What are the best smartphones for photography in 2020? For many, the photo part is essential when it comes to choosing a new phone. Which ones are doing best?
Photographers are used to saying that “the best camera is the one you always have on you.” In this respect, our smartphones are often unbeatable, and their quality in the photo is growing. They have ample reason to compete with some cameras, at least for everyday use.
The versatility of different optics, quality of algorithms to improve portrait mode and night shots, stung by the day image. We test more than a hundred smartphones a year by focusing on each of these details. In this selection, you will find those who care for us the best phones of the moment in pictures, which will allow you to take excellent shots in the majority of situations.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 ULTRA
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is Samsung’s main flagship, and it is, as the name suggests, “ultra” complete. Unsurprisingly, it offers high-end services such as a 6.9-inch QHD AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, a potent processor, water-resistance, and a worked design.
That being said, Samsung is making a lot of effort on the photo part that makes today the S20 Ultra the best photophone of the moment, incredibly thexceptionallysatile. Simply.
In truth, it’s not so much about the intrinsic quality of the shots that the S20 Ultra makes the strongest impression. The images are, of course, of excellent quality in all situations. A few rare defects, preferably software, are sometimes to be noted, nothing more, but what makes the S20 Ultra so interesting is the photo module’s versatility. It consists of four sensors: a 108-megapixel main, a 12MP ultra wide-angle, a 48MP 4x telephoto, and a ToF (Time of Flight) sensor.
The most interesting is the telephoto that allows getting a 100x hybrid zoom. It’s just impressive. Even if the shots are not perfect at this zoom level, they remain usable up to 30x. We also note a new technique of pixel binning on the sensor of 108 Mpx, at a rate of 9 pixels to 1, for images in 12 megapixels, therefore. In short, the S20 Ultra impresses. So it’s currently the best option for photo lovers.
Of course, the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 also remain legitimate options, especially if you have a tighter budget. Last year they offered a perfect photo experience. That is still the case today. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is also excellent, although a little is less versatile.
GOOGLE PIXEL 5
Google is particularly renowned for its photo algorithms’ quality and has succeeded in revolutionizing computational imaging on its latest generations of smartphones by offering a limited number of sensors. The Pixel 5, released in 2020, continues this momentum.
Pixel 5, therefore, stands out naturally on the photo part. It has a 12.2-megapixel wide-angle and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, and an 8-megapixel front sensor. The real magic works thanks to computational photography algorithms that completely transform the captured shot behind all this material aspect. And this, under any conditions, whether it’s dark or the target is in motion.
Moreover, for this last point, you will not find a better smartphone on the market that would handle as well the photograph of a subject that moves more or less fast, such as a child or an animal, for example. Note also the excellent quality of the night mode, which revives the colors naturally.
In addition to its many photo qualities, there will also be a very palpable compact format, a beautiful AMOLED Full HD display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. It does not reflect too much light. A user experience is always as clean as an SoC Snapdragon 765G from Qualcomm.
APPLE IPHONE 12 PRO
If it does not represent the best value for money on this generation (it is the iPhone 12 that takes this crown), the iPhone 12 Pro shines particularly brightly on the photo. It features a 2x telephoto lens and LIDAR technology already seen on the iPad Pro.
In practice, this third lens, therefore, gives this smartphone more flexibility in your shooting. For its part, LIDAR is no longer confined to augmented reality applications and is used here to improve focus, especially in low light. As a result, the portrait mode is now compatible with night mode. The 12 Pro also does better in the video since it can record in 4K HDR at 60 im/s. Finally, it can record in RAW for those who want maximum control over their retouching, with a new format that considers the improvements made by artificial intelligence while keeping the data flexibility related to the shooting.
For the rest, the iPhone 12 Pro is a worthy representative of his family. You’ll find top-notch performance, a high-quality screen, and on-on software.
IN AMBUSH: THE IPHONE 12 PRO MAX
If the iPhone 12 Pro is excellent, the 12 Pro Max may break the shack from a photo point of view. Apple is getting the benefit of the additional space to install a more extensive primary sensor. It remains 12 Mpx, but its photosites are 47% larger, representing as much more light to capture. It should therefore be exceptionally gifted in low light. The optical zoom range increases from 4x to 5x, and in the process, we gain optical stabilization by moving the sensor.
of course, we will wait to test it in-depth, but it seems well set to become a reference of the photo.
HUAWEI P30 PRO
The Mate 30 Pro and P40 Pro have been there, but in the absence of Google services, we always recommend the Huawei P30 Pro, which remains a reference in photo. With its triple sensor module 40 – 20 – 8 megapixels, accompanied by a ToF sensor(Time of Flight) to evaluate depth and distance, the Chinese manufacturer’s flagship of early 2019 manages to perfect the already perfect solution of its predecessor.
Whatever the environment (day/night/indoor/outdoor), the shots are always pretty with beautiful bright colors. It also offers a highly efficient ultra-wide-angle mode, an impressive x10 hybrid zoom, and excellent Portrait mode.
Premium smartphone obliges.sly has other advantages under its shell, including its 6.47-inch AMOLED display, its high performance with the Kirin 980 chip, and its remarkable battery life with its 4,200 mAh battery (compatible fast charge, wireless and inverted wireless).
GOOGLE PIXEL 4A
The Google Pixel 4a is a smartphone that brings the main qualities of thePixel rangeflagshipse but at a lower price. The Mountain View firm’s authentic smartphone design is also in a compact and enjoyable format. It even affords the luxury of integrating a 5.81-inch OLED display with a full HD definition of 2340 x 1080 pixels with an edge and edge design with a light punch for the front photosensor.
Everybody knows that. Google’s smartphones allow you to use the latest Android version in its purest form while quickly receiving the latest security updates, and this Pixel 4a is no exception. Besides, the user experience will be seamless daily thanks to its Snapdragon 730G, backed by 6GB of RAM.
The Pixel 4a shines, especially for its photo performance, which is just excellent for this price range. The 12.2-megapixel (f/1.8) mono sensor — also found on the Pixel 4/4XL — aided by Google’s AI, once again delivers stunning results, regardless of the context, even at night. Dual Pixel technology is also on hand to offer better autofocus, but, above all, an efficient portrait mode. In short, it is, without a doubt, the best photophone in its class.
THE 5G VERSION OF THE GOOGLE PIXEL 4A
Also, note the 5G version of the Pixel 4a, available since October 15 in France. This new model has the same photo configuration as the Google Pixel 5 mentioned above, including an ultra-wide-angle lens of 16 megapixels that was not present on the Pixel 4a.
Samsung is usually a reference, not only at the hardware level, since some of its sensors are designed in-house and on the software point.
CAN YOU FIND CHEAP PHOTO SMARTPHONES?
In general, this is not the case. Quality photo blocks are expensive, making it difficult to find good photophones at a low price, even as the quality is increasingly starting to be available in the mid-range. All proportions ke; thisis does not mean that entry-level smartphones will not make beautiful pictures at all. Still, it will, of course, be expected much more limitations, especially under challenging conditions (at night, if the target moves).