Google Pixel 7
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek
Update, 11/27/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have updated the majority of our recommendations with 2022 Android models. Take a look!

What to Look For in an Android Camera Phone in 2022

If you’re looking for an Android smartphone with a great camera, there are a lot of factors to consider when making the purchase. Many companies try to distract customers with gimmicky features and specs that look good on paper, but they don’t tell the full story.

Take megapixels, for example. While they can increase the resolution of your photos, unless features like post-processing and color reproduction are good, you’ll wonder what went wrong with the unimpressive image or video you just captured.

Companies like Google have taken the software route with their cameras. The search giant’s smartphone line relies on advanced algorithms to produce flagship-quality photographs, and Pixel phones areΒ well-known for their high-quality pictures.

On the other hand, the actual camera hardware is also important. You can have the best smartphone camera software on the market, but if the sensor isn’t capable enough, you’ll hit the ceiling in terms of versatility and quality sooner than you might expect.

With so many different ways to implement a smartphone camera, it’s our job to break them all down and highlight the best ones. Below, we’ve listed a handful of phones that excel in their respective categories and offer the best balance of hardware and software.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you back up an Android phone?
Android’s built-in Backup options can be found at Settings > Google > Backup or Settings > Accounts and backup on a Samsung phone. Google Photos is a great option for backing up photos and videos.
How can you reset an Android phone?
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Resetting an Android phone can be done from the device settings. The process is similar for Samsung Galaxy devices and other Android phones.
How can you find a lost Android phone?
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Thankfully, Android phones come with Google’s “Find My Device” software installed and activated. There’s no setup required on your part to find a lost Android phone.
How do you get pictures off your Android phone?
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The easiest way to get photos off of a phone is to back them up to a cloud storage service such as Google Photos.
What is the fastest Android phone?
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The “fastest” Android phone depends on what you need to do. A gaming phone is usually your best bet.

Best Android Camera Phone Overall: Google Pixel 7 Pro

The Google Pixel 7 Pro stood up on a side table.
Cianna Garrison / How-To Geek

Pros

  • The camera is mind-blowingly good
  • The display is spacious and vibrant
  • Great speakers, calls, and connections
  • Android 13 and the Pixel UI do the job right

Cons

  • Battery life is so-so
  • The occasional pause in speed
  • Awkward placement of volume button

Google Pixel phones have been at the top of “Best Camera Phone” lists since the beginning. While the gap has closed in recent years, the Pixel 7 Pro is still the Android phone that stands above the rest of the competition.

Before we dive into cameras, the Pixel 7 Pro is also one of the best Android phones overall. It has a big 6.7-inch display with 1440 x 3120 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. This is certainly a large phone, but that big size comes with some benefits.

For starters, you get a big 5,000mAh battery, which provides much better battery life than the smaller Pixel 7. It also has Google’sΒ Tensor processor and 12GB of storage. Extra goodies include wireless charging and water resistance.

Another benefit over the smaller Pixel 7 is an extra camera. The main camera is 50MP, it’s joined by a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 48MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom. These cameras make sure you are equipped for any photo situation you should come across.

The Pixel 7 Pro costs $900, and it comes with 3 years of Android updates. You’ll always get those updates first, and the software is the cleanest version of Android you can find.

Best Camera Phone

Google Pixel 7 Pro

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Not only a great Android experience overall, the Pixel 7 Pro has three amazing cameras and excellent camera software to make your photos look great.

Best Budget Android Camera Phone: Google Pixel 6a

Google Pixel 6a's front-facing camera
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Pros

  • Shares two cameras with the Pixel 6a
  • Great Google camera software
  • Only $450

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • 12MP main camera is getting a bit outdated
  • Only IP67 water resistance

What if you could get most of the same cameras as the Pixel 6 for $150 less? That’s exactly what you can get with the Pixel 6a.

The Pixel 6a has the same main 12.2MP camera that has been a winner for Google for several years. The 8MP front-facing camera is the same as the one on the Pixel 6a along with a secondary ultra-wide camera on the back.

So what’s responsible for the cheaper price? The Pixel 6a doesn’t have the same main 50MP camera as the standard Pixel 6. Instead, you get the 12MP camera from older Pixel models, which is getting outdated. But, you’ll also get access to Google’s fantastic photography software, which will make your photos look great

Regarding other cuts, the 6.1-inch display also has a refresh rate of 60Hz versus the Pixel 6a’s 90Hz. The 6a has 6GB of RAM, whereas the 6 has 8GB. However, they both have Google’s Tensor chip, so for most people, the 6a will work great.

All in all, it’s a pretty sweet deal if the Pixel 6 is pricey for you. You miss out on little things like wireless charging, but camera performance will be spot on.

Google Pixel 6a

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The Google Pixel 6a is an incredible value at just $450. It packs the flagship Tensor processor, Google's advanced camera technology, and AI features like Live Translate.

Best Premium Android Camera Phone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultras on round table
Samsung

Pros

  • Five total cameras
  • Ultrawide and two zoom lenses for every situation
  • Super high-end specs

Cons

  • Samsung's camera software isn't amazing
  • Very expensive

If you want a phone with everything you could possibly want from cameras, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It has five total cameras—four of them on the back—including a 108MP main camera.

Joining that massive 108MP main camera is a 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 10MP 10x telephoto. The front camera is 40MP. Samsung has set you up to be able to snap nearly any photo. Ultrawide for stepping back to get a lot in the frame, and telephoto lenses to see far-away things.

There are two telephoto lenses so you don’t lose quality when zooming in. You can zoom in 3x or 10x without needing to use digital zoom, which is essentially just cropping a photo. In addition, a new feature with the S22 Ultra is Super Clear Glass lenses to help reduce glare and lens flare.

Beyond cameras, the S22 Ultra is a beast of a phone in every facet. It has a massive 6.8-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery. All of these high-end features will cost you around $1,200 or more. It’s not cheap, but this is as premium as you’ll get.

Best Premium Android Camera Phone

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

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If you want great cameras, great performance, and money is no object, the S22 Ultra is the phone for you. This high-end flagship has five powerful cameras to take the best shots.

Best Android Camera Phone in Low Light: Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Pros

  • The camera is mind-blowingly good
  • The display is spacious and vibrant
  • Great speakers, calls, and connections
  • Android 13 and the Pixel UI do the job right

Cons

  • Battery life is so-so
  • The occasional pause in speed
  • Awkward placement of volume button

When picking a phone that performs best at night, we have to give it to the latest Pixel phone. We’ve already highlighted the Pixel 7 Pro, so we’ll talk about its smaller sibling, the Pixel 7.

Google’s Night Sight feature on the Pixel line continues to be the best in the business. You can capture some truly breathtaking images at night of anything you’d like. The system relies on a long exposure and lots of post-processing magic to spit out shots you’d never expect from a smartphone.

The company also has a feature coupled with Night Sight calledΒ Astrophotography. This feature specifically looks for a starry sky to highlight the miniature lights above and create photos that leave you speechless. Other phones aren’t capable of this kind of photography, since they lack this software feature.

The Pixel 7 doesn’t have as many cameras as the bigger Pixel 7 Pro, but it still has the 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera—you only miss out on the telephoto lens. Plus, it’s a whopping $300 cheaper than the Pro at $600, so it’s a fair trade-off.

At the end of the day, Google’s Night Sight and Astrophotography are why the Pixel 7 should be the phone you think of if you’ll be taking lots of photos at nighttime. It’s simply that good.

Best Camera Phone

Google Pixel 7

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The Pixel 7 has three amazing cameras and excellent camera software to make your photos look great.

Best Android Camera Phone for Selfies: Samsung Galaxy S22

Galaxy S22
Samsung

Pros

  • Sweet spot size
  • Beautiful display
  • Same performance as the Ultra
  • 4 years of updates

Cons

  • Not as many cameras as the Ultra

Selfies can sometimes be more about software than megapixels. Google is typically the king of camera software, but Samsung has the edge in this department. We already highlighted the Galaxy S22 Ultra, so let’s look at the smallerΒ Samsung Galaxy S22.

What makes Samsung better than Google at selfies? It’s all about Portrait Mode. Samsung really nails the Portrait Mode features on the Galaxy S22 series. It’s incredibly good at knowing which parts of the photo should be blurred and which shouldn’t, even down to strands of hair.

Beyond cameras, the Galaxy S22 has a nice 6.1-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a 3,700mAh battery.

Regarding rear cameras, you’re getting a 50MP main camera, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide on the back of the device. The front selfie camera is 10MP. It’s a very comparable camera setup to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Having a telephoto and ultrawide lens opens up a lot of photo possibilities.

You don’t get a few features if you opt for this model over the Ultra mentioned above. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has one more camera, a 10MP 10x telephoto camera. It also has a bigger 6.8-inch display, up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage.

Best Android Phone Overall

Samsung Galaxy S22

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Samsung's latest flagship phone strikes a nice balance between price and function. You'll get a beautiful display, fantastic cameras, and 4 years of Samsung support.

Best Android Video Phone:Β Sony Xperia 1 IV

Sony Xperia IV
Sony

Pros

  • Extensive video controls with Cinema Pro app
  • Granular audio controls
  • High-end specs w/ a 4K screen

Cons

  • Not great for average videographers
  • Expensive

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is a phone that’s firmly in the “not for most people” category, but it’s perfect for videophiles. It’s one of the most premium phones you can get with a list of impressive specs like a 6.5-inch 4K OLED screen, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12GB of RAM, and loud stereo speakers. However, it’s the camera department that makes this phone incredible for video.

The Xperia 1 IV features a slew of professional controls that let you adjust virtually every aspect of the video you want to capture. From ISO to white balance to color grading, you’ll find all the controls a pro could ever want to create the memories and achieve the production level you want. You also get Sony’s Cinema Pro camera app for even deeper control over your video and advanced audio controls to perfectly nail the sound capture.

On top of all this, the Xperia 1 IV comes with a standard 12MP f/1.7 lens, an ultra-wide 12MP f/2.2 lens, and a periscope-style 12MP f/2.3 telephoto. This hardware, combined with Sony’s innovative camera controls, means you can create some stunning videos. You can capture everything up to 4K at 120 frames per second in HDR and in a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio.

One thing to remember about the Xperia 1 IV is it’s not exactly consumer-friendly. There are many controls and features here that will appeal to a more experienced user, but not those who want to point and shoot. Don’t expect the auto-mode for videos to impress you or a simple snap of the shutter button to capture your next masterpiece without any editing.

Priced at $1,399, the Xperia 1 IV is by no means cheap, but if you’re serious about capturing video with your phone, Sony’s latest offering is certainly worth consideration.

Best for Video

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Sony's flagship phone has the hardware and software to make some truly breathtaking video. However, it's not intended for casual users, and it's very expensive.

The Best Budget Android Phones of 2022

Best Budget Android Phone Overall
Moto G Play (2021)
Best Budget Android for Battery Life
Moto G Power (2021)
Best Budget Android Camera Phone
Google Pixel 6a
Best Android Phone Under $500
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Best Android Phone Under $300
OnePlus Nord N20 5G
Best Android Phone Under $200
OnePlus Nord N100
Profile Photo for Max Buondonno Max Buondonno
Max Buondonno is a technology enthusiast and writer who’s been covering the future of computing since 2015. His blog, Matridox, serves as a creative outlet for him where he can share thoughts on the latest technology news, gadgets he reviews, and more.
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Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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