Best camera smartphones 2019

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The best camera smartphones 2019 is defined as the best phones that can do awesome photography since it is released from 1 January until December 2019.

One of the core features every smartphone owner would want in their phone would be a powerful camera.

As usual, the list here is made based on my own testing, and also reviews and comments from numerous tech sites and tech enthusiast, hence making me believe this list is pretty comprehensive.

To determine a great camera phone, I would usually look at the specs and capabilities of the cameras, with things like high-storage option and battery life also influencing the decision if there’s a tie.

That said, here’s the best camera smartphones 2019.

OPPO RENO2

The OPPO Reno2 is a mid-range phone with a 4 camera set-up.  It has a autofocus on both its wide and telephoto cameras, with 2X optical zoom for the later.  The shark-fin front camera feature is kind of cool as well, and the price of the phone is much cheaper than those listed as our best camera smartphones 2019.  However, the phone doesn’t have auto focus for its front camera and the processor isn’t great.

Camera features:

  • 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
  • 13 MP, f/2.4, 53mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, 2x optical zoom
  • 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.2″, 1.4µm
  • 2 MP B/W, f/2.4, 1/5.0″, 1.75µm
  • Motorized pop-up 16 MP front camera, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm

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GOOGLE PIXEL 4 XL

If there’s one thing Google had done right with their Pixel’s, it would be it’s camera.  It only has two cameras on the rear, but photos by the Google Pixel 4 XL are outstanding, considering the lack of options it offers if compared to its competitors.  The drawback of the Pixel 4 XL comes in its pricing, lack of hardware elements if compared to rivals, and slight hardware issues.

Camera features:

  • 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 16 MP, f/2.4, 50mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • 8 MP front camera, f/2.0, 22mm (wide), 1.22µm, no AF

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SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE10

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 variable aperture used at the main camera means that the camera will adjust itself based on the available lighting when taking photo.  This produces better images.  The Samsung Galaxy Note10 also comes with advance HDR algorithms that would provide a lot of dynamic range.  In front, the front camera comes with auto focus as plus points.  The drawback for this phone is the limited 2X optical zoom.

Camera features:

  • 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.1, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm, Super Steady video
  • 10 MP front camera, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF

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ONEPLUS 7T PRO

OnePlus 7T Pro comes into the list with a triple camera set-up which is a 48MP main camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with 3X zoom, and a 16MP ultra wide camera complete with autofocus.  The extra 3X zoom for the telephoto camera was something much liked and the autofocus attached to the ultra wide camera created very decent macro shots. The pop-up selfie camera on the phone is also a nice touch.  This pop-up selfie camera meant that the phone did away with the usual notch up-front. The drawback is the lack of autofocus in the front camera.

Camera features:

  • 48 MP, f/1.6, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/2.4, 78mm (telephoto), 3x optical zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 17mm (ultrawide), AF
  • Motorized pop-up 16 MP front camera, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0″, 1.0µm

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HUAWEI MATE 30 PRO

Huawei’s Mate series usually is an improved and more complete version if compared to Huawe’s P-series.  There’s no denying that the Mate 30 Pro provides one of the best selfie experience as it also includes comes with a TOF 3D camera.  At the rear, the cameras provide sharper and more detailed photos compared to the P30 Pro, thanks to the improved 40MP ultrawide camera.  However, sanctions by the US over Huawei meant that the phone comes without Google Play services and that’s a major drawback.  Aside from that, the videos from the phone aren’t as great either.

CAMERA FEATURES

  • 40 MP, f/1.6, 27mm (wide), 1/1.7″, PDAF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/2.4, 80mm (telephoto), 1/4.0″, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • 40 MP, f/1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), 1/1.54″, PDAF
  • TOF 3D, (depth)
  • 32 MP front camera, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
  • TOF 3D front camera, (depth/biometrics sensor)

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XIAOMI MI NOTE 10

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 has a very versatile 5-cam setup with 2 telephotos making it the first phone with the Penta camera set-up. The main camera is big and comes with high-res sensors which are similar to the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and the ultra wide cam has autofocus.  What drags this phone down is the midrange chipset, unimpressive video recording and the lack of auto focus in the front camera.

CAMERA FEATURES

  • 108 MP (7P lens), f/1.7, 25mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.0, 50mm (telephoto), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, 2x optical zoom
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3.7x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom,
  • 20 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.8″, 1.0µm,
  • 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), 1/5.0″, 1.75µm,
  • 32 MP front camera, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm

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IPHONE 11 PRO

Apple has been producing better photography capable phones of late and the iPhone11 Pro Max hits that sweet spot.  The phone has some of the most advanced auto HDR and can is rated as the one to beat when capturing videos.  However, the colour produced by the iPhone 11 Pro is somewhat dull, there’s only 2X zoom on the telephoto, and there’s no auto focus on the ultra wide camera.

Camera features:

  • 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.0, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
  • Motorized pop-up 16 MP front camera, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0″, 1.0µm

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HUAWEI P30 PRO

Best camera smartphones 2019

Huawei really excels most when it comes to cameras and the P30 Pro continues this valuable tradition.  Apart from being able to use Leica optics, the Huawei P30 Pro also provides a 5x periscope telephoto lens which is among the longest around.  The P30 Pro was one of the last phone Huawei was able to release before trade issues cropped up with US, hence making this phone Google Apps ready. It also boast of a long lasting 4,200mAh battery, enough for a full days use.  However, the biggest drawback to the Huawei P30 Pro is the lack of auto focus in the front camera and the video recording isn’t as great either.

Camera features:

  • 40 MP, f/1.6, 27mm (wide), 1/1.7″, PDAF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/3.4, 125mm (periscope telephoto), 1/4.0″, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
  • 20 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/2.7″, PDAF
  • TOF 3D, (depth)
  • 32 MP front camera, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm,
  • HDR, 1080p@30fps

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