Year in review: From Huawei to Oppo, best camera smartphones of 2019

Best camera phones 2019: Advances in the field of imaging and optics have clearly transformed the mobile camera experience, and some of the smartphones launched in 2019 bear testimony to this. These devices went beyond the regular point-and-shoot imaging. From versatile multiple-camera modules to optical zoom and macro lens, smartphone makers explored and experimented with a lot of new things to complement the imaging competence of their products.


Business Standard lists the best five camera-centric smartphones of the year 2019 based on their imaging capabilities:

With every iteration, the iPhone has got better in its photography and videography capabilities. However, it was not until the launch of the iPhone 11 Pro that the company could truly claim to be on a par with some of the best Android devices in imaging prowess. This phone brought a versatile 12-megapixel triple-camera set-up of a wide-angle sensor, an ultra-wide sensor, and a telephoto lens. Besides, Apple added some new features, modes, and settings that made the iPhone 11 Pro stand out with regard to imaging capabilities.

Build Display Processor Battery Camera Launch price
Glass-metal 5.8-inch XDR OLED, Dolby Vision, HDR10, 120Hz touch-sensing A13 Bionic - Rear: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP

Front: 12MP
Starts at Rs 99,900

Huawei P30 Pro

In the past couple of years, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has been at the forefront of imaging-related innovations. The company’s 2019 P-series flagship, the Huawei P30 Pro, was an imaging powerhouse that cut no corners in providing the best photography and videography experience. For starters, this phone introduced a quad-camera module tuned by imaging experts at Leica. It was this phone that also introduced 5x optical, 10x hybrid lossless and 50x zoom (digital) capabilities to smartphones. Besides, the phone’s camera was an efficient performer in all lighting conditions, and its multiple sensor-based quad-camera module was a versatile set-up ideal for capturing any scene.

Build Display Processor Battery Camera Launch price
Glass-metal 6.47-inch OLED fullHD+, HDR10 HiSilicon Kirin 980 4200 mAh Rear: 40MP + 8MP + 20MP + ToF

Front: 32MP
Starts at Rs 71,900

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

This phone was the first in Samsung’s Galaxy S-series to boast a triple-camera module on the back, and a dual camera set-up on the front. The phone’s primary camera in the rear triple-camera module sported a variable aperture lens (1.5-2.4), most useful to those who like tinkering around with phones’ pro mode for granular control over camera settings. Also, the rear camera had a dedicated telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom and an ultra-wide lens for landscape photography. What’s more, the phone was an industry-first product that could record videos in the HDR10+ format, which optimises contrast and colour of each scene for dynamic HDR meta detailing.

Build Display Processor Battery Camera Launch price
Glass-metal 6.4-inch dynamic AMOLED QHD+, Gorilla Glass 6, HDR10+ Exynos 9820 4100 mAh Rear: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP

Front: 10MP + 8MP
Starts at Rs 73,900

Google Pixel 3a

This phone did not have a multiple-sensor camera module, but its single-sensor camera was powered by Google’s imaging algorithms, which made photography convenient and fun. This was one of the camera phones that could take perfect portraits with enhanced bokeh effect (background blur) for a clear distinction between background and the object. The camera also boasted a dedicated night mode to turn under-lit frames into bright and clear shots.

Build Display Processor Battery Camera Launch price
Polycarbonate 5.6-inch OLED, fullHD+, HDR Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 3000 mAh Rear: 12.2MP

Front: 8MP
Starts at Rs 39,999

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

This was the only smartphone other than the Huawei P30 Pro to bring a periscope telephoto lens capable of 5x optical zoom, 10x lossless zoom and 50x digital zoom. Besides, its triple-camera set-up on the back featured a high-resolution primary sensor with quad Bayer technology and optically stabilised lenses, besides an ultra-wide-angle lens for landscape photography. Other than that, the phone also had a shark-fin-inspired front camera module (featuring a 16MP sensor of f/2.0 aperture) which came out from the top.

Build Display Processor Battery Camera Launch price
Glass-metal 6.59-inch AMOLED fullHD+, Gorilla Glass 6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 4065 mAh Rear: 48MP + 13MP + 8MP + 5MP

Front: 16MP sharkfin
Starts at Rs 39,990


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel