In the information era we live in today, devices are getting smaller and becoming more advanced than ever before. Days, when you had to strap a camera on your shoulders, are over now. Smartphone manufacturers are developing phones with highly advanced cameras that are now replacing traditional cameras. If you are in the market for the best camera phones in 2021, here are our top highlights.
Best Overall: iPhone 12 Pro Max
Sporting a triple rear camera array, Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max offers some of the best features in a camera phone. You get a 12MP main camera, a 12MP telephoto (with 2.5x optical zoom), and a 12MP 0.5x ultra-wide-angle camera. The camera features Apple’s Smart HDR, Night Mode, and Deep Fusion processing to yield high-quality images with excellent detail. The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera also comes with Apple’s new ProRaw photo format that professional photographers will find useful. This feature allows you to customize a raw file using the phone's integrated photo smarts technology. Video capture is also exceptional in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, thanks to the Lidar sensor that helps with autofocus. The phone excels in low-light recordings, both for the selfie and rear cameras. Get it on Best Buy at $1,199.
Best Smartphone Camera for Zoom: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Equipped with 12GB RAM and powered by a 4,500mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is known for its zooming capabilities. It comes with a high spec camera, but the telephoto camera is one of its best features. Fitted with a 12MP snapper with 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom, the Note 20 Ultra snaps sharp pictures full of detail. The zoomed-in photos look amazing, and way better than any other camera phone. Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 2.5x optical zoom but gives a more detailed image in low light compared to the Note 20 Ultra. The Galaxy’s camera is fun to use and gives you a bunch of extra features like 8K video, and Single Take Mode, which is capable of taking several photos and videos simultaneously. Get it on Verizon at $1,299.00. Get it on Amazon at $1,099.99.
Best Smartphone Camera for Selfies: Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
At $850, Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is one of the best camera phones for selfies. It has three different high-resolution cameras (Wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto), all for taking selfies. And get this; the phone uses a swiveling technology that has the cameras flip over the top of the phone so that the rear cameras become the selfie cameras. The phone itself is quite capable and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and a gargantuan 5,000mAh battery. Get in Amazon at around $850.
Best Affordable Smartphone Camera: Google Pixel 4A 5G
If you're on a budget but are looking for a smartphone with exceptional camera quality, the Google Pixel 4A 5G might suit you. With wide and ultra-wide-angle cameras, it's capable of taking photos with a cinematic look. It's integrated with cool intuitive camera apps for more features and controls. The image quality is superb, and you can take advantage of the Portrait Mode and Night Sight to shoot crisp, clear photos in low light. The Night Sight feature allows you to take stunning photos of the stars at night. Get it on Amazon at $459.00.
Best Smartphone Camera for Photos: Google Pixel 5
Google Pixel 5 was launched in October and ushered in more advanced camera features than its predecessor. It is equipped with HDR to give photos outstanding detail and contrast. It comes with a wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle camera (replacing the telephoto camera on Pixel 4). The Portrait Mode and Night Sight features allow you to take sharp photos with vibrant colors, even in low light. The video shooting capabilities are also good but not as advanced as that of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Get it on Google Store at $699.
Best Smartphone Camera for Creatives: Sony Xperia 5 II
If you want more control over your photos and videos, the Sony Xperia 5 II is a great option. It comes with an array of controls and tools for easy navigation. For example, there's a physical shutter button on the phone and Eye Autofocus, which is capable of detecting and tracking the eyes of the subject, including pets. It comes with three preloaded apps – Xperia Android camera app, Photo Pro, and Cinema Pro – that give you more usability. The phone is also capable of recording 4K videos at 120 fps (frames per second) for amazing sharp slow motion.
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