Capture everything with 6 of the best camera phones. 

October 17, 2018

good camera phones

Smartphone, tablet, laptop, games console, TV, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, MBB dongle, MiFi, Alexa, Echo… the list goes on and on. You may sometimes feel like you’re drowning in devices and it can be tricky to get that digital detox some of us crave. But before you decide to ditch your gadget fix altogether, remember that phones are good for so many things. And one of these is taking amazing photos…

Picture the scene

It’s 1985. You’re dressed to kill in your neon legwarmers and fingerless gloves and you’re heading for a night out on the town. Handbag? Check. Ice Pink lippy? Check. Kodak Instamatic compact camera? Check.

That’s right, there’s no travelling light on a night out in the 80s. Taking a camera to the disco was the only chance you’d get of capturing the best bits. And if you needed to ring a cab, you’d better have plenty of change for the pay phone.

Camera phones are awesome

Fast forward to 2018 and there’s no need to loop your camera around your wrist and drown it in Malibu and coke. Today, making memories has never been easier, because your camera phone will rival any compact camera and you’re guaranteed to have it with you wherever you go. But which phone has the best camera?

6 really good camera phones

If you fancy yourself as the next David Bailey, plenty of the latest smartphones will fit the bill. And some have all the features you need to create professional-looking pictures and stunning selfies. It’s hard to pinpoint the very best camera phone of 2018 as there are so many – here are 6 of our faves:

Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro

If you haven’t heard of Huawei before, it’s time to get familiar. Pronounced ‘Wah-way’ the Chinese brand are taking the smartphone world by storm and the camera on the Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro would rival most flagship mobile phones.

So, here’s why we think Huawei have produced 2 of the best Android camera phones… The Huawei P20 has an impressive Leica dual camera setup, which is a 12MP RGB sensor and 20MP monochrome sensor combined. But the P20 Pro is the world’s first smartphone with a triple rear camera setup. So, as well as the 20MP monochrome sensor, the RGB sensor on the Pro goes up to a whopping 40MP (one of the highest megapixel phone cameras around) and it’s joined by a third sensor, which is an 8MP telephoto lens. You also get Light Fusion technology and up to f/1.6 aperture for amazing pics in low light.

On top of all this, the 3D portrait mode means you can capture everyone’s best side. With this feature, the images will give you a sharp, crisp face and nicely blurred background, giving that professional ‘Bokeh’ effect.

(Fancy winning one?!)

If you love the sound of the Huawei P20 Pro, you could win one in our fab competition for Three customers. All you need to do is launch the Three app. Yep, you read that right; just launch the Three app on your device between 2nd November and 30th November 2018 and you’ll be in with a chance of winning one of 15 Huawei P20 Pros we’re giving away. There are no age limits, and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Three customer, what plan you’re on, or what device you have. Just launch the app and you’ll be in with a chance to win. If you’d rather not take part or want to review the full terms & conditions, just log into the Three app messaging centre and check ‘Launch the Three app. Win a P20 Pro’.

We’re drawing the winners early in December, and if you’re successful we’ll give you a call to let you know. Good luck!

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The very latest device from Huawei also features the triple lens that you get on the P20 Pro but there are some differences too. The monochrome lens that you get with the Pro has been replaced with a super wide-angle lens which makes the Mate 20 Pro camera super versatile: great for big scenes and close-ups too.

Both phones have a 24-megapixel front-facing camera for stunning selfies, but one of the highlights of Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro is a new feature called 3D Live Object. It may seem like a scene out of a sci-fi movie but there are 3D Live Objects pre-loaded into the Mate 20 Pro that you can add to photos and videos. And you can even scan real-life objects to add to videos that you’ve taken with your Mate Pro and they’ll be able to interact with their environment. Huawei claims it’s like bringing an object to life and making “fantasy a reality”. They’re also introducing the 3D Live Emoji on the Mate Pro which aims to compete Apple’s Animoji and Samsung’s 3D bitmojis.

iPhone XS and XS Max

When it comes to the best mobile phone camera, you won’t go far wrong with an iPhone. The addition of Smart HDR in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max , paired with the powerful A12 Bionic processor in the latest iPhone launches, ensure awesome snaps wherever you go.

So, what is Smart HDR exactly? This new feature in the iPhone XS and XS Max, allows the camera takes a number of photographs from seconds before to seconds after you tap the camera shutter icon. The pics are all taken at numerous exposures and speeds, and the best of each photograph is combined to form the most well-balanced photo. It’s all super-speedy thanks to the A12 processor inside the phone.

The iPhone XS and XS Max also have large image sensors, which mean you’ll get better exposed low-light photographs with less noise. Perfect for those nights out and romantic dinners. On top of all this, the improvements to Portrait Mode and the addition of the Bokeh effect give you those impressive, professional-looking pics.

And of course, with the Apple Animoji feature you can make your very own personalised character that uses your voice and mirrors your facial expressions. Cute.

Samsung Galaxy S9

OK, if you’re up on your camera tech, you’ll love the Galaxy S9 , which is arguably one of the best Android camera phones you can buy. Instead of having a fixed aperture lens (as is the case with pretty much every other phone camera) the S9 can shift between f/2.4 and f/1.5 – which means you always get the perfect settings for day and night photography. If it’s bright outside, it will shoot at f/2 and when there’s less light available, the lens will widen and utilise f/1.5 to let in more light. Genius.

This Samsung camera phone also features a 12MP sensor and an optical image stabiliser, so you can snap happy without worrying. There’s extra memory too which means the camera can capture multiple shots every time you shoot and it will combine the shots together without you even noticing.

Another awesome feature in the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera is the super slow-motion recording which lets you shoot a 0.2-second burst of 960fps footage and stretch it out to 6 seconds. So, you can capture that winning goal celebration or stunning waterfall in a different, brilliant way.

As with iPhone Animoji, the Samsung AR Emoji feature maps your face with the 8MP selfie camera and replicates your movements on-screen. The results can be pretty creepy (and well worth sharing).

So, there we have it: three of the best phone cameras of 2018. Phones are good for capturing, sharing and making memories wherever you go.