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
SmartphoneRating
Samsung Galaxy S10+109
Huawei Mate 20 Pro109
Huawei P20 Pro109
Xiaomi Mi 9107
Apple iPhone Xs Max105
HTC U12+103
Samsung Galaxy Note 9103
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3103
Huawei P20102
Apple iPhone Xr101
Google Pixel 3101
Samsung Galaxy S9+99
Xiaomi Mi 899
Google Pixel 298
OnePlus 6T98
Apple iPhone X97
Huawei Mate 10 Pro97
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S97
OnePlus 696
Apple iPhone 8 Plus94
Samsung Galaxy Note 894
Apple iPhone 892

Selfie camera rankings
SmartphoneRating
Samsung Galaxy S10+96
Google Pixel 392
Samsung Galaxy Note 992
Xiaomi Mi Mix 384
Apple iPhone Xs Max82
Samsung Galaxy S9+81
Google Pixel 277
Huawei Mate 20 Pro75
Samsung Galaxy S873
Huawei P20 Pro72
Apple iPhone X71
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