In the last few years, phones have become the primary devices for taking photos and videos. Smartphones have improved not only in design and performance, but also in imaging capabilities. The best cameras aren’t about the megapixel count or how many lenses a phone has. Factors such as apertures, software, OIS, improved sensors, and artificial intelligence have become far more important than megapixel count. Let’s take a look at the five best camera phones of 2018. A few of these devices were released last year, but they are still one of the best camera phones you can buy this year.
Best camera phones of 2018: Huawei P20 Pro is the new king!
The US intelligence agencies are giving Huawei a tough time over spying concerns. But if you are a photography enthusiast, Huawei’s new P20 Pro is the best camera phone that you can buy. The P20 Pro comes with the AI-powered triple camera system on the back, which has been described as the best smartphone camera on the planet by DxOMark. The Chinese company even claims its flagship phone is better than many DSLRs used by professional photographers.
Huawei teamed up with Leica to offer a vertically-aligned triple camera setup on its flagship phone. The first is a 40MP wide-angle lens with a huge f/1.7 aperture. The second is a 20MP monochrome sensor while the third one is an 8MP telephoto lens. Both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses support OIS. The P20 Pro camera boasts of 4D autofocus with motion prediction and improved laser autofocus that works up to 2.4m.
The Huawei P20 Pro offers 5x hybrid zoom and six-axis stabilization. It is capable of recording super slo-mo videos at 960fps. Huawei has tightly integrated AI with its phone’s camera. The P20 Pro rear camera comes with Artificial Intelligence Stabilization (AIS) that works on scene recognition and helps you take better pictures in low-light conditions. The front camera is 24-megapixel with an f/2.0 aperture.
2- Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
The S9 Plus is Samsung’s first Galaxy S handset to feature a dual camera system. It has a 12MP Dual-Pixel wide-angle lens with variable apertures of f/1.5 and f/2.4, 2x optical zoom, and OIS. The secondary camera is a 12MP telephoto lens with a fixed aperture of f/2.4. The wide-angle lens can automatically switch between the two apertures depending on the lighting conditions – f/2.4 aperture in bright light and f/1.5 in low-light – to take the best possible photos.
DxOMark has praised the Galaxy S9 Plus for its exceptional low-light photography, noise reduction, vivid colors, and fast autofocus. The S9 Plus is also capable of shooting super slo-mo videos at 960fps and 720p resolution. The phone gets a worthy 8MP shooter on the front with an f/1.7 aperture. The rear dual camera also has a Motion Detection feature that can detect motion in a frame and slow it down. The Galaxy S9 Plus offers an all-round camera performance, making it one of the best camera phones of 2018.
3- iPhone X
People forking out more than a thousand dollars on the phone expect it to have a world-class camera. And the iPhone X doesn’t disappoint. The 10th anniversary iPhone features an incredible dual camera system on the back. It consists of a 12MP wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture. Both the lenses offer optical image stabilization. Apple has also added a quad-LED True Tone flash to enhance the photography experience.
The iPhone X takes some great portrait images, even in low-light conditions. The iPhone X camera supports augmented reality. It allows you to capture 4K videos at up to 60fps and 1080p videos at 240fps. The iPhone X camera captures tons of details with great dynamic range and bright colors. It has a 7-megapixel selfie camera that also allows you to take portrait images.
4- Google Pixel 2
This is the only phone in the list with a single rear camera. It’s quite surprising that the Google Pixel 2’s single camera can take pictures as good as or better than most of the other best camera phones of 2018. Instead of offering a secondary camera, Google uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to take portrait images. And it works wonderfully.
The Google Pixel 2 has a 12MP rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture. The camera lens is paired with phase detection, laser detection autofocus, and optical image stabilization. It can capture 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p footage at 60fps. The front camera is 8-megapixel, which takes terrific selfies, including portrait mode selfies. Few phones come close to the Pixel 2 in dynamic range and low-light photography.
5- OnePlus 6
The latest kid in the town. The OnePlus 6 goes on sale on May 21. OnePlus has been consistently improving the camera on its flagship phones with each new model. So, we were not surprised when early reviews suggested that the OnePlus 6 camera was better than OnePlus 5T. The OnePlus 6 features a vertically-aligned 20MP lens and a 16MP lens. The 16MP sensor has OIS and both the lenses have an aperture of f/1.7.
The OnePlus 6 takes pretty good photos in low-light conditions. It also captures excellent portrait images. It lacks optical zoom, which prevents it from truly challenging the Huawei P20 Pro and Galaxy S9 Plus. The front camera is also praiseworthy at 16-megapixel with an f/2.0 aperture. The OnePlus 6 can record slo-mo videos at 720p resolution and 480fps, unlike Galaxy S9 Plus which captures slo-mo footage at 960fps and 720p resolution.
The OnePlus 6 uses artificial intelligence to improve the clarity of pictures. The portrait mode works pretty well on objects, animals, and even foods.
These five are the best camera phones of 2018 so far. Of course, the upcoming phones such as the iPhone X successor, Galaxy Note 9, and Google Pixel 3 are expected to have even better cameras. But if you want to buy a camera phone right now, you can go for any of the above five depending on your budget. The OnePlus 6 at $529 is the most affordable of them while the iPhone X is the most expensive.