14 smartphones you can ditch your DSLR cameras for
Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge
You can snag a new S7 for about Rs 43,000 at the time of writing which is great value for the kind of performance it delivers.
The S7 camera is so good that the company left it as is, even in the ill-fated Note 7, which was supposed to be this year’s flagship. The f1.7 aperture combined with Samsung’s dual pixel autofocus delivers fantastic results irrespective of the scenario and lighting conditions.
Moreover, the camera UI is loaded with tweaks and shooting modes.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus/Google Pixel/Pixel XL
The iPhone 7 Plus is certainly one of the best in every aspect and has the best implementation of a dual lens system we have seen so far (that Portrait mode with super-shallow depth of field will blow you away every time).
The issue is Apple still does not offer as much control over the camera as compared to Android. Google’s Pixel delivers fantastic details, the fastest autofocus around (beating even the mighty iPhone 7 Plus), super-stable 4K video and amazing low light capability thanks to some software magic.
However, the pixel loses a point because it skips OIS — this is a vital spec in flagships now.
OnePlus 3/Moto Z
OnePlus 3 proved it mettle with great results in auto HDR mode and fantastic image stabilization (optical + electronic). Moto Z delivered better results with its f1.8 lens in low light compared to OnePlus but still was not up to the mark in comparison to the winners. What sets it apart is the option of the Hasselblad MotoMod.
Using this snap on Moto Mod tuned by Hasselblad (a Rs 20k option), you get a 10x optical zoom, support for RAW image capture and a xenon flash.
LG G5/HTC 10/ Apple iPhone 7
Both LG and HTC suffer from more visible noise when compared to our first and second position winners. Moreover, the dynamic range, colours and details in low light images are the common areas where both these phones loose out in comparison.
The iPhone 7 has OIS compared to its predecessor and works as a great all-rounder phone like the LG and HTC.
However, in a head-to-head comparison the Samsung, iPhone 7 Plus and Pixel, these phones feel lacking in results.
Honor 8/Sony Xperia XZ
Its focusing system is fantastic with the combination of phase detection, contrast detection and laser autofocus. However, still photos are where it skips a beat — the lack of OIS leads to poor performance in low light images.
The Honor 8 stands neck and neck with the Xperia XZ with its dual lens camera. While the shallow depth of field is not as good as the iPhone 7 plus, the Honor 8 captures good details.
Low light images are great when viewed on the phone – look closely and you can see a lot of noise in darker areas.
One letdown on Honor 8 is the lack of 4k video recording.
Special mention: Asus Zenfone 3
It takes sharp images with minimal noise and has a great OIS system.
The only reason it did not make it to the top 5 was that its performance indoors and in low light is lacking in comparison.
The 16MP camera combined with 4-axis OIS delivers good results in daylight but it’s not an all-rounder.
In direct comparison, it fails to match up to the image quality delivered by our top 5 ranked phones.
Nubia Z11 Mini
However, the recently launched Z11 Mini’s camera shocked us with excellent dynamic range, natural colours and fast performance.
If it included OIS and 4k video recording capability, it could have been in the top 5. on Honor 8 is the lack of 4k video recording.
Special mention: Huawei P9