For night owls
Only one lens? Google clearly didn’t get the memo about having to pile on as many lenses as possible. But no matter, its 5.5-inch Google Pixel 3 (US$799) does just brilliantly with a 12-megapixel single lens. Its portrait photo functions, Super Res Zoom mode and ultra-wide option are all well and good, but it’s the Night Sight mode that impresses most of all. If you take a lot of images after sunset, the Google Pixel 3 is for you.
Pro tip: Night Sight mode AND the Super Res Zoom are really handy
For landscape photographers
The Sony Xperia 1 (US$999) has a super-long 6.5-inch CinemaWide 4K OLED display that’s perfect for perusing panoramas in pin-sharp quality, with pro-level color accuracy. On board also is a triple-lens setup that comprises three 12-megapixel lenses.
Pro tip: Best for inspecting your panoramic photos … or for watching movies
For polished pictures
The market leader’s latest phone sees a seriously impressive photography upgrade. Inside the 6.4-inch Samsung Galaxy S10+ (US$999) are three lenses: a primary 12-megapixel, a 16-megapixel wide-angle and a 12-megapixel telephoto. That wide-angle impresses, despite sometimes seeming soft on detail, with the built-in software giving all photos extra sparkle.
Pro tip: This all-rounder makes almost every photo look ultra-vibrant and appealing
For photography experts
If the return of Nokia’s kitschy, retro and classic 3310 phone in 2017 was all about novelty, then the Nokia 9 Pureview (US$699) is the real deal. Complete with Zeiss optics, it’s the first smartphone to have five cameras; their images are fused to create one 12-megapixel photo. Able to capture extra depth of field, it also uses the uncompressed raw format and has an Adobe Lightroom processing app built in — so this is one for photography enthusiasts.
Pro tip: This is for the ones who always make sure to travel light
For ultimate detail
Is this the shape of smartphones to come? Packed with a mighty 48-megapixel camera, the Honor V20/View 20 (US$650) records more detail than most, while its Super Night View mode is handy for hand-held long exposure shots in low light. As a bonus, this 6.4-inch smartphone has a “desktop mode” — simply connect it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and you’ve got an instant desktop PC.
Pro tip: this phone’s 48-megapixel camera will one day be the standard
This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of Smile magazine.