Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
A young woman taking a selfie.

Best Smartphone Cameras

There are lots of good ones, but these are tops for photos and video

The smartphones featured below have the best camera performance among the dozens of models in CR's ratings. They might not match the image quality of a mirrorless or DSLR camera, but in many situations they come close. And you can’t beat the best smartphone cameras for portability and sharing options.

These days, you can count on smartphones to have high-resolution sensors (12 megapixels or more) to produce sharp cropped or enlarged prints. They have optical image stabilizers to help minimize blurriness from a shaky hand. And they can capture spur-of-the-moment video with high-definition clarity.

More on Smartphones

Many new phones also offer two rear-mounted cameras in addition to the front-facing selfie camera. One camera delivers typical shots while the other works as a zoom or wide-angle lens. Some phones use the two cameras together to produce a stylish bokeh effect, which blurs the background while leaving the subject in sharp focus.

Another thing to consider if you’re planning to shoot a lot with your phone is storage. Images and video captured by the best smartphone cameras are relatively large, up to 5 megabytes per still image and several hundred megabytes per minute for videos. There’s a real advantage to choosing a phone that accepts microSD memory cards. Cards with 64GB of storage are easy to install and cost as little as $20 at most retailers.

If you buy a phone that lacks this advantage, consider a model with at least 64GB of internal storage.


Choose the 
right cell-phone plan for your family, and see our review of the best cell-phone carriers.

10 Best Smartphone Cameras

When we took a close look at our ratings, these 10 phones were at the top for camera quality. (For more details, see the table below.)

• Apple iPhone X
• Apple iPhone 8
• Apple iPhone 8 Plus
• Samsung Galaxy S9+
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Apple iPhone 7
• Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy Note8
• Apple iPhone 7 Plus

It's worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy S9—which is the top performer in our overall ratings—did not make this list. That's because its camera-related scores fell just short of the others'. The popular Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also failed to make the list.

But that doesn't mean those phones have subpar cameras. Our lead phone tester, Richard Fisco, notes that from a camera-quality standpoint, there’s very little variation among the top-tier smartphones these days.

In fact, the differences among this group are so small that they could be chalked up to variations in our test samples, he says.

As a prime illustration of this, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones use the same camera, but the S8+ appears a few spots ahead of the S8.

Here’s a deeper look at what we found:

64
Smartphones in Our Ratings.
Current Smartphone Ratings

Recently Tested Cell phones & services

See our full list of Cell phone & service Ratings