Best Smartphone Cameras

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Best Smartphone Cameras 2017!

Smartphones have changed the way we look at the world; more pictures are taken with smartphones than all other types of digicams combined. It's easy to see why, of course. You always have your phone with you. These phones are instantly connected to your friends and family online. And they actually take pretty good pictures, especially when compared to phones from even a few years ago. Now the downside to any smartphone is image sensor size and the lack of optical zoom lenses, but these little pocket-sized supercomputers make up for that with processing and connectivity. And while they still don't have the zoom and optical capabilities of point-and-shoots, smartphone image quality and video recording capabilities are so good, they've effectively ended the entry-level point-and-shoot camera category. Still, smartphones are very expensive; then again, when you break them down into specific components - phone - web surfer - text device - multimedia generator - and camera... the camera part really becomes a bargain. Your choice today is most likely going to boil down to the ecosystem. Are you an Apple or Android person?

This list is only going to cover the rear camera on these phones as they're the ones doing all the hard work and the front facing cameras are not up to par for use as a main or holiday camera. Having said that, here are our picks for the Best Smartphone Cameras for 2017, arranged in alphabetical order!

 

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Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Sensor size: 32.8 square millimeters | Resolution: Dual 12 MP, (28mm, f/1.8, OIS & 57mm, f/2.8) | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: 5.5" LED-backlit IPS LCD | Max Burst Shooting: 10fps | Video Recording: 4K/60fps, 1080p up to 240fps

PROS: RAW photos, Dual Lenses

CONS: Sensor & lens size

The iPhone 8 Plus brings Apple smartphone cameras into the Point-and-Shoot debate. This is a camera you could take with you on vacation. With its smart blur technology, you can take gorgeous portraits as well as stunning wide shots. Its dual 12 Megapixel cameras deliver a punch that can easily be edited on the phone's gorgeous display. It's an easy choice if you're in the Apple ecosystem already.

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Apple iPhone X

Apple iPhone X

Sensor size: 32.8 square millimeters | Resolution: Dual 12 MP, (28mm, f/1.8 & 52mm, f/2.4) | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: 5.8 " Super AMOLED | Max Burst Shooting: 10fps | Video Recording: 4K/60fps, 1080p up to 240fps

PROS: Vibrant colors, Image stabilization 

CONS: Expensive

What's the difference between the iPhone 8 plus and the iPhone X cameras? Actually not that much. But it's the small differences that matter. The telephoto lens opens up to 2.4 instead of 2.8 and it has Image stabilization, which can make a world of difference when you're shooting all the way zoomed in. The colors are also going to look better on the phone's screens, but that's because of the iPhone X HAS a better screen. The iPhone X also has a faster processor and it's going to make working with 4K files a little easier. Truth be told, your decision to buy the iPhone X vs the iPhone 8 plus isn't going to come down to the rear cameras. It's going to come down to the front IR cameras and animated emojis... because that's really all the kids care about these days.

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Google Pixel 2 XL

Google Pixel 2 XL

Sensor size: 1/2.6" | Resolution: 12.2MP | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: 6" P-OLED ~538 ppi density | Max Burst Shooting: 12fps | Video Recording: 4K/30fps, 1080p/120fps, 720p/240fps

PROS: Google lens, Fast processor

CONS: No wireless charging, Screen not as sharp as iPhone 8

Unlike the other cameras on this list (aside from the Pixel 2) the Pixel 2 XL only has one rear camera. What's interesting, however, is that the Pixel camera might be the best out of all of them. It achieves all the things the others do by making one larger lens instead of two smaller ones. The 12.2MP sensor captures stunning images and like all the cameras on this list can blur the background simulating a lower f-stop on a longer lens. The pixel integrates flawlessly with Google Photos, uploading your images to the cloud... for free. Throw in a waterproof housing and stereo speakers and you could shoot, edit and present an entire movie on this camera if you wanted to.

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Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2

Sensor size: 1/2.6" | Resolution: 12.2MP | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: AMOLED 5.0" ~441 ppi density | Max Burst Shooting: 12fps | Video Recording: 4K/30fps, 1080/120fps, 720p/240fps

PROS: Google lens, Fast processor

CONS: No wireless charging, Screen not as sharp as iPhone 8

Hey, wait, the pros and cons are the exact same for the Pixel 2 as they are for the Pixel 2 XL, you might be saying. That's because despite the Pixel 2 XL's larger screen size this is basically the exact same smartphone. So, instead of repeating myself I'll just say that the Pixel 2 might even operate a little faster than the XL as it has the same processor and is pushing fewer pixels. A definite plus to consider if you're torn between the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL is battery life. The Pixel 2 will last you longer... and most likely still fit in your pocket.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Sensor size: 1/3.6" | Resolution: 12MP | Viewfinder: Electronic | Display: 6.3" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED | Max Burst Shooting: 10fps | Video Recording: 4K/30p, 1080p/60p, 720p/240p

PROS: Dual cameras, Gorgeous touchscreen

CONS: Small battery, Fingerprint sensor location

The Galaxy Note 8 changed the way smartphones took pictures with its dual 12MP cameras. You can switch between the wide angle and the telephoto and live-adjust the amount of blur in the background of an image (to make it look more like a DSLR, you can shoot 4K video at 60fps. There's not a lot that this phone can't do. In fact, it's actually better than many point and shoot cameras on the market. The Android advantage here is SD card slot. No matter how large your phone is, 4K videos take up a lot of space and having that extra card slot is a huge plus for the photo enthusiast.

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