10 Best Phones for Pictures

Wally Nowinski
editor

Phone cameras have improved a lot in recent years, and almost all phones nowadays have multiple rear cameras combined with at least one front-facing camera. The very best models have large image sensors, a high megapixel count, AI image processing, and some have optical zoom. These features have made budget cameras almost obsolete, with only high-end DSLR and mirrorless cameras offering more capabilities. With so many different features and specifications, it can be overwhelming to try and choose a phone based on picture quality, so our experts used the PerfectRec decision engine to simplify the process. We combed through our phone database to find the best phone for pictures available in 2023. Here are our top picks.

Our criteria for the best phone for pictures:

  • Camera Quality: We rated camera quality above everything else. To determine camera quality, our experts consider physical hardware, number of lenses as well as photo processing. The best camera phones will tend to be quite large, since many manufacturers only include their best cameras on larger models.
To consider others factors, try the PerfectRec decision engine to get your personalized phone recommendation
Get your personalized recommendations

10 Best Phones for Pictures

1
BEST RATING
Overall Camera:
5.0
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Best
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has a premium price and is a high-end smartphone featuring 256GB of storage, released in September 2023. It runs on iOS and the back is made of glass. The battery capacity is large, offering long hours of use before needing to recharge. It has a large 6.7-inch OLED screen with high resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals. Its camera system is top-of-the-line, with a main 48MP camera and additional 12MP ultrawide and telephoto lenses, supporting high-quality photo and video capture including 8K recording. The phone does not have a headphone jack but includes front-facing stereo speakers, 5G connectivity, NFC, and fast wireless charging capabilities. Additionally, it is water and dust-resistant, ensuring durability. This phone is best suited for users looking for the latest technology and best possible camera in a smartphone, prioritizing premium features and performance over cost.
Pros
  • Top-notch photo quality
  • Superb video capabilities
  • Long battery life
  • Bright and vivid OLED display
  • Fast A17 processor
Cons
  • Lacks 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No SD card slot
  • Expensive compared to rivals
  • Heavy at 7.8 ounces
2
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.9
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 Plus comes with a premium price tag and is a high-end offering from Apple's 2023 lineup, released in September. It operates on iOS and features a glass back. The phone has a large battery and a 6.7-inch OLED screen without curved edges, offering a crisp viewing experience with high peak brightness, although it lacks a high refresh rate. The A16 processor and 6GB of RAM ensure top performance, while its 128GB storage is ample for most users. Camera enthusiasts would appreciate its excellent photo and video capabilities, with the main camera boasting a high megapixel count and additional features like RAW output and Dolby Vision for HDR video. The device supports 5G but omits a headphone jack and SD card slot. It is equipped with a USB-C port, offers great battery life, and is built to withstand dust and water exposure. If you value top-notch camera performance and a large screen in an iOS device and are not deterred by the high cost, the iPhone 15 Plus is an impressive choice.
Pros
  • Excellent still photo quality
  • Excellent video quality
  • Premium OLED display
  • Very good screen brightness
  • Powerful A16 processor
Cons
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No high refresh rate
  • No always-on display
  • Limited battery capacity
3
BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.9
Size: Largest Android
Camera: Excellent
Battery: Best




Expert Summary
If you're looking for a premium phone with top-of-the-line features, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might be a great choice with its excellent camera system including a very capable 200-megapixel main camera and a 10x optical zoom telephoto lens. It also comes with an integrated stylus, which can be quite handy for note-taking or drawing. The high-resolution OLED display is large, and it offers a high refresh rate for smooth visuals. Moreover, it supports 5G connectivity for faster data speeds. The Galaxy S23 Ultra runs on Android and offers a high-quality build with a glass back. However, all these advanced features come at a premium price. Keep in mind that there is no headphone jack or SD card slot, so if those are important to you, you might need to look at other options.
Pros
  • High-resolution OLED screen
  • Very capable 10x optical zoom
  • Integrated stylus
  • Excellent overall camera quality
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy weight
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No SD card support
4
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.8
Size: Large Android
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a premium-priced phone with a high-quality glass build and a large 6.6-inch OLED screen. It operates on the Android system and is equipped with a very good camera setup including a 50-megapixel main camera and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera, offering excellent photo and video quality. It features a 4700 mAh battery, which provides a decent battery life. Being a recent 2023 model, it also supports 5G connectivity. It has a considerable amount of storage space and does not have an SD card slot for expansion. There is no headphone jack, but it does support NFC, Wi-Fi 6e, and both wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The device is also water and dust resistant. If you're looking for a high-performance device with a top-tier camera system and modern features, and you're okay with the absence of a headphone jack and SD card slot, the Galaxy S23+ could be suitable for you.
Pros
  • Latest Android operating system
  • Large screen size at 6.6 inches
  • High battery capacity for extended use
  • Exceptional photo and video quality
  • Supports 5G for fast connectivity
Cons
  • No headphone jack included
  • No room for SD card expansion
  • No support for stylus input
  • Moderately heavy weight at 6.91 ounces
5
BEST RATING
Videos:
4.9
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Excellent
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is a high-end device with a premium price tag. It boasts a large 6.7-inch OLED display with a high refresh rate and always-on capability, providing excellent screen quality. Its A16 processor and 6 GB of RAM offer top-tier performance. The phone has a highly capable camera system, with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, all contributing to what is considered excellent overall camera quality, including best-in-class still photo and video capabilities. It has a substantial battery life and offers 5G connectivity, but doesn't come with a headphone jack and can't expand storage with an SD card. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is designed with a glass back, supports wireless charging, and is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, ensuring good durability. It operates on iOS and comes with a Lightning port for charging and data transfer. If you're looking for one of the best displays and cameras on a smartphone and are willing to invest in a premium device, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a strong choice.
Pros
  • Excellent camera photo quality
  • Outstanding camera video quality
  • Dependable battery life
  • Premium screen quality
  • Powerful A16 processor
Cons
  • No headphone jack
  • Lacks SD card slot
  • Higher price point
  • Heavier weight
6
BEST RATING
Videos:
5.0
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Best
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro is a high-end device with a premium price tag. It boasts a robust A17 processor and 8GB of RAM, promising swift performance. Storage starts at 128GB. Released in September 2023, it features iOS, a glass back, and a notable camera system that supports RAW output and HDR video, delivering excellent photo and video quality. The camera lineup includes a 48MP main, a 12MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. For screen enthusiasts, it has a 6.1-inch OLED display with a high refresh rate, always-on capability, and impressive peak brightness for outdoor viewing. The iPhone 15 Pro is designed without a 3.5mm headphone jack, but supports 5G, NFC, and WiFi 6e, enhancing connectivity. It's powered by a 3274mAh battery, offering solid battery life, and supports up to 15W wireless charging. Other features include water and dust resistance, dual SIM capabilities, and Face Unlock for security. If a top-tier camera, performance, and build quality are your priorities, and you don't mind the investment, the iPhone 15 Pro could be the right choice.
Pros
  • Excellent still photo and video quality
  • High-performance A17 processor
  • Robust battery life
  • Stunning OLED display with high brightness
  • Supports wireless and reverse wireless charging
Cons
  • No headphone jack or SD card slot
  • No unlockable bootloader or custom ROM support
  • Limited warranty period
  • Rather heavy at 6.60 ounces
7
BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.6
Size: Largest iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 14 Plus comes with a high-end price tag and offers a large 6.7-inch OLED screen, which is great if you prefer a bigger display for streaming or gaming. It runs on iOS and has a strong glass build. You'll find a potent A15 chip inside, paired with ample storage for your apps and media. Camera capabilities are excellent, with a high-quality 12 MP main camera that supports advanced features like Dolby Vision video recording. The battery is robust, likely to last a full day on a single charge, and it supports wireless charging. However, if you're looking for a high refresh rate display, you should know this model is capped at 60Hz, which is lower than some competitors that offer smoother visuals. The phone lacks a headphone jack, which is common in newer smartphones, but it has a notably good sound system. For connectivity, it uses the proprietary Lightning port over the more widely used USB-C. Overall, if you're invested in the Apple ecosystem and prefer a larger screen and strong performance, this phone is a solid choice, though it comes at a premium price without some features found on competitors, like high refresh rate screens or USB-C ports.
Pros
  • Large 6.7-inch OLED screen
  • Excellent still photo and video quality
  • Long battery life up to 9.3 hours
  • Runs on the smooth iOS platform
  • Wireless charging capability
Cons
  • No high refresh rate display
  • No always-on display feature
  • Lacks a headphone jack
  • Maximum brightness could be higher
8
Samsung

Galaxy S23

BEST RATING
Performance:
4.8
Size: Medium Android
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is positioned at an upper midrange price with 128GB of storage. Released in February 2023, it operates on Android, featuring a glass body and a 6.1-inch OLED screen without curved edges. The display offers excellent quality with a high refresh rate and is capable of high brightness. Its 3900mAh battery supports a reasonable length of battery life. The camera system is impressive with high-quality photo and video capabilities; it includes a 50MP main camera, 10MP telephoto with a 70mm focal length, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. Video recording goes up to 8K at 30fps and 4K at 60fps. The S23 has stereo speakers but lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and an SD card slot. It supports 5G, NFC, the latest WiFi 6e, and Bluetooth 5.3 standards, offers wireless charging, and has an IP68 dust and water resistance rating, making it a durable choice. The device has a punch-hole front camera, in-display fingerprint sensor, and supports Wireless DeX for desktop-like functionality.
Pros
  • High-quality OLED screen
  • Excellent camera performance
  • Wireless and reverse charging
  • Durable with IP68 rating
  • Supports 5G networks
Cons
  • Moderate battery life
  • No headphone jack
  • No SD card slot
  • No periscope camera
9
BEST RATING
Overall Camera:
4.8
Size: Large Android
Camera: Excellent
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is at the upper end of midrange prices and includes a high-capacity 5050mAh battery, offering 7.8 hours of life. It sports a durable glass back, a large 6.7-inch OLED display with a high refresh rate of 120Hz for smooth visuals. The screen is not curved and has an always-on option for convenience. The phone comes with 128GB of storage, runs on Android with exclusive Pixel features like call screening and "Hold For Me". The cameras provide excellent photo quality and very good video capabilities, led by a 50MP main camera. It lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack but includes 5G connectivity, wireless charging, and offers high-end performance with a Tensor G3 processor and 12GB of RAM. The phone is water and dust resistant, supports face unlock and under-display fingerprint sensing, but doesn't accommodate an SD card or stylus, and the bootloader can't be unlocked.
Pros
  • Excellent photo quality
  • Very good video quality
  • Long battery life
  • Large, high-brightness OLED screen
  • 5G capable
Cons
  • No telephoto camera
  • No expandable storage
  • No headphone jack
  • Relatively heavy
10
BEST RATING
Performance:
4.9
Size: Medium iPhone
Camera: Very Good
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The Apple iPhone 15 comes at a premium price with glass body and an OLED display of 6.1 inches. It operates on iOS with an A16 processor and 6 GB of RAM. It offers best-in-class camera quality for both still photos and videos, supported by a main camera of 48 megapixels and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. There is no telephoto or periscope camera, but it can shoot 4K video at 60fps and 1080p video at 240fps. Its battery capacity is substantial and it is rated for up to 8 hours of life per charge. With 128 GB of storage, wireless charging capabilities, and resistance to dust and water, this phone doesn't support 3.5mm headphones but does have front-facing stereo speakers and NFC for contactless transactions. If the high cost is within your budget and you're looking for excellent camera performance and quality features, the iPhone 15 is a strong contender.
Pros
  • Excellent overall camera quality
  • Very good screen quality
  • Supports 5G connectivity
  • Fast wireless charging available
  • Best performance in class
Cons
  • No headphone jack
  • Does not support SD Card
  • No reverse wireless charging
  • Limited to 60Hz refresh rate