The best smartphone cameras in 2019

Smartphones have become the photography devices of choice for millions of people around the world.

DSLR and other dedicated cameras are primarily designed for hobbyists and professionals – but for the everyday person wanting to take snaps of their holiday or a family event, smartphone cameras don’t just pass the test, they dominate it.

When buying a smartphone, the quality of the installed camera is now one of the most important factors to take into account.

However, it can be difficult to sift through the marketing talk to get down to the nitty-gritty of smartphone camera performance.

Testing the best smartphone cameras

Independent camera benchmarking organisation DxOMark looks to solve this problem by using scientific methods to rate each smartphone’s camera system – providing an objective score at the end of its process.

For its smartphone camera reviews, DxOMark analyses the performance of cameras across various components and technologies, such as lenses, sensors, camera controls, and image processing.

Scores are then based upon the following criteria:

  • Exposure and contrast
  • Colour
  • Texture and noise
  • Autofocus
  • Artifacts
  • Flash
  • Zoom at several distances
  • Bokeh

You can learn more about how DxOMark tests smartphone camera systems in the video below.


Samsung’s S10+ on top

According to DxOMark, there is no splitting Huawei and Samsung’s flagship smartphones as far as primary camera systems are concerned.

The Samsung Galaxy S10+, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and Huawei P20 Pro all score 109 for their main camera systems.

However, according to the benchmarks, the S10+’s selfie camera system blows other smartphones out of the water – scoring 96 compared to the Mate 20 Pro and P20 Pro’s scores of 75 and 72 respectively.

The closest competitor to the S10+’s selfie camera’s is the Google Pixel 3, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 – both of which score 92.

DxOMark’s full rankings for primary and selfie cameras, as of February 2019, are below.

Primary camera rankings
Smartphone Rating
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 109
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 109
Huawei P20 Pro 109
Xiaomi Mi 9 107
Apple iPhone Xs Max 105
HTC U12+ 103
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 103
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 103
Huawei P20 102
Apple iPhone Xr 101
Google Pixel 3 101
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 99
Xiaomi Mi 8 99
Google Pixel 2 98
OnePlus 6T 98
Apple iPhone X 97
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 97
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 97
OnePlus 6 96
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 94
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 94
Apple iPhone 8 92

Selfie camera rankings
Smartphone Rating
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 96
Google Pixel 3 92
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 92
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 84
Apple iPhone Xs Max 82
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 81
Google Pixel 2 77
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 75
Samsung Galaxy S8 73
Huawei P20 Pro 72
Apple iPhone X 71

Now read: Xiaomi unveils its first 5G smartphone

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The best smartphone cameras in 2019