Looking to up your photography game? A new camera smartphone will do wonders for your social media photos. Here are the best Android camera phones that deliver sparkling sunsets, irresistible food and dazzling nightscapes, whatever your budget!
What to look for in an Android camera phone in 2022
If you’re looking for an Android smartphone with a great camera, there are many factors to consider when buying. Many companies try to distract customers with gimmicky features and specs that look good on paper, but they don’t tell the whole story.
Take megapixels for example. If they can increase the resolution of your images, unless features like post-processing and color reproduction are good, you’ll wonder what went wrong with that unimpressive photo or video you just took.
Companies like Google have gone the software route for their cameras. The search giant’s range of smartphones rely on advanced algorithms to produce flagship-quality images, and Pixel phones are well known for their high-quality photos.
On the other hand, the camera material itself is also important. You can have the best smartphone camera software on the market, but if the sensor isn’t good enough, you’ll hit the ceiling in terms of versatility and quality sooner than expected.
Samsung is a notable player in the hardware arena. Some of its newer flagship phones have 108MP sensors and periscope telephoto lenses, adding a wide range of shooting options to the camera app’s arsenal that the competition doesn’t have. just not.
With so many different ways to implement a smartphone camera, it’s our job to break them down and highlight the best. Below, we’ve listed a handful of phones that excel in their respective categories and offer the best balance between hardware and software.
Best Android camera phone overall: Google Pixel 6 Pro
If you want the absolute best camera you can find on an Android phone, you can’t go wrong with the Pixel 6 Pro. Pixel cameras have always been great, and this new model has three on the back.
What continues to set Pixel cameras apart from the crowd, however, are all of Google’s special software features. Features like portrait mode, night mode, magic eraser, face scrub and live photos are amazing. You get so much more than just megapixels here.
Speaking of megapixels, there are also plenty. The main camera is 50 MP, it is joined by a 12 MP ultra-wide camera and a 48 MP telephoto camera with 4x optical zoom. This means you have a camera for group shots and when you can’t get close enough to something. There’s a camera for every situation!
In addition to the cameras, the Pixel 6 Pro has a stunning 6.7-inch display with 1440 x 3120 resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate. It is complemented by a 5,000 mAh battery, the processor Google Tensor and 12 GB of storage space. It’s a powerhouse in a phone.
The Pixel 6 Pro costs $900 and comes with three years of Android updates. It’s not as long as high-end Samsung phones, but you’ll still get updates first. The software is the purest version of Android you can find.
Best budget Android camera phone: Google Pixel 6a
What if you could get most of the same cameras as the Pixel 6 for $150 less? That’s exactly what you can get with the Pixel 6a.
The Pixel 6a has the same 12.2MP primary camera that has been a Google winner for several years. The 8MP front-facing camera is the same as the Pixel 6a, along with an ultra-wide secondary camera on the back.
So what is responsible for this cheaper price? The Pixel 6a lacks the same 50MP main camera as the standard Pixel 6. Instead, you get the 12MP camera from older Pixel models, which is becoming obsolete. But you also get access to Google’s amazing photo software, which makes your photos look amazing…
As for the other cuts, the 6.1-inch display also has a 60Hz refresh rate compared to the Pixel 6a’s 90Hz. The 6a has 6GB of RAM, while the 6 has 8GB. However, they both have Google’s Tensor chip, so for most people the 6a will work just fine.
All in all, it’s a pretty sweet deal if the Pixel 6 is expensive for you. You will miss small things like wireless charging, but the camera performance will be perfect.
Best high-end Android camera phone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
If you want a phone with everything you could want when it comes to cameras, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It has five cameras in total – including four on the back – and a 108MP main camera.
Along with the massive 108MP main camera is a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera and a 10MP 10x telephoto camera. The front camera is 40 MP. Samsung has everything covered, so you can take almost any photo. Ultra-wide lets you step back to get a lot of stuff in the frame, and telephoto lets you see things far away.
There are two telephoto lenses so you don’t lose quality when zooming in. You can zoom 3x or 10x without having to use digital zoom, which is basically cropping an image. In addition, the S22 Ultra comes with a new feature, namely super clear glass lenses that help reduce reflections and glare.
Cameras aside, the S22 Ultra is a beast of a phone in every way. It has a massive 6.8-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage and a 5,000mAh battery. All of these advanced features will set you back about $1,200 or more. It’s not cheap, but it’s as premium as you can get.
Best Android phone with a low-light camera: Google Pixel 6
When it comes to choosing a phone that works best at night, we have to set it to the latest Pixel phone. We’ve already featured the Pixel 6 Pro, so we’re going to show the love to the smaller Google Pixel 6. It’s all about the magic of the Night Sight feature.
Google’s Night Sight feature on the latest Pixel line is perhaps the most impressive setting ever to ship on a smartphone. Once you turn it on and stand still for a while, you can take some really great night shots of pretty much anything. The system relies on long exposures and plenty of post-processing magic to capture images you’d never expect from a smartphone.
The company also offers a feature paired with Night Sight called Astrophotography. This feature specifically searches for a starry sky to highlight the miniature lights overhead, creating images that will leave you speechless. Other phones are not able to take this kind of photography because they don’t have this software feature.
The Pixel 6 doesn’t have as many cameras as the larger Pixel 6 Pro, but it still has the 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera – you’re just missing the telephoto lens. Plus, it’s $300 cheaper than the Pro at $600 MSRP, so it’s a fair trade-off.
Ultimately, Google’s night vision and astrophotography are why the Pixel 5 should be the phone you consider if you take a lot of night shots. He’s just as good.
Best Android phone with camera for selfies: Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
It’s a strange device, but if you want to take the best selfies, check out the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip.
The reason this device made it to our list is the hardware that gave it its name – the rear camera assembly physically flips 180 degrees to face you when you want to take a selfie. This means you can use the 64MP main sensor, 12MP 112-degree ultra-wide angle lens and 8MP telephoto lens to take great selfies. You also get much higher quality images as the sensors are meant for primary photography, not just the occasional selfie for Instagram or Snapchat.
In addition, the video of your selfies will be much better. Asus has equipped the cameras with 8K video recording at 30 frames per second, plus advanced stabilization so that your vlogs will be extra sharp.
Asus has also packed flagship specs into the Zenfone 8 Flip so you don’t have to sacrifice performance. There’s a Snapdragon 888, 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage and a 5,000mAh battery. You also get a 6.67-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED display, stereo speakers, fast charging and an in-display fingerprint reader.
Cons of the Zenfone 8 Flip include no wireless charging and no CDMA support, which means Verizon users won’t be able to use the device. Software support is also historically spotty from Asus, so you might be stuck on Android 11 for a while.
Beyond that, if all you want is the best Android device for taking selfies, you shouldn’t skip the flip.
Best Android video phone: Sony Xperia 1 III
Those serious about recording video on their phone will love the Sony Xperia 1 III. It’s one of the most premium phones you can get with a list of impressive specs like a 4K OLED display, Snapdragon 888, 12GB of RAM and powerful stereo speakers. However, it’s the camera that really stands out thanks to the extra options in Sony’s software.
Xperia 1 III is equipped with a number of professional controls that allow you to adjust almost every aspect of the video you want to record. From ISO to white balance to color grading, you’ll find all the controls a professional could want to create memories and achieve the level of production you desire. You also get Sony’s Cinema Pro app for even more control over your video, as well as advanced audio controls for perfect audio recording.
On top of all that, the Xperia 1 III comes with a 12MP f/1.7 standard lens, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens and a 12MP f/2.3 periscope-style telephoto lens. This hardware, combined with Sony’s innovative camera controls, allows you to create truly stunning videos. You can capture everything up to 4K at 120fps, as well as a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio.
The biggest drawback of the Xperia 1 III is its lack of user-friendly features. Many of the controls and features are aimed at a more experienced market, not those who just want to point and shoot video. Don’t expect the automatic mode for videos to wow you or a single click of the shutter button to capture your next masterpiece without retouching.
With a price tag of $1,299, the Xperia 1 III is far from cheap, but if you really want to shoot video with your phone, Sony’s latest offering is definitely worth considering.