Camera capability is closely related to the price of a phone in most instances. However, we also see affordable and mid-range phones with cameras capable of capturing good quality images and videos, especially since most people only share captured content on social media platforms and via electronic messaging.
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Apple’s biggest and most feature-rich iPhone is a mouthful, the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple listened to customers and while the phone looks just about the same as last year’s 12 Pro Max it is a tad thicker with a larger capacity battery and longer battery life. Read our full review: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max The display now supports a refresh rate up to 120 Hz, while the optical zoom on the telephoto camera is improved to 6x. Macro photography and cinematic video modes are new features in the camera system that are sure to please photographers and videographers alike.
Apple continues to actively improve iOS 15 while also offering 1TB of internal storage so you can capture content to your heart’s delight.

   Lovely display    Flawless performance   Long battery life   Superb cameras


   Expensive   Big and heavy

Google’s newest Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6 launched in October and brought with them the promise of amazing photography. Google has long done well with its cameras due to software algorithms and enhancements, but this year also adds in hardware components with upgraded cameras and a Google Tensor processor.Read our full review: Google Pixel 6 Pro The phone is focused on the camera experience, and the potential is there for this to be the best camera phone on the market, but we’ll have to see as devices get into the hands of reviewers. Unlike past Pixel phones that always had something disappointing, Google may have finally released a flagship worthy of that title. Android 12 powers the phone, and you can rest assured of updates for years. The new OS is focused on matching your colors and styles while also working to optimized the experience for your needs. Pros:

   New camera experiences and advanced software enhancements.   High-quality hardware features   Affordable price for a flagship.


   Limited availability.

Samsung’s first flagship phone of 2022 was released as the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G. While the S21 Ultra from 2021 supported the S Pen, there was no way to store, carry, or charge up the S Pen. With the S22 Ultra, Samsung has fully embraced it as the Note successor with an S Pen silo, flat and square design elements, and all of the latest and greatest specifications in a smartphone. See the full review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra The Galaxy S22 phones were the first to launch widely with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor inside. While the same resolution cameras are found in this year’s S22 Ultra, Samsung improved the camera’s capabilities, especially in terms of low-light shooting. With two telephoto cameras, Samsung stands out from Apple and Google with fantastic zoom capability. Pros:

An amazing quad rear camera systemGorilla Glass Victus PlusFully integrated S Pen supportFantastic 5G and RF performanceHigh capacity battery


Some duplicate Samsung apps

OnePlus used to be the “flagship killer” brand but has since evolved into higher-priced flagships directly challenging the likes of Samsung and Apple. Compared to Samsung, OnePlus offers an experience that is free from ads and bloatware while also now providing some interesting features such as reverse wireless charging and adaptive 120Hz displays. See the full review: OnePlus 10 Pro We’ve hit year two of the brand’s partnership with Swedish camera-maker Hasselblad and the latest update comes in the form of the 50-megapixel ultra-wide lens. With it, you can capture as wide as 150-degrees of imagery, which makes the OnePlus 10 Pro a stellar pick for landscape photography. The far-range camera also lends itself to excellent macro shots and what OnePlus calls “XPan mode”. Paying homage to Hasselblad, XPan photos fill a 65:24 aspect ratio, creating a wide and cinematic impression. Pros:

Various use-cases with the ultra-wide lens.Capable cameras that produce natural-looking images.Undercuts Apple and Samsung flagships in pricing.


Hasselblad influence is still limited to software.Selfie camera does not record in 4K.

Most people use the automatic settings of their smartphone camera, but for those who want to take things to the next level, there is the Sony Xperia Pro-I is the one for them. The phone was developed with help from Sony’s Alpha camera engineers, and even after several weeks of use, the phone was too much for me to handle. See the full review: Sony Xperia Pro-I While many smartphones have basic software to control your cameras, Sony provides software that gives users full control over every function in the triple camera array. Unlike every other Android phone I have used, there is no application on the phone called Camera. Instead, Sony provides Photo Pro, Cinema Pro, and Video Pro apps. There is also an Imaging Edge app that supports connections to dedicated cameras. Sony has several features that have been brought forward from phones of the past, including a microSD card, camera shutter button, 3.5mm audio port, and a notification light. These are all useful for professional photographers. Pros:

Advanced, expert-level camera appsSolid battery lifeExcellent build qualityFamiliar Sony Alpha camera experienceLovely high-resolution display


Very expensiveLimited zoom capabilitySensitive shutter button

The 2020 Galaxy Z Fold 2 set the bar for foldable devices that also serve as mini tablets. At first glance, the Z Fold 3 may appear to be just a minor update to the Z Fold 2, but at a starting price of  $200 less, Samsung provides S Pen support and IPX8 water resistance. These were two features many have asked for, and Samsung delivered once again. Read our full review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 In addition to a couple of new features, the cover display resolution and refresh rate were updated so you get a high-resolution display with 120 Hz support constructed of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The main display has improved panels and a screen protector that provides an 80% increase in its durability. The three main cameras are basically the same, but the new under-display camera is a step forward in mobile technology. Pros:

An innovative engineering marvelArmor Aluminum material for a lighter and sleeker phoneHigh IPX8 water resistanceS Pen supportImproved software optimized for foldables


Still expensive, but $200 less than last yearS Pen purchase separately

In addition to all of the great smartphone features on the Find X5 Pro, the rear triple-camera system is interesting since it opens up a new area for creativity while also offering more color support than native Android code. Oppo worked hard to provide a compelling camera experience through hardware and software. Read more: This is Oppo’s new Find X5 Pro flagship Like its BBK Electronic stablemate OnePlus, Oppo this year has partnered with Hasselblad to improve its mobile imaging software. The fruits of the labor comes in the form of night photography and video. Thanks to Hasselblad’s color-tuning and Oppo’s in-house imaging Neural Processing Unit, MariSilicon X, the Find X5 Pro can capture exceptionally sharp and vivid footage in the night sky. Typically when you record videos in the dark, the content can appear grainy and devoid of any color accuracy. What Oppo is doing here remedies those issues and more, creating the first 4K Ultra Night Video mode on an Android smartphone. Pros:

   High-quality rear triple-camera system.   Dependable photo and video shooter at night.   Five-axis OIS system helps with stabilizing footage.


   Poor zoom functionality (omits macro lens of the Find X3 Pro)   Not readily available in the US.

While the Galaxy S22 series provide compelling options, they are flagship phones priced in the $800 and higher range. In order to offer customers another alternative, Samsung released the. Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition) phone. The S21 FE is available in four unique colors to suit your style. Priced at $699.99, you may think Samsung compromised a lot to offer a powerful 5G phone. However, we see a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, large capacity 4500mAh battery, 6 or 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB storage with a microSD card slot, IP68 dust/water resistance, three rear cameras (one with 3X optical and 30x super-resolution zoom), and a high resolution 32MP front camera. Read our full review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Where are the compromises? Exactly, there really aren’t any, and yet the $700 price is where we see phones in the upper mid-range with less capable specs appear. The S21 FE challenges Google’s new Pixel 6 and other phones. Pros:

Outstanding cellular receptionReasonable price120 Hz high-refresh-rate displayCapable cameras


Pixel 6 is a compelling challengerPlastic back panel

The Bullitt Group has released a few Cat-branded phones in the past that are built for fieldwork. While the phones have mid-range specifications, they are extremely capable and have unique features that make them valuable to professionals. This is the third generation phone with an integrated FLIR thermal camera, and that is clearly a focus for this rugged smartphone. There is a 4x increase in the number of thermal pixels over the last FLIR model, which allows users to vary the intensity of MSX. Users can monitor a custom temperature range between -4°F to +752°F and alert the user when something falls out of the established range. See the full review: Cat S62 Pro full review The Cat S62 Pro is built for work, so with the FLIR camera, you can use the phone in just about any environment and capture thermal results for your environment. Pros:

   Unique FLIR thermal imaging camera.   Advanced software for optimal results.   Rugged construction.   Affordable price.


   Heavy phone.   Mid-range processor.

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro incorporate Google’s advanced camera algorithms and improved camera hardware. They arguably are the best point and shoot cameras available, but Google seems to be having issues releasing stable updates for cellular reception and other functions. Due to their limited dimensions, mainly the thickness of the phone, smartphones cannot match the full capability of a DSLR, and you will not find professionals using a smartphone for weddings, graduations, sporting events, or other similar activities.  However, many of us have given up our point-and-shoot cameras and find smartphones perfectly capable of serving as our primary camera. Given that people don’t print photos as much while sharing them on social media and online services, a smartphone is perfectly capable. If you want the manual functions seen in a DSLR, then you should consider the Sony Xperia Pro-I. Many of the available apps are free or have trial versions, so you can download, install, and test apps as you evaluate the limits of your smartphone cameras.  Many articles cover the most popular and functional applications, so give some a try and see what your smartphone camera can do. Moment makes various lenses that attach to your smartphone to enhance the capability of your cameras. Still, the company also has a large collection of online lessons to provide you with advanced photography lessons. While we have our own typical camera use scenarios, selecting one of these phones for yourself will heavily depend on the primary usage of the cameras on your phone. We focus our time on travel and flower photos with some video content.