A person holding up a mobile phone taking a picture of a sunset

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In recent years, mobile phone cameras have come a long way…

We all know that as time goes on, innovations and advancements in technology take place. With this, more mobile device users are depending on their smartphones to complete daily tasks. Not only do we rely on a phone’s Maps app for directions to the nearest cafe and use voice assistants like Siri to answer a simple question, but we’re also using our phones to record and film memories.

The phones you will learn about in this article:

Since massive improvements have been made to mobile phone cameras, we’ve started to see a decrease in sales of traditional DSLR cameras. As mobile cameras are only expected to get better as technology advances, it’s key that in the meantime, you’re choosing the right phone for your picture-taking needs while traveling. Below you will find the best mobile phones for photography in 2018, as well as upcoming phones to look out for in 2019.

Google Pixel 3

Ever since the Google Pixel 3 came onto the scene, many users have raved about the camera and the quality of its pictures. In terms of hardware, the rear camera is 12.2 megapixels with an f/1.8 aperture. The front-facing camera has two 8-megapixel lenses, one with an f/1.8 aperture and the other with a f/2.2 aperture.

Aside from the powerful cameras, what really sets the Google Pixel 3 apart from its competitors are the extra features included for the camera. One of them is Top Shot, a feature that identifies photos where people have looked away or blinked. However, reviews for the feature have been mixed given that Top Shot photos occasionally appear to lack sharpness.

The two other features offered are the Super Res Zoom and Night Sight. The Super Res Zoom gives you greater detail on zoomed in shots, while Night Sight offers great low-light performance and is able to combine frames in order to pick up more color and detail.

Samsung mobile phone camera
Credit: Lacie Slezak

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 offers a dual-lens rear camera with both cameras rated at 12 megapixels and having apertures of f/1.5 and f/2.4 respectively. Both lenses work together to create the perfect shot as one camera focuses on sharpness, while the other focuses on light performance.

The Note 9’s camera also offers Scene Optimizer, a feature that can detect what you’re shooting and pick a mode that enhances features of the photos. These modes range from flowers and landscapes, to portraits. The Note 9 also has flaw detection enabled which helps to recognize when a picture is blurry, there’s lens smudge, someone is blinking, and it helps fix backlighting.

The other feature that Samsung offers is Live Focus, a feature that is able to recognize the subject of your photo and blur out the background, bringing more focus and attention to your main subject.

Huawei P20 Pro

Not only did Huawei create the first triple-lens camera, but the P20 Pro has maintained great reviews for picture-taking. The triple lenses add up to create a 68-megapixel rear camera, able to produce vivid and sharp images even in poor lighting.

Huawei also has AI Image Stabilisation incorporated into their night mode which allows you to take excellent, blur-free pictures, even when surrounded by low lighting. Similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the Huawei P20 Pro is able to enter into different modes and enhance certain features depending on what you’re shooting, ranging from animals to all different facets of a landscape.

As we all know, it’s important to also have a good front-facing camera for self-portraits. The P20 Pro uses 3D portrait lighting that’s flattering to your face shape and gives you the best self-portrait possible.

Girl sitting in the dark lit up by fair lights
Credit: Tommy Tong

As 2018 is coming to a close, 2019 will undoubtedly be an exciting year with multiple new smartphones set to hit the market

If you’re looking to start the new year with a new smartphone with excellent picture-taking capabilities for any upcoming trips, here are the top phones to keep an eye on.

Light Smartphone

Palo Alto startup camera company Light, known for their 16-lens camera, is planning on integrating their technology into smartphones. Similar to Huawei, Light is planning on releasing a smartphone camera with multiple lenses, only this one is planned to have nine rear lenses.

This upcoming release comes on the heels of a massive partnership with German camera manufacturing company, Leica. While there have been no reports of when the smartphone is set to be released, it is rumored that 2019 will be the year that we’ll see this one-of-a-kind phone released.

Google Pixel 3 Lite

Similar to the Google Pixel 3 that has already been released, Google is rumored to be releasing a more budget-friendly version of the Pixel.

It’s rumored that it’ll have a rear 12.2-megapixel camera, the same that’s currently offered in the Google Pixel 3. While nothing has been confirmed, if Google was to release this smartphone in 2019, it could easily serve as one of the best budget-friendly phones while still offering stellar camera technology.

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung is set to release three versions of the Samsung Galaxy S10 in the Spring of 2019. The multiple versions will encompass three different sizes; 5.8 inches, 6.1 inches and 6.4 inches. It’s rumored that the rear face will have three cameras and the front will have two, making this five-lens smartphone a sure contender in the space.

What are some of your recommendations for the best mobile cameras?

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