Smartphones this year have progressed in great leaps and bounds in every aspect, from the display to the processing speed. Another important element that has improved is the camera. The camera technology has improved to such an extent that smartphones are on the verge of replacing regular ol’ point and shoots.
But, what makes a good smartphone camera?
This is a crucial subject because this is how we rate the smartphone cameras. It is not all about the megapixels, you know. Quite a lot of other factors have a say in how good the picture will be once you’ve snapped it.
The glass lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), laser autofocus, and especially the size of the sensor has a huge impact when snapping pictures. Another thing to note is not every smartphone camera is great under every condition. We might have some all-rounders, but that’s quite rare.
There are some ways to make the snaps you take quite better. Check out the best camera apps for Android.
So, let’s get straight to it. Here are the best Android camera smartphones.
One of the most hyped smartphones of the year 2015, the Nexus 6P, manufactured by Huawei under the Nexus program by Google, has top-notch specs along with great software.
It integrates a 5.7 inch AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 810 CPU, an Adreno 430 GPU, coupled with 3 gigs of RAM. That’s all well and good but, what about the camera?
On paper, the Nexus 6P has a 12.3-megapixel sensor, which Google claims were used originally for SLRs. It has an aperture of f/2.0. If you don’t know what that means the aperture is the hole through which the light travels through. So, the bigger the hole, the better. Generally, smaller numbers are better here.
It also has laser-assisted autofocus. So, it automatically focuses fast. Finally, it shoots in 1.55 µm pixels (micrometer). Again, the pixel size is quite like aperture size. The bigger the surface, the more light that hits. Here, bigger numbers are better.
The lack of Optical Image Stabilization is a letdown, but, the larger pixel size I mentioned earlier should take care of the hindrance. The Nexus 6P can capture slow-mo video up to 240 fps. It also has an HDR+ option for better-looking pictures. The software experience from Google is quite minimalistic.
But, this is nothing bad at all, because there are not a plethora of manual controls out in the open. The interface does not overwhelm the user. So far, this is the best Android overall camera.All in all, a great smartphone camera, capable of taking great snaps.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 ACTIVE
Basically, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is a more ruggedized and resilient version of the original Samsung Galaxy S6.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is powered by an Exynos 7420 CPU, a Mali-T760 GPU, and has a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display. Right, so let’s move on to the camera.
It has an image sensor of 16-megapixels and has flash. It also has an autofocus feature. If you read it all out correctly, you’ll find that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active has the same specifications as the regular Samsung Galaxy S6. So, what’s so great about it?
I’ll get to that in a second. The user interface is clean but is feature-packed on the inside. It has manual controls (if you need any) and you can save your own custom presets, too. It snaps the photos fast, as well.
But, the big feature of this smartphone is that it’s IP68 water resistant, which means, yes, you’ll be able to snap pictures and capture video underwater. The settings are quite difficult to maneuver through underwater, but, you can still use the volume toggles to capture pictures.
It can capture video of 2160p at 30 fps, and 1080p at 60fps. It is also capable of shooting slow-motion video at 120 fps and a special hyper-motion mode for time lapse.
The pictures are vibrant, the colors are well saturated, and the smartphone takes underwater photos. What more could you possibly ask for?
HTC DESIRE EYE
The HTC Desire Eye was HTC’s entry into the mid-range smartphone category last year. Designed by the Taiwanese-based smartphone manufacturer, what does this smartphone have to offer in terms of picture quality?
The HTC Desire Eye has a 5.2-inch regular touchscreen and is powered by a Snapdragon 801 CPU, coupled with an Adreno 330 GPU.
Moving onto the camera, it has a sensor size of 13 megapixels, coupled with dual LED flash, and autofocus. On paper, the HTC Desire Eye takes decent photos outside. The colors are not over-saturated, and it inscribes vivid detail into the snaps it takes.
It can record 1080p at 30 fps. But, that’s not what sets the HTC Desire Eye from its competitors. Get this, it also has a 13-megapixel shooter on the front coupled with the same autofocus and deal LED flash.
This smartphone is made for people looking to get the ultimate selfie from their device, and if you’re one of those people, then, this smartphone is definitely for you.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE+
Samsung replied to the consumers who wanted a bigger display for their original Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with the monstrous Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
Packing a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED display, an Exynos 7420 CPU, and a Mali-T760MP8 GPU, the Samsung Galaxy Edge+ has great specifications. But, can the camera keep up?
Going over the camera specifications, the Edge+ has a 16-megapixel rear shooter, coupled with autofocus, LED flash, and OIS. It is capable of taking great pictures. So much so that DXO mark has pinned it on the number 2 list on its website.
The secondary shooter has a sensor size of 5 megapixels, and it can capture video of 1440p at 30 fps. The rear shooter, on the other hand, it can shoot video of 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and finally slow-mo at 120 fps.
The excellent video quality makes the Galaxy S6+ one of the best video smartphone.
LG’s flagship for the year 2015, the LG G4 was welcomed warmly within the folds of the Android community.
Featuring a 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel, a Snapdragon 808 CPU, and an Adreno 418 GPU, there’s very little to hate about this smartphone. But, what about its camera?
The LG G4 has a primary 16-megapixel shooter, integrated with laser autofocus, optical image stabilization, and an LED flash. It can capture video in 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, along with optical stabilization and an HDR mode.
The secondary shooter, on the other hand, has a sensor size of 8-megapixels along with the ability to capture video in 1080p at 30 fps. Its main competitor is the Samsung Galaxy S6.
MOTO X FORCE
One of the more recent smartphones on this list, the Moto X Force, has gained popularity because of its shatterproof display.
It has a 5.4 inch AMOLED panel, Snapdragon 810 CPU, and an Adreno 430 GPU. Let’s head on to the camera shall we?
The Moto X Force packs a whopping 21-megapixel primary sensor, along with dual-tone flash, and phase detection autofocus. Now, that’s a pretty good camera. It can shoot in 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 30fps, along with HDR mode.
The secondary camera is kind of a letdown, with only a sensor size of 5- megapixels. But, it has an ace up its sleeve, as the front camera also has an LED flash.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S6
Nothing beats the original. Well, at least not in this case. Samsung’s flagship for the year 2015 packs specifications designed to impress.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 blows every other smartphone out of the water because of its top-notch specs. It packs a gorgeous 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display, an Exynos 7420 CPU, and a Mali-T760MP8 GPU. The camera also follows suite.
It has a 16-megapixel rear shooter, coupled with optical image stabilization, autofocus, and an LED flash. It is capable of shooting video in 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and slow-motion video at 120 fps. It also has an HDR mode. Overall, it is a great camera capable of pulling out some great shots.
The secondary camera is a 5 megapixel one, which can also shoot video in 1440p at 30fps, along with auto HDR mode. This preset is great for shooting selfie pictures and video.
The pictures are detailed; the colors really pop, and in the end, it is a great all-rounder.
The Blackberry Priv is Blackberry’s bold attempt to rise from the ashes. It integrates Google’s operating system along with Blackberry’s hardware, and that match is quite rare. Although it was released just recently, we can still get a decent view of the camera on this beast.
The Blackberry Priv has a 5.4 inch AMOLED display, powered by a Snapdragon 808 CPU, along with an Adreno 418 GPU. It seems that Blackberry has made some sincere effort with the camera, and it could just be the best camera Blackberry has ever come up with.
The primary camera is an 18-megapixel sensor, coupled with Schneider-Kreuznach optics, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, and dual-LED (dual tone) flash. This camera snaps really great pictures.
It can capture video in 2160p at 30fps, and 1080p at 60fps. The secondary camera is a huge letdown when put in contrast with the primary one. It is a 2-megapixel sensor, which is capable of shooting video at 720p.
All in all, this may be Blackberry’s best ticket at gaining entry into the best smartphone camera section.
SONY XPERIA Z5
Sony’s latest flagship is nothing short of what you expect to see. The premium glass-metal look, the great specs, and it is also the first smartphone to pull off a 4K display. Sure, it’s going to hurt your wallet, but, it’s up to you whether this is your perfect choice.
The Sony Xperia Z5 has killer specs. It packs in a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display, which can show up to 16 million colors at a time. It has high-end internals like the Snapdragon 810 for the CPU, and the Adreno 430 as the GPU. Sony has always owned bragging rights against its competitors in the camera sector, so, can it pull off a one up again?
It has an insane23 megapixel front sensor, coupled along with phase detection autofocus and LED flash. Sony claims that its camera is truly revolutionary, and, this time, around, I’ve got to agree. It can capture video in 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and slow motion 720p at 120fps.
It also has HDR mode to obtain optimal results on your photos. The secondary camera, on the other hand, is a 5.1-megapixel shooter, capable of shooting video at 1080p, and also integrates an HDR function.
Long story short, a very promising camera smartphone.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 5
The latest iteration of the long-running, and quite iconic Galaxy Note series, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has just had a complete design overhaul. But, what about its performance. More importantly, what about its camera?
As always, the Note series are packed tightly with the best Samsung has to offer. While it is true that the smartphone is quite large, the display makes up for the shortcoming. It has a massive5.7 inch Super AMOLED display and powering it is the Exynos 7420 CPU and the Mali-T760MP8 for the graphical processing.
The camera is where it all ends. It has a 16-megapixel rear shooter coupled along with optical image stabilization, autofocus, and LED flash. It is capable of shooting video in 2160p at 30fps and 1080p at 60 fps. The video taking experience is great, integrating optical stabilization, putting it in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
The secondary camera has a sensor size of 5-megapixels. A great video shooter, if you ask me.
Since the availability of better and better cameras on smartphones, they have become the primary camera for most people. That being said, to capture the best possible images without having to lug around your DLSR just in case one of your friends does something you want to capture for eternity, the camera is an important spec for most of us to consider when buying a new phone.
Please remember that this list was purely subjective, and if you think we’ve missed any great camera smartphones, don’t forget to give us a shout in the comments below.