When you look at today’s smartphone cameras, it’s almost hard to believe how far they’ve come. At some point in time, phones had VGA cameras. Only the expensive models had cameras with as much as 5MP, which was considered out of this world at the time.
Now things are different. The average smartphone camera has more or less 12MP. But that’s just the beginning. Some mobile cameras have upwards of 20 or 40 megapixels. Recently, some phone manufacturers have taken things even further.
Below is my pick of 10 phones that currently have the highest megapixels on their cameras. Most of these phones were released in 2020 or late 2019.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has some cameras that mean serious business. The main camera has an unprecedented 108MP camera, which earns it a spot amongst the phone cameras with the highest number of megapixels.
As you’ll see, a lot of phones on this list use pixel binning to merge multiple pixels and create one “superpixel”. While many other mobile camera sensors merge four pixels into one, the Galaxy S20 Ultra merges nine pixels.
This brings the resolution down to 12MP instead of 27MP from a four-to-one pixel bin. However, the image quality is unmatched, especially in low light.
Another impressive camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the telephoto camera. With a 48MP sensor, it’s truly hard to beat. The only phone that has a telephoto camera with more megapixels is the Galaxy S20, which also makes an appearance on this list.
At 48MP, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has more megapixels than some phones’ primary camera. That’s pretty impressive for a secondary camera. For me, that helps bump the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra to the top of the list of phones with the highest megapixel camera.
The ultrawide camera has 12MP, which is pretty consistent with the cameras of previous Galaxy S-series smartphones. The 0.3MP might seem very little for a modern mobile camera, but that’s more than enough given the function of the ToF camera.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro has a lot going on in the camera department. With five fully-functional rear cameras, this phone leads the pack, where numbers are concerned. On top of that, it has two telephoto cameras. Not many phones have that.
The talk of the town, of course, is the primary camera. The Mi Note 10 Pro’s main camera has a 108MP sensor that is made by none other than Samsung, of course. But unlike Samsung, Xiaomi decided to pixel bin their sensor down to a default resolution of 27MP.
Now, about the two telephoto cameras. I don’t know why they decided to have two, but they’re quite different. The one is a 2x optical zoom camera that has 12MP, the other is a 5MP camera that is upscaled to 8MP and provides 5x optical zoom.
The ultrawide camera has far more megapixels than the telephoto cameras, even after upscaling. In fact, it’s common for a Xiaomi handset with multiple cameras to have an ultrawide angle camera with more megapixels than its other secondary cameras.
The fifth camera is a less-than-impressive 2MP macro camera. It’s good to see companies giving macro some thought but it seems the technology is not quite there yet on this particular phone.
The Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a cool four-camera array at the back. One of the cameras is a 2-megapixel monochrome camera that’s only used for depth and not to capture black and white images.
The resolution of the main rear camera on the Oppo Reno 3 is 64MP, which is binned down to 16MP. You can, however, still allow you to take shots at the full 64MP resolution as well if you wish. And in the ideal lighting conditions, you’ll get superb picture quality.
The other two photographic cameras on the back of the Reno 3 Pro are a 13MP telephoto camera and an 8MP camera with an ultrawide angle lens.
The awesome thing about the three Oppo Reno 3 Pro cameras is that they actually work together when you zoom, from 0.6x optical zoom all the way to 5x hybrid zoom.
The Oppo also has something it calls ‘Ultra Clear 108MP Image’, which produces a high-resolution image at 108 megapixels. This is not the result of a 108MP sensor but rather the result of stitching together multiple photos to create one big, high-res image.
4. Realme 6 Pro
Primary Camera: 64 MP (wide)
2nd Camera: 12 MP (telephoto)
3rd Camera: 8 MP (ultrawide)
4th Camera: 2 MP (macro)
The primary rear camera on the Realme 6 Pro has a 64MP sensor, the same sensor from Samsung they’ve been using in their high-end phones for a while.
As with most phones on this list, the Realme 6 Pro’s 64MP sensor captures 16MP pictures after pixel binning. Under ideal lighting conditions, the results are impressive.
The 2x optical zoom telephoto camera has a decent 12MP sensor, while the ultrawide camera has a modest 8MP resolution. The image quality of these cameras may not be as good as that of the main camera, but they do a pretty decent job for their level.
The weakest link in this four-camera array is the fourth and final one-- the macro camera. With only 2 megapixels, you shouldn’t expect the greatest quality. It’s a ‘nice to have’. Not many smartphones have a macro camera.
Honor’s contribution to this list is the Honor 30S with a 64MP primary rear camera. Released in April 2020, it’s currently Honor’s only device that has this many megapixels on a camera. It’s predecessor, the Honor 20S released in 2019, had a 48MP primary rear camera.
The Honor 30S has two addition photographic cameras which both have 8MP sensors. A 2MP depth camera rounds up the quadruple-camera set up of this smartphone.
The Vivo NEX 3S 5G has a very interesting looking circular camera module that features three cameras. The primary camera has a 64MP sensor with a quad-Bayer filter that pixel bins four-to-one down to 16MP.
Both the telephoto and ultrawide angle cameras have 13MP cameras. Though the quality is not the same as that of the main camera, they produce pretty good results nonetheless.
Despite the unique design of its camera module, the Vivo NEX 3S 5G has a very standard and traditional multiple-camera setup with three cameras of different focal lengths. All three cameras have quite decent megapixel counts.
The camera array of this entry-level handset of the Samsung Galaxy S20 flagship series is quite different from that of the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Firstly, it only has three cameras instead of four. Secondly, it’s not the main camera that has the most number of megapixels.
With 64MP, the telephoto camera of the Galaxy S20 has just over five times more megapixels than the main camera and the ultrawide camera. And unlike other phones listed in this article, the pixels of this sensor are not merged. So, you get 64MP resolution telephoto images by default all the time.
This is a rather unusual arrangement since most smartphone makers commonly reserve a large number of megapixels for the main camera.
The last camera of the S20’s triple-camera set up is a 12MP ultrawide angle camera.
8. LG V60 ThinQ 5G
Primary Camera: 64 MP (wide)
2nd Camera: 13 MP (ultrawide)
3rd Camera: 0.3 MP (depth)
Having seen what some of the handsets on this list are packing in terms of cameras, the LG V60 ThinQ 5G is nothing to write home about. But that’s not to say it’s not good at taking great photos.
The main camera has 64MP and supports four-to-one pixel binning to 16MP. The quality of the shots is pretty good in the ideal lighting conditions. And at 16MP, the main camera doesn’t do so badly in low light either.
Camera number two on this phone is a 13MP ultrawide angle camera. There is no telephoto camera on the V60 ThinQ 5G. Instead, the third camera is 0.3MP 3D camera. Because this camera works only to create depth maps and not take photos, it’s resolution doesn’t need to be high at all.
Motorola’s One Hyper is the only phone on this list that has only two cameras. It’s a humble lower mid-range phone that has a 1/1.72” main camera sensor with 64MP. But just like all the other phones featured on this list, it merges its pixels.
The second camera has eight times fewer megapixels than the main camera at only 8MP. Unfortunately, the quality of this camera is not great at all. You’ll probably find yourself using the primary camera most of the time.
The Motorola One Hyper offers no optical zoom, which is slightly disappointing.
10. Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha
Main camera: 108 MP (wide)
2nd Camera: 12 MP (telephoto)
3rd Camera: 20 MP (ultrawide)
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Alpha is a truly unique mobile phone. It has a wraparound display. Yes, the entire body of the phone from back to front is a display screen. Wrap your head around that!
Because of the wraparound design of the display, the rear camera can be used as a selfie camera when the phone is turned around. That essentially means a 108MP selfie camera. That’s crazy!
The yet-to-be-released phone was announced at the end of Q3 2019 and was expected to be released at the end of that year. However, for whatever reason, the launch was delayed for release in Q2 of 2020. Some suspect the project might be scrapped entirely.
Only time will tell with this one. If the phone does get launched, it would be really interesting to see what it can do.
Something interesting that you may have noticed about the number of megapixels these cameras have is that most of the time it’s only the primary rear camera that has a lot of megapixels. The other cameras have significantly fewer megapixels.
Honestly speaking, cameras don’t really need that many megapixels. That’s why most of them merge their pixels by default. Nobody needs to take 108MP photos. It’s all mostly about marketing.
Contrary to popular belief, the truth is megapixels aren’t the most important determining factor of picture quality. A smartphone camera with just 12MP is more than capable of taking excellent photos, depending on certain factors.
These factors include things like the size of the sensor and its pixels, the size of the aperture, the quality of the lens, and other mobile camera specifications. However, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a phone with a lot of megapixels.
A benefit about that is that a phone camera with many megapixels can take high-resolution photos, which means you can create large prints from them. That’s a potential opportunity to make money with your smartphone photos.
If you want to take amazing photos with a smartphone, it’s one thing to have a phone with the highest number of megapixels. It’s another to know what to do with it.
To get your mobile photography to the point where you can sell your smartphone photos online for cash, you need to first know your camera’s specs and understand how it works. From there, the onus is on you to learn how to get the most of your smartphone camera so that you can take amazing photos.
If you want to learn about how to improve your smartphone photography, download the 5 Ways To Improve Your Smartphone Photography ebook by clicking on the banner above or by clicking here. There’s a lot to learn in its 22 pages of content and it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
Otherwise, for some quick tips on how to capture great photos with your phone, check out these 15 Tips on How To Take Amazing Photos With Your Phone.
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