Sep 6th, 2017

While many of the smartphones on our list of Best Android Phones have great all around features, some are especially noteworthy because of their superior camera performance. That’s why we’re here to highlight those devices as an extension of our Best Android Phones guide. If you need a fast, sharp and reliable camera to ensure you never a miss a moment, these are the devices you want to be looking at. Here are the Android phones with the best camera.

01. HTC U11

The HTC U11 offers a lot in the camera department which, when considering HTC’s history in this area, is pretty surprising. Its 12MP sensor uses dual- Pixel technology to make for extremely fast autofocus and great low-light performance. With it earning the highest score DxOMark has ever given a smartphone, there is very little challenging it.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: 12.0MP Dual-Pixel with f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization
  • Selfie Camera: 16.0MP
  • Video: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples in Our Review

02. Google Pixel / Pixel XL

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At one point in time, Google’s phones were largely shunned due to shortcomings in one big area: the camera. Times change, though, and they’ve put forth their best effort with the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL. The cameras don’t do much from a hardware standpoint that make it stand out next to competition, but it’s that industry standard hardware matched with a great software-based approach to photography that earns Google a solid spot atop our list.

Google uses tricks like HDR+ to ensure high-range photos can be taken without having to wait an etenity, and it’s impressive given that they’re doing so without the aide of an optical image stabilizer. That ingenuity also comes into play when keeping video still when folks with shaky hands are recording.

Combine all of that with extremely fast focusing, sharp daytime imagery, and great lowlight performance, and you’ve got a great recipe for the best camera experience you can find on an Android phone.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: 12.3MP Sony IMX378 with f/2.0 aperture and 1.55μm pixel size
  • Selfie Camera: 8.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples in our Review

03. Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus

Samsung impressed everyone when they revealed their new camera technology for their 2016 flagship smartphones. The cameras found on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus — which have the same 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.7 (highest on the market) and a pixel size of 1.4μm per pixel — take incredible photos.

It’s just as clear in daylight HDR performance as most cameras can be, but this camera’s lowlight photography is simply unmatched by any device on the market. Couple that with DSLR-level autofocusing capabilities and a rock solid optical image stabilization system this is the best phone on the market if you need a camera. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus also have 4K video recording capabilities.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: 12.0MP OIS Sony IMX260 with f/1.7 aperture and 1.4μm pixel size
  • Selfie Camera: 8.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples in our Review

04. LG G6

Once again, LG has taken care to ensure their latest devices’ cameras are top notch. The LG G6 employs a dual-13MP rear camera setup, with each lens offering optical image stabilization, and phase-detection autofocus. The difference comes in angles and apertures, with a 71-degree standard sensor with aperture f/1.8 typical for most shots, and a 100-degree wide angle lens with f/2.4 aperture in case you need to capture more of the scenery.

The result is a fast camera that takes crisp pictures at day and one that doesn’t struggle to capture detail at night.

Camera Specs:

  • Rear Camera: Dual 13.0MP with OIS, f/1.8 aperture and phase detection autofocus
  • Selfie Camera: 5.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples

05. Huawei Mate 9

Huawei started something beautiful on the P9 and brought that same winning element over to the Huawei Mate 9. Like the P9, the Huawei Mate 9 enjoys dual-rear LEICA sensors to take vibrant photos in both full RGB and monochrome. It also enables true 2X zoom for those shots where you can’t get up close.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: Dual 20MP + 12MP Leica sensors with f/2.2 aperture, OIS
  • Selfie Camera: 8.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 1080p

See Camera Samples in Our Review

06. Huawei P9

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Huawei teamed up with Leica to put a pretty nice camera on the rear of the Huawei P9. This dual-rear lens setup delivers a sensor dedicated to RGB photo capturing and one for pure monochrome. This technique makes for a nice dynamic range of light and color, and makes for some really eye-popping night photos. Overall, it’s quite sharp and the sensor captures a lot of detail, though video recording could suffer a tad due to lack of optical image stabilization.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: Dual 12MP Leica RGB/Monochrome sensors with f/2.2 aperture and 1.25μm pixel size
  • Selfie Camera: 8.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 1080p

See Camera Samples in our Review

07. Nexus 6P

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It’s no surprise to see 2 different Huawei devices on this list. The Nexus 6P’s camera is quite exceptional, which is a nice change of pace from the usual underwhelming performance that this line delivers. It’s 12-megapixel Sony-made sensor goes a bit beyond the bare minimum to make for a quality camera. It can also shoot 4K video.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: 12MP Sony sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 1.55µm pixel size
  • Selfie Camera: 8.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples at DxOMark

08. LG G5 / LG V20

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LG has long been known as a staunch contender in the camera department, and that trend lives on with the LG G5 and LG V20. They pride themselves on very accurate color reproduction, however it’s also just as sharp as the best of them. There’s a bit to be desired in the area of lowlight performance, but the camera is still worthy of attention for its overall capability.

Beyond that, LG used dual-rear sensors — one helps you on the wide-angle aspect of photography, while the other will deliver quality in your standard shots.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: Dual 16MP/8MP sensors with f/1.8; f/2.4 aperture
  • Selfie Camera: 8.0MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples in our Review

09. HTC 10

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It may come off as bit of a shock to see an HTC phone on this list, but it seems HTC has taken all the criticisms about their phones’ cameras over the years personally. The HTC 10 came out of the starting gate with a camera that we wouldn’t feel bad using.

It’s a 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 that performs quite well in low light situations and is as sharp as you’d expect a flagship camera to be in your typical daytime shots. A software upgrade made the camera even better than it came out of the box, too, so that shows HTC’s commitment to making sure they are delivering the some of best glass available.

HTC also earns a spot on this list thanks to the front camera’s inclusion of optical image stabilization, the first phone to ever have such a thing.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: 12MP OIS sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 1.55µm pixel size
  • Selfie Camera: 5.0MP OIS sensor
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 4K at 30FPS

See Camera Samples in our Review

10. Sony Xperia X

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Say what you want about Sony’s latest X series of phones, one thing you can’t deny is that Sony’s cameras are on point. There’s a reason many of the other phones on this list use Sony glass. The 23-megapixel rear camera in the Sony Xperia X enjoys an aperture of f/2.0 and super-fast focusing speeds thanks to phase detection autofocus. The 13-megapixel f/2.0 sensor on the front is also enough to make our ears perk.

Camera Specs

  • Rear Camera: 23MP Sony Exmor RS sensor with f/2.0 aperture
  • Selfie Camera: 23MP
  • Video Capabilities: Up to 1080p at 60FPS

See Camera Samples at Recombu

Honorable Mentions

These 5 phones didn’t necessarily make the cut, but they’ll still deliver some awesome photographs if you’re in need of something a bit different or more affordable.

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