Best camera phones of 2024

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The top 5 best camera phones

Salman Rushdie once said, ‘A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.’ Today most of us make the moral decision to take pictures of our cats - and for that, we like to use our smartphones.

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The invention of the camera phone was a wonderful thing. Now we have a camera on our person all the time - ready for the very second when Mittens starts jumping in and out of boxes again - and we can share our pics instantly with our friends. But which smartphones can snap the highest quality feline portraits? Read on and we'll take you through our top five favourite camera phones - and how to find the best contract deal for them.

5. Huawei P9

The camera on Huawei's prize product, the P9, is most definitely the best thing about it - thanks to lens technology direct from German brand Leica.

It's rocking not one but two camera lenses: a regular 12MP colour one, and a monochrome one. Together, they can produce gorgeous photos with really close detail - plus you can take some very nice black and white shots for your Instagram. There's also dual-tone flash, phase detection autofocus, and an 8MP lens on the front camera just to sweeten the deal.

Besides all that, it's a pretty good phone. The display is Full HD resolution, and it's got octa-core processors, Android Marshmallow, and a rather gorgeous design.

4. iPhone XS

In recent years Apple has pumped a lot of cash into camera R&D for its phones, and with its latest releases – the iPhone XS and iPhone XR - it looks like money well spent.

The XS sticks to a dual camera in the back, with a new, super-powerful 7MP sensor on the front; and the pro-photographer in you gets a 12MP wide-angle camera with a larger sensor for bigger, deeper pixels, which make for top-level pictures.Another useful feature is its facial landmarking, which lets you adjust image shades and reduces red-eye, so you don’t look demonically possessed in those important selfies.

You can even adjust the clarity of the background of an image, after a picture has been taken AND record videos in 4K. Pretty impressive stuff.

3. LG G5

Like so many smartphones on this list, the LG G5 has got a double-lens setup for its camera: again, one is your regular 16MP lens, and the other is a wide-angle 8MP. And because it's LG, you'll get some pretty in-depth manual controls natively.

However… the G5 also happens to be modular. You aren't stuck with the camera you get out the box. Thanks to its 'Friends' system, you can grab extra modules for your G5 that let you take the exact kind of pictures you want. For a start, there's the LG CAM Plus, which gives you a dedicated shutter button, a zoom dial, and easier-to-use hand grip. Then there's the 360 CAM for 360-degree pics and videos; the Action Cam, which is a lot like a GoPro; and the Rolling Bot, which can roll around on the floor and take pictures for you.

2. Samsung Galaxy S9

Sometimes new releases from the big hitters (Apple and Samsung to name two) can feel a little, well, samey. As tech sites scrabble to review new models, it’s sometimes easier to note what hasn’t changed - over what has.

But with the Galaxy S9’s camera, it’s a clear win-win over its predecessor (which boasted a pretty slick camera). With its variable-aperture lens, you’ll have no problems getting the best out of both day and night photography, whether it’s bright or dull, rain or shine.

In addition, the phone includes extra memory which means the extra shots the camera takes every time you shoot combine to achieve the best shot – and you won’t even notice. Another new feature is the super-slow-motion camera, which looks particularly great in brighter light – capturing 960 frames per second.

A powerful camera that does the business in all kinds of light with lots of cool settings to experiment with.

1. Google Pixel 3

There’s been a lot of noise made about the Google Pixel 3’s camera – and rightly so, it’s a serious piece of kit. Featuring a single, 12.2 MP rear-facing camera and front 8 MP dual cameras, the Pixel 3 is capable of producing crystal-clear images.

It’s also got an improved Visual Core chip, which will allow for all kinds of clever photography features, including HDR and great low light capabilities. They’ll also allow for better bokeh effects - something the iPhone XS and XS Max also focus on.

Stunning shots, real dynamic range and a superb portrait mode. Throw in the ability to take wide-angle selfies and you may just have the best smartphone camera ever created.

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