Best camera phones

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.

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.

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4. iPhone 7 Plus

As always, the latest iPhone comes with a top-notch snapper. The Plus version, however, has the toppest-notchest of all: there are two lenses - one regular 12MP lens and one wide-angle version - along with phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, and the ability to shoot video in 4K or slow-mo. A new update also means the two lenses can work together for some incredible depth-of-field features.

There aren't many manual settings in the iOS camera app, so it's not great for pro photographers who want full control - but it's easy to point and shoot and actually get good results.

And, thanks to the 7's new water-resistant body, you can take pics in the rain, behind a waterfall, or from the bottom of a puddle without worrying about water damage.

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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.

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2. Samsung Galaxy S8

It may only have one lens, but the camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the best you can get on a phone. It’s got everything you could expect and more: a 12MP lens, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilisation, and a large dual pixel sensor that means it excels in low light. And - bonus! - there’s an 8MP front-facer too.

You get the same setup whether you opt for the standard S8 or the holy-cow-this-is-big S8+. And either way, you’re able to view your photos in wonderful definition thanks to the QHD (Quad HD) display. Its powerful processors mean you can also record 4K videos without any trouble.

It’s not exactly the cheapest phone out there, but you get a lot for your money with the S8.

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1. Google Pixel

12.3MP lens, phase detection and laser autofocus, 1.55µm pixel size, dual-tone flash… It's no surprise that camera analyser DxOMark has rated the camera on the Google Pixel as the best one out there, giving it nearly top marks on everything it tested. It's even narrowly pipped the Galaxy S7 to the top because of the more vibrant colours it's capable of capturing.

But not only is it great for photography nerds like the fine folks at DxO, it also produces great shots for the average point-and-shoot joe. With its impressive HDR mode you're almost guaranteed good pics no matter what you're snapping.

And you get so much more with the Pixel, too. It comes with the brand new Android Nougat straight out the box, and inside its cool metal chassis you'll find 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB of internal storage, and a chunky battery. If you want the best in class from your smartphone camera, the Pixel is the way to go.

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FAQs

  1. If I switch, can I keep my mobile number?
    Yes you can. All you have to do is ask your old network for your Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) before your contract is up. Then give the PAC - likely a nine-digit number - to your new provider and you’ll usually be able to use your old number within a working day.
  2. How do I switch mobile contracts?

    First, pick a new mobile contract by comparing different packages on our site, and click through to sign up to one that looks good.

    Then, simply contact your current provider to cancel, and switch to the new contract. Providers should walk you through the process when you sign up.

  3. Can I use my mobile phone abroad?

    It is possible to use your phone abroad, but before you can do so you may have to activate roaming with your network operator. Different countries incur different charges, but if you’re travelling within the EU, your operator should send you a message about roaming prices upon your arrival. And remember, unlike at home, you may be charged for receiving calls as well as making them.

    See our guide to using your phone abroad for more info.