The Best camera phones 2022
Updated December 2022
The Best phone cameras 2022
Best phone cameras feature are a criterion we care about when buying a new smartphone. The first feature that almost everyone pays attention to is the good camera. The proliferation of social media and the ability to instantly share the photos we take with our friends has made taking photos a hobby for everyone. Most consumers pay attention to the good camera when buying a phone. With phone manufacturers acting according to customer requests, phone cameras have reached quite advanced levels today.
The Best phone cameras 2022
The best camera phones are usually the best phones overall, and in this category you’ll mostly find flagships – the latest Galaxy’s and iPhones often offer the highest image quality of the time.
The Best phone cameras 2022
Google Pixels may have lost their edge in computational photography, but if you’re looking for the Pixel look, one can still be recommended. Xiaomi and Oppo have also made great strides in the camera space and offer exceptional hardware that often delivers outstanding image quality. Finally, there’s a camera phone you can get if you’re on a budget – even non-flagships can take good photos.
The Best phone cameras 2022
Best phone cameras 2022 list compiled from various sources:
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has it all – a huge sensor main cam, an autofocusing ultrawide, and not one but two telephotos.
The main camera’s 108MP Nonacell sensor bins pixels 9-to-1 producing wide dynamic range in both good light and at night. The high-res imager also enables 8K video recording.
Then, 3x zoom and up, the S22 Ultra excels thanks to its pair of tele cams. Both modules put up a great performance at their native focal lengths and in-between magnifications aren’t too bad either. Going past the 10x level isn’t out of the question, too.
The Ultra’s ultrawide is one of the best that Samsung’s put out to date. It’s sharp and delivers great quality, but more importantly it adds autofocus, further extending its range of usability.
The 40MP selfie camera is also among the best ones we’ve seen – with outstanding quality across the board.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra
This list would not look right without Xiaomi Ultra, but the 2022 option can only be characterized as a ‘Niche’ choice. This is not because the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is a bad camera phone – quite the opposite.
In fact, it has a remarkable camera system led by a 1-inch head unit – a sensor size you can only get on two other phones, but these have certain limitations that Xiaomi doesn’t have. The ultra-wide and telephoto aren’t that special, but they complement the primary camera nicely.
Xiaomi didn’t skimp on off-camera bits for this year’s top flagship, so you get class-leading performance alongside a top-quality display and speakers – all in a sleek, waterproof body.
Where the 12S Ultra falls a little short of perfection is in video recording – somehow it’s not as good as the Mi 11 Ultra. The telephoto isn’t as reliable in the dark as its predecessor either. But these can be fixed in future software updates.
What won’t change is the availability of the 12S Ultra outside of China – that’s not going to happen. So you really need to have the 1-inch sensor to get the latest Ultra, and even then you’ll have to put up with the China-focused software structure. Hence the ‘Niche’ badge.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro Max, the best iPhone ever, comes with a wide range of improvements, and even if you don’t think any of them are groundbreaking or relevant to your use, they’re there and they add up. The brightest screen by a country mile with AoD now, a pill for notch pain, a camera system with all-round improvements and great full-resolution images, and emergency hardware/software features – these are new things.
This builds on Pro Max’s core features like great battery life, superior speakers and premium and durable build quality. The most powerful chipset in the industry and at least 5 years of support for software you’ve known for years (and probably loved and hated at the same time) are other classic arguments for iPhone, including Pro Max.
While all four cameras deliver excellent photos, they’re a little over-processed and don’t necessarily pass as natural-looking next to those from Sony or Huawei. However, iPhone has the best video quality, even better – it comes with class-leading stabilization and sound quality. So for its consistently good photos and best-in-class videos, even if over-processed, the 14 Pro Max can be recommended as the best phone for videos suitable for vloggers and the like.
Xiaomi 12 Pro
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was the previous Editor’s camera phone pick, but it’s no longer available. Worse, the 12S Ultra looks like it will remain exclusive to China. On the other hand, Xiaomi knows how to make a camera phone, and its current flagship, the 12 Pro, is worth your attention.
It houses a triple 50MP camera setup on the back – a pretty unique combination of top-end hardware and it puts it to good use, producing great results in almost all scenarios. Our only gripes are the not-so-long-range zoom (2x) and the lack of AF for the ultra-wide camera.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro takes excellent photos and videos with all cameras, including selfies, and its stabilization is really good. Add in flagship hardware – one of the best OLED and chipsets on the market, plus four speakers and 120W charging – and we definitely have a winner here.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Pixels have historically lacked mainstream appeal, and the lack of truly global availability is no small part of the reason why. This year the number of countries where the Pixel is officially available has been increased to 16, and perhaps that will boost sales figures even if much of the world is still missing out.
And there’s quite a lot to miss. The camera system is the biggest Pixel 7 Pro selling point that comes to mind, and it brings some welcome, if somewhat modest, improvements. Of course, this comes on top of a hard-to-quantify character that you can’t get in anything that isn’t a Pixel.
The Pixel 7 Pro is certainly not the best flagship right now – battery life is noticeably worse than a current iPhone, and a Galaxy will probably give you longer life too. Neither Apple nor Samsung is the industry leader in charging speed, but Google has become an industry… trailer? Two hours for a full charge can turn into a real problem in everyday use.
But when it comes to consistently good and reliable photo and video quality, the Pixel is one of the best. It’s an attractive package that could easily win over other brand loyalists if given a chance, and the attractive pricing helps a lot.
Sony Xperia 1 IV
The Sony Xperia 1 IV impresses with four excellent cameras at each end. The three 12MP rear shooters are all top-notch, and powerful processing results in some of the most natural-looking and balanced photos and videos a smartphone can record. The continuous zoom, while not as impressive as it sounds, has its use cases and is handy.
We wish Sony would implement Night Mode – while the main camera works wonderfully at night, the UW and zoom ones will benefit a lot from them, and their output is not up to par.
In addition to the camera, the Xperia 1 IV offers flagship-class specs like 4K 120Hz OLED, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, IP68-rated body, full-fledged stereo speakers, battery life.
Sony also sells a range of accessories to make the Xperia 1 IV even more attractive to photographers and vloggers, there are all kinds of photo and video apps from basic to advanced, and you can even connect the Xperia to Sony Alpha cameras.
Oppo Reno7 5G
The Oppo Reno7 5G, also sold in some markets as the Oppo Find X5 Lite, is an excellent smartphone with versatile features and an attractive price. It’s a great proposition for those who want a camera phone on a budget – the photo and video quality is very good across all cameras and the hardware is consistently reliable.
Apart from the camera, it has a lot going for it, including solid battery life, fast charging and a full set of nice features. The AMOLED display is also pretty good and the Dimensity 900 5G chipset is capable enough for the mid-range.
vivo X80 Pro
The Vivo X80 Pro could have been the best choice, but its availability is still limited to India and a few EU markets. It’s a great camera phone with an innovative quad camera setup and all but the UW snaps feature hardware-based stabilization. It even comes with 12MP 2x telephoto gimbal stabilization. All the cameras take excellent videos and photos and that rarely happens.
The X80 Pro is a full-blown flagship with an excellent IP68-rated design, stunning 120Hz OLED display, the most powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, plenty of storage, stereo speakers and other features. Its fast charging speeds are also impressive.
Google Pixel 7
The Pixel 7 is certainly one of the best options in the €600-700 range, especially considering the quality of the camera. It has flagship-like performance, if a bit weaker than you’d expect; it’s one of the best phones for mobile photography, if not the best in its class, and it has a bright OLED, great-sounding stereo speakers, long battery life (with the size category in mind), and exceptional software ensuring timely updates and smart features.
Unfortunately, there are a few caveats to consider here. There’s no real telephoto lens, the screen is limited to 90Hz, some of the more advanced software features are region-dependent, and the charging solution is just too outdated for a 2022 flagship.
But we recommend it-at this price, the Pixel 7 offers a unique combination of ultra-premium camera experience, long battery life, and AI-based features that make it the smartest kid on the block.
Huawei P50 Pro
The Huawei P50 Pro is a great smartphone with a great pedigree, and you can see it in its premium design and photography-focused hardware and features. The P series has been around for many years and Huawei has always raised the bar with its cameras. The P50 Pro is no different.
Huawei’s latest camera phone easily impresses with the latest generation Leica camera, housed in a unique dual-circle setup. The use of a 64MP sensor with Bayer sensor paid off with up to 7x lossless zoom. The return of the monochrome camera (40MP) will certainly appeal to creatives who enjoy dramatic black-and-white photos.
There’s no denying that the P50 Pro is a good smartphone – the display and performance are great, as are the speakers, software package, overall camera experience and charging speed. If you’re in the market for a high-quality camera phone, the P50 Pro is a good option, especially at its affordable price.
Its biggest hurdles are the lack of Google services and 5G, while battery life remains uninspiring. Still, for those who can live without 5G speeds and make do with a mixed diet of App Gallery and third-party app stores, the P50 Pro could be a good fit.
Xiaomi 12 Lite
The Xiaomi 12 Lite looks like a solid “lite” version of the more expensive Xiaomi 12X, vanilla 12 and 12 Pro. It retains a relatively competitive price tag, which makes sense in the Xiaomi 12 series, while retaining some high-end features. The fast 67W fast charging, the flagship-grade OLED panel, the large 108MP main sensor and the boxy, catchy design make a convincing case.
What’s really impressive about the Xiaomi 12 Lite is the solid camera performance, which is rare in this affordable price range. The primary, ultra-wide and selfie cameras deliver commendable photo and video quality.
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