Best Android Camera Android Central 2020
One of the biggest reasons to buy a high-end phone is for the cameras. Whether through computational processing or versatility through the use of as many lenses as possible, phones are taking good enough photos these days that most people don't even consider a dedicated camera. Luckily, there are plenty of options for people that want effortless point-and-shoot style photography, as well as those who want to go more in-depth or have different needs in a phone beyond the camera.
- Point and shoot: Google Pixel 4 XL
- Incredibly consistent: Samsung Galaxy S20+
- Solid camera, incredible value: OnePlus 7 Pro
- Amazing camera on a budget: Google Pixel 3a
- The best zoom: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Google's Pixel 4 XL doesn't have best-in-class camera hardware, but it still manages to take amazing photos in almost every situation thanks to its incredibly advanced processing. It takes excellent portrait and zoom shots enhanced by its top-notch data processing, and it can practically see in the dark with its industry-leading Night Sight feature. It's great for selfies, too, thanks to the same great processing and automatic lens correction.
Samsung's phones have always had strong cameras, but the S20 series made a big leap. All-new sensors across the front and back take in more light and produce better photos in all conditions. You still get the potent combination of a main, telephoto and ultra-wide camera for a variety of shooting styles.
The OnePlus 7 Pro takes solid photos for considerably less than flagships of the same size and specs. It isn't great in low light, but in every other situation, the primary camera takes consistently solid photos — and does so super quickly with a clean camera interface. The drawback compared to the competition is the telephoto and wide-angle lenses don't add much to the experience, and the selfie shooter is a step-down.
The Pixel 3a makes cuts across the hardware and specs to meet a much lower-than-flagship price, but one area Google didn't skimp on is the camera. This is the exact same camera you get in the more expensive Pixel 3, and the front-facing camera produces the same sort of results as well. Any time you can get flagship-level photography on a much more affordable phone is a huge win.
The S20 Ultra's improvements over the S20+ are small but notable in a couple of areas. The primary 108MP sensor has 9-to-1 pixel binning for improved low-light performance. But the big differentiator is the zoom camera that gives you lossless 10X zoom — and surprisingly good shots up to 20X. Depending on conditions (i.e., it needs to be very bright), you can even get solid photos at 30X.
If we're making some suggestions
The Google Pixel 4 XL is the best overall Android camera available, based on its fantastic ability to capture beautiful photos in every situation without any tweaking, guessing with settings, or edits after capture. It has limitations in that it doesn't have the wide-angle camera that many others have, but you'll forget all about that when you shoot with this great primary camera. Plus, its selfie shooter is fantastic. An intriguing option for budget buyers is the Pixel 3a, which nearly matches the Pixel 4's camera quality for hundreds of dollars less.
The Galaxy S20+ is more versatile than the Pixels, with improved zooming, an ultra-wide camera and wide-reaching software that combine to give you more shooting options. It's much more expensive than the Pixel 4 XL, though, and ultimately doesn't reach the incredible heights of photo quality — and its low light capture, though much improved, isn't as good as the Pixel's.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Keep your Pixel 3's screen nice and new with a screen protector
Don't spend a bunch of money on a phone only to have the front glass break. Get some protection! Even though the Google Pixel 3 is older at this point, it still deserves a case.
The U12+ is the best HTC phone you probably shouldn't buy
HTC hasn't released a consumer-facing phone since 2018, but its existing lineup is still worth considering for the right buyer.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best phone you can buy for long battery life
Battery life is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a phone — and even though most manufacturers will claim "all day" battery life, only a few live up to it.