Smartphone cameras have come a long way, from the laughable VGA cameras of the past to the double and even triple camera setups we see today that are comparable to entry-level DSLRs. Getting decent camera phones has become more and more affordable over the last couple of years, with camera prowess now becoming an essential factor influencing the customers’ choice even in the budget segment.
Since almost all smartphone manufacturers are now (falsely?) claiming that their devices feature the best cameras, getting a great deal could sometimes be a bit harrowing for buyers who aren’t up to speed with the latest trends in the space. In order to help you make an informed decision regarding your next purchase, we’ve compiled a list of the best camera phones in the market today, encompassing everything from the budget segment to premium flagships, which offer the best camera performance for their price.
Best Camera Phones You Can Buy (June 2018):
Best Flagship Camera Phones
1. Google Pixel 2/Pixel 2XL
If you don’t want to make any compromises when it comes to your smartphone’s camera performance, then the Google Pixel 2 is your clear choice. There are quite a few reason why the Pixel 2 takes the top spot in this segment, with its sheer ease of use giving it a significant edge over all other smartphone cameras. Additionally, Google’s software optimizations are unsurprisingly the best in the industry, which allows the Pixel 2 to take stunning Portrait shots with just a single lens.
Hardware wise, the Pixel 2 includes a 12.2MP f/1.8 camera sensor on the back with OIS, EIS, PDAF, and LDAF, which might not look impressive on paper, but surely is impressive in real world use. Up front the device packs in an 8MP f/2.4 sensor which is great for capturing selfies or making video calls. Images captured by the Pixel 2 are just great, with ample amounts of detail, high dynamic range, little to no noise, and vivid colors. Starting at Rs. 47,138, the Pixel 2 duo are the best camera phones in the market today, and if you have the dough, you don’t need to think twice before you go ahead with the purchase.
Buy from Amazon: Rs. 47,138
2. Huawei P20 Pro
Boasting of a trip camera setup, Huawei’s flagship P20 Pro takes the second spot in the segment. The device features a 40MP f/1.7 + 20MP f/1.8 + 8MP f/2.4 primary camera setup on the back and a 24MP f/2.0 selfie camera up front. The triple cameras on the P20 Pro aren’t a gimmick by any means and deliver sharp images with ample details and amazing colors in daylight conditions. Low light performance is also at par with the Pixel 2, however, the P20 Pro does struggle with portrait mode images in low light.
The Night Mode feature on the P20 Pro delivers stunning images in low light, increasing the exposure time automatically to enhance details and reduce noise. The selfie camera on the P20 Pro is no slouch either, delivering images with great detail and color accuracy. The device even support portrait mode up front and portrait mode selfies captured by the 24MP camera have accurate edge detection and a smooth bokeh effect. Priced at Rs. 64,999, the Huawei P20 Pro might seem a bit expensive, but the triple camera setup is well worth the price. On top of that, the P20 Pro has a more modern design, which gives it another edge over the Pixel 2 duo.
Buy from Amazon: Rs. 64,999
3. Apple iPhone X
Taking the third spot in this segment is Apple’s flagship – the iPhone X. The device packs in a dual 12MP camera setup on the back, with the main wide-angle sensor featuring optical image stabilization and an f/1.8 aperture. The secondary telephoto lens is also optically stabilized and has an aperture of f/2.4. Images captured by the primary camera setup are excellent, with saturated colors, high dynamic range and good depth of field. Since both the sensor are optically stabilized, low light performance is also top notch.
Portrait mode shots are also pretty great, however, the device does struggle with edge detection at times. Up front, the device features a 7MP selfie camera, which also supports portrait mode shots. While normal selfies turn out great, the portrait mode remains lacking with the phone often blurring out the wrong part of the image or struggling with edge detection. Starting at Rs. 85,999, the iPhone X is rather expensive, compared to other smartphones in the segment (Apple tax :P), so we’d suggest that you give your purchase some thought.
Buy from Amazon: Rs. 85,999
4. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
And finally, taking the last spot in this segment (and the list overall) is the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus with its 12MP + 12MP primary dual camera setup with one of the lenses featuring variable aperture. The device is capable of clicking some really good photos, however, the colors look a bit too over saturated at times. The images have great detail and high dynamic range in daylight conditions and low light images free from any blurs or noise.
Portrait mode on the Galaxy S9 Plus is also pretty decent, with nice edge detection and smooth background blur. Up front, the Galaxy S9 Plus includes an 8MP f/1.7 selfie shooter which is pretty capable. The selfie camera also supports portrait mode shots, however, the photos turn out a bit smooth. Priced at Rs. 64,900, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a capable smartphone when it comes to camera performance, however, I personally prefer the aforementioned camera phones more than the Galaxy S9 Plus, which is why it takes the last spot in this segment.
Buy from Flipkart: Rs. 64,900
Best Camera Phones Under 40000 INR
1. OnePlus 6
Taking the top spot in this segment is the infamous flagship killer – the OnePlus 6. The device features a 16MP f/1.7 + 20MP f/1.7 primary dual camera setup on the back, which is capable of capturing some amazing pictures with great details and vivid color reproduction. We’ve already reviewed the camera on the OnePlus 6 in great detail and the verdict is quite straightforward – the device has packs in a great camera at quite an affordable price.
While the camera may not be as good as the one on the Pixel 2, it isn’t bad either and captures images with virtually no noise and high dynamic range. Low light performance is also pretty good, thanks to the inclusion of OIS on the primary lens, which significantly reduces blurs. Portrait mode performance is rather average, with the camera not being able to detect edges at times, but it isn’t a complete deal breaker. Up on the front, the OnePlus 6 features a 16MP f/2.0 selfie shooter, which will allow you take well detailed selfies that have good details and dynamic range.
Buy from Amazon: starts at Rs. 34,999
2. Honor 10
OnePlus 6’s closest competitor – the Honor 10 – takes the second spot in this segment, with its 24MP f/1.8 + 16MP f/1.8 dual camera setup which performs almost identically as the OnePlus 6. The primary cameras are able to capture a lot of details and the dynamic range is even better than the OnePlus 6, however, the gimmicky AI mode over saturates the images, which is kind of a downer. Low light performance is also pretty good, with the sensor capable of capturing enough light to eliminate most noise.
Up front, the Honor 10 packs in a 24MP f/2.0 selfie shooter which is capable of taking remarkable selfies, even in low light. Portrait mode on the Honor 10 is somewhat of a hit-or-miss, with the device delivering stunning images at times and completely botching up the bokeh on a fair few occasions. Priced at Rs. 32,999, the Honor 10 is a compelling buy in this segment and despite undercutting the OnePlus 6’s price, it takes the second spot only because of the otherworldly performance that the OnePlus 6 offers.
Buy from Flipkart: Rs. 32,999
3. LG G6
Despite the fact that the LG G6 came out early in 2017, the device features respectable specifications for the price and a pretty great camera setup which delivers high-quality images with amazing details and high dynamic range. The LG G6 features a dual 13MP camera setup on the back with a wide-angle lens. The wide-angle lens fits a larger area in the frame which great for landscape photography.
Up at the front, the LG G6 has a 5MP selfie shooter which takes good selfies, but isn’t as good as the OnePlus 6 or the Honor 10. On top of that the smartphone includes a Snapdragon 821 processor, which is another downside, but for the price it still beats all other smartphones in this price range when it comes to raw performance. If great primary camera performance is all that you’re looking for and you don’t mind rocking slightly outdated specs, then the LG G6 should be your go to choice, coming in at just Rs. 28,382.
Buy from Amazon: Rs. 28,382
4. Vivo V9
Taking the fourth spot in this segment, the Vivo V9 packs in a 16MP+5MP dual camera setup which is capable of taking some stunning photos. It comes with a ton of software features like slow motion, AI face beauty, time-lapse photography, live photo, bokeh mode, AR sticker, 4K video, etc. which add on to the overall camera experience. Portrait shots captured by the Vivo V9 stand out from the crowd, offering great edge detection and a smooth background blur.
The Vivo V9 also packs in a 24MP front-facing camera which is great for selfies and the software optimizations add on to the overall picture quality which will surely not disappoint. Coming in at Rs. 22,990, the Vivo V9 boasts of solid camera performance and the beautiful 6.3-inch edge-to-edge display is an added benefit, which makes the device a rather formidable contender in this price bracket.
Buy from Amazon: Rs. 22,990
Best Camera Phones Under 20000 INR
1. Huawei P20 Lite
Priced at Rs. 19,999, the Huawei P20 Pro features the best camera setup for its price, which is why it makes it to the top spot in this segment. The Huawei P20 Pro packs in a dual 16MP+2MP primary camera setup on the back which is capable of taking detailed and vivid daylight photos. The device doesn’t disappoint in low light performance, delivering well lit images with little to no noise, and it’s also capable of taking great portrait shots with a nice bokeh effect.
Up front, the P20 Lite features a 24MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture that takes awesome selfies. On top of that, the selfie shooter can also take portrait selfies, thanks to software optimizations, with 3D portrait lighting effects like those on the iPhone X. If you have a budget of exactly Rs. 20,000, then don’t look any further. The Huawei P20 Lite is the perfect choice for you!
Buy from Amazon: Rs. 19,999
2. Honor 9 Lite
In case your wallet doesn’t quite allow you to get the Huawei P20 Lite, there’s no need to worry. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor also has a great option for you – the Honor 9 Lite. Coming it at Rs. 14,999, the Honor 9 Lite is a true camera-centric smartphone which features a 13MP+2MP dual camera setup on both the front and the back, which is quite the capable performer.
The Honor 9 Lite’s cameras perform well in both well-lit and low-light scenarios, delivering crisp photos every time. Since it features a dual camera setup on either side, portrait mode shots are a given and they turn out quite decent, in my opinion. Powered by the Kirin 659 processor, which is great at post processing, the Honor 9 Lite is capable of delivering satisfactory images every time. In case you don’t want the extra processing power, you can also opt in for the 3GB/32GB variant which will save you around 4,000 bucks.
Buy from Flipkart: Rs. 14,999
3. Redmi Note 5 Pro
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series is well known for offering great performance and durability at an affordable price, with this year’s Redmi Note 5 Pro introducing another great feature to the lineup – a dual camera setup. The Redmi Note 5 Pro houses a 12MP+5MP dual camera setup on the back, which is capable of taking great images for the price. We’ve already reviewed its camera in detail and we were pleasantly surprised by its performance. Daylight photography is great, however, the image quality suffers a bit in low light conditions.
Up on the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has a 20MP selfie shooter which is capable of taking crisp and clear selfies with great details and vivid colors. Both the front and rear camera setups support portrait mode shots, but you shouldn’t expect too much from the device in that regard. In my opinion, the Redmi Note 5 Pro isn’t just a good camera phone, it’s also a great smartphone overall, which helps it make it to the third spot in this price segment.
Buy from Flipkart: starts at Rs. 14,999
4. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 takes the final spot in this segment, as it offers a great dual camera setup at a very affordable price. Coming in at just Rs. 10,999, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 includes a 13MP+5MP dual camera setup on the back, along with an 8MP selfie shooter up front. Taking the price into consideration, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 offers great camera performance, delivering good daylight and portrait mode shots.
Compared to other smartphones in this price segment, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 struggles a bit in low light conditions and the selfie camera isn’t as good , but once again, for the price, we can’t really ask for more. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is also available in a 4GB/64GB configuration which is priced at Rs. 12,999, but since it has the same camera configuration, don’t expect any improvements in the camera department.
Buy from Flipkart: starts at Rs. 10,999
SEE ALSO: The Best Gaming Phones of 2018
A Great Camera Phone For Every Budget!
That concludes our list of the best camera phones in the market today and we hope that you find the perfect choice for your budget. Each smartphone camera on the list is a bit different from the other, with their own strong suits and shortcomings. So choose something that fits your budget and complements your style! Don’t forget to let us know your personal favorite out of the list in the comments section down below.