The best camera phones

Whether you're a serious photography enthusiast or you just love sharing pictures and videos on social media, one thing's for sure - you need a smartphone with a camera you can rely on for professional-looking results.

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Which smartphone has the best camera?

It all depends on what you want from your phone’s camera. Whatever your passion - from taking selfies to shooting your own videos - and whether you’re an iPhone or Android lover - we've rounded up some of the world's best camera phones for you to choose from.

Best iPhone cameras:

• Apple iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
• Apple iPhone 12
• Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Best Android cameras:

• Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
• Sony Xperia 1 II
• Google Pixel 5
• Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
• Huawei P40 Pro 5G
• Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G
• OPPO Find X2 Pro

Best iPhone cameras

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max


Release date: November 2020
Rear cameras: Pro 12-megapixel camera system (Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto)
Front camera: 12-megapixel TrueDepth with Night Mode
Video recording: 4K Dolby Vision HDR Recording
Processor: A14 Bionic chip
Storage: 128GB + 256GB + 512GB
Weight: 187g / 226g

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max cameras

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max camera system brings a new day for Night mode on the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras, and it’s better than ever at capturing incredible low-light shots. LiDAR makes Night mode portraits possible, and the Wide camera lets in 27% more light, for greater detail and sharper focus. Bigger pixels on the Wide camera help reveal intricate patterns, subtle textures and incredible detail throughout the shot - even when you’re shooting in available light. Colours are remarkably true to life in almost any light. A new OIS stabilises the sensor instead of the lens so your shots are steady - even when you’re not. And the new 65mm Telephoto camera lets you zoom in tighter on portraits. Machine learning on iPhone 12 Pro is even better at separating the subject from the background, and creative controls let you adjust the background blur and light on faces. iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max jump from 8- to 10‑bit HDR recording, capturing 700 million colours for much more lifelike video. Then it goes one better, recording in Dolby Vision - the format used by film studios. You can even edit Dolby Vision video and use AirPlay* to see every last bit of the difference on the big screen.

*Requires an Apple TV or AirPlay-enabled TV.

iPhone 12


Release date:
October 2020
Rear cameras: Dual 12-megapixel camera system (Ultra Wide and Wide)
Front camera: 12-megapixel TrueDepth with Night Mode
Video recording: 4K Dolby Vision HDR Recording
Processor: A14 Bionic chip
Storage: 64GB + 128GB + 256GB
Weight: 162g

iPhone 12 camera

The new iPhone 12 dual-camera system with 12-megapixel Ultra Wide and Wide cameras now come with Night Mode. Night mode senses when light is low and kicks in automatically, maintaining clarity while capturing beautiful vibrant colour. The new Wide camera brings in 27% more light - so whether you take photos by daylight or by moonlight, you’ll get a level of detail and colour that wasn’t possible before. Smart HDR 3 balances the elements in a shot, bringing out detail in the subject and trees while retaining the rich colour of the sky - even at high noon. Portrait mode is even better at artfully blurring the background to put all the focus on your subject. Take great photos even further by choosing from six creative lighting effects, like High‑Key Light Mono, Natural Light and Studio Light. And now you can record 4K HDR video with Dolby Vision. Edit in Photos or iMovie. Then zap it to your TV using AirPlay* to see all that colour and detail. It’s a start-to-finish cinematic experience.

*Requires an Apple TV or AirPlay-enabled TV.

iPhone 11 Pro


Release date:
September 2019
Rear cameras: Triple 12-megapixel camera system (Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto)
Front camera: 12-megapixel
Video recording: 4K video up to 60fps
Processor: A13 Bionic chip
Storage: 64GB + 246GB + 512GB
Weight: 188g


 

iPhone 11 Pro camera

iPhone 11 Pro has an incredible triple camera system with Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto cameras, deeply integrated into iOS to create a pro-level camera experience designed for everyone. Each camera in the triple-camera system records brilliant 4K video with extended dynamic range and cinematic video stabilisation. With a wider field of view and large focal plane, the Ultra Wide camera is great for shooting action videos. Users can easily zoom between each of the three cameras, while Audio Zoom matches the audio to the video framing for more dynamic sound. With iOS 13, powerful video editing tools are accessible to everyone with the ability to rotate, crop, increase exposure and apply filters to videos instantly. These adjustments are easy to apply and review at a glance, so even a novice can create professional quality video projects.

Best Android camera phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Release date: January 2021
Rear cameras: Quad 108-megapixel camera system (Ultra Wide, Wide-angle and 2x Telephoto)
Front camera: 40-megapixel
Video recording: 8K
Processor: Exynos 2100, 5 nanometer
Storage: 128 / 256 / 512GB
Memory: 12GB / 16GB
Weight: 227g

Get ready to take your best shots yet on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G’s professional rear quad camera. You get to be the director by filming in 8K and even shooting all of your cameras at once - boosted with crystal-clear definition and Dolby Atmos sound. Film incredible 8K videos, then pull out the best stills using 8K Video Snap. Nail photos and videos in one go with Single Take, with 5x more facial recognition, and automatically capture up to 14 versions of what you’re shooting. The rear camera comes with a 108-megapixel Wide camera, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera, and two 10-megapixel Telephoto cameras. Use features like night mode, studio lighting and natural bokeh effects to take professional looking portraits, landscapes, and close-ups - even at night. The front 40-megapixel Selfie Camera will showcase your best side, and the new 108-megapixel sensor allows you to capture extraordinary details. Use either the 3x or 10x optical zoom, then zoom up to 100x to give your subject the focus it deserves.

Google Pixel 5 5G


Release date: October 2020
Rear cameras: Dual 16-megapixel camera system (Dual Pixel and Ultrawide)
Front camera: 8-megapixel
Video recording: 4K
Processor: Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G
Storage: 128GB storage, plus unlimited storage at high quality with Google Photos
Memory: 8GB RAM
Weight: 151g
 

Google Pixel 5 5G camera

The much-loved Pixel camera is easy to use for people who don’t want to tinker much with effects and settings, and want maximum impact with minimum effort. The Google Pixel 5 5G’s camera now comes with an Ultrawide lens and new features to help you shoot and edit like a pro. Night Sight lets you capture details, colours and textures even in low light, and HDR+ automatically enhances colour and lighting so your subject is as perfect on-screen as they are in real life. The Ultrawide lens lets you fit entire expansive scenes into one snap, and if shadows get in the way of a great portrait, Pixel 5’s camera drops in extra light to illuminate your subjects. You can also adjust the lighting and make any edits later on in Google Photos.

Sony Xperia 1 II 5G


Release date: June 2020
Rear cameras: Triple 12-megapixel camera system (Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto)
Front camera: 8-megapixel
Video recording: 4K HDR
Processor: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865
Storage: 256GB + microSDXC support (up to 1TB)
Memory: 8GB RAM
Weight: 181g

Sony Xperia 1 II 5G camera

The Sony Xperia 1 II 5G’s 12-megapixel triple lens camera features industry-leading technology from Sony Alpha cameras and Zeiss optics - and it doesn’t disappoint. Designed to capture speed, it delivers a fast and precise performance, covering all focal lengths, from ultra-wide to telephoto. It shoots brilliantly, even in automatic mode. Focus almost instantly in any condition - day or night - with incredible precision and capture stunning portraits of people and pets with the award-winning Eye Autofocus technology. If you’re used to a more hands-on approach, the Xperia 1 II has several controls usually found in professional cameras. You can choose automatic settings or manually control ISO, shutter speed, white balance and more - then easily output to RAW (.DNG). The power is in your hands.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G


Release date: August 2020
Rear cameras: Triple 108-megapixel camera system (Wide, Ultra Wide and Telephoto)
Front camera: 10-megapixel
Video recording: 8K
Processor: 64-bit Octa-Core Processor
Storage: 128GB + 512GB
Memory: 12GB RAM
Weight: 208g

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G camera

The Note20 Ultra 5G’s triple rear camera display is very similar to the S20 Ultra 5G’s - use the 108-megapixel Wide camera to capture the widest vistas and zoom in to your heart’s content, and capture incredible details and panoramas with the 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera. The 12-megapixel Telephoto camera is fantastic for capturing those easily-missed details and making sure the focus is all on your subject. Record video in 8K with director-level precision, and take full control of the shot with ISO, shutter speed, manual focus and more options in Pro Video mode. You can also shoot in 24fps and choose between 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratios to enhance the cinematic feeling of your work.

Huawei P40 Pro 5G


Release date: March 2020
Rear cameras: Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera (Ultra Vision, Cine, SuperSensing Telephoto and 3D Depth Sensing)
Front camera: 32-megapixel
Video recording: 4K
Processor: HUAWEI Kirin 990 5G
Storage: 256GB plus expandable up to 256GB using a NM SD card
Memory: 8GB RAM
Weight: 209g

Huawei P40 Pro 5G camera

The Huawei P40 Pro 5G’s stunning Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera is always ready to capture your subject’s best side, and is generally regarded as Huawei’s best camera phone. Take professional-looking portraits on the 50-megapixel Ultra Vision camera - magnify any small part of the snap to create another great shot with rich texture and colour. The Ultra Vision Sensor captures sharp colour and definition even in low light, and if you’re after the perfect selfie, let the high-definition 32-megapixel front camera with auto-focus and an IR depth camera work together to produce a flattering selfie with natural bokeh effects.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G


Release date: October 2020
Rear cameras: Triple 108-megapixel camera system (Wide, Ultrawide and Macro)
Front camera: 20-megapixel
Video recording: 8K
Processor: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865
Storage: 128GB + 256GB
Memory: 8GB RAM
Weight: 218g

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G camera

The Mi 10T Pro 5G’s 108-megapixel AI camera is perfect for anyone who wants to take their photography game to the next level. Take superb shots with up to 30x Digital Zoom on the 108-megapixel Wide camera, go beyond the horizon with the 13-megapixel Ultra wide-angle camera and see the smallest details with the 5-megapixel Macro camera. If you’ve ever been keen to take arty shots but complex tutorials aren’t your thing, Long Exposure Modes will do everything for you at the push of a button - and if you’re into film, record 8K video and easily shoot movie-quality content which you can edit and share in seconds.

OPPO FindX2 Pro


Release date: June 2020
Rear cameras: Triple 48-megapixel camera display (Wide Angle, Ultra Wide Angle and Periscope Telephoto)
Front camera: 32-megapixel
Video recording: 4K
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Storage: 512GB
Memory: 12GB RAM
Weight: 217g

OPPO Find X2 Pro camera

OPPO’s Find X2 Pro is set to thrill amateur and more experienced photographers alike with its 48-megapixel Wide Angle and Ultra Wide Angle lenses, and its 13-megapixel Periscope Telephoto lens for capturing every detail. Enhanced with dual OIS and 12-bit True Capture, this is a camera system that lets you record and snap whatever you want, however you want. The Wide Angle camera is perfect for crisp, richly-textured night photography - with its 1/1.4-inch ultra-large sensors and multi-frame noise reduction technology, you can take stunning shots, even in low light. Use Ultra Macro mode to magnify up to 8 times, and capture details you’d have otherwise missed. You can even take professional-quality portraits in an instant - choose from five different portrait styles, and fine-tune your shots with beautification, colour adjustment, and bokeh effects.

Find your perfect match

Want to find out more? Here are the phones we’d recommend for sleek, crystal-clear pictures and video.

If you’re an existing Vodafone customer, you can enjoy a 15% discount on selected additional devices and plans - log in to your My Vodafone account to apply the discount.
 

Annual Upgrade Promise

Apple
iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro Max. Superfast 5G.¹ A14 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone. Pro camera system for unbelievable low-light photography. And a larger Super Retina XDR display. It’s a huge leap forward.

iPhone 12 Pro Max
Annual Upgrade Promise

Apple
iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 12 Pro. Superfast 5G.¹ A14 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone. Pro camera system for next-level low-light photography. It’s a beautiful leap forward.

iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro

Apple

iPhone 11 Pro


All new triple-camera system. All-day battery life. The fastest chip in a smartphone. And the brightest iPhone display yet. iPhone just went pro.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

How to choose the right smartphone camera for you

Whether you're new to camera phones and digital photography or already an expert, there are plenty of hints and tips here to help make the best of your smartphone's camera.

If you're not sure what a certain word means, our Glossary has been designed to help you make sense of technical terms. Discover what megapixels are (and why they matter), read more about Optical zoom and Image stabilisation, and see how HDR will change how you view content forever. You can even find out more about Portrait mode and Night mode, and how to use these two features to make your pictures pop.

Not one, not two, but now some phones are showcasing cameras with up to four lenses on the back (the main camera) - here's why.

Smartphones with four lenses tend to have a primary camera lens, a telephoto lens, an ultra wide angle lens and a depth sensor. They work together to give your pictures depth, richness, enhanced colour and texture.

  • The primary lens helps the camera take a picture in different lights, ranging from bright indoor and outdoor light to night time, and the clarity of the resulting picture is directly related to its megapixel strength.
  • The telephoto lens allows you to zoom in on your subject - for example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has a dual telephoto lens with 3x and 10x optical zoom. Once you've zoomed in and taken your picture, you can then use 100x or 20x Zoom Lock to see even greater details.
  • An ultra wide angle lens lets you capture more background with wide-angle pictures, widening what you can see in the picture. It's great for landscape and group shots.
  • The depth sensor enhances portrait and bokeh photos. It takes a black and white image and blends it with the RGB image taken by the primary camera, packing in more colour vibrancy and detail.

If you're keen to take great pictures but you're not sure you need a smartphone with up to four lenses, a dual lens will give you the best of both worlds. One lens is the main shooter, while the other captures the depth. This gives you the ability to separate a foreground subject from the background, meaning you can refocus or recolour either part of the image.

If you'd like a dual-lens phone, we recommend the Google Pixel 5 5G, or iPhone 12.

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

Ultimately, we recommend you compare the phones you're looking at before you buy. You could also ask tech-savvy friends and family members for their advice, and which phones they recommend with great cameras. Alternatively, you can contact one of our customer advisors for help and support.

There's an amazing spectrum of flattering digital filters, effects and shooting modes available with today's camera phones, such as portrait mode, selfie mode, lighting effects such as natural bokeh, zoom and even night mode to take the perfect picture in low light.

It's always better to apply filters after you've taken an image, not before - however, don't forget you can always add a filter in your favourite social media app before you publish. It's also worth remembering that you can make a colour image black and white, but not the other way around.

If you're in search of the perfect picture and you don't want to get caught out with a low battery, browse our accessories page to find charging packs and wireless chargers so you're always ready to shoot.

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