Ah the photo! Since the first iPhone, photo quality on smartphones has improved enormously. So much so that mobile devices have become the primary tool for taking images, ahead of traditional cameras. It is therefore not surprising to see photo quality among the first three purchasing criteria.
Today, a good photography smartphone delivers shots that rival the best professional DSLR cameras. A feat accomplished thanks to enormous technical progress in photo sensors. But also the arrival of AI, with dedicated processing enclaves on the best chips and what we call computational photography.
< p>To put it simply, current smartphones are able to recreate parts of the image and adjust the colorimetry using machine learning models. And you probably see it like us: it's devilishly effective!
Faced with the proliferation of models, sensors and functionalities, it's difficult to see clearly. And then the photo is not the only criterion of choice. A smartphone must also meet other needs, which makes things even more complicated. To help you see things more clearly, we have put together a comparison of the best photo smartphones on the market.
Top 5 best photo smartphone 2024:
- Apple iPhone 15 Pro/Max
- Google Pixel 8 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
- Google Pixel 7a
< li>Xiaomi 13 Ultra
More than photos, Apple smartphones remain the undisputed kings of video
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If you already have an iPhone 14 Pro/Max, there is no need to really go for the iPhone 15 Pro or its large format version. However, the firm's latest Pro models have some advantages if you are on an older generation of iPhone and are looking for the best smartphone available for photo and video in 2024.
From this point of view, the most interesting model is undoubtedly the iPhone 15 Pro Max model. At the heart of its triple photo sensor, we find a new, significantly larger 48-megapixel sensor – with pixel binning technology which generates images closer to those rendered by professional devices.
All this comes with Apple's ProRAW format, a lossless format that gives more room to adjust parameters like contrast, exposure, black point or colorimetry after shooting , whether in photos or videos. In video, ProRAW in particular delivers impressive results, as shown in the latest keynote shot entirely with iPhone 15 Pro Max.
We also find the best chip currently available, namely the A17 Pro – ; a new USB Type C port compatible with USB 3 for 20x faster transfers (very useful for photos and videos in RAW format). Not to mention their new design, in brushed titanium on the edge.
The best photo smartphone?
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Google remains one of the essential references for smartphone photography and the Pixel 8 Pro is, once again this year, no exception to the rule. The device features a rear camera system consisting of three sensors: a 50 MP wide-angle sensor, a 48 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 48 MP telephoto sensor, which will allow you to capture high-quality images, with up to 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom.
All this with the latest software innovations from Google, like Night Vision mode, which helps you to take clear, detailed photos even in low light conditions, or Portrait mode, which allows you to create soft focus effects in the background. The whole thing benefits from the new in-house Google Tensor G3 chip, with, among other things, even more advanced image processing capabilities.
Otherwise the design does not change much one generation to the next. Google, however, had the good idea of equipping it with a particularly generous 5050 mAh battery.
The best photo smartphone in 2024?
Samsung is another reference in mobile photography and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, in particular, is no exception to the rule – and should remain at the top in 2024. The model, more angular, maintains a strong link with the defunct Note range. There is an S-Pen stylus integrated into the shell with a very practical button allowing you to trigger photo taking remotely.
But that's not all. The device indeed has one of the best sets of photo sensors on the market. The device is based on a quadruple main sensor, composed of a huge 200 Mp sensor, two 10 Mp telephoto lenses with different optical zoom possibilities, and a 12 Mp ultra-wide angle for even more versatility. /p>
In video, the device can shoot up to 8K, which remains quite rare on the market given the small number of homes equipped with such televisions. But it is above all in the field of photography that Samsung stands out, particularly with the latest iPhones.
Everything about this photo smartphone is disproportionate
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Thanks to a partnership with the Leica brand, Xiaomi has established itself in recent years as one of the best references in smartphone photography. This involves both the optics and the choice of sensors, without forgetting the exceptional calibration carried out by the two teams.
With the 13 Ultra, Xiaomi is once again pulling out all the stops this year. We have a quadruple main sensor, composed exclusively of 50 Mp sensors, despite the presence, as with Samsung, of two telephoto lenses (including a periscopic).
It also has a TOF depth sensor which improves the clipping of subjects, and therefore the fidelity of the Bokeh effect (the blur usually linked to the depth of field on reflex cameras).
One of the best cheaper camera smartphones to think about
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Even if it is slightly less premium than the Google Pixel 8 Pro, the Pixel 7a has arguments for those looking for the best photo smartphone of the moment. We find a double lens at the back including a 64 Mp sensor and a 13 Mp (the selfie sensor is also 13 Mp) for, of course, a little less versatility, but results which remain exceptional in most cases. conditions.
It features the 2nd generation of in-house chips from Google, the Tensor G2, with still very advanced photo processing capabilities, and its 4385 mAh battery generally takes you for more than a good day with your finger on the lens. .
With few concessions in the end, this model offers something of a grand spectacle in photos, all for a price much lower than that of the Pixel 8 Pro.
Almost all high-end smartphones are excellent in photos. And there are also many truly stunning models in 2024 in the mid-range. However, it has probably not escaped you that in smartphone for photography, there is smartphone.
It is therefore a bit risky to choose your next phone by only considering this single aspect. Think in particular about autonomy, the quality of the screen which will sublimate – or not – your photos. As well as the quality of its chip which will necessarily do a more or less good job depending on its AI capabilities.
So much for our comparison of the best smartphones for photography that ends here. This comparison will of course be modified as releases progress. So stay tuned!