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The Best Camera Phones For Every Budget (2021)

author Luis Silva (Updated on: March 2021)

The Best Camera Phones For Every Budget


This is the international top 10 list. Click here to check out the US version.

There was a time that more megapixels meant better picture quality. But that time is long gone.

Then, great photos meant bigger pixel sizes, which implies larger sensors or fewer megapixels.

But on this day and age, manufacturers are trying to give us the best of both worlds: Hundreds of megapixels that (thanks to pixel binning) alternate with bigger pixel sizes (when needed) while keeping sensors small enough to fit on our thin smartphones.

That means one can't guess the picture quality of any phone's camera, just by looking at the number of megapixels or pixel size alone.

Fortunately, there are companies like the DXOMARK IMAGE LABS with specialized state-of-the-art lab equipment, engineers, and expert technicians that test and rate our favorite smartphone cameras, so we can get an overall idea of how they fare against other cameras.

Unfortunately, they don't test every smartphone camera out there, so I've put together an in-house formula that usually gets about the same value, by evaluating every camera's technical detail. That formula analyses sensor and pixel size, number of LED flashes, release date, brand, aperture, optical image stabilization, HDR capabilities, depth sensors, and wide-angle and telephoto (zoom) capabilities.

That formula is regularly tested to make sure that you can trust its results. I usually run it against the smartphones that have a known DxO score, and they never fall above nor below 3 points compared to that score. Nevertheless, you should be aware that some scores aren't from DxO labs.

These top 10 lists are frequently updated. At least once a month.

Last October, they've changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability.

I had to rewrite my formula, but you can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 (or 6-7 out of 10) should be taken with a grain of salt.

As soon as they review more cameras, I expect the formula to be more accurate. This is also valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they didn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

If you don't have a budget for smartphones like the ultra-expensive Huawei P40 Pro, don't worry, you can also find the right one for your own budget on one of the other seven top 10 lists.

Phones like the Google Pixel 2 or the Xiaomi Mi 9 are probably good enough for those who aren't looking to spend that much on a new phone.

Then there's the P30 Pro, but at twice the price of the Mi 9, it may be too expensive, despite everything that it adds.

If you also want to know what are the top 10 smartphones with most megapixels, check out the links at the end of this page. There's something there for you.

If you're looking for something else (besides the best camera-phone), each list has another nine alternatives.

Tips: Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones. You can also find links to Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, and Walmart (and updated prices) in any comparison article.



Pick your budget:





 Top 10 

  • #10 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (Exynos)Galaxy S20 U.EX
    $925    8.5

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Exynos 990
    Android 10
    6.9" 1440x3200
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    108+48+12Mp4x
    5000mAh 45+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s20 ultra (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s20 ultra (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S20 U.EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S20 U.SD


 Over $1000 

  • #5 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (Snapdragon)Galaxy S20 U.SD
    $1399    8.5

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 855
    Android 10
    6.9" 1440x3200
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    108+48+12Mp4x
    5000mAh 45+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s20 ultra (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s20 ultra (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S20 U.EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S20 U.SD
  • #6 SamsungSamsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Exynos)Gal. Note 20 U.EX
    $1010    8.0

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Exynos 990
    Android 10
    6.9" 1440x3088
    Full Glass 256GB+
    Gorilla Glass V
    108+12+12Mp4x
    4500mAh 25+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Storage
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy note 20 ultra (exynos) vs samsung galaxy note 20 ultra (snapdragon)Samsung
    Gal. Note 20 U.EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Gal. Note 20 U.SD
  • #8 SamsungSamsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Snapdragon)Gal. Note 20 U.SD
    $1230    7.8

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 865+
    Android 10
    6.9" 1440x3088
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass V
    108+12+12Mp4x
    4500mAh 25+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy note 20 ultra (exynos) vs samsung galaxy note 20 ultra (snapdragon)Samsung
    Gal. Note 20 U.EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Gal. Note 20 U.SD


 Under $1000 

  • #4 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (Exynos)Galaxy S20 U.EX
    $925    8.5

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Exynos 990
    Android 10
    6.9" 1440x3200
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    108+48+12Mp4x
    5000mAh 45+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s20 ultra (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s20 ultra (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S20 U.EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S20 U.SD


 Under $700 

  • #7 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 Plus (Snapdragon)Galaxy S20+ SD
    $609    7.9

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 865
    Android 10
    6.7" 1440x3200
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    12+64+12Mp
    4500mAh 25+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s20 plus (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s20 plus (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S20+ EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S20+ SD
  • #8 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 (Snapdragon)Galaxy S20 SD
    $609    7.8

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 865
    Android 10
    6.2" 1440x3200
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    12+64+12Mp
    4000mAh 25+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s20 (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s20 (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S20 EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S20 SD
  • #9 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 (Exynos)Galaxy S20 EX
    $669    7.8

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Exynos 990
    Android 10
    6.2" 1440x3200
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    12+64+12Mp
    4000mAh 25+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s20 (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s20 (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S20 EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S20 SD


 Under $500 

  • #4 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S20 FE 5GGal. S20 FE 5G
    $401    7.7

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 865
    Android 10
    6.5" 1080x2400
    Front Glass 128G+
    Gorilla Glass 3
    12+8+12Mp3x
    4500mAh 25+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Wireless Charg.
    -Weight
    -3.5mm Jack
    -Price
    -Glass Protection

  • samsung galaxy s20 fe 4g vs samsung galaxy s20 fe 5gSamsung
    Gal. S20 FE 4G
    vs
    Samsung
    Gal. S20 FE 5G
  • #6 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S10 (Exynos)Galaxy S10 EX
    $433    7.6

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2019
    Exynos 9820
    Android 9
    6.1" 1440x3040
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    12+12+16Mp2x
    3400mAh 15+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Wireless Charg.
    +Glass Protection

  • samsung galaxy s10 (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s10 (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S10 EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S10 SD


 Under $400 

  • #1 XiaomiXiaomi Mi 10T LiteMi 10T Lite
    $325    8.2

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 750
    Android 10
    6.6" 1080x2400
    Full Glass 64GB+
    Gorilla Glass 5
    64+8+2+2Mp
    4820mAh 33+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    -AMOLED
    -Always-On-Disp.
    -Wireless Charg.
    -Weight

  • xiaomi mi 10t lite vs xiaomi mi 10t proXiaomi
    Mi 10T Lite
    vs
    Xiaomi
    Mi 10T Pro
  • #3 SamsungSamsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Snapdragon)Galaxy S10+ SD
    $379    7.4

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2019
    Snapdragon 855
    Android 9
    6.4" 1440x3040
    Full Glass 128GB+
    Gorilla Glass 6
    12+12+16Mp2x
    4100mAh 15+15w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Performance
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Wireless Charg.
    -Price

  • samsung galaxy s10 plus (exynos) vs samsung galaxy s10 plus (snapdragon)Samsung
    Galaxy S10+ EX
    vs
    Samsung
    Galaxy S10+ SD
  • #4 XiaomiXiaomi Mi 10 LiteMi 10 Lite
    $399    7.4

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2020
    Snapdragon 765
    Android 10
    6.5" 1080x2400
    Front Glass 64GB
    Gorilla Glass 5
    48+8+2+2Mp
    4160mAh 20+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    -Wireless Charg.
    -MicroSD Slot
    -Weight
    -Price

  • xiaomi mi 10 lite vs xiaomi mi 10 ultraXiaomi
    Mi 10 Lite
    vs
    Xiaomi
    Mi 10 Ultra


 Under $300 

  • #1 HuaweiHuawei Mate 20Mate 20
    $285    7.8

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2018
    Hisilicon Kirin 980
    Android 9
    6.5" 1080x2244
    Full Glass 64GB+
    No Glass Prot.
    12+8+16Mp2x
    4000mAh 22+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    -AMOLED
    -Wireless Charg.
    -Weight
    -Glass Protection

  • huawei mate 20 vs huawei mate 20 proHuawei
    Mate 20
    vs
    Huawei
    Mate 20 Pro
  • #2 XiaomiXiaomi Mi 8Mi 8
    $235    6.7

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2018
    Snapdragon 845
    Android 8
    6.2" 1080x2248
    Full Glass 64GB
    Gorilla Glass 5
    12+12Mp2x
    3400mAh 18+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    -Wireless Charg.
    -MicroSD Slot
    -3.5mm Jack

  • xiaomi mi 8 vs xiaomi mi 9Xiaomi
    Mi 8
    vs
    Xiaomi
    Mi 9
  • #4 RealmeRealme XTXT
    $290    6.5

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2019
    Snapdragon 712
    Android 9
    6.4" 1080x2340
    Full Glass 64GB+
    Gorilla Glass 5
    64+8+2+2Mp
    4000mAh 20+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    -Wireless Charg.
    -Weight

  • xiaomi redmi note 8 pro vs realme xtXiaomi
    R.Note 8 Pro
    vs
    Realme
    XT
  • #5 XiaomiXiaomi Mi 9 SEMi 9 SE
    $250    6.4

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2019
    Snapdragon 712
    Android 9
    5.9" 1080x2340
    Full Glass 64GB
    Gorilla Glass 5
    48+8+13Mp2x
    3070mAh 18+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    -Wireless Charg.
    -MicroSD Slot
    -3.5mm Jack

  • xiaomi mi 9 vs xiaomi mi 9 seXiaomi
    Mi 9
    vs
    Xiaomi
    Mi 9 SE
  • #10 OnePlusOnePlus 66
    $230    5.7

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2018
    Snapdragon 845
    Android 8
    6.2" 1080x2280
    Full Glass 64GB
    Gorilla Glass 5
    16+20Mp
    3300mAh 20+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    -Always-On-Disp.
    -Wireless Charg.
    -MicroSD Slot

  • oneplus 6 vs oneplus 6tOnePlus
    6
    vs
    OnePlus
    6T


 Under $200 

  • #3 RealmeRealme 5 Pro5 Pro
    $179    6.5

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2019
    Snapdragon 712
    Android 9
    6.3" 1080x2340
    Front Glass 128G+
    Gorilla Glass 3
    48+8+2+2Mp
    4035mAh 20+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Always-On-Disp.
    +Cameras
    +Battery Life
    +Price
    -AMOLED
    -Wireless Charg.
    -Weight
    -Glass Protection

  • realme 5 pro vs xiaomi redmi note 8 proRealme
    5 Pro
    vs
    Xiaomi
    R.Note 8 Pro
  • #5 XiaomiXiaomi Redmi Note 7Redmi Note 7
    $140    4.7

  • Quick Specs
    Year: 2019
    Snapdragon 660
    Android 9
    6.3" 1080x2340
    Full Glass 64GB+
    Gorilla Glass 5
    48+5Mp
    4000mAh 18+0w
    full specs

  • +Pros/-Cons
    +Battery Life
    +Price
    -AMOLED
    -Always-On-Disp.
    -Wireless Charg.
    -Weight

  • xiaomi redmi note 7 vs xiaomi redmi note 8 proXiaomi
    Redmi Note 7
    vs
    Xiaomi
    R.Note 8 Pro
 Top Camera-phones 



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Top 10 Lists For Every Budget