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Best Android phone cameras 2016: the top 6 super-snappers

Update: A new addition to the list

It’s said that the best camera is the one you have with you, and that’s true – the better it is, the more chance you’ll have of getting the perfect picture. Camera phones’ quality and features vary dramatically, so which is best for you? Below is our list of the best Android phone cameras around.

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus

We were surprised at the performance of the Lenovo Moto G4 Plus camera. This is a device that started around $300, a price range where you wouldn't expect a high-end camera, but in our tests we found that this system is excellent.

On paper, the camera system looks like most flagship devices released in 2016. The 16 MP rear sensor and f / 2.0 aperture is bolstered with hybrid laser-focus and phase-detection. The 5 MP selfie shooter has an f / 2.2 aperture.

The HDR is a default setting and is crisp even in conditions where high contrast is necessary. The manual mode isn't the best on this list but you'll get enough custom options to suit your needs. The only difficulty we had with the Moto G4 Plus was in low-light conditions.

moto g4 photo test
You can see the detail of the main camera. / © ANDROIDPIT

Huawei P9

The Huawei P9 – or as we here at AndroidPIT call it – the 'pocket DSLR' is one of the most powerful cameras we've ever tested. The camera was designed in partnership with German camera manufacturer Leica, and it's a dual camera setup.

Both rear Leica Summarit H cameras offer 12 MP resolution, and have f / 2.2 apertures. These specs on paper would not be considered incredible by industry standards, but in our tests they delivered very strong results.

The front camera is an impressive 8 MP selfie snapper with an f / 2.4 aperture.

'Professional Mode' is Huawei's manual interface, where you can adjust the shutter speed, ISO, white balance and many other settings to get sharp pictures. The camera has quick-launch functionality, operated through a quick double press of the volume button down. To see everything the Huawei P9 can do, click on our full review below that includes an entire photo gallery from the device.

huawei p9 camera counter light night
The Huawei P9 dual Leica camera system is one of the best we've tested. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung decided to reduce the number of MPs from the previous generation but this has not decreased the camera's potency. The 12 MP f / 1.9 aperture dual pixel technology rear camera is one of the best on the market. The S7's front camera is powerful as well, coming in at 5 MP with an f / 1.7 aperture.

Pictures in low-light conditions come out well thanks to the larger aperture. It allows more light to come in and pictures are better as a result. The Galaxy S7 also includes an optical image stabilizer that compensates for shaky arms and hands.

The camera app gives you plenty of options for manual control over your photos. You can play around with its wide range of fun features. There is slow-motion, time-lapse, numerous presets, fixed focus and adjustable exposure values. You can see all the pictures we took with the Samsung Galaxy S7 in our full review.

androidpit galaxy s7 photo 2
The Galaxy S7 photos came out clear and bright in our tests. / © ANDROIDPIT

LG V10

The LG V10 has made its way onto our list for several reasons. One is that the native LG camera software is more versatile than much of the competition, and includes a wealth of manual controls for both photos and videos. What's more, its f/1.8 aperture lens helps to deliver bright images even in dark situations and, when combined with LG's excellent autofocus and processing technology, means that images rarely appear blurred even in less-than-optimal circumstances. 

The other ace up the LG V10's sleeve is the 'tri-camera' technology it takes advantage of. There are two front-facing cameras on the V10 which can be combined to take photos at 120-degree angles, far wider than a traditional selfie would be. 

The LG V10's 16 MP rear camera doesn't have the same detail at pixel-level as the higher resolution of the Sony Xperia Z cameras, for example, but for almost everything else, including usability, it operates at the highest level.

An autumn palette superbly captured by the LG V10. / © ANDROIDPIT

Nexus 6P

The Nexus 6P makes it onto our best Android cameras list primarily because its low-light performance is so strong. The relative lack of noise in night shots is impressive and it’s one of the very few Android cameras out there to produce such successful night shots. Secondly, its HDR+ mode is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Photos produced with this mode enabled are somewhat embellished, and often look more interesting than the real thing, but that's the point. These romanticized pictures often require little editing to be worthy of sharing. 

You may be disappointed to learn that the 6P camera lacks OIS, though. This feature is so appreciated on smartphones because we most mainly take handheld shots: OIS helps reduce motion blur caused by an unsteady hand. The 6P’s camera is also the lowest resolution on our list at 12.3 MP. 

Despite that, it's still a solid offering, and its dual-tone flash is particularly useful for keeping images looking natural.

teste camera nexus 6p 1
For the first time ever we can say a Nexus phone has an outstanding camera. / © ANDROIDPIT

Our favorite: Sony Xperia Z5

The Xperia Z5’s autofocus is extremely fast – around 0.03 seconds. It focuses on objects so fast that you will struggle to see it happening. It also shoots slow-motion videos at 720p at 120 frames-per-second, which look excellent.

Sony's image stabilization software and fast focusing means images are almost always clear, with little noise. Sony’s Xperia cameras do tend to misrepresent red colors however, making them seem more pink-ish, and this flaw is apparent on the Z5 once again.

But overall, this is our favorite Android camera. The definition is unrivaled, the contrast and saturation is completely natural and Sony’s "lossless zoom" feature (which means you can zoom into shots taken at 8 MP without damaging the quality) make it instantly appealing.

sony xperia z5 photo 2
The Sony Xperia Z5 has the best Android camera overall. / © ANDROIDPIT

Which Android camera do you thinks is best and why? Let us know in the comments.


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  • LOL first site that doesnt claim that s7 is the best camera phone. i mean the fastest autofocus is found there not in z5 are you blind? the best low light performance, best camera app along with v10. best detail and sharpness. you must be paid from sony for this kind of shit

  • I found amazing resource with photos from mobile devices.

  • Ahem! No mention of the LGG5. Not sure why not. The camera's at least as good as the S7. Besides.. It's got that extra-wide second camera that should put it on the list for sure. You guys are so biased. I'm shocked, Scott. I don't know why I keep reading this stuff.

  • Fine review. I had almost bought Samsung 6 edge plus yesterday but thougth better wait and read more about it and see if 7 is a better choice and worth the diffrence in price. Upgrading from Samsung Galaxy 2 gt plus. Maybe older Galaxies could serve as well or another brand. I mostly use it for pictures, surfing, seeing news and videos, skype and orientering (maps). I not into games and talking to my phone or jerking it around. Which models should I check first?

  • Hans G 2 months ago Link to comment

    You can add one very soon. The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe.. Great camera 👍

  • Moisés 2 months ago Link to comment

    DxOMark has given 88 to Xperia X Performance. Z5 has 87.

  • Sony phone's are shit and over heat some people say! Well I've just spent 3 hours none stop on the Internet and my Z5 isn't bearly warm never mind hot, think some people don't like Sony! thats OK stick with a phone that your happy with but don't rubbish a phone just because you don't like it or more likely you've never had one?As for the Sony Ericsson arc what you expecting from a low budget phone with low end specs? But then you jump up to the Z5 premium! problely just in your mind!

  • btyce 2 months ago Link to comment

    Sony phones are shit stacked they should stick to playstations. Was using experia arc which kept corrupting boot partion and z5 premium same thing and alwaus over heating esp when m using Internet

  • btyce 2 months ago Link to comment

    I choose to have a Samsung any tyme not the sony Z series. They all die the same way

  • Looks as if the Sony x has just gone to the top of Dxomark so looks like Sony has done it again.

  • Dummy_001 2 months ago Link to comment

    Everyone is blabbering on how good the camera of Samsung.

    Sony be like: Aren't those phone's using my Sensor?
    d - .. - b

  • What about the Nexus 5x?

  • Mark 3 months ago Link to comment

    I find it hard to believe you put the P9 on the list. It is a marginal picture taker at best. The monochromatic lens does nothing unless you are taking black and white pictures. Leica had nothing to do with this camera except maybe making the lenses. It is all hype and BS.

  • peter 3 months ago Link to comment

    The best camera on my opinion Spny xperia zx 5

  • JD Weaver 3 months ago Link to comment

    Keep in mind the LG G4 Panorama setting is not as good as on the Samsung phones. Also the megapixel rating is only part of the equation. You need to consider aspect ratio. My 16MP S5 isn't any better than the S7 12MP due to the S7's aspect ratio.

  • Z5 camera over crapsung trash 13MP slow autofocus garbage.

    • The S7 has the fastest autofocus on any phone, and possibly the best camera. I'm not a samsung fanboy - I've never even owned a samsung phone or tablet.

      • No, it is not. You should try it yourself for a day or so, and I bet you will change your opinion. And, honestly, I can imagine it is not so much camera problem but combination of driver/library/software.

      • Thought the S7 has an autofocus speed of 0.05 think you'll find the Z5 has a speed of 0.03

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