What is the best photo smartphone in 2022?

1- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra © Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra © Samsung

The best photo smartphone in 2022?

Even more so this year the S22 Ultra represents a concentrate of what Samsung knows how to do best. Rather than continuing to produce Galaxy Notes, the manufacturer has decided to merge the model into the Ultra variant of the Galaxy S. So from the design to the integrated S-Pen, the Galaxy S22 Ultra does everything to be noted.

And it’s not just about the “square” design or doodle-friendly user experience. The S21 Ultra is a product that also puts the best of Samsung’s photo engineers in the hands of customers. This year, therefore, we have a set of four particularly good sensors, including two more or less long optical zooms, a 108 Mp main sensor and a 12 Mp ultra-wide angle.

Difficult to do better, especially since according to several independent benchmarks, and our own test, Samsung has really created an excellent product in terms of photography.

2- Apple iPhone 13 Pro / Max

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More than photos, Apple smartphones are the kings of video

Once the undisputed master of photography, Apple had let the competition gradually catch up. Until the iPhone 11 Pro and its Max version which allowed him to return to the front of the stage. In 2021, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have gone even further and allow Apple to maintain its place of choice.

But the iPhone 13 Pro go even further with physically larger sensors and sensor shift technology. Thanks to a triple photo sensor, including an ultra wide-angle one, the iPhone 13 Pro shines with its versatility and the quality of its shots that are particularly faithful to reality.

Mostly, Apple once again delivers a slick interface, intuitive, ergonomic, that no other manufacturer can match. Finally, the iPhone 13 Pro is distinguished by video stabilization and impressive image quality for a smartphone.

In addition to his talents as a photographer and videographer, the latest iPhone embeds all that Apple knows how to do best. Sublime 120 Hz OLED screen, top-flight performance and (surprise!) record autonomy, all the ingredients of the best photo smartphone are there.

However, its price of 1149 euros risk of chilling more than one. Sold around 900 euros, the iPhone 13 undoubtedly embodies the best alternative in this comparison for those who want to stay in the Apple universe.

3- Google Pixel 6/Pro

The best photo smartphone?

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is arguably the best stock Android smartphone you can buy in 2022. It starts with an incredible 6.71 screen, AMOLED/LPTO technology with 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ compatibility – for a rendering breathtaking content.

The photo part is really at the top. And not only thanks to its triple 50 + 48 + 12 Mp photo sensor: Google is indeed the undisputed king of computational photography. It must be said that since the first Pixel, the manufacturer has always impressed with its mastery of shots in all conditions, relying for most of its history on a single lens. With the Pixel 6 Pro, the smartphone improves already excellent photos.

Everything is very fast, thanks to the new homemade Google Tensor chip (5 nm). Google has indeed optimized the hardware part for the smartphone sensors so as to take multiple shots faster for the HDR effect, better cut out the blur and understand the depth, or even mobilize the neural network which adjusts the color balance and the luminosity.

Qualities to which are added excellent performance, all for an unbeatable value for money in the category. We recommend it!

4- Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

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Everything in this photo smartphone is excessive

It is impossible to carry out this comparison of the best photo smartphone without mentioning the Mi 11 Ultra from Xiaomi. The Chinese giant caused a sensation by unveiling a smartphone with a photo module larger than ever. And for good reason, it covers the upper third of the device. Reason for this particular format: the photo module comes with a small AMOLED screen.

Technically, the Mi 11 Ultra’s camera is very complete. It consists of three sensors, one of which is the main 50 Mpxl and a 24 mm f/1.95 lens. It comes with a telephoto lens and an ultra wide-angle lens, both associated with a 48 Mpxl sensor. What to shake the competition? The answer is yes. The Mi 11 Ultra is undoubtedly one of the three best smartphones for photography in 2021.

But this is not its only asset. It also has a magnificent 6.81” HDR10+ compatible OLED display with a refresh rate of 120 HZ. Add to that a very good autonomy, an ultra-fast charging system and excellent performance with the Snapdragon 888. A real monster of this comparison, including in terms of price: count 1200 euros, anyway.

5- Oppo Find X5/Pro

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The best photo smartphones to consider

The Oppo Find X5 / Pro are making photo prowess this year thanks to a partnership between the manufacturer and the professional camera manufacturer Hasselblad. We have a fairly classic set of sensors, not to say “wise”, including two Sony IMX 766 50 Mp sensors.

Oppo rolls out technologies such as 5-axis stabilization, glass rather than plastic lenses to reduce chromatic aberrations by 77%, and even a new type of lens called “freeform” on the ultra wide angle.

Processing is also provided by an all-new MariSilicon X chip that breaks down the boundaries of smartphone photography and videography. The shots are clearly marked with a very Hasselblad touch, especially in terms of contrasts and colors.

The standard model’s camera is much less well made, but for the price of the proposal, it still delivers fairly convincing shots.

6- Google Pixel 4a 5G

The best photo smartphone under 500 euros

We tend to believe that a smartphone gifted in photography is expensive. If this was true a few years ago, it is no longer the case today. Many manufacturers offer models for less than 500 euros capable of capturing very nice photos. Among them, the Pixel 4a 5G stands out as a benchmark. And not just in their price segment.

Thanks to its magic algorithms, Google managed to optimize the software so that digital processing compensates for the presence of a single photo sensor. As with its Pixel 4 and 4 XL. The result is just as impressive with very detailed shots, quality portraits and more than decent night photos.

Obviously Google had to make some concessions on the rest of the technical sheet to lower the price below 500 euros. Thus, the mid-range processor provides the essentials without reaching the heights. Wireless charging isn’t part of the package either.

Note, however, that these less energy-consuming components allow Google to correct the autonomy problems of its old premium models. The Pixel 4a 5G lasts up to two days for versatile use.

Available in this comparison under the bar of 400 euros As of this writing, the Pixel 4a 5G retains its spot as the best photo smartphone under $500, even nearly two years after its release. If your budget is even tighter, the Pixel 4a (4G) is an excellent alternative.

7- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The best inexpensive camera smartphone

The Galaxy A53 5G promises to be a real best seller. And if we look at the photo part of the smartphone, we see that there is not much to complain about. So yes, Samsung has played the race a bit on the number of photo sensors. But two of them are really worth the detour (for the others, go your way).

We have a 64 Mp main sensor with a wide-angle lens (f / 1.8), a 12 Mp sensor with an ultra wide-angle lens (f / 2.2), a 5 Mp sensor for the portraits and another 5 MP for macro photography. At the front Samsung integrates an excellent 32 Mp sensor for selfies.

Everything is not perfect: the cropping of portraits could be more precise, the ultra wide-angle sometimes displays aggressive distortion, the homogeneity between the sensors is lacking in certain scenes, but overall the results are very convincing.

Conclusion: choosing the best photo smartphone involves clearly identifying your needs

Almost all high-end smartphones are excellent in photos. And there are also many truly stunning models in 2022 in the mid-range. However, it has probably not escaped your notice that in smartphone for photography, there is a smartphone.

It is therefore a bit risky to choose your next phone only by looking at this aspect. Think in particular of the autonomy, the quality of the screen which will sublimate – or not – your shots. 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 the photo stops here. This comparison will of course be modified over the releases. So stay connected!

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