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The Best Camera Smartphones

January 2024 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
183 %91.1 %
12/2023
Apple iPhone 15 Pro MaxApple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Apple A17 Pro
Apple A17 Pro GPU
8 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
8.25 mm221 g6.70"2796x1290
282.6 %89 %
12/2023
Google Pixel 8 ProGoogle Pixel 8 Pro
Google Tensor G3
ARM Mali-G715 MP7
12 GB Memory, 128 GB 
8.8 mm213 g6.70"2992x1344
380.8 %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
480.8 %86.4 %
07/2023
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
580.8 %87.5 %
11/2023
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3Xiaomi Mix Fold 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Qualcomm Adreno 740
16 GB Memory, 512 GB 
5.3 mm259 g8.03"2160x1916
680.4 %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
780.4 %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
880.2 %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
979.8 %90.5 %
03/2023
New!
Samsung Galaxy S23Samsung Galaxy S23
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Qualcomm Adreno 740
8 GB Memory, 128 GB 
7.6 mm167 g6.10"2340x1080
1079.6 %89.9 %
06/2023
New!
Sony Xperia 1 VSony Xperia 1 V
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Qualcomm Adreno 740
12 GB Memory, 256 GB 
8.3 mm187 g6.50"3840x1644

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

In this update, we welcome the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Sony Xperia 1 V as newcomers to the list of the best camera smartphones. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro and Google Pixel 7 have to leave our best list due to their age, but are still worth a closer look in terms of camera quality.

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

1st – Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple has achieved a major upgrade with its iPhone 15 Pro Max. The focus of the Apple phone is on the very bright 6.7 OLED display, the USB-C port used for the first time and the new A17 Pro with its modern 3 nm process. The rear camera has also been upgraded with a telephoto lens in a space-saving tetraprism design. The resulting 5x zoom offers really good imaging performance and very good image stabilization. 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is more ergonomic and faster than its predecessor, but also offers significantly better zoom properties. 

The main sensor in the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a resolution of 48 MPix and offers optical image stabilization (OIS) with sensor shift. In daylight, the Apple phone delivers good results with appealing color fidelity. In low light, it also takes decent pictures, but the slightly longer exposure time means that the photos are slightly blurred. The ultra-wide-angle lens, which completes the triple cam, is unchanged in terms of resolution and noise level compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max can be purchased directly from Apple. However, it is also available from most other retailers such as Amazon.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: focus
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: focus
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: colors
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: colors
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: sample photo
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: sample photo

Pricecompare

2nd – Google Pixel 8 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Pixel 8 Pro is a powerful smartphone with a coherent overall concept and stylish design. The flagship from Google impresses with a very bright and accurate OLED display, outstanding system performance and a great camera setup. 

In addition to powerful cameras, the Google Pixel 8 Pro offers the longest update guarantee among flagship smartphones with seven years of updates.

The Pixel 8 Pro's main camera uses a 50 MPix Samsung sensor, which is complemented by an ultra-wide-angle sensor with 48 MPix and a fivefold optical zoom. Both the main lens and the telephoto lens can rely on optical image stabilization (OIS). We really like the pictures taken with the 50 MPix camera, with good results even in low-light situations. Compared to its predecessor, however, the ultra-wide-angle and telephoto lenses in particular have been greatly improved

While you can purchase the Google Pixel 8 Pro directly from the online shop of the manufacturer, alternatively it is also available from other vendors such as Amazon.

Google Pixel 8 Pro: focus
Google Pixel 8 Pro: focus
Google Pixel 8 Pro: colors
Google Pixel 8 Pro: colors
Google Pixel 8 Pro: sample photo
Google Pixel 8 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

3rd – 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.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: focus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: focus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: colors
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: colors
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: sample photo
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: sample photo

Pricecompare

4th – 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 €590 (~$652).

Huawei Nova 11 Pro: focus
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: focus
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: colors
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: colors
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: sample photo
Huawei Nova 11 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

5th – Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

The Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 has a quad-camera setup with two telephoto lenses and an ultra-wide-angle camera (12 MPix), which was developed in cooperation with Leica. The main sensor is a Sony IMX800 with 54 MPix, of which 50 MPix are effectively used.

In daylight, the Foldable takes very good quality pictures that impress with their high image sharpness, natural colors and a strong dynamic range. Difficult lighting conditions also pose no problems for the Mix Fold 3. For a foldable smartphone, the strong zoom qualities are particularly noteworthy. A 10-MPix lens works with a 3.2x optical magnification, while the 12-MPix lens uses a 5x optical zoom.

The Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 is a powerful foldable with an extensive range of features, although it is significantly cheaper than many of its competitors. 

In addition to flagship-worthy features including WiFi 7 and two 120 Hz AMOLED displays, the Mix Fold 3 offers a high-quality casing. Officially, the Xiaomi foldable has only been released for the Chinese market.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: focus
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: focus
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: colors
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: colors
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: sample photo
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: sample photo

Pricecompare

6th – 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.

In the US, interesting users can order the Xiaomi 13 Ultra via Amazon for around $935.

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

7th – 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.

Huawei P60 Pro: focus
Huawei P60 Pro: focus
Huawei P60 Pro: colors
Huawei P60 Pro: colors
Huawei P60 Pro: sample photo
Huawei P60 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

8th – 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.

Honor Magic5 Pro: focus
Honor Magic5 Pro: focus
Honor Magic5 Pro: colors
Honor Magic5 Pro: colors
Honor Magic5 Pro: sample photo
Honor Magic5 Pro: sample photo

Pricecompare

9th – Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung Galaxy S23

The Samsung Galaxy S23 impresses in our test report with great voice quality, a long update supply, plenty of power and high endurance. The rear cameras also have nothing to hide from the competition thanks to their appealing quality. However, the Galaxy S23's all-new front camera also scores points with its autofocus, which is not a given in this price range.

The Galaxy S23 has great camera features packed into a small case.

At the heart of the Galaxy S23's cameras is a 50 MPix sensor, which offers beautiful photos with a high level of detail in daylight. The ultra-wide-angle lens is also visibly improved compared to the Galaxy S22 and now uses the same sensor as in the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The third lens in the triple camera system is a triple optical magnification lens which, like the main sensor, has optical image stabilization. The maximum magnification (30x) is not really suitable for photos, but up to a 10x zoom, the performance offered is sufficient for social media.

The Galaxy S23 is available from Samsung in various countries. Alternatively, users in the US can order the Samsung's phone via Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy S23: focus
Samsung Galaxy S23: focus
Samsung Galaxy S23: colors
Samsung Galaxy S23: colors
Samsung Galaxy S23: sample photo
Samsung Galaxy S23: sample photo

Pricecompare

10th – Sony Xperia 1 V

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony Xperia 1 V

The Sony Xperia 1 V camera system, which according to Sony was developed by engineers from the α-1 series, is powered by software that is in love with detail. With the various in-house applications and familiar Alpha camera features, such as eye autofocus with object tracking in real time, photos and videos can be recorded in a highly individualized way. 

The new Exmor T sensor of the main camera with its stacked technology offers high dynamic range and low noise. In dark surroundings, the 48-MPix optics produce very well-lit images. However, the special feature of the Xperia 1 V is the variable periscope lens with a lossless zoom between 85 mm and 125 mm. Behind the variable telephoto lens is an optically stabilized sensor that works continuously between a magnification of 3.5x and 5.2x.

The Sony Xperia 1 V is perfect for those who want to make a lot of camera settings on their smartphone.

In our review, the Xperia 1 V proves to be one of the most exciting high-end smartphones in 2023. With its bright 4K OLED panel including high color gamut coverage, microSD card and 3.5 mm jack support and connectivity with Sony's own Alpha cameras, this individualist among flagship phones offers an unrivalled equipment package.

While you can purchase the Sony Xperia 1 V directly from the online shop of the manufacturer, alternatively it is also available from other vendors such as Amazon.

Sony Xperia 1 V: focus
Sony Xperia 1 V: focus
Sony Xperia 1 V: colors
Sony Xperia 1 V: colors
Sony Xperia 1 V: sample photo
Sony Xperia 1 V: sample photo

Pricecompare

Top 10 Camera Smartphones Picture Comparison

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Google Pixel 8 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.

WindowsCatHouseCellarHorse

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

Older camera comparisons of the best smartphones in terms of cameras


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.

TreeBookshelfHouseDwarvesPortrait

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