Let’s face it, any phone these days can make a call, show what your mates have been up to on Instagram, and stream the latest Netflix sensation without breaking sweat. That’s great and all, but if you want the very best from your next handset, then it’s pretty much impossible to tell the difference between an iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 – unless you rip the phones right out of their store displays and start snapping away with their cameras.
To save you an awkward conversation with an underpaid security guard and help deliver some snaps worth sharing on your Eid Al-Adha hols, we’ve tested the latest leading phones for their photographic abilities. Whether you’ll settle for nothing less than pictorial excellence or you’ve spent most of your travel funds on a pair of sunglasses, these are the best camera phones for every budget.
Huawei P20 Pro
Best for: Everything
Well, you’d expect as much from a triple-lens camera, wouldn’t you? While the P20 Pro’s 40-megapixel snapper might look a tad excessive, it delivers a stunning photo in almost all lighting conditions. In crowded bars, its larger-than-normal pixels and optical image stabilisation allows for expertly judged exposure where your mates aren’t a blurry mess. And a 5x optical zoom means it’s possible to capture that stunning landmark without walking halfway down the road to get up close to it.
AED 2,549 at www.souq.com
Best for: Naturalism
While the iPhone X doesn’t have the best camera you can buy, it’s pretty damn good nonetheless. It’s got a 2x zoom, is adept at those bokeh-filled shots with a blurry background and handles colours in a natural way. This is especially important for photographic buffs since most major phone-makers tend to prioritise vivid shades so that even the most drab suburb is transformed into a tropical paradise. Instead, the iPhone X better captures the truth of wherever you’re at, be that Staines or St Lucia.
From AED 4,304 at www.apple.com/ae
Samsung Galaxy S9+
Best for: Instagram
“What good is social media if not for convincing your mates you’re having a better time than them?” That’s the Samsung Galaxy S9+’s philosophy anyway. This phone is all about sharp pictures with vivid colours that pop out of a phone’s screen to consume your friends with jealousy. It’s the antithesis of Apple’s iPhone X, and that’s kind of the point. A dual aperture lens also offers more flexibility when shooting in dim conditions, so you need never worry about your food snaps being on point from a restaurant’s darkened corner.
AED 2,499 at www.jumbo.ae
Best for: Value
Don’t fancy spending the best part of a grand on your next phone? The OnePlus 6 was made with you in mind. As well as being packed with all the specs you’d expect from a top-tier handset, its dual-lens camera comes pretty close to what you’d expect from the best too. Like the Samsung Galaxy S9, it captures bold, colourful shots with sharing in mind. Unlike that phone and its flagship brethren, these snaps are a little less refined when it comes to detail and image-processing expertise. Not that your average joe will be able to spot the difference.
AED 2,160 at www.souq.com
Google Pixel 2
Best for: Detail
Until Huawei’s P20 Pro came along, the Google Pixel 2 was pretty much the undisputed king of smartphone cameras. While its finesse can still be barely faulted, it’s lack of extra bells and whistles, such as a dual camera and top-tier OLED, now renders it more of a contender than a champ. That said, Google’s algorithm-related magic really works overtime here to make this phone something of a point-and-shoot pro. Snap away in any given situation and you’ll garner an incredible amount of detail at your first attempt. And as any veteran tourist knows, the golden rule of travel photography is often “shoot first, ask questions later”.
AED 3,999 at noon.com
Motorola G6 Plus
Best for: Budgeting
OK, so you’re really after bang for your photographic buck? Look no further than the latest entry in Motorola’s budget-friendly G series – specifically the most “premium” Plus, which nets you the added luxury of a dual-lens camera for those creamy, bokeh-style shots. Truthfully, in most scenarios this phone has the chips to deliver a thoroughly respectable snap. Not one for the mantlepiece perhaps, but it’ll make do in your family WhatsApp chat. Especially if your compositional skills are a cut above the rest.
AED 1,153 at tecobuy.com
Originally published on www.gq-magazine.co.uk.