Choosing the best camera phone in 2019 is almost like opting for the best smartphone, as photographic capabilities have become an important feature of mobile phones and smartphones with great cameras from brands like Google, Huawei and Samsung left, turn right and center.
The iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are Apple's latest smartphones, and they're clearly fighting for top spot – but in 2019, when Apple's competitors overtook him and the iPhone was no longer the top dog for them Smartphone photography is added to our ranking? We have the handsets for testing and you can expect a verdict very soon.
Our tests are more thorough than just browsing a specification list or selecting the latest handset. Much of the quality of a camera phone is determined by software optimization as well as by sensor and lens performance.
At Trustedreviews, we have rigorously tested all smartphone cameras under a variety of lighting conditions, scenarios, and subjects to see how each camera behaves in a variety of tasks.
Beyond the camera's specifications and features, there are a number of aspects of the phone that you also want to consider. For example, if you are recording a lot of 4K video, it may be helpful to purchase a high-speed option or option that supports a microSD card, and the size of the battery and screen quality will help you in several ways.
To help you, we've put together this list of the best camera phones we've tested extensively to help you choose your next camera phone.
Of course we could see new participants on this list before the end of the year. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus were announced recently. We expect the iPhone 11, Google Pixel 4 and Huawei Mate 30 Pro will be launched in the coming months.
Best Photo Phones 2019 at a glance:
- Huawei P30 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- iPhone XS / iPhone XS max
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
1. Huawei P30 Pro
The best camera phones you can buy
Release date: March 2019 | Backup camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 32MP | OIS: Yes | Rear view camera aperture: f / 1.6, f / 2.2, f / 3.4 | Weight: 192 g | Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm | Battery size: 4,200 mAh
The best camera phone in low light conditions
The most powerful tele-functions
Also has an ultra-wide lens
The touch recognition can be switched off
The Huawei P30 Pro has been carefully designed to be the best camera phone. As? Two options: It's the best low-light performer we've tested, and its periscope telephoto lens makes amazing optically magnified shots from a distance.
Many cameras had to be tested on this phone, including four on the back: a 40-megapixel main lens, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, a 20-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, and a ToF (time-of-flight) camera. to capture the depth for portrait photos.
The Huawei P30 Pro camera also uses a RYYB sensor (red, yellow, blue) instead of the industry standard RGB sensor (red, green, blue) to capture more light. The snapshots we took for our review had more detail and less shade than the competition, but did not look completely overexposed. It's a fine balance that few phone manufacturers achieve with their tiny cameras and limited software.
For a smartphone this is all amazing, but not quite perfect. Violet edges appear in some areas, and camera software controls do not always respond to switching between ultra-wide zoom, 5x zoom, 10x zoom, and 50x digital zoom. The fact that with a 50x zoom you can zoom in close to objects and photograph at night as if all the lights are on, sets new standards for camera phones in 2019.
Read our full review: Huawei P30 Pro
2. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
A big screen and a really good camera
Release date: March 2019 | Backup camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP | OIS: Yes | Rear view camera aperture: f / 1.5, f / 2.4, f / 2.2 | Weight: 198 g | Dimensions: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm
Excellent camera, even in low light conditions
No HDR video recording
Not a big step from S9
The Galaxy S10 Plus, along with the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10e, is the first to introduce cameras new to Samsung owners. In addition to an improved regular camera and a 2x optical telephoto lens for the S10 and S10 Plus models, the back of the three phones features an ultra-wide-angle lens with 123 degrees.
We found that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is extremely versatile and fun to take pictures with. This is mainly due to the first class camera software. It's packed with modes like Color Point. It's a live focus mode (bokeh) that masks the background in grayscale as your subject bursts. You can change this later (to get a blur or swirling blur) and move the intensity up and down. It's our new favorite camera mode of 2019.
Where is it too short? Samsung's photos are aggressively smoothed to mask the noise in low-light conditions, so Google Pixel 3 and Huawei P30 Pro are not surpassed. They will not do the very best shots next to these phones, but we still think they're really good and the huge 6.4-inch screen is the best.
Note: The Samsung Galaxy S10e has the new ultra-wide-angle lens, but the telephoto lens is missing, while the standard S10 does not have the Plus's dual-front camera (though we do not see much difference between portrait selfies on the plus and the standard lens could S10).
Read our full review: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
3. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
When it comes to versatility, this is the best camera phone
Release date: November 2018 | Backup camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP | OIS: Yes | Rear view camera aperture: f / 1.8, f / 2.2, f / 2.4 | Autofocus type: Phase detection | Weight: 189 g | Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm | Battery size: 4,200 mAh | Camp: 128 / 256GB
Clever triple camera setup
Camera HDR could be better
Basic user interface, complex nest of settings
With three reversing cameras, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro offers an extremely versatile camera handheld experience.
The P20 Pro ushered in the era of the great Huawei cameras, and the Mate 20 Pro inherits its 1: 1.8 and 8: 1, 1: 2.4 wide-angle, 1: 2, 2.4-inch, 1: 2.4 telephoto lens with OIS and builds on it.
Rounding out the trio of rear view cameras by the new star, an ultra-wide 16-megapixel lens with 1: 2.2. It extends the capabilities of the Mate 20 Pro so you can capture a wider selection of photos from limited positions.
Even on occasional shots, life makes it easier when you try to place several distant elements on a photo.
The performance of the Mate 20 Pro in low light conditions is superior to most of the other tested smartphones, especially in the second-long night mode.
With the phone's 3x telephoto lens, it's a great way to capture distant footage, and the hybrid 5x zoom gives you a digital mix that gives you a little more range. It's not perfect, but in our comparison tests, it outperformed some pure digital zoom, like Google Pixel 3.
The Mate 20 Pro camera app has a host of other features that can help you refine and craft the photo experience.
Read our full review: Huawei Mate 20 Pro
4. iPhone XS / iPhone XS max
Simplicity and intelligence for a stress-free experience
Release date: September 2018 | Backup camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 7MP | OIS: Yes | Rear view camera aperture: f / 1.8, f / 2.4 | Autofocus type: Phase detection | Weight: 177/208 g | Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm / 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm | Battery size: 2,658 / 3,174mAh | Camp: 64/256/512GB
Available in two sizes
Very easy to use
Apple's newest iPhone duo is equipped with powerful dual-rear cameras. But not only the technical data speak for the mobile photography experience of the company, but also the user-friendliness of the smartphone snapper.
Known as a simple, clean interface, the iPhone camera app focuses on making great snapshots every time, with minimal controls, modes, and settings that users need to worry about.
That means you will not have the same shooting options as Samsung's and Huawei's, but the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max offer Apple's best smartphone snappers with improvements in low-light capabilities.
If you want a phone to pull out and snap into place with minimal effort, the new iPhones are some of the best camera phones on the market.
Apple has popularized the bokeh effect with a blurry background, and portrait mode is one of the best implementations of the technology we've used on a smartphone. A series of light effects in the studio give your compositions additional momentum.
Both the iPhone XS and the XS Max have exactly the same 12 megapixel rear view cameras. The only differences are the size of the screen, the battery and the physical size.
The 6.5-inch screen of the iPhone XS Max offers a huge viewfinder when it comes to taking photos, but it has an equally high price, as the still-expensive iPhone XS achieves the same results with a smaller form factor.
Read our full reviews: iPhone XS | iPhone XS max
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Excellent low-light performance and remote capture capabilities
Release date: August 2018 | Backup camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP | OIS: Yes | Rear view camera aperture: f / 1.5-f / 2.4 | Autofocus type: Phase detection | Weight: 201 g | Dimensions: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm | Battery size: 4.000mAh | Camp: 128 / 512GB
Excellent camera, even in low light conditions
No HDR video recording
Not a big step from S9
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 builds on the strong camera offering of the Galaxy S9 Plus and is even better with a series of small improvements.
The result is a handset that is suitable for stunning shots in any scenario, even in low light conditions.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 camera recognizes different subjects and adapts them with a new motif optimization function. It adjusts white balance and color based on 20 subjects that are as diverse as sunsets, flowers, food, birds, text, etc.
Compared to the six-month-old S9 Plus, the Note 9 camera captures more detail, but you'll have to squint to see the differences.
Being a touch device, you will receive the Samsung S pen pen included with the handset, and you can use the button on it as a remote trigger.
This means that you can put the Galaxy Note 9 on a surface and go away from it to still take a shot with the S Pen. It is a relatively small advantage, but we like to use it.
A small drawback to the Note 9 is the lack of HDR video recording, but for many this is not a problem.
Read our full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
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