Best camera phone 2018 in the market? It’s really hard to find, isn’t it? You have so many smartphone companies and on top of that there are some companies like Oneplus, Huawei and Xiaomi taking their own market share because let’s be honest here, everyone needs a smartphone in this age so why not take one with a good camera.
Best Camera Phone 2018
The TechSeer has summoned up its list of the Best Camera phone 2018. How did we rate them? There are just so many variables to consider. AI cameras? Optical Image stabilization? Different photography environment? Different choice of natural colors? Warm vs fresh screen? Lightning conditions? MegaPixels? What other features does the camera offer? Well, we have factored all these variables to bring you the Best Camera phone of 2018. You actually need to find out which one do you want. A camera that can provide you with crispy and natural looking photos or a camera that is really good in low light conditions because let’s be honest here. You are not going to get everything in a single phone. Where every company has some edge over another company in the same way it has some weaknesses as well. Before choosing, it’s worth thinking about what you want from a camera phone. Do you want something that’s great at taking outdoor snaps or you want a camera that can take your images in microseconds or you would want it to take a few moments to give you the best possible results? One other problem is you will get a different result on your phone but different when you print out the same photo or upload it on your social media profiles. Well, don’t worry we have factored in all this as well in our Best Camera phone 2018 list. Anyway enough with our research, here is the list of our Best Camera phone 2018.
01. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
- 12MP with a variable f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture
- Dual lens setup
- Low light camera
- Multi-frame noise reduction
The most awaited and highlighted feature of the Samsung Galaxy s9 Plus is the ”reimagined” camera”. The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has a 12-megapixel camera and the magic actually lies in this dual lens setup which switches between a f/1.5 aperture and a f/2.4 aperture. The f/1.5 hauls in more light for darker settings which means amazing results even in low lights while the f/2.4 prevents excess light from entering the lens in order to avoid overexposure in light settings. What’s pretty impressive is that the mannerism is almost similar to the works of the human eye. Samsung has also added DRAM to the image sensor stack on Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, allowing the pictures to be made up of 12 frames instead of 3 frames. The front face camera inherits the 8-megapixel camera with the autofocus compatibility that to this day is unique to Samsung phones. The second camera captures some parts of the images as blurred keeping major ones focused thus giving excellent bokeh-rich photos. What had us obsessed with the camera was it’s near reality results that almost paralleled the human eye. It has one of the best cameras with an excellent all-round smartphone experience which puts it on the number in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list. There are slow motion and super slow motion mode at 240fps (in 1080p) and at 960fps (in 720p) respectively.
02. Huawei P20 Pro
- 40MP + 20MP camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 3 Cameras on the back
- AI integrated cameras
- Hybrid Zoom capabilities
- 24MP front face camera with f/2.0 aperture
- 40MP is not really a 40MP camera
3 Cameras to focus: The Huawei P20 Pro has three cameras all arranged across its back. The main camera has an ultra-high resolution 40MP sensor. It is supported by a 20MP black and white sensor that aids in processing, increasing or decreasing image noise and increasing dynamic range. The third camera has an 8MP sensor and 3x zoom lens, which allows zooming into a scene without utilizing digital zoom. These 3 cameras are the reason this smartphone is put on number 2 in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list.
Night mode/Low light: The real winning factor here is the low light camera quality. Standard night shooting is equivalent to the current best phone cameras but a special night mode setting lets you take low light shots equipped with a dynamic range to rival an APS-C DSLR. You can also take a fine quality picture at 3x without digital zoom and even better at 5x. The front camera on Huawei P20 Pro has a high-resolution 24MP for amazing selfies and efficient face unlocking.
- Kirin 970 CPU with AI smarts
Zoom Capabilities: Normally the Huawei P20 Pro shoots 10MP photos. 40MP ones can be shot when using the Pro mode which saves as 76MB DNG RAW files. Its JPEG sustenance is very good that when zoomed to a 100% in a 10MP photo, it appears sharper than a 40MP one, however, the 40MP one is far more detailed. There’s also the Hybrid Zoom mode, where one can shoot at 5x zoom. It makes faraway texts and details clearer and somehow the pictures look proportioned as compared to a simple digital zoom. Another feature called the AIS, Huawei’s software version of optical image stabilization (OIS) uses smart management to get rid of mechanical stabilization. The resulting images taken on night mode are just as impressive as that of iPhone X. But it takes a lead on with its AI image processing that can make shots taken in dark to turn out far detailed than any other brand has been able to.
AI Integrated Camera: The AI’s scene selection can require adjustment. It constantly analyzes the camera feed to recognize food images, nature shots with great accuracy. However, what it does to the pictures on its own may not be in accordance with the photographic taste of the user. Good thing is that it can be turned off completely. As for the front camera, it brags a high-resolution 24MP sensor. The resolution is not all that apparent in the shots taken but the Google Pixel 2 still makes them turn out quite detailed. Despite the rear camera’s impressive performance in low light, the Huawei P20 Pro front camera doesn’t hold much up to it. The Huawei P20 Pro shoots video of up to 4K resolution. Since at 4K resolution there’s no image stabilization so the recommended resolution may be 1080p. The stabilization software is extremely effective at 1080p to the extent that you can practically jog while making a video and it’ll turn out pretty smooth. At slo-mo shooting mode which is up to 960fps (32x speed), one can only shoot at 720p. These videos don’t turn out very good though.
03. Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL
- 12.2MP camera with HDR+
- Dual-pixel autofocus with f/1.8 aperture
- 8MP selfie camera with f/2.4
- 4K at 30fps and Slo-mo video 240fps at 720p or 120fps at 1080p
- No manual controls
Google Pixel 2/XL has managed to be on number 3 in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list. The smartphone has a 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera which works pretty well but its Google integrated AI and machine learning features make it stand out from the crowd. Just like other flagships out there, it has a secondary sensor setup which helps it taking terrific images. We compared some photos of iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S9 and found out the portrait images taken from Google Pixel 2 were a bit better. Shots taken from Google Pixel 2 have exceptional darkest and lightest points which shows it is capable of taking real depth pictures. You can enjoy low light pictures but sometimes it fails to give a natural look just because the smartphone throws too much light on the darkest parts of the image in low light. In-built Optical and electronic image stabilization makes it a good choice to record videos smoothly but it does not offer much in videos section such as shooting 4K videos at 60fps or 1080p videos at 240fps like iPhone X. The smartphone also lacks a triple lens system which made us put it below Huawei P20 Pro in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list.
04. Apple iPhone X
- 12MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 aperture and OIS
- 12MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 and OIS
- 7MP selfie camera
- 4K 60/30fps and 1080p at 240fps video recording
- AR support
Apple iPhone X comes with a 12MP camera with f/1.8 aperture and OIS. We have seen the same hardware in iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus but what makes it different is the secondary telephoto sensor which has an improved and wider f/2.4 aperture and OIS. You can spot the difference between pictures taken from both the phones especially in portrait mode. The image quality we found on Google Pixel 2 was a bit better compared to iPhone X thus making us put it on number 4 in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list. The pictures look bright enough with good color range. We have seen average cameras in old iPhone due to lack of wide aperture mode but this iPhone takes amazing images in low light.
I personally would prefer a Samsung Galaxy flagships camera if we are talking about the pictures on the phone but iPhone X pictures will look more natural on your laptop and social media. We found it somewhat challenging taking selfies from the rear camera. The super-bright condition sometimes produces glares and HDR features somehow compensate for it but it is not as reliable as Google Pixel 2. For now, there are no proper AI features on the cameras but the next iPhone X is rumored to have 3 lenses. There are not many options in the Camera app but you can always have a look at AppStore to see your options. iPhone X beats most of the flagships in video recording but the audio part is the weakest link here. It can shoot 4K videos at 60fps (Google Pixel 2 can do 4K at 30fps) which is pretty impressive given that the videos are too smooth but not very detailed due to 60fps. You can also its slo-mo mode to shoot 1080p videos and 240fps which is pretty amazing.
05. Samsung Galaxy S9
- 12MP camera with dual f/1.5-2.4 aperture
- Great Camera in Low Light
- Just one Camera on the rear
The f/1.5 aperture on the rear makes it an excellent choice for low light photography. It is fitted with Samsung Dual-Aperture Technology which means it can automatically switch to f/1.5 aperture in low light conditions and the secondary f/2.4 aperture is pretty good for the bright environment. Samsung Galaxy S9 has an easy to use camera like iPhone X but sometimes lack vibrancy. It supports super slo-mo at 960 fps.
06. Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Dual Pixel 12MP AF Wide-Angle Camera
- 12MP AF Telephoto Camera
- f/1.5 and f/2.4 lens
- 2x Optical Zoom with Dual OIS
- 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps
The dual sensors are the trend now and they should be. The images taken from the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are impressive because of its dual sensors. With that, you can add some blurred background thanks to its telephoto lens camera. Its a 2017 model but the technology used on the cameras has its charms which makes us believe this model should be on number 6 in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list. The photos are crisper and you can enjoy low light photography with a wide-angle lens. You do not need to change the lens from settings. A f/1.5 works pretty good in low lights and f/2.4 proved its worth in brighter images. There are lots of modes in Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but we found the automatic mode to be the best to use. If you are a photographer and know your way around settings then you can take advantage from these modes. Camera timer sometimes does not work properly and new flagships are getting better comparatively. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 does offer smooth video recording in 4K at 30fps only.
07. LG G7 ThinQ
- Dual 16MP main camera
- f/1.6 and f1.9 lens
- AI featured cameras
- SuperBright mode
- No triple lens or True depth camera
The camera department of LG G7 ThinQ is one of the main highlights of the phone. It features Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6, OIS, laser&PDAF) + 16 MP (f/1.9), laser & phase detection autofocus. It is kind of disappointing as this latest phone lacks a triple lens camera like Huawei P20 Pro and features like True depth introduced in iPhone X. You can record videos at 2160p@30fps and 1080p@30/60fps. Photos and videos captured from LG G7 ThinQ look detailed and nice with vibrant colors. There is the Al Cam feature that auto switches between 19 different filters for recognition, including people and different cities and then automatically adjust settings according to the situation. It can detect low light situations where its SuperBright mode comes into play which can increase the brightness up to 4x compared to its previous G6 model. Our observation is that this feature is in a beginning phase now and sometimes it does not comprehend what is actually in front of the camera but still it’s a welcome move. The front camera on LG G7 ThinQ is 8MP, and it’s much improved over its predecessors and allows video recording up to 1080p.
08. HTC U12 Plus
- 12MP wide camera with f/1.75 aperture
- 16MP camera with a telephoto lens and f/2.6 aperture
- artificial bokeh and 2x optical zoom
- Slow Image processing when capturing photos
- Not many AI features
Back Cameras: HTC U12 Plus comes with 12MP + 16MP dual lens camera. The company has really worked in the camera department of the device with the introduction of a snapper, dual lens after so many years, an improved optical image stabilizer (OIS) and another electronic sensor to keep images sharper. It’s the company’s first dual-lens camera phone ever since the HTC One M8. A 16MP telephone lens is a plus to zoom your photos without comprising much on sharpness. The HDR Boost allows it to sharpen the images just like in every other flagship. The night mode is where the camera’s worth is decided at this age now. Now that we have seen iPhone 8’s camera does pretty average when a night shot is taken. HTC U12 Plus has done a good job in this area and has delivered better results with more sharp pictures and true colors. The camera is a bit slow due to all these functionalities. It could be their hardware or a software issue which they can improve in the future.
Front Camera: The front camera offers an 8MP dual lens on HTC U12 Plus which is pretty good for taking selfies. There is no front flash just like in most of the flagships but you can use the screen flash which is an old-school strategy now. The front camera did pretty averagely when we compared it with iPhone X and Samsung S9 selfies. HTC U12 Plus has achieved a DxOMark score of 103, which makes it the best camera smartphone after Huawei P20 Pro which we find is not entirely true. The cameras allow shooting videos up to 4K resolution. HTC U12 Plus lacks camera AI features which got our attention in recent LG G7 ThinQ review.
09. Apple iPhone 8 Plus
- Dual-12MP (wide+telephoto) camera setup
- f/1.8 and f/2.6 lens
- Video recording 4K at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps
- Deep trench isolation tech
The iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus launched at the same time but iPhone X has a higher aperture on the second sensor. This means iPhone X is better in low-light photography compared to iPhone 8 Plus. The rear camera results are almost the same but a bit different with some photos. It is no doubt a cheaper version of iPhone X which makes us believe it should come at number 9 in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list.
10. Huawei Mate 10 Pro
- 12MP f/.1.6 primary camera
- 20MP monochrome secondary sensor
- Leica optics
- 4K 30fps, 1080p 60/30fps video recording
- 8-megapixel f/2.0 selfie camera
Looking for a cheap phone with a great camera? Well, Huawei Mate 10 Pro has your attention. This is one of the best Chinese cameras phones we have reviewed so far. It has the looks and the camera which can compete with bigger brands thus it has secured a 10th position in our Best Camera Phone 2018 list. The f/1.6 lens is pretty good for taking low-light photos. There is also an added monochrome sensor which offers a variety of modes. It has the same Bokeh mode which we reviewed in Samsung Galaxy phones and Google Pixel 2 but not as good. Huawei Mate 10 Pro has the same 960 AI infused CPU which is used in Huawei P20 Pro but Huawei is using its next-generation (970). The AI identify whatever you throw in front of the camera and adjust its settings accordingly. Huawei Mate 10 Pro can record videos up to 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 60/30fps.