Looking for a top-notch camera phone without the premium price-tag? Check out the page below for our top picks, along with some of our favourite deals from the UK’s top providers.
Back when the Spice Girls topped the charts and the DVD player was the height of modern technology, taking a decent picture was a bit of a headache.
Let’s face it, a quick trawl through your freshly developed images would usually reveal that your eyes were half-shut. And that bucket-hat you thought made you look cool and edgy? It didn’t, but by that point, there wasn’t a darn thing you could do about it.
Thank heavens for camera phones, eh?
Today you can capture stunning images in a matter of seconds. And the best part is, there are loads of budget phones - with top-end cameras - to choose from.
What to look for in camera quality
Here’s the problem: because new mod-cons are seemingly always being added to the cameras on phones, it can be difficult to find an affordable phone with a half-decent camera - especially if you’re on a budget.
Fortunately, we relish a challenge here at broadbandchoices, and we’ve found a fair number of phones with some seriously impressive snappers on them.
Here’s what we looked out for:
- Aperture - You’ve probably heard this term before. An aperture is the small hole at the centre of a camera lens. Just like the pupil in your eye, it shrinks and dilates depending on how much light it comes into contact with. The higher the aperture, the less chance that your image will come out blurry.
- Megapixels - To capture the best images possible, your camera phone needs to have a lot of megapixels. Basically, a pixel transforms light into data. And the higher the number of megapixels, the sharper and richer the picture will be overall.
- Large screen and zoom - If you can, try and pick a phone with a large screen and decent zoom capabilities. This might sound obvious, but it’s still important. Afterall, the more you can see on your screen, the higher the chances of capturing a great picture.
- Memory - Naturally, once you’ve picked your handset, you’ll want to show off as many of your pictures as possible. To that end, you’ll need a phone with decent memory. How much you’ll need really depends on how much of a shutterbug you are, but we recommend 32GB at the very least.
Best budget camera phones
With the above check-list in mind, here’s our creme-de-le crème of Britain’s best budget camera phones:
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Right now, Huawei is the most exciting phone manufacturer in the market. And, to be honest, we can see why - it offers premium-looking handsets without the hefty price tags. For that reason alone, we can’t get enough of it.
In terms of camera-performance, the Mate 10 Pro is one of our favourites. It boasts a dual 12MP and 20MP on the back and an 8MP at the front. Both are capable of producing crystal-clear images and detecting objects in real-time thanks to an impressive Kirin AI processor under the hood.
It has a screen size of six inches. And, with a 128 GB of storage option, there’s plenty of room for your photos.
Sony Xperia XA2
Sony’s handsets offer superb value for money, and one of the most impressive things about it is its cameras.
On the back of the Sony Xperia, for example, XA2 is a 23MP snapper capable of producing sharp and clear high resolution images. That said, the camera has received criticism for low-on-detail night shots. Still, for the price, it offers a solid performance and a decent 32GB worth of storage.
Check out our favourite deals by clicking the button, below:
Samsung Galaxy A5
Samsung Galaxy phones are cracking handsets: they’re incredibly easy to use, gorgeous to look at and pack a lot of power under the hood. Most importantly, though, Samsung’s cameras are second to none.
Take the Samsung Galaxy A5 for example. It sports a rear-facing 16MP camera, powerful enough to capture elegant images and free of any confusing modes or lacklustre settings. Plus, you can also shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second.
Indeed, we can’t recommend these snappers highly enough.
For an iPhone that’s now three generations old, the SE still has a heck of a lot to offer on the camera front.
In fact, it packs the sports kind of camera as the iPhone 6S . At the back, the phone sports a 12MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture. The only potential downside to this phone is, to some, it may look a bit dated compared to newer iPhones.
Although Nokia is chiefly known for the legendary 3310, it can still make a great handset with an impressive camera. Case in point: the Nokia 8. It sports a dual 13MP camera with AEISS optics and has 64GB of storage to boot.
Although this camera falls behind flagship handsets, it still has a lot to give. Hit the button below for more of our favourite Nokia deals.
Want to save even more money?
Once you’ve decided on your phone, you’ll need to choose either a contract or a SIM-only deal. To be honest, both have their pros and cons.
A contract deal, for example, means you can spread out the cost of the phone over time, though you’ll probably pay more in total.
On the other hand, if you pay for the phone upfront and take out a SIM-only contract, you’ll only have to fork out each month for your calling minutes, texts and data. For most people, this option works out cheaper, especially if you can get your hands on a second-hand phone, or have one you already like.
Check out our deals page and filter down the results that best suit you.