Smartphone Cameras of 2022

Is the time approaching where it’s time to upgrade your smartphone contract? Whatever your budget, there’s a decent smartphone camera out there for you.

I’ve spent the past few weeks, trying to identify the best, to most affordable smartphone cameras for any budget. So, there’s something for anyone looking to get into smartphone photography. I’ve been looking at the specifications, customer and trade reviews and scrutinising the images produced by them.

Below, is my list of the most suitable smartphone cameras for a smartphone photographer.

 

Flagship models:

The smartphones in this category carry the most expensive contract options, due to their purchase cost price.

All lens sizes are dSLR equivalent sizes.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (£1149-£1329)

Samsung S22 Ultra

Screen size:

6.8″ (1440 x 3088 pixels)

Front camera:

40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide angle), Phase detection autofocus.

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle – 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ view, dual pixel Phase detection autofocus.

Wide Angle – 108 MP, f/1.8, 23mm, Phase detection autofocus, Laser AF, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Telephoto – 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm, dual pixel Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Periscope Telephoto – 10 MP, f/4.9, 230mm, dual pixel Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Optical Zoom:

3x (telephoto) & 10x (periscope telephoto)

Sensor size:

1/2.82″, 0.7µm (front camera)

1/1.33″, 0.8µm (wide angle)

1/2.55″, 1.4µm (ultrawide)

1/3.52″, 1.12µm (telephoto/periscope telephoto)

 

Apple iPhone 13Pro (£949 – £1449)

Screen size:

6.1″ (1170 x 2532 pixels)

Front camera:

12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm.

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle12 MP, f/1.8, 13mm, 120˚ view, Phase detection autofocus.

Wide Angle12 MP, f/1.5, 26mm,  dual pixel Phase detection autofocus, sensor-shift Optical Image Stabilisation.

Telephoto12 MP, f/2.8, 77mm, Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Optical Zoom:

3x Zoom-out (telephoto) & 2x Zoom-in (ultra wide angle)

Sensor size:

1/3.6″, 1.9µm

 

Google Pixel 6 Pro (£799 – £899)

Google 6 Pro

Screen size:

6.71″ (1440 x 3120 pixels)

Front camera:

11.1 MP, f/2.2, 20mm (ultra wide angle).

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle12 MP, f/2.2, 17mm, 114˚view.

Wide Angle50 MP, f/1.9, 25mm, Dual Pixel Phase detection autofocus, Laser AF, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Telephoto48 MP, f/3.5, 104mm, Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Optical Zoom:

4x Zoom (telephoto)

Sensor size:

1/1.31″, 1.2µm (wide angle)

1/2″, 0.8µm (telephoto)

 

 

Mid-range models:

Xiaomi IIT ProXiaomi II T Pro (£599)

Screen size:

6.67″ (1080 x 2400 pixels)

Front camera:

16 MP, f/2.5, (wide)

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ view. 

Wide Angle108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, Phase detection autofocus.

Telephoto Macro5 MP, f/2.4, 50mm.

Optical Zoom:

None

Sensor size:

1/3.06″, 1.0µm (front camera)

1/4″, 1.12µm (ultra wide angle)

1/1.52″, 0.7µm (wide angle)

1/5.0″, 1.12µm (telephoto macro)

 

iPhone SE (2022) (£419 – £569)

iPhone SE (2022)Screen size:

4.7″ (750 x 1334 pixels)

Front camera:

7 MP, f/2.2.

Rear Cameras:

Wide Angle 12 MP, f/1.8, Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Optical Zoom:

None

Sensor size:

None given

 

OnePlus Nord 2 (£369)

OnePlus Nord 2Screen size:

6.43″ (1080 x 2400 pixels)

Front camera:

32 MP, f/2.5, (wide)

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚ view. 

Wide Angle50 MP, f/1.9, 24mm, Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Monochrome2 MP, f/2.4.

Optical Zoom:

None

Sensor size:

1/2.8″, 0.8µm (front camera)

1/1.56″, 1.0µm (wide angle)

 

Budget models:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 (£199)

Xiaomi Redmi 10Screen size:

6.43″ (1080 x 2400 pixels)

Front camera:

13 MP, f/2.5, (wide).

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚ view. 

Wide Angle 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, Phase detection autofocus.

Macro2 MP, f/2.4.

Optical Zoom:

None

Sensor size:

1/3.06″, 1.12µm (front camera)

1/4.0″, 1.12µm (ultra wide angle)

1/2.0″, 0.8µm (wide angle)

 

OnePlus Nord CE (£259)

OnePlus Nord CEScreen size:

6.43″ (1080 x 2400 pixels)

Front camera:

16 MP, f/2.5, (wide).

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle 8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚ view. 

Wide Angle64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, Phase detection autofocus.

Depth2 MP, f/2.4.

Optical Zoom:

None

Sensor size:

1/3.0″, 1.0µm (front camera)

1/3.0″, 0.7µm (wide angle)

 

Google Pixel 4a (£299)

Google Pixel 4aScreen size:

6.2″ (1080 x 2340 pixels)

Front camera:

8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide).

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle16 MP, f/2.2, 107˚ view. 

Wide Angle12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm, dual pixel Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Depth2 MP, f/2.4.

Optical Zoom:

None

Sensor size:

1/4.0″, 1.12µm (front camera)

1/2.55″, 1.0µm (ultra wide angle)

1/2.55″, 1.4µm (wide angle)

 

One final option:

This information is based on what I consider to be the best smartphone cameras in 2022. But, I don’t use any of them. The smartphone I use is the Huawei P30 Pro from 2019. And it’s very capable.

It produces images that I’m very happy with. And, it’s the smartphone that meant I could retire my dSLR cameras.

However, Huawei is no longer allowed to use Google technology and so it’s currently using Android 10. The current (October 19, 2021) version of Android is 12.

The P30 Pro is in line for an update to Huawei’s Harmony OS. Although, there is no information on how this will effect the camera software.

Huawei P30 Pro (£789)

Huawei P30 Pro Smartphone cameraScreen size:

6.47″ (1080 x 2340 pixels)

Front camera:

32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide)

Rear Cameras:

Ultra Wide Angle – 20 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, Phase detection autofocus.

Wide Angle – 40 MP, f/1.6, 27mm (wide), Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Periscope Telephoto – 8 MP, f/3.4, 125mm, Phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation.

Optical Zoom:

5x (periscope telephoto)

Sensor size:

1/2.8″, 0.8µm (front camera)

1/2.7″ (ultrawide)

1/1.7″ (wide angle)

1/4.0″ (periscope telephoto)

 

 

Conclusion

This article was written to give you a starting point on your journey into choosing a smartphone camera. But, I have no way of knowing which smartphone is going to be best for you.

So, there are a few things to consider before making a decision on one of these smartphones, or something entirely different:

  1. Consider what else you’re going to use your smartphone for, when you’re not using it for photography. Surprisingly, the camera isn’t the only important thing 🙂
  2. Think about the type of images you’re looking to shoot. Some smartphones will have lenses that are more suitable for landscapes, or macro, etc. Or, maybe a smartphone with a few different lenses is more appropriate for you?
  3. The higher end smartphones will usually give you the most control over manual camera settings, etc. And have a specific lens for different types of image.
  4. Get the composition and the lighting right and even the cheapest smartphone camera can produce spectacular images with a little bit of editing.

Finally, I advise you to do your own research, based on your individual requirements. Two of the best websites I’ve found for Smartphone trade reviews is GSM Arena, or DXOMARK. This would be my starting point to check out any smartphone specifications.

And remember, any of these smartphones will allow to produce images to be proud of.

Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments.

Steve

 

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