Best Smartphones for Photography

person holding black android smartphone taking photo

Looking for the best smartphones for photography right now?

Smartphones have come a long way since they were first introduced, from mere communication devices to essential multitasking tools that meet different needs. One innovative feature these smartphones possess today is a sophisticated camera system to help improve your photography.

Essentially, current technology allows manufacturers to install complex cameras that sufficiently produce visually appealing photos like commercial ones.

Best photography phones at a glance:

  1. iPhone 13 Pro
  2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  3. Oneplus 9 Pro
  4. Google Pixel 6 Pro
  5. Huawei Mate 40 Pro

If you’re considering a career in photography but don’t have the desire for a larger mirrorless camera, an impressive pocket camera will come in handy.

Today, I’ll reveal my top five smartphones for photography, diving into this camera quality, ability, and overall phone specs.

Let’s begin!

iphone camera for photgraphy

1. iPhone 13 Pro

Apple has been at the forefront of mobile technology with the iPhone series, presenting impressive software and hardware features.

However, amongst these devices, the iPhone 13 is recommended for mobile photography as it possesses more applications for sharp phone images than its predecessors.

The iPhone boasts an outstanding set of cameras with a 6.1 Super Retina XDR display regarding camera specifications. These elements are further enhanced by the phone’s 120Hz ProMotion visuals and Apple’s high-end 5nm A15 Bionic chipset.

Unlike its predecessors (iPhone 11 & 12), the iPhone 13 Pro comes with bigger sensors and faster apertures.

These factors make it exceptional to take pictures in low-light environments and enable a seamless transition to its ultrawide camera, facilitating better zoom and taking macro phone images.

It’s worth noting that Apple included new smart features in the iPhone 13 unavailable in previous versions. These additions are Cinematography Mode, ProRes, and Dolby Vision.

These elements combine to shoot 4k footage at 60fps and give you the best native mobile photography editing tools. This is truly one of the best smartphones for photography.


  • Great hardware performance
  • Impressive software
  • Strong battery life


  • Viable notch
  • Little few design differences between previous iPhones

take photos with phone by samsung

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

While the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra was an impressive smartphone with an excellent camera, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes the Galaxy series to a whole new level.

The camera is unique, coming with a 108MP f/1.8 main snapper, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and two telephoto cameras, a combination that’s uncommon for modern smartphones.

It’s worth noting that both telephoto cameras come with 10MP; however, one has an f/2.4 aperture, allowing it to perform 3z optical zoom.

On the other hand, the second lens has an f/4.9 aperture, which produces an impressive 10x optical zoom. As a result, they’re excellent for capturing faraway objects with excellent clarity.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is popular for its impeccable camera quality at zoomed and non-zoomed shots, making it a worthwhile purchase for versatile photographers.

The device contains additional camera modes like the Director’s view, which allows you to shoot high-quality videos from the front and back camera simultaneously.

The application of this feature is endless, and an example could be allowing you to document your reaction to whatever the back camera captures.


  • Impressive camera zoom
  • Unique phone design
  • Excellent hardware performance


  • No MicroSD slot

oneplus photography mobiles

3. Oneplus 9 Pro

Over the years, Oneplus phones gathered a reputation for having impressive hardware for handling the heaviest software and games.

However, the company has taken things further and improved their camera to appear as previous rival champions.

This mobile device comes with a 38MP f/1.8 main camera, an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto camera containing 3.3x optical zoom, a 50MP f/2m2 ultrawide camera, and a 2MP monochrome lens for better black and white photography.

Among these lenses, the ultrawide one is most noteworthy. It possesses a freeform lens design, which reduces the “barrel” distortion that often plagues the edges of phone images taken by such cameras.

Hasselblad collaborated with Oneplus to design the Oneplus 9 Pro’s camera, producing better colour calibration and camera software optimization and complexity.

Therefore, this smartphone lets you expect visually accurate phone images, giving your picture your desired vibrance.

Lastly, the Oneplus 9 Pro has manual controls, allowing you to decide how the camera functions.

In addition, the video recording feature allows up to 8k quality with the back and front-facing camera.

Ultimately, the Oneplus is an impressive device that guarantees good photos with a phone that has extreme colour accuracy.


  • Powerful hardware
  • Versatile camera software
  • Colour-accurate image


  • No MicroSD support
  • Short battery life

take a great phone image with google pixel
4. Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google smartphones are popular for being the best go-to option for exceptional mobile photography as their hardware and software are assembled for this purpose.

Fortunately, the Google Pixel 6 is no exception to this reputation as it comes with newer upgrades from the Pixel 5.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro has 50MP f/1.9 main sensors with 1.2µm pixels, making it capable of taking shots with extreme details and true-to-life colours.

There’s also an additional 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera with a 114-degree field of view and a 48MP f/3.5 telephoto snapper that presents 4x optical zoom.

Combined with this camera hardware is software that rival smartphones do not possess, such as the Magic Eraser that seamlessly eliminates unwanted elements from a phone image.

The device also presents motion mode for long exposure shots, alongside Real Tone for a more accurate skin tone for the different races.

Ultimately, it’s a recommended device for aspiring mobile photographers.


  • Versatile camera software
  • Wider screen for immersive shots
  • Camera upgrades from the Pixel 5


  • Average battery life

mobile photography from huawei
5. Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Similar to the Pixel series, Huawei is popular for its camera capacity; however, it’s not a popular choice due to limited access to the Google Play store.

While this factor has zero effect on the phone’s camera, it hinders it from being a phone for everyday use.

Nevertheless, the camera is amongst the best in the smartphone industry, containing a 50MP f/1.9 main camera, a 12MP f/3.4 periscope camera with 5x optical zoom, and a 20MP f/1.8 ultrawide camera.

These Huawei Mate 40 Pro specifications allow for a noteworthy mobile phone photography experience when taking portrait shots, close-up subjects, zoomed photos, and selfies.

It also does excellently in low-light conditions, making it brilliant for any photo.

Regarding the front camera, the item comes with 13MP and f/2.4, alongside the time-of-flight (ToF) sensor for deducing depth and distance.

Moreover, purchasing this phone gives you access to different photography modes and tools, from a light painting feature to a dedicated mode for stargazing.


  • Beautiful phone design
  • Excellent camera hardware and software
  • Strong battery life


  • Limited access to the Google Play Store
  • Large selfie camera cut out


Ultimately, choosing the best phone camera depends on your style of photography, as each device excels in different areas.

Therefore, I recommend assessing your needs, whether for selfies, macro photos, or zoomed shots, before opting for a smartphone on this list.

Nevertheless, I can guarantee that each option mentioned in this list will provide excellent photo quality.

Now that you’ve taken some great photos take a look at the best programs for editing them!

DISCLOSURE: I may earn a small commission from some of the links above. For the benefit of the doubt, please assume all links might be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

apple smartphones for photography

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