not as simple as ‘more megapixels = better quality photos’. A lot of it depends on the size of your phone camera’s sensor and having the right amount of pixels squeezed onto it. The images you take with a 12-megapixel smartphone camera could be just as good as 42-megapixel photos. More megapixels can help with zoom viewing, however.

    Ultimately, we recommend you try before you buy at your nearest Vodafone store, and read user reviews. That will give you a sense of the overall photo quality that the technical stats can’t.

Image ingredients

Photography is a hugely popular hobby and profession, and a massive amount has been written about how to take good photos.

If you’re looking to make photos a key focus of your phone use, we recommend you have a solid grasp of the ingredients that make up a memorable image. There are loads of good beginner’s guides online to build your knowledge and confidence. Use them, and get practising.

Snap up the right camera

As our list shows, there’s real variety on offer when choosing the best phone camera for you. Think carefully about why you want a phone with a good camera.

Are you after a good all-rounder that can capture life’s fun moments? Or something more specific, like a rugged phone you can take on travels and adventures, with the photo power to record and share your incredible discoveries? Or indeed, a stylish model that looks great in the hand and makes you and your mates look even better in selfies?

Better photographer, better photos

Ultimately, you want better photos and videos – but unfortunately, a better phone camera won’t automatically make you a better photographer. However, you can develop your skills by reading articles, watching a few videos and practising. Listen, learn, do – and watch your photos rocket in quality.

Get a creative boost

There’s an amazing spectrum of digital filters, effects, modes and accessories just crying out to be explored. Don’t be shy. Often the photos that make the biggest impression are the ones that try something different.

So ditch the selfie stick, and try taking your photos from interesting angles and positions. Experiment with filters and judge whether they make a photo better or worse. And try out brilliant accessories such as the Samsung Gear 360 camera or Samsung Gear VR headset to take your photos and videos to a whole new level.