The best camera phones in 2020 : The top 5 camera phones

The best camera phones in 2020
The best camera phones

Everyone wants the sole camera phone to wish great photos at a moment's notice. That's why we at Tom's Guide perform in-depth camera testing on every handset we review, evaluating image quality during an honest selection of conditions. We also perform head-to-head face-offs to match camera performance between leading handsets.

These days, mobile cameras are more sophisticated than they've ever been, and much more capable than your average point-and-shoot. the sole cameras in phones meld intricate optics and sensors with software algorithms that depend on math and science to extract the only possible light, colour and detail out of each scenario. it's not almost the number of lenses on the rear, either -some phone makers are even leveraging AI to form their post-processing even better.
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All this is often often often to mention there's far more that goes into an outstanding smartphone camera than a satisfying lens and a high-megapixel sensor. thereupon in mind, and after many hours of testing, we've rounded up this list of the sole camera phones for different use cases, and at a variety of price points.

What are the sole camera phones?

Overall, Apple's iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max headline our picks for the sole camera phones you'll buy, thanks to their triple-lens designs, improved low-light performance, comprehensive video suites and portrait-taking supremacy.

However, Apple is far from the sole brand to form our list. the foremost recent iPhones face serious competition from Samsung's new Galaxy S20 phones — though it isn't the Galaxy S20 Ultra and its 108-MP main shooter that's pushing the iPhone. While that device produced some impressive photos in our testing (especially when using the phone's 10x lossless zoom), we also noticed some issues with autofocus on Samsung's priciest Galaxy. Those issues don't twiddle my thumbs the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus though, which delivers a plethora of perspectives for a flexible shooting experience.

In recent years, Google has also been one among the industry's major drivers toward mobile imaging innovation. The Pixel 4 captures stunning shots in dim conditions using the company's industry-leading Night Sight technology. The phone's new dual-lens module also incorporates Super Res hybrid zoom to supply astonishing results from a distance.

Those who need to maximise their photography on-the-go but spend as little as possible are well-advised to determine out either Apple's new iPhone SE or Google's Pixel 3a - two of the sole cheap phones out there, because they guarantee phenomenal image quality despite costing but half the worth of flagships. Those inquisitive about the Pixel 3a, however, should note that a successor, called the Pixel 4a, may release in July.

Speaking of camera phones on the horizon, rumours suggest the upcoming Galaxy Note 20 will repurpose the S20 Ultra's sensors, hopefully to raised effect. Meanwhile, we've heard Google could go a lower-cost direction with the Pixel 5, and appearance to bring its next-generation photography tricks right right right down to a more accessible price point than last year's Pixel 4.

Read on for a much better inspect each of the sole camera phones available today. 

The best camera phones you'll buy today

1. iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max remain the sole camera phones available, and thus the certainly the sole choice for iOS loyalists. Both premium iPhones incorporate ultra-wide angle and telephoto lenses, though those are the tiniest amount of the enhancements Apple has made to its newest flagships. the important work has been exhausted software, where the new iPhone's computational photography and video capabilities are stepped up massively.

Apple's Night Mode sets a benchmark for low-light photography within the industry, while the company's Smart HDR technology utilizes a breakthrough machine learning technique called Semantic Rendering to selectively over- or underexpose specific areas of the scene differently. And on the video front, all three of the iPhone 11 Pro's rear cameras can record at 4K resolution and 60 frames-per-second.

Both the regular 5.8-inch model and thus the 6.5-inch Max variant feature an equivalent camera, while the cheaper 6.1-inch iPhone 11 ditches the zoom lens, but can still capture an equivalent quality photo from its primary and ultra-wide-angle optics.

2. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

ou don't get to ante up for the $1,399 Galaxy S20 Ultra to urge the sole camera phone for Android users. The Galaxy S20 Plus is $200 cheaper, and while it doesn't feature the Ultra's 108MP main sensor or 100x digital zoom, it still produces images which may surpass what Apple and Google's flagships need to offer, a minimum of when shooting from afar.

The four-camera setup on the Galaxy S20 Plus - a 12MP main shooter joined by a 64MP zoom lens, 12MP ultra fisheye lens and time-of-flight sensor - produce colourful, well-composed shots. And when it is time to concentrate, the 3x lossless zoom on the Galaxy S20 Plus' telephoto beats what Samsung's rivals need to offer. This lens incorporates pixel cropping, aided by that dense 64MP sensor, meaning what you're seeing isn't technically optical zoom at work, though the results are impressive nonetheless - even at 10x power.

We wish the Galaxy S20 Plus wasn't as aggressive in smoothing out skin tones in portraits. But we love the phone's Single Take feature, which captures multiple shots directly using the S20 Plus' various cameras, offering a myriad of perspectives on an equivalent scene with just the press of a button.

3. iPhone SE (2020)

The new, $400 iPhone SE packs the iPhone 8's 12-megapixel, ƒ/1.8 single-lens camera, but also benefits from Cupertino's latest and greatest processor — the A13 Bionic — to kick its computational photography powers into high.

The results simply represent themselves. The Pixel 3a was once our benchmark in terms of flagship-calibre photography during a budget device, and to be fair, it still holds a plus when shooting within the dark. But the new iPhone SE is equally as capable a camera where it counts, because it benefits from many of Apple's sophisticated imaging techniques, like Smart HDR and Semantic Rendering.

Being that it lacks ultrawide or telephoto lenses, it's not perfect - though, alongside the Pixel 3a, its camera is far and away better than those inside the overwhelming majority of other, similarly-priced models you'll buy today. Overall, if you'd kind of a replacement handset and do not have much to spend - and particularly if it's to be an iPhone - there's simply no better deal in phones out there immediately.

4. Google Pixel 3a

Midrange phone makers have had to intensify their game ever since Google's Pixel 3a arrived in mid-2019 and quickly established itself because of the only camera phone under $400. Boosted with an equivalent computational photography software that powers the Pixel 3, also as a uniform 12.2-megapixel sensor and similarly high-end Qualcomm Spectra image signal processor, the 5.6-inch Pixel 3a are ready to do shots that are nigh indistinguishable from Google's other handsets that are twice as expensive.

The Pixel 3a also comes with Google's cutting-edge imaging modes, like Night Sight for amazing shots within the dark, and Super Res Zoom that delivers digitally zoomed images that are shockingly almost like what you get from devices with 2x optical zoom lenses. For $400, no other camera phone comes close — or a minimum of not until the recent release of the new iPhone SE.

5. Google Pixel 4

With the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google gifted its flagship smartphones with a dual-lens imaging system for the primary time ever. Two cameras — a 12.2-MP primary wide-angle and a 16-MP telephoto — add a concert to deliver phenomenal images altogether conditions, boosted heavily by Google's amazing computational photography techniques.

A new machine learning-based white balance feature corrects for strong colour casts in even the foremost challenging scenarios, while a Live HDR+ feature allows users to work out the last word, processed end in real-time before they tap the shutter button.

Google has boosted its Super Res Zoom technology also. Combined with the focal distance advantage of that zoom lens, the Pixel 4 can capture images at up to 8x power digitally that look nearly nearly nearly nearly as good as what a camera lens would produce. We still believe that the ultrawide cameras in both the S20 Ultra and iPhone 11 Pro unlock potential the Pixel 4 can't realize, but even despite that caveat, Google has once more delivered an all-time best camera phone here.

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