Best Phones for Pictures 2021

best phones for pictures

If you are looking to buy the best phone for pictures, this guide will help you make the right choice.

Our top picks for the best phones for pictures have class-leading cameras which are capable of excellent images, with the best colour, detail, and exposure.

From Apple to Samsung, we look at the best phones for pictures in greater depth.

Best Phones for Pictures at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (Editors’ Choice)   Check Price on Amazon
2 Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus   Check Price on Amazon
3 Google Pixel 4 Check Price on Amazon
4 Huawei P40 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
6 OnePlus 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple iPhone 11 Check Price on Amazon
8 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy Note Plus Check Price on Amazon

 

1. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (Editors’ Choice)

best phones for pictures

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The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max is the best phone for pictures and our Editors’ Choice.

As with every gadget Apple produces, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is an excellent smartphone. One of the remarkable features of this phone is its tripartite camera setup. The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s camera photography capabilities are simply outstanding.

The iPhone Pro Max’s rear features a triple-camera system.  A 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, a second 12-megapixel telephoto lens, this time with an f/2.0 aperture (for incredible low-light photography), and a third 12-megapixel ultrawide lens with an f/2.4 aperture for a wider field of view.

The front camera boasts a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture.

This triple camera setup offers more resolution. You’d be amazed at the sharpness and brightness of images.

Apple has incorporated an AI-enabled Smart HDR technology into its cameras for semantic rendering of particular areas separately.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s Night Mode feature is god sent. It is very useful for low-light photography

The Night Mode feature is triggered automatically when pictures are to be taken in low-light conditions.

A cheaper version of the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the iPhone 11 which lacks the 52mm telephoto lens. That said, the iPhone 11’s photography capabilities are pretty decent.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max offers plenty of storage space for storing your images. 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB are storage options available.

Finally, battery life is incredible – Apple isn’t skimping on the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s battery performance. You’d get a full-day battery life.

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PROS

  • Outstanding cameras
  • Impressive Night mode feature
  • Excellent battery life
  • Ample storage

CONS

  • Quite pricey

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max Key Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch, 1242 x 2688 pixels
Processor: A13 Bionic
Operating System: iOS 13, upgradable to iOS 13.3
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB
Front Camera: 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (Wide)
Rear Cameras: 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (Wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS; 12 MP, f/2.0, 52mm (Telephoto) 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom; 12MP, f/2.4, 13mm (Ultrawide)
Size: 158 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 0.50 pound (226 g)
Battery: 3969 mAh

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2. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is one of the best Android-powered phones for pictures.

It packs a four-camera setup – three rear cameras and one front-facing camera.

You’d find on the rear, a 12-megapixel wide angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS), a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture.

These sensors are better than the sensors on the Samsung S10 Plus.

The front camera which rounds out the four-camera setup touts a 10-megapixel wide angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture.

For more telephoto power, you may lean toward the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra which features a 108-megapixel main sensor and a 100x Space Zoom feature.

The Night mode is a feature worth applauding. It does a pretty good job capturing scenes in very low-light conditions.

The Galaxy S20 Plus comes with other cutting-edge photography modes, like the Single Take. The Single Take mode takes several photos while also recording videos up to 10 seconds.

Aside from the photography capabilities, the S20 Plus can capture 8K video at 24fps.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is one of the best phones for pictures and is worth buying.

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PROS

  • Class-leading camera
  • Cutting-edge display
  • Sleek design
  • Very good battery life

CONS

  • Expensive, but worth it
  • Absence of 3.5mm headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Key Specifications

Display: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display 1440 × 3200 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Operating System: Android 10
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB
Front Cameras: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.2″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
Rear Cameras: 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; 64 MP, f/2.0, 29mm (telephoto), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 1.1x optical zoom, 3x hybrid zoom; 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1.4µm, Super Steady video
Size: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 0.36 pound (163 g)
Battery: 4000 mAh

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3. Google Pixel 4

best phones for pictures

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The Pixel 4 comes with a 12.2-megapixel wide-angle sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, as well as a 16-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture. It is worth noting that the Pixel 4 lacks an ultrawide lens. It is a shame because this is one camera sensor most phones in the same price range have.

With Google’s Super Res Zoom technology, you get an unbelievable range with little loss of image quality.

Like the Google Pixel 3 whose cameras are the greatest beneficiaries of Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the Google Pixel 4 combines AI and computational photography to produce stellar images.

The Night Sight feature is perfect for taking pictures in low-light conditions.

As a matter of fact, the Google Pixel 4 has a dedicated Astrophotography feature for capturing stars, night skies, and galaxies in low-light conditions. It is the biggest selling point of the Google Pixel 4.

The Astro mode ensures the shutter is held open for several minutes when taking night sky images. You can only get the most out of the Astrophotography feature when you hold the phone completely still. We recommend using a tripod.

Other notable features of the Pixel 4’s cameras include AI white balancing which tweaks colours of tinted images, and the Live HDR+ feature which fine-tunes HDR images in real time.

Put all these features together and you get a exceptional smartphone which gives images with improved sharpness, brightness, colours, and textures.

All in all, the Google Pixel 4 is highly recommended as one of the best phones for pictures.

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PROS

  • First-rate cameras
  • Excellent AI technology features
  • Good screen refresh rate
  • Overall fine performance

CONS

  • Average battery life

Google Pixel 4 Key Specifications

Display: 5.7-inch, P-OLED, 1080 X 2280 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Operating System: Android 10
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Front Camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, 22mm (wide), 1.22µm, no AF; TOF 3D, (depth/biometrics sensor)
Rear Cameras: 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS; 16 MP, f/2.4, 50mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
Size: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 0.36 pound (162 g)
Battery: 2800 mAh

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4. Huawei P40 Pro

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The Huawei P40 Pro’s Leica-powered camera is one of the best you’d find on a smartphone. Little wonder the P40 Pro is one of the best phones for pictures.

The P40 Pro sports a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/1.9 aperture, followed by a 40-megapixel ultrawide lens with and f/1.8 aperture, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens which enables a 10x hybrid zoom, a 50x digital zoom, and a 5x optical zoom.

But the cherry on top of this package is Huawei’s image stabilization feature powered by artificial intelligence, as well as the ZD Fusion image signal processor.

The Night mode feature produces crisp, bright, detailed pictures taken in low-light conditions. As a matter of fact, taking pictures in Night mode yields very good low-light images, as well.

Storage options are decent: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. These storage options come with 8GB of RAM.

Battery life is solid. The Huawei P40 Pro’s battery will last up to 2 days on single charge.

Alas, the absence of Google Play Services proves to be the P40 Pro’s Achilles’ heel.

By and large, the Huawei P40 Pro’s camera remains one of the best phones for pictures and is highly recommended.

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PROS                                                                  

  • Impressive OLED display
  • Cutting-edge cameras
  • Stellar battery life
  • Beautiful design

CONS

  • Audio won’t win awards
  • No Google Play services

Huawei P40 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.58-inch OLED, 1200 x 2640 pixels
Processor: Kirin 990 5G
Operating System: Android 10
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm, AF; IR TOF 3D, (depth/biometrics sensor)
Rear Cameras: 50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28″, 2.44µm, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS; 12 MP, f/3.4, 125mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom; 40 MP, f/1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), 1/1.54″, PDAF; TOF 3D, (depth)
Size: 158.2 x 72.6 x 9 mm
Weight: 0.46 pound (209 g)
Battery: 4200 mAh

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5. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Like the S20 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the best phones for pictures.

The Samsung S20 Ultra has better photographic capabilities than the S20 and S20 Plus. It packs a four-camera setup on the rear and one front-facing camera.

On the rear, you’d find a 108-megapixel wide angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS), a 48-megapixel periscope telephoto sensor with an f/3.5 aperture, a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 0.3-megapixel time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensor with an f/1.0 aperture.

The periscope telephoto sensor is similar to what some high-end Huawei smartphones manage. The 12-megapixel ultrawide lens is an upgrade from the 16-megapixel sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

Rounding out the camera feature set is a 40-megapixel front-facing wide angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture.

When it comes to video recording, the Samsung S20 Ultra is outstanding, too. With the S20 Ultra’s primary camera (i.e., the 108MP lens), you can capture 8K video at 24fps. Additionally, it is possible to capture 4K video at 30fps or 60fps.

On another front, the S20 Ultra pairs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with 128GB of storage and a whopping 12GB of RAM.

Put all the outstanding camera features of the S20 Ultra together and you get a first-rate phone for pictures.

We strongly recommend the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra as one of the best phones for pictures given its camera’s outstanding photographic capabilities.

PROS

  • Class-leading camera
  • Excellent performance
  • Cutting-edge display
  • Outstanding zoom quality
  • Very good battery life

CONS

  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Key Specifications

Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED display 1440 × 3200 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Operating System: Android 10
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB
Front Cameras: 40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 0.7µm, PDAF
Rear Cameras: 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS; 48 MP, f/3.5, 103mm (periscope telephoto), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 4x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom; 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1.4µm, Super Steady video, 0.3 MP, TOF 3D, f/1.0, (depth)
Size: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm
Weight: 0.49 pound (220 g)
Battery: 5000 mAh

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6. OnePlus 8 Pro

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Powered by the superfast Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, the OnePlus 8 Pro has all the bells and whistles of a top-tier phone for pictures.

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera is better than what you’ll find on its predecessor, the OnePlus 7 Pro.

The rear of the OnePlus 8 Pro holds a 48-megapixel ultrawide sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens for 3x optical zoom, and a 5-megapixel colour filter lens.

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s predecessor manages a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor.

You’ll find a 16-megapixel selfie camera on the OnePlus 8 Pro.

So, what’s really new with the OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera? Only the colour filter camera.

Images captured on the OnePlus 8 Pro show the right balance of colour, with lots of detail. Exposure is excellent, as well.

Elsewhere, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s zoom power is pretty good.

As far as video capabilities go, you can record 4K video at 30 or 60fps.

Given its class-leading camera, the OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best phones for pictures.

PROS

  • Better screen quality
  • 12Hz Refresh rate
  • Excellent cameras
  • Super fast performance
  • Wireless charging

CONS

  • Same front-facing camera
  • Colour filter camera could be better
  • MEMC Motion smoothing could be improved

OnePlus 8 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.78 inches, Fluid AMOLED, 3168 x 1440 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Operating System: Android 10
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Front Camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm
Rear Cameras: 8 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto), 1/1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 116˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; 5 MP, f/2.4, (Color filter camera)
Size: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 0.44 pound (199 g)
Battery: 4510 mAh

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7. Apple iPhone 11

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Like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 11 is a first-rate phone for pictures.

It sports the same wide angle and super wide angle lens found on the iPhone 11 Pro, however, it lacks a telephoto lens.

The iPhone 11 has a Night mode feature which is automatically triggered when you’re shooting in low-light conditions. It is worth mentioning that you can’t use the ultrawide angle camera with the Night mode.

Apple has tweaked the iPhone 11’s Portrait Mode, so you can take pictures of objects or anything which isn’t human in portrait form. You can’t do this on the iPhone XR.

With the Smart HDR, you get images which are well-balanced. The iPhone 11 is capable of excellent images, with the best colour, detail, and exposure.

Three storage models are available: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Each storage option comes with 4GB of RAM.

Battery life is even more impressive considering the powerful A13 Bionic processor packed inside the iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 will get you through a working day away from a charge.

The iPhone 11’s  camera and internals are top-notch, making it one of the best phones for pictures, however, if you fancy an iPhone with even better photography capabilities, then lean toward the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

That said, the iPhone 11 remains one of the best phones for pictures.

PROS

  • Impressive battery life
  • Rejuvenated camera
  • Ample colour variants

CONS

  • No headphone dongle
  • Design same as XR

Apple iPhone 11 Key Specifications

Display: 6.1-inch, 828 x 1792 pixels
Processor: A13 Bionic
Operating System: iOS 13, upgradable to iOS 13.5
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB
Front Camera: 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide)
Rear Cameras: 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS; 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
Size: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 0.43 pound (194 g)
Battery: 3110 mAh

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Notable Mentions

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus are equally good phones for pictures.


8.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10

best phones for pictures

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PROS

  • Excellent cameras
  • Impressive video
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Class-leading design
  • Headphone jack
  • Good battery

CONS

  • Low-light performance could be better
  • No microSD card slot

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Key Specifications

Display: 6.47 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G
Operating System: Android 9 Pie
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
Rear Cameras: 108 MP (7P lens), f/1.7, 25mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; 12 MP, f/2.0, 50mm (telephoto), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, 2x optical zoom; 8 MP, f/2.0, (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3.7x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, 20 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.8″, 1.0µm; 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
Size: 157.8 x 74.2 x 9.7 mm
Weight: 0.46 pound (208 g)
Battery: 5260 mAh

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9. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Better S Pen functionality
  • Fast charging feature
  • Superb battery

CONS

  • No headphone jack
  • Pricey

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Key Specifications

Display: 6.8 inches, Dynamic AMOLED, 1080 x 2280 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Operating System: Android 9 Pie upgradable to Android 10
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Front Camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
Rear Cameras:  12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; 12 MP, f/2.1, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom; 16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm
Size: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 0.43 pound (196 g)
Battery: 4300 mAh

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No. Item  
1 Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (Editors’ Choice)   Check Price on Amazon
2 Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus   Check Price on Amazon
3 Google Pixel 4 Check Price on Amazon
4 Huawei P40 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
6 OnePlus 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple iPhone 11 Check Price on Amazon
8 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy Note Plus Check Price on Amazon


Bottom Line

The phones we’ve recommended are the best phones for pictures you can buy. These phones have class-leading cameras which are capable of excellent images, with the best colour, detail, and exposure. They are worth considering.