phone 20 cameras

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

128GB 12GB RAM$ 999.99$ 1,321.60
256GB 12GB RAM$ 1,124.99$ 1,207.00
  • Big-sensor main cam gathers a lot of light
  • The two teles make for one of the most versatile zoom setups available
  • Ultrawide cam now has AF
  • Excellent selfies
  • All-round great video recording, top-quality stabilization
  • Unimpressive zoom action around the 2x mark
  • Portraits can be better
  • Output is slightly noisier than usual

The Galaxy S21 Ultra has it all – a huge sensor main cam, an autofocusing ultrawide (finally), and not one but two telephotos. It puts them to good use too and delivers results that outshine our previous Editors’ choice – the Samsung’s own Galaxy Note20 Ultra.Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

128GB 12GB RAM$ 889.99$ 924.99
256GB 12GB RAM$ 1,148.99$ 1,277.00
  • Big-sensor main cam gathers a lot of light, 9-to-1 binning helps with noise and HDR
  • Telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, Moon Shot available
  • All-round video recording, 8K
  • Huge camera bump
  • Ultra wide cam lacks autofocus

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra isn’t just the best Galaxy or the best Note on the market. It also packs the absolute best Samsung camera and that triple arrangement on the back offers spectacular photos. The big sensor on the main camera gives it an advantage in challenging light. That telephoto offers a proper 5x optical zoom and excellent image quality, too.Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Xiaomi Mi Note 10

  • Very versatile 5-cam setup with 2 telephotos
  • Main camera has a big, high-res sensor, similar to the Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Ultra wide cam has AF
  • Most cameras for the money
  • Midrange chipset (pretty powerful still)
  • Unimpressive video recording
  • No AF on the selfie cam

The Mi Note 10 from Xiaomi has just turned one year old, but it has aged very well. It still packs a ton of amazing camera hardware, including one of the most flexible camera setups. It premiered the biggest and highest-res sensor on the market when it launched – the 1/1.33″ 108MP Samsung unit that produces nice 27MP shots day and night.Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

128GB 6GB RAM$ 1,099.00€ 1,209.00
256GB 6GB RAM$ 1,199.00€ 1,299.00
  • Some of the most advanced auto HDR, Deep Fusion, Night Mode and whatnot
  • Most versatile capture on the market, best stabilization
  • Expensive
  • Just 2.5x on the long end
  • Over-processed photos
  • No AF on the selfie cam
  • No AF on the ultra wide cam

The iPhone 12 Pro Max would be our top pick for video capture as it can record at all sorts of resolutions at all sorts of frame rates with its three cams and even do it simultaneously. It can even do this in Dolby Vision format. How cool is that?! It also boasts one of the smoothest video stabilization systems you can find in a phone no matter if it’s just EIS, OIS+EIS or IBIS+EIS, and the videos too can benefit from Apple’s HDR ensuring class-leading dynamic range.OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro

128GB 8GB RAM$ 757.89$ 699.00
256GB 12GB RAM$ 773.04$ 824.99
  • Excellent quality from the camera, packs unusually large 48MP sensor
  • 3x tele offers more reach than the mainstream 2x
  • AF on the ultra wide cam
  • Selfie camera is not on a po-up module
  • Pure-bread flagship with S865 and 120hz 1440p HDR10+ OLED
  • No AF on the selfie cam

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes to replace our previous recommendation for the 7T. The 8 Pro flagship is top-notch across all specs – from the high-res 120Hz OLED with 1B colors, through the recent Snapdragon 865 chip, and of course, the high-end quad-camera on the back.Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

128GB 8GB RAM$ 589.90$ 589.99
256GB 8GB RAM$ 639.99$ 764.62
  • Great 10MP photos from the main camera, day and night
  • 5x periscope tele remains among the longest around
  • AF on the ultrawide cam
  • About half the price of the recent P40 Pro
  • Has Google Mobile Services support, unlike recent P40 Pro
  • No AF on the selfie cam
  • Video recording isn’t competitive

A year and a half old, the Huawei P30 Pro remains relevant, whether it’s the New Edition (faster and doubled storage) or the original. Packing a 5x periscope telephoto, it was one of the pioneers of such long teles and is still one of the longest zooms on the market. Its ultrawide-angle cam has autofocus too, adding points for versatility, plus it saves some great shots. And we can only praise its main camera quality, of course.Asus Zenfone 7 Pro ZS671KS

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro ZS671KS

256GB 8GB RAM$ 1,749.00$ 539.99
  • Unique motorized camera assembly
  • Versatile triple camera with great photo and video quality
  • The main camera is your selfie camera, too!
  • Powerhouse chipset, great battery life
  • Heavier than most, thick too
  • The motorized camera may not be everyone’s cup of tea

The Zenfone 7 Pro is easily recognizable for its motorized Flip Camera. And the rotating piece is no gimmick – on the contrary – it’s offers a flagship camera quality, plus it makes for the most capable selfie cam on the market. Not having a cutout on the display is a nice bonus, too.

NICHE

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra

128GB 8GB RAM$ 929.00$ 999.99
256GB 8GB RAM$ 1,049.99
  • The best smartphone camera on the market quality-wise
  • The most versatile camera on the market
  • Excellent video recording across three cameras
  • One of the best flagships, too
  • Extremely limited availability
  • Mediocre selfies, no AF

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra would have been our top pick for this category as it offers the best smartphone camera on the market. Period. Unfortunately, Xiaomi is selling the Ultra only in China via official channels. The rest of the world needs to rely on imports and then comes the enabling of Google’s Services (it’s no Huawei-like hassle, though).

NICHE CHOICE

Google Pixel 4a 5G

Google Pixel 4a 5G

128GB 6GB RAM$ 499.00$ 799.00
  • Photos have that ‘pixel look’
  • Ultrawide cam instead of telephoto
  • Yet, 2x zoom is available via Google’s Smart Zoom
  • Competitors have caught up with the computational photography
  • Super Zoom is better than digital zoom, but is no optical zoom
  • Still no AF on the selfie cam
  • Not that cheap

Then there’s the new Pixel 4a 5G, which we chose instead of Pixel 5 for having the same camera but on a cheaper price. Some time ago the Pixels were a straight-up recommendation when it comes to taking photos on the phone, but that’s no more. The competition has already caught up with Google’s computational photography and the Pixels are beginning to look underequipped. See, this year Google added the user-requested ultrawide camera, but it came at the place of the telephoto shooter.

NICHE CHOICE

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro

256GB 8GB RAM$ 754.99$ 793.00
128GB 8GB RAM$ 1,009.99$ 1,124.99
  • All-round great performance from all cameras across most conditions
  • One of the best 5x periscopes out there
  • Top-class selfies, properly good selfie portraits too thanks to ToF module
  • Great video quality at 30fps across the board, excellent stabilization
  • Night mode for photos isn’t a big leap forward
  • 4K60 videos are disappointing
  • No Google Mobile Services support

The P40 Pro from Huawei may not have Google’s blessing but that doesn’t mean it’s not a top-class camera phone. A 5x zoom periscope telephoto next to big-sensor main and ultra wide-angle modules make up an impressive specsheet, but more importantly, it delivers the goods. Add to that the competent selfie shooter with a ToF sidekick for portraits and it’s hard to find fault with the P40 Pro’s imaging department (the byproduct that is the huge pill-shaped cutout in the display doesn’t count).

VALUE PROPOSITION

Realme 7 Pro

Realme 7 Pro

128GB 8GB RAM$ 273.79$ 342.02
128GB 6GB RAM$ 369.₹ 19,999
  • Versatile camera setup on the back
  • High-res selfie
  • AMOLED screen, stereo speakers, 65W charging
  • Poor video capturing quality, but EIS is available

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