The best camera phone 2024: top mobiles for photography

The best camera phones of 2024 focus on quality, not specs. Samsung backed away from its 10X zoom camera, Apple kept things simple on the less expensive iPhone models, and Google still relies on AI wizardry to enhance its Pixel lineup. This year isn’t about more megapixels and more zoom, it’s about finding new ways to take better photos. 

The best camera phone is like carrying the best cameras with a whole bag full of lenses. That’s why we prefer the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung has made great improvements this year in image quality all around. The spec sheet looks like a step back from last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, but trust me, this phone takes higher-quality pics in every situation, even in the long zoom shots. 

If you can’t afford the best Samsung phone, there are plenty of inexpensive phones that can take amazing photos. The least expensive phone on our list right now is the Pixel 7a. It lists for only $374 / £329 / $749, and even though it’s been on the market a while, it still produces excellent photos that are perfect for sharing. 

Of course we’re not forgetting about Apple and all of the best iPhones. We love the iPhone 15 Pro Max for its quality and range, and its main camera takes photos that rival the best you’ll get from Samsung. It can’t quite match Samsung for versatility in lenses and photo modes, but with a 5X zoom lens it’s coming closer every year. 

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We’ve got plenty of selections beyond the biggest name brands, including winners like the OnePlus 12. Read more about our favorite smartphone cameras below, but check back soon because we expect this will be an exciting year ahead filled with amazing smartphone photography.

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