TOP smartphones with the best camera of 2021: Best camera phones Review
Camera phones have changed a lot over the past decade. Most smartphones now have two, three, or even four cameras. Many amateur photographers reach for their pockets first before pulling out a mirrorless camera. In this ranking, we have collected phones with a good camera from early 2021.
Here are selected smartphones with a good camera, in different price segments. When choosing a new gadget, the quality of the camera is very important – with it you can capture many memories. Perhaps no one wants to capture the important moments of their life in low quality in blurry images.
The best phones with a good camera
To help you find the best camera phone, we’ve tested and evaluated a variety of devices. Here are our TOP phones with a good camera.
Huawei P40 Pro Plus
Huawei P40 Pro Plus is the smartphone with the best camera from Huawei. We get the highest possible zoom, a comfortable 18mm ultra-wide angle lens and a main lens (23mm, f / 1.9) with an excellent 50MP sensor.
In dark environments, the P40 Pro Plus outperforms both the Google Pixel 5 and Apple’s devices. Images are brighter and clearer here. But, this does not apply to shots with movement or strong light sources.
The Huawei P40 Pro Plus’s zoom is unmatched by any other model, including the iPhone 12 Pro and Pixel 5. They don’t have a periscope module that can offer the same zoom. With the P40 Pro Plus, you can take clear pictures even when the subject is far away. This is the best camera phone for day and night photography.
However, the big problem with all Huawei smartphones is the lack of Google services. If you need them, you should choose a gadget from another manufacturer. In addition, Huawei P50 is due out soon.
Premium design and screen
High quality characteristics
A fantastically versatile camera system.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
If you want a phone with the best camera from Apple, go for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It has a larger sensor than the regular Pro, which improves the convenience and speed of low-light shooting.
In addition, the increased optical zoom (2.5x versus 2x) provides additional creative freedom, although it is inferior to the P40 Pro and Note 20 Ultra. This is not to say that the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max in all situations is better than the 12 Pro or iPhone 12. However, when shooting moving objects, the advantage will be very noticeable.
The 12 Pro Max has other advantages over its smaller siblings. Battery life is better and the 6.7-inch display is better suited for photo editing and viewfinder use.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a modern smartphone with a good camera. Its imaging module consists of a 108-MP (f / 1.8) wide-angle sensor, a 12-MP (f / 2.4) ultra-wide-angle lens, a 3x zoom camera at 10-MP (f / 4 , 9) and another 10x zoom sensor with 10MP resolution (f / 4.9). There is also a front camera (40MP) that is capable of shooting 4K video at 24 fps.
By default, the main camera of the Galaxy S21 Ultra shoots at 12MP, but you can switch to 108MP if you don’t mind the memory. The lens captures detailed and natural shots with a soft bokeh effect that emphasizes the subject in the frame.
Although the photos are overly bright in color, typical of Samsung, the shades have become a little calmer compared to previous models. There is even an option for the front camera that allows you to increase the naturalness of the image.
Other highlights of the S21 Ultra include a powerful Exynos 2100 processor, a stunning 120Hz WQHD + display, and plenty of RAM and internal storage. If you can splurge on a new smartphone, this is the perfect phone with the best camera.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
In the line of smartphones from Apple, ahead of the 12 Pro Max is the iPhone 12 Pro. This phone with an excellent camera combines fantastic image quality with a wide range of features.
The Pro version is bigger, more attractive and more expensive than the iPhone 12. But, for many, the main reason for buying the 12 Pro will be the shooting capabilities. Apple has seriously improved the quality of photos in the iPhone 11 line, and new models have taken it one step further.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro features three 12MP cameras, including an ultra-wide-angle lens, allowing you to cover much more space. Both the wide-angle camera (26mm, f / 1.6) and the telephoto lens with 2x zoom have been upgraded. The LiDAR sensor helps you focus in low light, which is noticeable if you often shoot in the dark.
Everything is fine with the video: there is support for HDR Dolby Vision, which gives us brighter and richer results. Plus, the iPhone 12 Pro is a monster in terms of performance. The A14 chip is the fastest chip in existence, and has enabled iPhones to support 5G.
I would like a high refresh rate of the screen, no cutout and even better zoom. Even so, the iPhone 12 Pro can also be considered the best camera phone of 2021.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The second smartphone from Samsung with the Ultra prefix, which surpasses its predecessor both in functionality and in price. More importantly, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a smarter approach to cameras – for example, it lacks the 100x Space Zoom.
In the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, we get three cameras: the main one at 108-megapixel, the ultra-wide-angle one at 12-megapixel and the telephoto lens at the same 12-megapixel. This set shows excellent results, clearly superior to the S20 Ultra. Space Zoom mode has been reduced to 50x zoom, while 5x optical zoom is available.
In any case, the scaling capabilities are much better here than on the iPhone 12 or Pixel 5. In this aspect, the gadget from Samsung is second only to Huawei. Although the Korean company has already launched the Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra, the Note 20 Ultra is still a phone with a very good camera.
Google Pixel 5
Alas, the Google Pixel 5 hasn’t taken the Pixel line-up to the next level of imaging performance as many expected. However, the smartphone costs less than previous models at the start of sales, so many more users will be able to enjoy a smartphone with the best camera from Google.
But don’t argue that the camera here is the same as the Pixel 4. The main sensor is assisted by an ultra-wide angle lens, not a zoom lens. Perhaps this is a more correct decision, because it allows you to take much higher quality landscape shots. The video shooting capabilities have also become better: there is support for 4K / 60 fps. Improved features for portrait mode now offer much more flexible editing control.
Its competitors (albeit more expensive), the Pixel 5 is second only to the zoom capabilities. Here it is completely software-based, and even if the results look good on a smartphone screen, they are noticeably worse than the Note 20 Ultra or P40 Pro Plus.
Apple iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max stand out the most with their cameras, while the regular iPhone 12 primarily attracts a number of new features. But, with the shooting capabilities here, too, not everything is in order.
The 12MP wide-angle camera has an f / 1.6 lens – much more suited to dark conditions than previous iPhones 11. Smart HDR is improved and Deep Fusion AI technology delivers sharpness – especially when shooting subjects with a lot of texture. While the ultra-wide-angle camera has barely changed, the second sensor has a separate low-light mode.
The lack of a zoom lens means you won’t be able to capture distant objects in high quality. For similar purposes, there are many other more suitable camera phones. But we now have support for Dolby Vision HDR videos with 4K resolution and a frequency of 30 fps (the Pro version has 60 fps). HDR video has become much brighter, richer and more visually attractive.
Among other characteristics, the OLED display with the same notch and 60 Hz refresh rate is upsetting – when the Note 20 Ultra has 120 Hz. However, the A14, 5G chipset and support for MagSafe accessories are worth noting.
Why do many people choose the iPhone?
The availability of third-party camera apps plays a big role. Some are available for Android, but the apps used by professionals tend to be the first to hit iOS and update faster.
Why is video quality important?
In the era of TikTok and Instagram Stories, video capture is more important than ever. Here are some features to watch out for.
Optical image stabilization is always better than electronic or digital image stabilization, which produces less sharp videos. Many high-performance smartphones use both technologies, resulting in a gimbal-like effect.