Highest Megapixel Camera Phone 2022

The battle for best camera phone comes down to an Apple vs. Google showdown. And while we have our favorite, the quality of images produced by the latest phones from those companies just goes to show that this is a great time to be in the market for a camera phone.

Not only do the best camera phones feature improved hardware — Apple upgraded the sensors on the iPhone 13, while the Pixel 6 Pro gets a long awaited telephoto lens — the software keeps improving, too. Both Apple and Google rely heavily on computational photography to further improve the images their camera phones produce.

Of course, you’ve got choices beyond those two phone makers when you’re trying to hunt down the best camera phone, especially with Samsung introducing camera improvements to its Galaxy S22 lineup. (Check out our Samsung Galaxy S22 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max low-light photography comparison.) Our testing has helped us find devices that capture memorable images and once-in-a-lifetime shots you’d miss with less-capable handsets. We’re looking for camera phones that meld intricate optics and sensors with software algorithms that rely upon math and science to extract the best possible light, color and detail out of every scenario. It’s not just about the number of lenses on the back, either — some phone makers make the most of artificial intelligence to improve post processing on your photos.

After hundreds of hours of testing and many head-to-head photo comparisons, these are the best camera phones you can buy right now.

What are the best camera phones?

Right now, the current king of camera phones is the iPhone 13 Pro Max, followed very closely by the smaller iPhone 13 Pro. Featuring a triple 12MP setup with larger sensors on the wide and ultrawide cameras, plus 3x optical zoom on the telephoto lens, the new Pro models earn their names with spectacular photos and videos.

If you want to look beyond Apple’s phones, plenty of the best Android phones feature impressive cameras of their own. The Google Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 6 next to it, are the new cream of the crop. The latest phones from Samsung — particularly the Galaxy S22 Ultra — come close, especially when it comes to low-light photos and zooming in on subjects, but Google’s phones remain the best. (These three photos show why the Pixel 6 Pro tops the Galaxy S22 Ultra.) 

Google’s stellar camera phones include the Pixel 5a, one of the best camera phones you can buy on a budget. We’re interested in discovering how the just-announced iPhone SE (2022) compares, though we’re still waiting to test Apple’s new phone. One area of concern is that despite a new processor with more power, the iPhone SE still doesn’t support a Night mode.

Check out our guide to how camera phones will change in 2022 to learn what’s coming during the rest of the year.  

The Best Camera Phones you can Buy Right Now

1. iPhone 13 Pro Max

The best camera phone you can buy

The biggest iPhone 13 is also the best camera phone you can buy. Apple went all out with the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s hardware, increasing the sensor size for the main and ultrawide cameras and adding autofocus to the latter. That ultrawide can act as a macro camera, photographing subjects up to 2 cm away. The sensor-shift OIS introduced last year on the iPhone 12 Pro Max returns this year and the telephoto received a boost to 3x.


  • Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2778 x 1284)
  • CPU: A15 BionicRAM: 6GB
  • Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No
  • Rear cameras: 12MP main (f/1.5), 12MP ultrawide (f/1.8), 12MP telephoto (f/2.5) with 3x
  • Front camera: 12MP (f/2.2)
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 12:16




  • Best-in-class cameras
  • Excellent battery life
  • Immersive 6.7-inch display


  • Charger sold separately
  • A bit heavy and bulky

Apple also improved its computational photography, especially when it comes to low-light. Also, new this year are Photographic Styles — basically real-time filters — and Cinematic mode. The latter is portrait video on steroids, boasting dynamically shifting focus to create a truly professional video experience.

This is the phone to get if you want the best camera experience.

Read our full iPhone 13 Pro Max review.

2. iPhone 13 Pro

Powerful camera hardware packed into a smaller body

Nipping at the heels of its bigger brother, the iPhone 13 Pro is a very close second on this list of the best camera phones. It sports the same hardware as the iPhone 13 Pro Max with the larger sensors, autofocus on the ultrawide camera and macro mode.


  • Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2532 x 1170)CPU: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No
  • Rear cameras: 12MP main (f/1.5), 12MP ultrawide (f/1.8), 12MP telephoto (f/2.8) with 3x
  • Front camera: 12MP (f/2.2)
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:42




  • Gorgeous and bright 120Hz display
  • Incredible performance
  • Spectacular cameras
  • Vastly improved battery life


  • No charger included

The iPhone 13 Pro although smaller is right in line with the Pro Max, getting sensor-shift OIS and the same 3x optical zoom. Photographic Styles and Cinematic modes also come standard. Basically, this is the phone to get if you want the best camera experience but in a smaller package. The 6.1-inch display is still gorgeous and features 120Hz ProMotion for ultra-smooth animations and transitions.

The battery life is even awesome, going for almost 12 hours in our battery life test, meaning you can take plenty of pictures and videos.

Read our full iPhone 13 Pro review.

3. Pixel 6 Pro

The best Android camera phone you can buy

Samsung didn’t make major changes to the camera setup on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but the enhancements over the S21 Ultra are very welcome. For starters, the 108MP main camera has a larger sensor, letting in more light. A Super Clear Glass over that lens eliminates flare when you’re shooting in twilight and at night. The end result is better low-light photos and some sharp images when using the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Night mode.


  • Display: 6.7-inch OLED (3120 x 1440; 10-120Hz)
  • CPU: Tensor
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main (ƒ/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2), 48MP telephoto (ƒ/3.5) with 4x optical zoom
  • Front camera: 11.1MP (ƒ/2.2)
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 7:49




  • Incredible cameras
  • Tensor performs well
  • Beautiful new design
  • More affordable than other flagships


  • Shorter battery life than competitors

Google has once again claimed its Android photography crown. The Pixel 6 Pro has incredible cameras, thanks to upgraded hardware and powerful software chops. The end result is something that can go toe-to-toe with Apple and even evenly trade blows (especially with the night mode, Night Sight). 

The 50MP main camera sensor lets in 150% more light, while the 48MP telephoto lens sports 4x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom. And the 11MP front-facing camera has a 94-degree field of view for ultrawide selfies.

Not only do you get the best cameras on an Android phone, but the Pixel 6 Pro sports the new Tensor chip, which lends itself well to things like computational photography and new Google Assistant features. If you’re in the Android camp, this is the phone to get if you want the best mobile photography experience.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review.

4. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung’s best camera phone


  • Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED (3088 x 1440; 1-120Hz)
  • CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB, 12GB
  • Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No
  • Rear camera: 108MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 10MP telephoto (f/4.9) with 10x optical zoom, 10MP telephoto (f/2.4) with 3x optical zoom
  • Front camera: 40MP (ƒ/2.2)
  • Weight: 8.1 ounces
  • Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:18


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  • Excellent dual telephoto lenses
  • Improved low-light photography
  • Big, bright display


  • Battery life takes a step back
  • ExpensiveAdvertisement

Other camera improvements to the Galaxy S22 Ultra focus on the software side of things. You now get adaptive pixel technology for combining 9 pixels into one (another low-light photo improvement), enhanced AI high-res processing and 4x faster multi-frame processing. Portrait mode benefits from AI Stereo Depth Maps to better separate your subject from the background of the shot. And a video Auto Framing feature recognizes up to 10 people and keeps them in focus when you’re shooting.

Ultimately, the top Apple and Google camera phones remain ahead of Samsung’s best efforts, but only barely. This is the camera phone to get for Samsung fans.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

5. Google Pixel 6

A great camera experience for less


  • Display: 6.4-inch OLED (2400 x 1080; 90Hz)
  • CPU: Google Tensor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main (ƒ/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2)
  • Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0)Weight: 7.3 ounces
  • Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:13




  • Tensor chip adds smarts to the phone
  • Excellent photo-editing features
  • Android 12 is a welcome update


  • Battery life can be short over 5G
  • Some colour issues with photos

While it might lack the telephoto lens, the Google Pixel 6 is still a powerful camera phone. You get the same 50MP main and 12MP ultrawide sensors in a slightly smaller body. Photos come out clear and crisp, even though we noticed some colour inconsistencies in some photos.

Still, the Pixel 6 is the best camera phone for most Android users. You’ll get stunning landscape shots, portraits, and selfies. And with all of the new AI-based photography features like Magic Eraser, you have a lot at your disposal.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 review.

6. Google Pixel 5a

The best camera phone under $500


Display: 6.43-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)CPU: Snapdragon 765GRAM: 6GBStorage / Expandable: 128GB / NoRear cameras: 12.2MP (f/1.7), 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawideFront camera: 8MP (f/2.0)Weight: 6.5 ouncesBattery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:45TODAY’S BEST DEALS




+Spectacular cameras+Big, bright display+IP67 water resistance


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The Pixel 5a from Google is, by far, the best camera experience under $500 as our Google Pixel 5a vs. iPhone SE shoot-out proves. New to Google’s phone this year is the addition of a 16MP ultrawide camera. The Pixel 4a from last year only had a 12.2MP camera, though it alone was extremely good. 

But the Pixel 5a also has a serious hardware upgrade to help it process photos faster and better. The Snapdragon 765G in the 5a is the same processor you’ll find in the Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a 5G. While it’s not the best or newest Snapdragon around (and it’s easily beaten by the A13 Bionic in the iPhone SE), it’s still powerful enough to perform some serious photography magic.

The $100 price hike from the Pixel 4a stings a bit, but the hardware upgrades, bigger battery, and larger screen all make up for it. With the Pixel 4a now discontinued by Google, this is the budget camera phone to get.

Read our full Google Pixel 5a review.

7. iPhone 13

The iPhone’s best cameras for less


Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2532 x 1170)CPU: A15 BionicRAM: 4GBStorage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / NoRear cameras: 12MP main (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4)Front camera: 12MP (f/2.2)Weight: 6.1 ouncesBattery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:33TODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AT&T


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+Impressive dual cameras+Incredible performance+Comprehensive 5G coverage+Cinematic mode


-Slow chargingAdvertisement

The best iPhone for the average person, the iPhone 13 features notable improvements over its predecessor. Not only is the battery life significantly better, but the cameras got some upgrades, too. First and foremost, the sensors are larger now, letting in more light to help with indoor and night photos. 

Besides just the excellent cameras, you get the Photographic Styles and Cinematic mode that the Pro models have. Though you lose out on the telephoto lens and wider apertures, you nonetheless get a fantastic photography experience for a very reasonable price. Apple even upped the base storage to 128GB while keeping the cost to you the same.

Read our full iPhone 13 review.

8. OnePlus 10 Pro

A killer value


Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (3216 x 1440)CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1RAM: 8GB, 12GBStorage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / NoRear cameras: 48MP (f/1.8) main, 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 8MP (f/2.4) 3.3x telephotoFront camera: 32MP (f/2.2)Weight: 7 ouncesBattery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:52 (120Hz), 12:39 (60Hz)TODAY’S BEST DEALS

VIEW AT AMAZONView at AmazonView at Amazon


+Excellent battery life+Beautiful new design+Best OnePlus cameras to date+Lower price than last year


-Telephoto is just 8MPAdvertisement

OnePlus has come a long way since the days of its afterthought cameras. We’re in the dawn of a new age for the Chinese phone maker with the second generation Hasselblad mobile photography system. The OnePlus 10 Pro is the best camera phone we’ve ever seen from the company.

It’s not quite on the same level as the iPhone 13 Pro Max or Pixel 6 Pro, but it’s very respectable. OnePlus still has a yellow tinge problem in most of the photos, something that’s especially noticeable outdoors. Inside, however, it makes for a warm, cozy feel. The 48MP main camera does all of the heavy lifting, but don’t count out the 50MP ultrawide sensor. It can shoot in a 100-degree field of view with minimal edge distortion, or zoom out to 150 degrees.

Where we think the OnePlus 10 Pro struggles as a camera phone is in its telephoto shots. They’re just not up to par with the other greats on this list, and we think the lower resolution might have something to do with that. At least the 32MP front camera takes nice selfies. Even Nightscape has seen improvements, producing much better low-light photos.

Read our full OnePlus 10 Pro review.

9. Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

A less expensive camera phone alternative to the Galaxy S22 Ultra


Display: 6.6-inch AMOLED (2340 x 1080; 48-120Hz)CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1RAM: 8GBStorage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / NoRear camera: 50MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 10MP telephoto (f/2.4) with 3x optical zoomFront camera: 10MP (ƒ/2.2)Weight: 6.9 ouncesBattery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:46TODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZON


+Improved telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom+Low-light photography features+Beautiful and very bright display


-So-so battery lifeAdvertisement

The photo features on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus aren’t as extensive as those on the S22 Ultra, but then again, the price tag isn’t as large either. And the S22 Plus’ cameras are quite capable,especially after Samsung boosted the megapixels on the main shooter to 50MP. The sensor is larger on this year’s phone, too, so the Galaxy S22 Plus lets in more light for sharper photos in more challenging settings.

The main camera isn’t the only one to see some improvement. The telephoto lens on the Galaxy S22 Plus now supports a 3x optical zoom, instead of the hybrid zoom that the S21 Plus had to offer. That means less noise when you zoom in on a subject.

Throw in other features like 8K video capture at 24 frames per second, an Auto Framing feature for tracking up to 10 people when you’re shooting video and advanced stablization features for minimizing shaky video, and you’ve got quite a capable camera phone for less than $1,000.

If you’re looking for a smaller version of this phone, then check out the Galaxy S22. It has the same camera capabilities at the Plus, just in a smaller and slightly less expensive package.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review.

How to pick the best camera phone for you

There are many factors to consider if camera quality factors heavily into your smartphone purchasing decision. A good way to start is by asking yourself what kinds of photos you see yourself taking. Not all multi-lens cameras are created equal — some have ultrawide lenses for stunning landscapes, others have telephotos for zoomed-in shallow-depth-of-field portraits, and others still have both. The newest flagships from the likes of Samsung and Huawei even have periscope-style lenses that can achieve up to 10x lossless zoom, rivaling the power of DSLRs.

Something else to consider: Megapixels don’t matter as much as aperture. Cameras with a wider aperture (lower ƒ-stop numbers translate to wider lenses) let in more light, which greatly helps produce better shots in the dark. The high-megapixel sensors found in the latest devices are nice, but it’s a common misconception that pixel count directly translates to better-looking photos. 

Do you need a portrait mode that allows for bokeh backgrounds? That’s where the subject of the photo is in sharp focus, while an artistic blur blankets the rest of the scene. Although it started as a feature exclusive to multi-camera phones, the single-lens iPhone SE is capable of capturing bokeh-effect portraits. Some devices even let you adjust the strength of the blur before and after you take a shot.

Front camera specs are important, too. In a world where we’re taking more selfies than ever, you shouldn’t overlook a phone’s front camera. Many front cameras, like the ones on the iPhone 13 and Pixel 6, can actually perform the same portrait mode effects that rear cameras pull off. Some phones feature two front cameras, with the second lens pulling in more background details, though that feature has gone out of fashion recently.Advertisement

Finally, don’t forget about video. Your cameras shoot more than just still images. Consider what resolution the camera captures video at along with the frame rate. A word to the wise, though: Be wary that ratcheting up the resolution will result in clips that take up much more space on your smartphone’s internal storage.

How we test camera phones

We put the market’s leading handsets through a variety of common shooting situations, such as landscapes, portraits and selfies in daylight and at night. Then, we analyze each set of images on a color-calibrated monitor to see which smartphone had the best combination of color accuracy, clarity and contrast. We also perform in-depth camera comparisons between the top phones, using each handset in their auto mode to take a wide range of photos in different conditions. After declaring a winner in each round, we name an overall winner of that face-off.

In each of our smartphone reviews, we also factor in any special features, such as dual lenses and what they enable, Portrait Modes, and other special modes, before we come to a conclusion.

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