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When it comes to smartphone cameras, it's all about 'pure image quality'

Google Pixel 6 Camera Bar Colors
Google Pixel 6 Camera Bar Colors (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • We asked our readers what they cared about most with their smartphone cameras.
  • Of the responses, 67% voted for image quality.
  • Versatility was also a popular response out of the options.

Over the weekend, we asked our readers what the most important aspect of a smartphone camera was to them. After all, many of the best Android phones offer impressive camera hardware, coupled with AI and software that can pick up where the hardware may be lacking, like with the Pixel 6 series.

Out of more than 550 responses, 67% voted that image quality was the most important thing, which isn't too surprising. After all, companies love to hype up how good their pictures are more than anything. In second place was versatility with 13% of votes. That means some readers care more about having multiple focal lengths or even variable aperture, the latter of which is still very uncommon in smartphones outside of a few Samsung and Sony devices like the Xperia Pro-I.

Smartphone Cameras Poll Responses

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

One reader, jimmy hallmark, says they want a smartphone camera that's just easy to use and requires little effort on their part to get a good image:

I have zero interest in photography. I don't want to take a course in photography just to take the occasional photo. I just need a great point and shoot camera. I want the cam to do all the heavy lifting for me. The pics don't need to be world class just good and clear without effort on my part.

Others agree that it should be about good image quality:

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However, another reader, Michael Saxon, is more concerned about having good focal length:

Most of the main cameras on smartphones are very wide, with 35mm equivalent lenses of 25-28mm. This introduces center distortion with any subject closer than 30 feet or so, exaggerating noses on portraits of people, for instance. So, an optical telephoto lens with a 35mm equivalent of at least 70mm is important to me. My old S20FE, and now my new S21FE, have a 76mm equivalent telephoto that makes for extremely clean portraits and closeups. Can't fix that kind of issue in Lightroom.

The poll may be closed, but the conversation continues. What do you care about most when it comes to your smartphone camera?

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

6 Comments
  • Best pic quality comes from the Pixel, iPhone and Samsung cameras.
  • I cannot tell you just how vehemently I HATE WIDE ANGLE LENSES!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish they'd stop making that a thing on smartphones. I want as perfect a representation of what I'm actually seeing to be captured as is technically possible. I have never, EVER been impressed with a wide angle shot. They are garbage. Not even "artistic".
  • "Most of the main cameras on smartphones are very wide, with 35mm equivalent lenses of 25-28mm. This introduces center distortion with any subject closer than 30 feet or so, exaggerating noses on portraits of people, for instance. So, an optical telephoto lens with a 35mm equivalent of at least 70mm is important to me. My old S20FE, and now my new S21FE, have a 76mm equivalent telephoto that makes for extremely clean portraits and closeups. Can't fix that kind of issue in Lightroom." Wow, never knew this. PS. I would've voted versatility as most top end phones all take stellar photos.
  • I'm still using my S20 FE 5g and it takes pretty good pictures and is versatile. And affordable!
  • Don't get a Pixel 6 if you take close up photos, due to the choice of sensor and lens the small focus area and shallow depth makes it hard to take a good shot.
  • How many hours I can get (with normal usage) off of a full charge is what I care about most.