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5 Best Camera Phones for 2018

With the progression of camera technology in smartphones, it now seems that for the majority of users carrying an actual camera has become a thing of the past and unless you are in the photography business or have a camera hobby the convenience if a smartphone outweighs the need for any other piece of kit.  

To be fair the performance offered on many phones has massively improved not only because the MP count has been creeping up and up, but because a vast range of software features now supports them.  Functionality like AI, OIS and image sensors can totally change the performance of the lenses sometimes meaning the most significant megapixel count is not always the best. Here are five of the best camera phones that have been released so far in 2018.

iPhone XS Max

The newest contribution from the giants at Apple, so it is only fair that we acknowledge the camera performance on this handset.  We have picked the iPhone XS Max over the smaller iPhone XS simply because the screen is bigger, so you get to see more of your fantastic work; however, the technology in both handsets is the same, and both have stunning photographic capabilities.

On the back, you have the dual lens arrangement, both boasting 12MP, and one offering the telephoto lens while the other brings the wide-angle lens to the table.  While this is similar to the iPhone X camera arrangement, the change comes in the new neural engine and software support.

This means that the phone is continuously making adjustments to the pictures you take, automatically correcting red-eye and other issues. Apple has released Depth Control with this handset meaning that in post-production you can adjust the blur and generally enhance the image you have taken.

Huawei P20 Pro

Relative newcomers to the field, Huawei have been making massive strides in terms of gaining market shares and convincing customers to give them a try.  One thing they are really nailing is their camera technology, with comments being made that they offer a performance superior to many of the cameras on sale.  

With input from German photography giants Leica, Huawei have nailed the camera performance on the P20 Pro.  Going one better than the dual lenses we are starting to see as commonplace this handset has a triple camera set up on the back which features a simply mind-blowing 40MP RGB lens. A 20MP monochrome lens then supports this and as if that wasn’t enough a telephoto lens that is 8MP with 3x optical zoom.

On the front, you will find a 24MP camera which again knocks spots off the others.  However, remember it is not all about the MP, and this is supported by technology from Pixel Fusion among other features which allow brighter images.  Master AI is also running to assist the user in getting the best shot every time.

Samsung Galaxy S9

When it first landed on the shelves, the Samsung Galaxy S9 would have held the title of the best camera phone with very little rivalry, but this is a fast-paced market, so it is no surprise that just months later it makes the mix but is no longer standing quite so above the others. Again we have the dual lens arrangement on the rear with a 12MP telephoto, and a 12MP wide-angle lens both offering the level of performance we hope to see.  

Again there is a good level of technology at work to support the camera functionality, with autofocus and noise reduction leading to really true to life colours even in lower light conditions.  

The phone can record in super slow motion at 960fps and 720p resolution, and when taking photos, the Motion Detection feature will automatically sense movement and where needed slow down the shutter speed to reduce blur.   It may not have quite the same level of technology supporting the camera as some others, but this is a cracking all-round camera phone.

LG G7 ThinQ

LG made a surprise addition to their fold this year with the G7 ThinQ which offered a performance that was not expected.  The camera arrangement on this handset is actually really great, and while there is only one lens on the back, it is a 16MP offering that gives excellent images.  They may not have the same level of technology supporting as some of the other contenders, but LG certainly seems to have nailed the photography performance on this model.

On the front of the handset, you will find an 8MP camera and LG have added a new feature called Google Lens to enhance the camera capabilities of this phone further.  

Google Lens is an intelligent information gathering application that can capture such information as the local surroundings, the food you are eating, etc. and then send that information to you making this a whole different ball game and certainly adding to the appeal.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The newest flagship from the Samsung stables, the Galaxy Note 9 had a pretty big reputation to live up to, and it certainly has succeeded.  In terms of camera technology, the performance it offers is first class and puts this handset high on the list of best camera phones of 2018.  

When you first see the lens set up on the Galaxy Note 9, you might wonder how on earth it can be any different to the Galaxy S9, and in terms of hardware, you are right. The same dual lens 12MP rear camera and 8MP selfie camera appear on both, and in some ways that was a logical move as they perform well.

What has changed is the supporting software, and this is where the difference is found.  Being the newer of the Galaxy offerings, the Note 9 has enhanced AI functionality and some really neat trickery to offer the best images possible every time.  Flaw Detection and Scene Optimizer are the new additions, and they change the game and adjust the images as you take them to ensure perfection.