Top Picks ↵
1. Best overall for photo and video
2. Best for photography
3. Best for high-resolution photos
4. Best for affordability
5. Best for novice shooters
6. Best foldable phone
7. Best flip phone
8. Best camera foldable
9. Best for cinematographers
10. Best underdog
11. Best flagship at a lower price
12. Best last-gen Apple
How to choose
How we test
As camera phone technology progresses, you might find it tricky to keep up to date on the latest handsets available. Our phone rumors hub will keep you up to date with the latest leaks and smartphone news. But to help you find the best camera phone for you right now, we've rounded up a selection of the latest models with a range of budgets in mind.
Camera phone technology can really boil down to one simple concept – pure and simple convenience. Not only will the best camera phones feature powerful imaging sensors (for example, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has an awesome 200MP sensor – higher than most of the best professional cameras), but they'll also have incredible computational photography features that take a matter of milliseconds to process the images you capture and improve aspects such as sharpness, white balance and more.
While the best camera phones might not yet be able to beat the best DSLRs or mirrorless cameras for sheer image quality, the one area that camera phones beat out traditional cameras in is their size. Even the best compact cameras can still take up most of your pocket (if they even fit in!), but the best fold phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 are incredibly compact.
No matter whether you're looking for a high-end camera phone that will help you capture great social media content, or you're simply looking for an everyday handset that will capture beautiful family snaps, we've rounded up the best camera phones currently available below…
Gareth is the Reviews Editor at Digital Camera World, and the person in charge of approving all the latest camera-related tech. With several years of experience as a photographer and videographer, shooting for some household names, he has learned a thing or two about cameras and the photography industry. Outside of photography, expect to find him cycling around London, or deep in a Netflix binge.
The best camera phone: Our top picks
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a serious, pocketable powerhouse. Yes, its ample cameras provide 48MP RAW stills and up to a 5x optical zoom, but its video really shines through. Read more below...
Best camera phone overall
The Pixel 8 Pro is simply the best camera photos you can take using a phone, at a much lower price than its Apple rival. Read more below...
Best for high resolution photos
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one pretty phone that also benefits from an impressive 200MP camera. Read more below...
Best for affordability
If you're looking for a great photo-taker for an amazing price then the Google Pixel 7a takes the crown. Read more below...
Best everyday shooter
The iPhone 15 might not be top-spec, but it is the best shooter for everyday phone photographers. Read more below...
The best camera phone in 2023
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
The best phone overall for photo and video
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a serious, pocketable powerhouse. Yes, it's thick, but its relatively compact footprint and ample camera and power mix make it an enticing option, especially for photographers.
While it's a shame there's no pro mode for manual photography, the 14 Pro's 48MP RAW photos capture excellent results. The automatic mode's photo processing is also one of the best if not the best, we've seen on a phone. Additionally, the iPhone Pro Max now offers up a new 5x telephoto camera, reaching further can ever before in higher quality, and offering even more beautiful natural blur on portraits.
The iPhone 15 range has also added a tremendous amount of functionality and convenience by finally adopting the USB-C port, making it even more compatible with monitors and camera accessories.
So while the new iPhone 15 Pro is very expensive, it's a mighty phone with a brilliant camera, that's powerful and lasts a full day. If you're an Apple fan who likes more compact phones, the iPhone 15 Pro is a no-brainer, but you will be bumped down to a still very impressive 3x optical camera. But if you like big phones and the best photography experience, the Pro Max is for you.
Read more: iPhone 15 Pro Max review
The best phone for photography
The Pixel 8 Pro is simply the best camera you can buy at its price for photography, it's that simple. It wipes the floor with the similarly priced iPhone 15 Pro and beats the much pricier iPhone 14 Pro Max in a few key areas too.
The Pixel 8 Pro adds a new RAW capture letting you take full advantage of the 50MP sensor, as well as a new pro controls mode giving you manual control over the look of your images. The camera mix is still mind-bogglingly good as far as point-and-shoot photography goes, with a new higher-megapixel wide-angle lens, and one of the best telephotos on the market. Video has also taken a big step up from the 7 Pro but can't quite meet the iPhone Pro Max.
With a sleek design, a mighty screen, and excellent future-proofing by way of continued software support for up to 7 years, you do get a lot for your money here. So even though the phone had a couple of small hiccups in our time with it – as a package, you'll be hard-pressed to get a better value flagship phone than the Pixel 8 Pro.
Read more: Google Pixel 8 Pro review
The best phone for high resolution photos
Immediately upon seeing the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, we concluded that this is one pretty phone. Samsung has doubled down on the clean minimal style this year, and it has really paid off, with a cool sophisticated style, that is also distinctly different from the other big manufacturers.
The screen is big, bright, and colorful with a near-bezeless curved screen, that is a joy to behold. On the rear of the phone, the camera cutout has been replaced by each lens sitting alone nearly flush with the device. The S Pen continues to be tucked in the bottom of the phone ready for note-taking at a moment's notice.
Meanwhile, this Android phone does have power! With the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, you can expect to fly through daily tasks, mobile gaming, and content creation. When it comes to photography, Samsung is not playing around. With a new 200MP camera sensor, which can now capture 50MP RAW photos, and new AI processing algorithms specializing in new nighttime and astrophotography, this phone packs some serious chops when it comes to photography.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review
The best camera phone for affordability
One of the best budget camera phones out now, if not the best, the Google Pixel 7a offers much of the same photo quality as its much more expensive flagship offering, the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Costing midrange money, though, it's clear where Google's compromised. The Pixel 6a has a lower refresh rate screen than the competition, fewer cameras, and no wireless charging. However, Google doesn't usually deliver best-in-class power, instead focusing on smarts, and that's what it's done with the Pixel 6a. It features a mighty Google Tensor chip with top-end features like an under-display fingerprint scanner and AI photo editing powers.
Despite its slightly underpowered hardware, the 7a is a powerful camera phone thanks to Google's smart software, enjoys playful design, and offers plenty of bang for your buck.
Read more: Google Pixel 7a review
The best camera phone for novice shooters
From a photography point of view, the iPhone 15 is a great piece of kit, especially if you just want to point, shoot, and share great-looking shots via social media without doing much post-processing.
However, the more serious photographer will miss the ability to shoot in RAW format so that they can enjoy fine-tuning the look of their images in a digital darkroom such as Adobe Camera Raw.
Images on the iPhone 15’s Super Retina XDR display look great, but you may need to view them on a larger display if you want to discover and remove noise artifacts or retouch a portrait more effectively. In this instance, you might consider paying an extra £100 for the iPhone 15 Plus, which boasts a true optical 3x camera, rather than the iPhone 15's pixel-binning trickery.
The iPhone 15’s video especially shines and produces amazingly smooth handheld footage which alleviates the need to stabilize it in a non-linear editing app, but serious filmmakers may also want the option to shoot in HDR Dolby Vision, which will lead them in the direction of the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max.
Read more: Apple iPhone 15 review
The best foldable phone
Samsung's raised its prices for 2023 compared to the previous Fold 4 and matched the Pixel Fold's asking price directly. But Galaxy Z Fold 4 owners who dropped the best part of $2000 on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Z Fold 4 shouldn't look at the Z Fold 5 and feel like they're missing any killer features, but that doesn't stop the new phone from being a powerhouse.
Samsung has not really overhauled its Z Fold line with its latest release. But while the Z Fold 5 is very similar to the Z Fold 4, it's still one of the most fully-featured folding phones out there, with its S Pen support and foldable-optimized interface helping it shine, while it carries forward the competent camera system of its predecessor. If you are already invested in the Samsung ecosystem then this phone also fits perfectly in with your other Samsung devices.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 hands-on review
The best flip phone
Samsung's strange side-notch on the Z Flip 5 might not look as good as Motorola's RAZR 40 Ultra cover screen, but if it makes room for better camera hardware, we're here for it. The fact the Z Flip 5 upgrades the cover-screen functionality to run third-party apps, levels up the line's power, and zaps the hinge gap of old Samsung clamshells all means this is the most exciting Z Flip since the first debuted in 2021.
Keen photographers who want natural color reproduction and maximum bang for their buck would be better off with a traditional phone than any foldable – the Z Flip 5 doesn't change that fact. But if you specifically want a flip phone, the Flip 5 is a good shout, and without much competition, it’s one of the best available in the West for photography, and its IPX8 water resistance, sturdy build, and large cover screen round off the experience nicely.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
The best cameras on a foldable phone
On the one hand, the Pixel Fold is a very first-gen device. It doesn't unfold completely flat, and there are plenty of mainstream Android apps that don't look great on it – or any unfolded folding phone (or Android tablet, for that matter).
But in the Pixel Fold's favor, it's an IPX8-rated foldable with a very sturdy hinge – so durability is where it needs to be, at least on paper. Its cameras also benefit from the Pixel treatment, so while its hardware isn't best-in-class, its photos are consistently balanced. Most noteworthy, the Pixel Fold's periscope camera is a welcome win over its main competition, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, and its shooting modes are very user-friendly.
Read more: Google Pixel Fold review