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The Best Camera Smartphones

September 2023 update. Photography has become the defining feature of modern smartphones. Thanks to incredible leaps in camera technology smartphones are now at a point where they can easily replace traditional digital point-and-shoot cameras. Complex software algorithms ensure that even a spontaneous snapshot will look great. Below, you will find the best camera smartphones reviewed by us.

The time of digital compact cameras is over. Smartphone cameras and their sensors as well as the corresponding miniature lenses, but especially the picture editing software have improved so much by now, that smartphone cameras can easily replace average compact cameras. At least the best smartphones, because there are still big differences in terms of picture quality. 

For this reason, we have this list of the best photo smartphones that are particularly well-suited for taking photos, and that have scored exceptionally well in this category in our tests. You will also find a photo comparison at the end of this article. Please also consider the following top lists before making any purchasing decisions:

The Best Camera Smartphones

Position
Camera Rating
Total Rating
Date
Image
Model
Height
Weight
Size
Resolution
184.2 %88.9 %
11/2022
Huawei Mate 50 ProHuawei Mate 50 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
Qualcomm Adreno 730
8 GB Memory, 256 GB 
8.5 mm209 g6.70"2616x1212
280.8 %91.1 %
03/2023
Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Qualcomm Adreno 740
12 GB Memory, 256 GB 
8.9 mm233 g6.80"3080x1440
381.8 %89.1 %
11/2022
Google Pixel 7 ProGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
Google Tensor G2
ARM Mali-G710 MP7
12 GB Memory, 128 GB 
8.9 mm212 g6.70"3120x1440
481 %90.3 %
01/2023
Apple iPhone 14 ProApple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple A16 Bionic
Apple A16 GPU 5-Core
6 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
7.85 mm206 g6.10"2556x1179
580.8 %88.5 %
11/2022
Google Pixel 7Google Pixel 7
Google Tensor G2
ARM Mali-G710 MP7
8 GB Memory, 128 GB 
8.7 mm197 g6.30"2400x1080
680.6 %84.1 %
09/2022
Huawei Mate Xs 2Huawei Mate Xs 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G
Qualcomm Adreno 660
8 GB Memory, 512 GB 
11.1 mm255 g7.80"2480x2220
780.8 %86.4 %
07/2023
New
Huawei Nova 11 ProHuawei Nova 11 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 4G
Qualcomm Adreno 642L
8 GB Memory, 256 GB 
7.9 mm188 g6.78"2652x1200
880.4 %89.7 %
06/2023
Xiaomi 13 UltraXiaomi 13 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Qualcomm Adreno 740
12 GB Memory, 512 GB 
9.1 mm227 g6.73"3200x1440
980.4 %88.8 %
06/2023
Huawei P60 ProHuawei P60 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
Qualcomm Adreno 730
8 GB Memory, 256 GB 
8.3 mm200 g6.67"2700x1220
1080.2 %90.1 %
07/2023
Honor Magic5 ProHonor Magic5 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Qualcomm Adreno 740
12 GB Memory, 512 GB 
8.77 mm219 g6.81"2848x1312

The table above contains an overview over the best camera smartphones reviewed by Notebookcheck over the course of the past 12 months as well as still relevant and available older products. In cases of identical score the more recent device is listed first. All prices in above table and price comparisons are updated daily and can thus differ.
Link: all devices in this class reviewed

Editors' Comments

As a newcomer, we welcome the Huawei Nova 11 Pro in the list of the best camera smartphones in this update. In return, the Vivo X80 Pro has to leave our best list, but it is still worth a closer look in terms of camera qualities.

Our latest camera comparison of the best camera smartphones can be found here and here and here....

1st – Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Huawei Mate 50 Pro
Huawei Mate 50 Pro

With the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer parts with its long-standing cooperation with Leica. However, the Huawei phone convinces with a strong camera setup even without the famous brand name.

The 50 MPix main camera offers a very nice photo quality and many details are still preserved in the pictures even in low light. In addition, the Mate 50 Pro makes use of innovative solutions, such as a physically variable aperture in the main camera, which ensures appealing blur effects in the photos. The triple camera setup is completed by a 13 MPix ultra-wide-angle camera and a periscope lens with 64 MPix and lossless optical 3.5x zoom.

The cameras of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro offer impressive technology and strong quality, but the many limitations in software and connectivity make everyday use difficult.

In our review, Huawei's smartphone scores with a high-quality appearance and bright OLED display. The stereo speakers and good voice quality are also on the Mate 50 Pro's plus side. 

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is available from Huawei Global in various countries. In the US, users can order unlocked version via Amazon.

full resolution]</a>">Huawei Mate 50 Pro: focus
Huawei Mate 50 Pro: focus
Huawei Mate 50 Pro: colors
Huawei Mate 50 Pro: colors
full resolution]</a>">Huawei Mate 50 Pro: sample photo
Huawei Mate 50 Pro: sample photo

2nd – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the best smartphones currently available on the market. The Galaxy phone is a consistent further development of the flagship predecessor and impresses with high value, a lot of performance and extensive features as well as a five-year update warranty.

The cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are not only among the best in their class, but also offer a particularly wide range of applications due to the many supported focal lengths.

With the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung relies on its HP2 sensor for the first time, which provides an enormous resolution of 200 MPix. However, the high resolution is mainly used for pixel binning, whereby the Galaxy phone has the option to choose between 12.5 MPix and 50 MPix shots for the first time. In our review and camera tests (Test 1, Test 2, Test 3), Samsung's flagship convinces with many details and an improved ultra-wide-angle sensor. High-quality magnification lenses for a lossless 3x and 10x zoom are also on board.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can be purchased directly from Samsung, but is also available from usual retail channels such as Amazon.

full resolution]</a>">Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: focus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: focus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: colors
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: colors
full resolution]</a>">Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: sample photo
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: sample photo

Pricecompare

3rd – Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro
Google Pixel 7 Pro

The camera setup of the Google Pixel 7 Pro is very similar to that of the Pixel 6 Pro. The main camera still uses a 50 MP sensor from Samsung and takes really good photos. The dynamic range in the photos is high across the entire subject, but it reveals weaknesses in the details. The camera setup on the back is completed by an ultra-wide-angle lens with 12 MP and a very good 48 MP telephoto lens that achieves a five-fold optical magnification. The 10.8 MP front-facing camera has to accept some drawbacks due to very blurry pictures.

Selfies are not the Pixel 7 Pro's strength, but Google's phone offers a lot of picture quality on the back.

In our detailed review, the Pixel 7 Pro convinces with a bright display, a long update period, and strong features. The new Tensor G2 also enables some new features - but Google's SoC cannot keep up with other premium chipsets in terms of speed. 

While you can purchase the Google Pixel 7 Pro directly from the online shop of the manufacturer, alternatively it is also available from other vendors such as Amazon.

full resolution]</a>">Google Pixel 7 Pro: focus
Google Pixel 7 Pro: focus
Google Pixel 7 Pro: colors
Google Pixel 7 Pro: colors
full resolution]</a>">Google Pixel 7 Pro: sample photo
Google Pixel 7 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

4th – Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro

With the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple is now breaking new ground in the field of photography. Android users will certainly find pixel binning to be old hat, but Apple uses this method for the first time along with the new 48 MP sensor of the main camera. Pixel binning is supposed to provide better pictures in less light, but also more details in the pictures, according to experience. Unfortunately, Apple only leaves a limited choice to the user in terms of image size and almost always outputs a 12 MP photo. 

The picture quality is pleasing in daylight in the test and is characterized by a balanced picture composition with fine details and natural-looking colors. In general, the iPhone 14 Pro also achieves good results in low-light scenarios. The basis for zooming is a triple optical magnification, and the ultra-wide-angle sensor still only delivers 12 MP.

From a technical point of view, Apple actually does almost everything right; only small weaknesses can be criticized.

Apple has made a real step in its own evolution with the iPhone 14 Pro. The form factor remains the same, but the Apple flagship gets a new and very powerful chipset, improved cameras and the latest iOS version compared with the predecessor.

All configurations of the iPhone 14 Pro are available directly from Apple.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro: focus
Apple iPhone 14 Pro: focus
Apple iPhone 14 Pro: colors
Apple iPhone 14 Pro: colors
Apple iPhone 14 Pro: sample photo
Apple iPhone 14 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

5th – Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7
Google Pixel 7

The little brother of the Pixel 7 Pro is the Google Pixel 7. Besides the 50 MP main camera including a Samsung sensor, Google gives the setup a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle lens on the back. Unlike the Pro model, enlargements can only be made digitally with the Pixel 7. However, there is nothing to complain about in terms of the main camera's shooting quality considering the Pixel phone's low pricing. Photos turn out very detailed and offer nice colors. 

The Google Pixel 7 is a strong mid-range smartphone along with a great main camera. It is hardly possible to get more camera smartphone for little money.

Apart from the camera qualities, the successful overall package of Google's phone ranges from the fast Tensor SoC, the bright and color-accurate OLED display to the good battery runtime. Another advantage of a Pixel smartphone is of course the long update supply. 

While you can purchase the Google Pixel 7 directly from the online shop of the manufacturer, alternatively it is also available from other vendors such as Amazon.

full resolution]</a>">Google Pixel 7: focus
Google Pixel 7: focus
Google Pixel 7: colors
Google Pixel 7: colors
full resolution]</a>">Google Pixel 7: sample photo
Google Pixel 7: sample photo

Pricecompare

6th – Huawei Mate Xs 2

Huawei Mate Xs 2
Huawei Mate Xs 2

The Huawei Mate Xs 2 uses a 50 MP True Chroma sensor, which scored with a very good picture quality in the test, even in low light. The 13 MP ultra-wide-angle lens is also convincing, but Huawei no longer relies on a high-resolution sensor, which is a bit of a shame. The telephoto camera's triple optical zoom also delivers good results, but only shows an average imaging performance in the digital zoom. 

We do not only like the extravagant folding concept in everyday use, but also the overall camera package of the Huawei Mate Xs 2 - especially for a foldable.

Besides the strong main camera, the Huawei smartphone takes a big step forward compared with the predecessor especially in terms of value and hinge architecture. The flexible OLED display is also much brighter now and even works with a fast 120 Hz refresh rate. 

The Huawei Mate Xs 2 can be purchased directly from Huawei's online store.

full resolution]</a>">Huawei Mate Xs 2: focus
Huawei Mate Xs 2: focus
Huawei Mate Xs 2: colors
Huawei Mate Xs 2: colors
full resolution]</a>">Huawei Mate Xs 2: sample photo
Huawei Mate Xs 2: sample photo

Pricecompare

7th – Huawei Nova 11 Pro

Huawei Nova 11 Pro
Huawei Nova 11 Pro

Huawei Nova 11 Pro has a first-class main camera. The 50-MPix lens with an f/1.9 aperture scores with a high level of detail and an appealing sharpness in our test, and the color reproduction is also very good. The Huawei smartphone also produces well-lit and quite sharp photos in low light. The large camera module on the back is completed by an ultra-wide-angle camera with a resolution of 8 MPix.

The 50 MPix main camera can definitely compete with rivals from the high-end sector, but there is one important limitation. The Huawei Nova 11 Pro does not have optical image stabilization.

The Huawei Nova 11 Pro looks very stylish and the cameras offer a strong image quality.

Apart from the appealing camera system, the Huawei phone convinces with a high-quality appearance. The slim casing with the glass pulled over the edges is definitely an eye-catcher. In terms of technology, it should be noted that Huawei is not allowed to offer its Nova 11 Pro with 5G and Google services.

At the time of writing, the Huawei Nova 11 Pro in black and green color options is only available directly from the manufacturer in Central Europe for €699 (~$740).

full resolution]</a>">Huawei Nova 11 Pro: focus
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: focus
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: colors
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: colors
full resolution]</a>">Huawei Nova 11 Pro: sample photo
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

8th – Xiaomi 13 Ultra

Xiaomi 13 Ultra
Xiaomi 13 Ultra

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra convinces in our test with its extensive equipment list and a high-quality robe made of vegan leather and metal. Furthermore, the flagship phone offers a lot of performance with a high consistency, because the Xiaomi 13 Ultra throttles considerably less than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 competition. 

The optional camera bundle turns the high-end smartphone from Xiaomi into a compact camera.

The camera star in the 50-MPix quartet on the back is Sony's IMX989 in a 1-inch format and a variable aperture. With a maximum aperture of f/1.9, backgrounds are usually lost in blur, even in photo mode, whereas a larger depth of field can be achieved with an aperture of f/4.0.

In our test photos, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra reveals many details, a high dynamic range and a pleasant image sharpness. The three other 50 MPix cameras with a focal length of 12 mm to 120 mm are well matched to the main camera in terms of color and offer appealing photo quality. Shooting with the telephoto lenses up to 10x magnification is a strength of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra.

Xiaomi devices are not officially sold in North America.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra: focus
Xiaomi 13 Ultra: focus
Xiaomi 13 Ultra: colors
Xiaomi 13 Ultra: colors
Xiaomi 13 Ultra: sample photo
Xiaomi 13 Ultra: sample photo

Pricecompare

9th – Huawei P60 Pro

Huawei P60 Pro
Huawei P60 Pro

The showpiece of the Huawei P60 Pro are the rear cameras, which no longer feature the "Leica" lettering, but "XMAGE". The new 48 MP main camera of the Huawei P60 Pro convinces with a balanced imaging performance and the automatic aperture control, which can automatically adjust the aperture step between f/1.4 and f/4.0. A highlight of the RYYB sensor used are the low-light shots that capture many details even in low light.

Those who focus more on the cameras will find a very interesting companion in Huawei's flagship.

The triple camera system also features a Periscope lens with a resolution of 48 MPix and an open aperture of f/2.1, which is very fast for a telephoto lens. The ultra-wide-angle camera only has a resolution of 13 MPix, but it still delivers an appealing depth of field and good details.

Apart from the very good cameras, Huawei's P60 Pro offers a good configuration, but it still has to do without Google services and the 5G standard.

The Huawei P60 Pro is available directly from Huawei's store, but can also be purchased from Amazon US.

full resolution]</a>">Huawei P60 Pro: focus
Huawei P60 Pro: focus
Huawei P60 Pro: colors
Huawei P60 Pro: colors
full resolution]</a>">Huawei P60 Pro: sample photo
Huawei P60 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

10th – Honor Magic5 Pro

Honor Magic5 Pro
Honor Magic5 Pro

The Honor Magic5 Pro offers a 50 MPix main camera, which knows how to convince with balanced shots in daylight and with a high camera speed. But even in darkness, appealing photos can be obtained with the 1/1.12" image sensor thanks to OIS, even when the subjects are very bright. The camera system is completed by an ultra-wide-angle lens with 50 MPix as well, which can come up with respectable photos including a detailed depth of field, and a 50 MPix telephoto lens. The latter ensures competitive pictures with a 3.5x optical magnification.

Overall, the Honor Magic5 Pro takes good to very good pictures. The high-end smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer offers a very complete camera package. 

In our review, the Honor smartphone convinces with its bright and 120 Hz fast LTPO display as well as a strong system performance and well-rounded equipment package. Honor has also extended the update supply for its high-end smartphones to 4 years.

Honor's devices are not official available in North America.

full resolution]</a>">Honor Magic5 Pro: focus
Honor Magic5 Pro: focus
Honor Magic5 Pro: colors
Honor Magic5 Pro: colors
full resolution]</a>">Honor Magic5 Pro: sample photo
Honor Magic5 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

Top 10 Camera Smartphones Picture Comparison

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro vs. Xiaomi 13 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

PlantHouseWindowsBook

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1HouseWindowsBook

Older camera comparisons of the best smartphones in terms of cameras


Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro vs. Vivo X80 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

TreeBookshelfHouseDwarvesPortrait

Huawei P50 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Google Pixel 6

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraZoom (5x)Low-Light
click to load images

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsing Galaxy S22+ vs Xiaomi 12 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraUltra wide angle5x ZoomLow-Light
click to load images

Xiaomi 12S Ultra vs Apple iPhone 13 vs OnePlus 10 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraLow-LightUltra wide angle

Apple iPhone 14 Pro vs Oppo Find X5 Pro vs Honor Magic4 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraUltra wide angle5x ZoomLow-Light

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Oppo Find X5 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraHauptkamera UmgebungHauptkamera Low LightWeitwinkelkameraScene 5

Huawei Mate Xs 2 vs Sony Xperia 1 IV vs Honor Magic4 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraUltra wide angle5x-ZoomLow-Light
click to load images

Oppo Find X5 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraUltra wide angle5x ZoomLow-Light

Vivo X80 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Xiaomi 12 Pro

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main cameraMain cameraUltra wide angle5x ZoomLow-Light
click to load images