How good are smartphone cameras

i Know this post might cause some controversy, but numerous times now ive seen smartphones getting as good pics as Ricoh GR III or even better.

One example, take a look at this stunning dynamic range/highlight control/details/colors yes its a phone!

How good are smartphone cameras

This is MI10 Ultra with 48MP mod.

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Smartphones these days tend to have high-resolution sensors (12 megapixels or more) to produce sharp cropped or enlarged prints. They have optical image stabilizers to help minimize blurriness from a shaky hand. And they can capture spur-of-the-moment video with high-definition clarity.

Most new phones offer two or more rear-mounted cameras in addition to one or two front-facing selfie cameras. One rear camera delivers typical shots, and the others work as a zoom or wide-angle lens. Some phones use the cameras together to produce a stylish bokeh effect, which blurs the background while leaving the subject in sharp focus.

Storage is another thing to consider if you’re planning to shoot a lot with your phone. Images and video captured by the best smartphone cameras are relatively large, up to 5 megabytes per still image and several hundred megabytes per minute of video. There’s a real advantage to choosing a phone that accepts microSD memory cards. Cards with 64 gigabytes of storage are easy to install and cost as little as $12 at most retailers.

If you buy a phone that lacks this advantage—Apple’s iPhones have fixed storage limits, for example, because they don’t support storage cards—you can probably get by with 64GB of internal storage, especially if you’re comfortable using cloud storage. But if you’d rather play it safe, a smartphone with 128GB should do.

If you’re thinking of getting into mobile photography a bit more seriously, then one of the accessories that you need to invest in is a good smartphone camera lens kit. Using the right lens will help you capture more of a scene when you need a wide shot or limit your field-of-view for capturing beautiful portraits. You can even attach a lens to capture extreme close-up details of a subject.

I must emphasize, though, that using an add-on smartphone lens will not improve the picture quality of your phone’s camera. That is dependent on things such as the sensor, the size and number of megapixels, aperture, and others. Add-on lenses can only change the field-of-view of a smartphone camera or increase its magnification for macro photography with a mobile phone.

Below are seven of the best smartphone camera lens kits you can find on the market. These kits have two or more lenses that give you different effects.

Other smartphone-related topics

Xenvo Pro Lens Kit

How good are smartphone cameras

The Xenvo Pro Lens Kit that is made up of a 0.45x wide-angle lens and a 15x macro lens. It is a very popular smartphone lens kit, and for good reason– it’s a quality lens kit that produces great photos and it is compatible with a wide variety of smartphones. Plus, it comes with extra goodies.

The wide-angle lens can capture an extra 45% of the scene whenever you use it. It’s a good quality lens that does not suffer from vignetting (dark edges) as cheap lenses do. It’s made from aluminium and premium optical glass for durability and clarity.

The 15x macro lens works really well for macro photography with a smartphone. With it, you can take extreme close-up shots and capture all the intricate details of small objects in sharp focus. The lenses attach to the smartphone camera via a lens clip that’s strong enough to keep the lens attached to the phone without damaging the device.

The Xenvo Pro Lens Kit also comes with some nice extras. Most notably, included in the kit is a GlowClip LED light that attaches to the phone and provides adjustable continuous lighting.

Not sure whether to get an iPhone, Samsung or OnePlus handset? Here are our top picks of the best smartphones.

How good are smartphone cameras

How good are smartphone cameras

Every year, smartphone manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Google release new models with impressive features, so if you’re looking to upgrade, we’re here to help you find the best one for you.

We test the best smartphones all year round, across all price ranges, and we’ve picked out the best iPhones and Android smartphones that we think are worth spending money on:

  • Best iPhone:Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Runner-up iPhone:Apple iPhone 12
  • Best Android smartphone:Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Runner-up Android smartphone:Huawei P30 Pro
  • Best smartphone for work:Samsung Galaxy Note 20 UltraBest compact iPhone:Apple iPhone 12 mini
  • Best smartphone for battery life:OnePlus 8 Pro
  • Best smartphone for photo storage:Google Pixel 5
  • Best affordable iPhone:Apple iPhone SE (2020)Best affordable smartphone for taking photos:Honor 20 Pro
  • Best smartphone for watching movies:Sony Xperia 1 II
  • Best budget smartphone:Motorola Moto G 5G Plus

What to consider when buying a smartphone

Think about what you’ll be using it for most of the time, aside from making calls, checking social media and sending messages. Do you want to take lots of photos? Will you use it to watch films and TV shows? Or will it be used to play music? All of these factors influence your choice, whether it’s the capability of the smartphone camera or the size and quality of the screen.

Which operating system should you choose?

There are two main operating systems to choose between: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Apple’s iOS

All Apple’s iPhones run its iOS operating system, which integrates seamlessly with other Apple devices (Mac laptops and iPads). New versions of the operating system are offered as a free download for iPhones, so you’ll always have the latest software. If you’re already an Apple addict, this is your easiest option.

Google’s Android

Google lets a range of manufacturers use its OS, so you’ll find a greater range of handsets available. With Android, you can choose from budget to top-of-the-range models. But it’s worth noting that most manufacturers tweak the software slightly with their own apps and settings. As a result, it can take longer to get up-to-date software and it may not always be available on all handsets.

Smartphone features to consider

Smartphones come with two cameras as standard (front and rear), but many have extra lenses on top of this to help you take professional-style shots where the subject is in focus and the background blurred, or to take ultra-wide photos.

Screen size
Smartphone screens vary in size from around 5in to 7.2in. The larger the screen, the better it is for watching videos, looking at photos, or playing games. But larger screens also mean an overall larger phone, which you may struggle to use with one hand.

The amount you need will depend on how many photos you plan to take and store on the phone, as well as the number of apps you use and any music or movies you keep on the phone. The amount can range from as little as 8GB – don’t forget the operating system itself takes up some of this – to 512GB. Many also come with MicroSD card slots, so you can easily expand the storage space yourself.

Smartphones connect to the internet using wifi or mobile data. 4G is the norm at the moment but 5G – a superfast upgrade – is being phased in across different networks in selected cities, such as London, Birmingham and Manchester. However, many smartphones don’t support 5G yet. If you want a phone that is 5G-enabled, you’ll have to look for new, specific models.

Android smartphones mostly charge via a Micro USB or USB-C cable, while iPhones charge with Apple’s Lightning cable, and a cable will be included in the box when you buy a new phone. Many can also charge wirelessly, which you can do by placing them on a wireless charging pad. A number of phones also double up as a wireless charger, meaning someone could place their phone on top of yours to siphon off some of your battery life. This could also be handy for charging totally wireless headphones that come in a wireless charging case.

How we test

We review smartphones by testing the boot-up time and processing speed of each one to find out if opening apps, playing simple games and web browsing can be done with less lag. We evaluate the call quality, how well the camera copes in a range of different conditions, and the quality of the photos it takes. We test the sound quality of the speakers by playing different genres of music, too. We also test how responsive the screen is and assess the battery life by seeing how long it can play videos for.

Not all smartphones will work for everyone, so below we’ve picked out the best buys for iPhone and Android users, as well those that excel when taking photos or watching videos, and our budget buys. All of the phones we’ve picked are available unlocked and SIM-free, if you want to get a great SIM-only deal, or you can buy them on contract.

How good are smartphone cameras

Usually, my Saturday posts carry photos I’ve taken during the week along with some quotes and thoughts about what went on during the week or some other topic.

I’ve been doing this in some form or fashion since 2014 . While I still use a “real” camera for certain wildlife shots, the smartphone camera has made life a lot easier.

How good are smartphone cameras

My father was an amateur photographer. During WWII he was a photographer in the Army Air Corps and took photos while onboard one of the planes. Later he took and developed his own photos. So I suppose the interest in taking photos on my part was natural.

However, I still get confused when someone discusses f-stops so the current technology that exists in our smartphones suits me just fine.

I love not having to carry one more thing. And, as I am an apps “collector” I can enhance the apps without having to download them to my hard drive.

For example, by using an app called Gif ME , I can make a Gif out of a Live Photo or Video from my Photolibrary.

I made this GIF from a video I shot of the egret.

The Diana Photo app lets me combine two photos for a double exposure effect. I combined two photos I took recently.

How good are smartphone cameras

How good are smartphone cameras

And then Lumyer, lets me add some fun animation to my photos.

I know that there are some who couldn’t care less about cameras and apps but what this does is give me a fun (and easy) way to exercise my creative dendrites. I can’t draw or sew. and am absolutely no good with crafts, so this is why I am extremely thankful for smartphone cameras and photo editing apps.

This is an entry in the Thanksgiving Challenge 2021 hosted by Debe Maxwell.

Black Friday is almost here and we already have a slew of deals from major online retailers. If you’re a consumer looking to buy just about anything, this is your best opportunity! We’ve accumulated all the best smartphone and accessory deals, the best TV deals, and the best PC and gaming deals for you to help you save as much as possible! One of those deals is on the TCL 10L. The TCL 10L is a good mid-range smartphone that’s currently on sale for just $150 — $100 lesser than the original MSRP — making it a great budget smartphone. If you’re looking for a secondary phone or one that doesn’t break the bank but can perform basic tasks like calling, texting, browsing, and media consumption, you must consider the TCL 10L.

The phone is surely not a beast in terms of performance as it sports a modest Snapdragon 665 SoC. However, most day-to-day tasks should run absolutely fine on the TCL 10L. Browsing through your social media feeds and using messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram shouldn’t cause any issues in performance. You can also play some casual games on the large 6.53-inch Full hD+ display. The display is also good for watching videos or TV shows. It has a small punch-hole cutout on the top left corner for a 16MP selfie camera.

How good are smartphone cameras

Speaking of cameras, you get four of them on the rear — a 48MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor. For a phone that’s selling for $150, it’s not bad at all. There’s 6GB of RAM with 64GB of onboard storage which can be expanded via an SD card. There’s a 4000mAh battery to power everything and the rear houses a fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication.


    How good are smartphone cameras

    The TCL 10L is a good entry-level smartphone that’s selling for just $150 during Black Friday sales.
    View at Amazon

The TCL 10L was originally launched for $250 but is now on sale for $150. While it was a good deal for its original price, it provides even better value at its current price. Don’t miss this one if you’re looking for a cheap phone that nails the basics.

The best camera phones are taking better pictures than ever, grabbing loads of detail in photos, shooting 4K and even 8K video, and delivering more zoom than the most versatile DSLR lenses.

But not all camera zooms use the same technology, and there are more powerful types of zoom than others. With terms like digital zoom, optical zoom, telephoto, and periscope being used – it can be confusing, but it doesn’t need to be.

Let’s start with some terminology. First up – telephoto simply means a camera lens that has a far reach – no actual zooming required. Next, it’s helpful to briefly spec up on digital zoom and optical zoom.

Digital vs optical

Digital zoom simply crops into a photo and has been used in digital cameras for decades.

Digital zooms don’t really have anything to do with the camera’s lens – there’s no actual optical magnification going on. It’s all in the software.

As a result, even if the zoom feature wasn’t available in the camera, you could emulate a digital zoom by simply cropping a photo.

Naturally, the more you crop, the lower the quality of the photo you end up with. A 12MP photo, for example, would turn into a 3MP photo if you digitally zoomed or cropped into it, thereby degrading quality. Generally speaking, therefore, digital zoom is the less desirable type of zoom.

The second type of zoom – optical zoom – is widely seen as better. Using optics (hence the name), your camera lens magnifies the image that lands on its sensor.

Why does optical zoom deliver more detail? Because the zoomed image is captured by the whole sensor – so while a 12MP three times digital zoom image would be reduced to about 4MP, a 12MP three times optical zoom image would be a full 12MP.

Okay, we’re done with camera zoom terminology 101. It’s almost time to talk about 2019 – the year of the periscope camera. But before diving into periscope zoom tech, we need to understand how zoom lenses work.

Zoom lenses and periscope cameras

The further a camera lens is from the sensor, the further the reach of the camera or the more ‘telephoto’ it is. This logic is kind of like a telescope – extend the telescope > increase the distance between the lens and your eye > see further into the distance.

So if greater distance equates to more reach, a powerful zoom on a smartphone needs a lens that’s far away from its corresponding sensor – making for a thick camera.

This is okay for a short telephoto, as found on iPhones and OnePlus flagships, however, for more than a two or three times magnification, smartphones would need to be very thick. And while thick thighs may save lives, thick phones definitely don’t sell well.

This thickness/telephoto reach problem seemed insurmountable until February 2019, when Oppo, a relative unknown in Western markets, announced its first periscope camera module, which was showcased on a concept device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

By creating a mini submarine-like periscope in the chassis of your smartphone with a prism, Oppo extended the distance between the lens and the camera sensor, bouncing light and creating a magnification of roughly five times that of the main camera. The periscope zoom smartphone was born.

Just a month after Oppo’s announcement, Huawei unveiled the excellent P30 Pro in Paris, then Oppo launched the Reno 10X Zoom, after which Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Sony, Vivo, and Xiaomi all brought their own periscope zoom smartphones to the market soon after, and Apple… well, Apple did what Apple does.

If it isn’t on an iPhone, does it even matter?

There’s absolutely no doubt about it – as far as camera phone zooms go, a good periscope camera, as found on the Google Pixel 6 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro, and Oppo Find X2 Pro, outperforms a good traditional optical zoom camera.

The fact Apple hasn’t incorporated a periscope zoom on its iPhone shouldn’t alarm you, after all, Apple runs on Apple time.

Wireless charging made its way onto the Nokia Lumia in 2012, for example, but the first iPhone to feature the tech was the iPhone 8 in 2017. As for water resistance, Sony had been IP-certifying its phones since 2013, but Apple just jumped on the bandwagon in 2016 with the iPhone 7.

Given this standard delay on iPhones getting certain features, we’re anticipating Apple will either adopt a periscope zoom or innovate its own way of getting you closer to subjects in 2022 or 2023.

After all, the photos you can capture with a powerful zoom lens offer advantages you simply can’t replicate with the main camera or a weak telephoto.

Why would I get a periscope camera phone?

Portrait photographers love powerful periscope cameras for a few reasons. One is that the mightier the zoom, the greater the distance between photographer and subject.

If a portrait photographer doesn’t have to get close to their subject, they can take a more candid, less posed shot. This also applies to nature photography – bees and other insects, and even pets or children that might be distracted by you being very close to them generally photograph better when unaware of the photographer.

Periscope cameras also deliver more background blur than wide and ultra-wide cameras. The reason for this is that the greater reach produces a more limited focus depth.

In the right hands, therefore, a periscope camera can capture a DSLR-style photo, complete with a sharp foreground and blurry background, even if no special effects or portrait modes are active.

What’s even more exciting about periscope cameras is that the future of the tech is so promising.

Sony launched the Xperia 1 III in 2021. It features a periscope camera, however, unlike older modules, the Xperia 1 III’s periscope camera sports two focal lengths, so takes photos at roughly three times and five times zoom.

In August 2021, Oppo also announced a new continuous zoom lens technology that builds on Sony’s two-stage variable zoom, and covers the entire zoom range in between.

That means you can go from 85mm through to 200mm – maximum optical zoom freedom, just like with a real camera.

So in the face of smartphones having been hampered by small sensors and slender frames for years, it’s incredible to see the degree of ingenuity engineers have applied to deliver excellent camera phone zooms.

Even digital zooms today are better than ever, thanks to high-resolution sensors and intelligent photo processing; however, if you really want the champion of smartphone zoom in 2021, you’ll want to pick up an excellent quality periscope camera phone.

TechRadar created this content as part of a paid partnership with Huawei. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of TechRadar.

Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and skilled in video production, digital marketing and brand development.

(Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday released its new top-tier smartphone chip aimed at premium-priced Android phones with features like sharper photos and graphics than handsets using chips from rivals.

The San Diego, California-based company is the biggest supplier of the chips at the heart of many Android phones, competing against rivals such as Taiwan's MediaTek Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which uses Qualcomm chips in some of its phones but self-supplies chips for some models.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip released Tuesday will have similar computing cores to rivals like MediaTek, which this month announced a chip aimed at premium phones. But almost every other part of the chip are custom designed by Qualcomm, including those playing a role in the visual quality of photos and graphics-intensive apps like games.

Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of

mobile, compute and infrastructure for Qualcomm, said the company has been crafting software that will let handset makers tap deeper into those parts of the chip.

"It's not just saying, I've got the biggest CPU and I can hit a benchmark that lasts one minute," Katouzian told Reuters in an interview. "We have all these capabilities, and it's really about the user experience. That's going to make a difference."

Qualcomm said that more than a dozen phone makers – including Xiaomi Corp, Sony Group Corp and Honor, the brand spun out of Huawei Technologies Group Ltd – have signed up to use the new chips and that phones featuring it will be on the market before the end of the year.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio)

The TCL 20R 5G is a good, honest 5G phone that meets or exceeds our test paradigms. It is all you need – support for all Australian 4G, 5G sub-6Ghz and 5G Low bands; 13MP tri-camera; 4/64GB/microSD; hybrid dual sim; 4500mAh battery; 6.52″ screen; NFC; Wi-Fi AC/BT 5.1; and 3.5mm jack. Whew!

TCL is the latest player in the Australian smartphone market. It owns the Alcatel brand, and the product ranges have merged under the TCL banner. The 20-series (2021) ranges from (low-to-high) 20 SE 4G ($297), 20 5G ($499), 20L+ 4G ($398), 20 Pro 5G ($799) and 20R 5G ($349 – this review) and the specifications cover a broad range. So when you are reading reviews, make sure it is for the right one.

As TCL is a recent entrant to the smartphone market, retail outlets are scarce – generally Harvey Norman and Officeworks. We have noticed a small amount of grey market parallel imports. As it is a 5G device, it is critical to ensure it has the RCM C-Tick mark in Settings, System, Regulatory and Safety, or it won’t work here.

TCL 20R 5G Model T767H-2AIZAU12, 4/64GB, Dual Hybrid sim

First impression – The TCL 20R 5G is chunky

And that is not a bad thing. It is solid at 164.3 x 75 x 8.99mm x 186 – but not overly heavy. It has a reasonably big chin, a teardrop selfie notch, flat-screen, fingerprint reader (back), 3.5mm port and a tri-camera bump.

Solid and reassuring in hand, the front glass is a fingerprint magnet, and the rear panel is a matte finish.

Screen – perfect for the price

Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)

Low light (room with less than 100 lumens)


The Samsung sensor is suitable and has contrast autofocus, which is better than the generic sensors of this size.


The rear video takes [email protected] That is not a strain for any modern smartphone. In day and office light, the results are pleasing. But it struggles with lower light. The front video struggles with too much noise – drop back to 720p, and it is fine.

GadgetGuy’s take

TCL is a latecomer to the Australian smartphone scene. It is hard to get shelf space, let alone visibility at the major retailers. This is a shame as the TCL 20R 5G at $349 exceeds all reasonable expectations.

My only two concerns are battery life and 4/5G signal strength. On the battery life issue, it is about half that of similar MediaTek Dimensity 700 phones. A firmware update is needed to address that. On the signal strength – while it is typical of Dimensity 700 – it is strictly a city and suburbs phone with good transmission tower density.


    9.8/10 64GB $349 8.5/10 (new rating system) 128GB $379 9.8/10 128GB $399 8.3/10 (new rating system) 128GB $399 8.5/10 (new rating system) 128GB $499 on special for $399

Rating explanation

Our base pass mark is now 6/10 (was 8/10) to allow more headroom to reward excellence. For the older reviews above, take off one point for a better comparison.

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