Sony experts predict that by 2024, pictures from smartphones will catch up with the quality of shots taken by SLR cameras. Some camera phones are already quietly competing with point-and-shoot devices.
However, the best camera phones are usually expensive. It is difficult to choose a budget phone with a good camera from the many on the market. We have compiled a list of 5 smartphones under 35,000 rubles that take decent photos. Read on to find out which models made it to our list.
How was it evaluated
When compiling the final rating, we evaluated the following criteria:
- matrix size — the more, the more light it captures and the better the photos are. This is measured in fractions of an inch and is reported as a fraction, such as 1/2.5”. The closer to an inch the size of the matrix, the higher the score (1/1.9″ is greater than 1/3.4″).
- Pixel size — the bigger, the better. Now smartphones use pixel binning technology, when 4 or even 9 neighboring pixels are combined into 1 large one. It is measured in micrometers (µm). The larger the pixel size, the higher the score.
- Diaphragm — it depends on how much light enters the sensor. The larger the aperture opening, the better the resulting picture (especially those taken in low light conditions). This setting is specified in f‑stops, such as f/1.9. The lower the value, the higher the score.
- autofocus — distinguish between contrast, laser and phase (PDAF, Dual Pixel, etc.). The latter is preferable, because it works based on sensors, adjusts focus faster and keeps it better on moving objects. Cameras with phase detection autofocus get a higher score.
- Image stabilization. Models with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) will get the highest score.
Separately, we note the testing of DxOMark smartphone cameras (if it was carried out). DxOMark is a commercial organization that evaluates phones, cameras and lenses.
The main sensor of each phone from the list was evaluated relative to others for each of the criteria. The maximum score is 5.
In addition to the main sensor, the models from our rating are equipped with the following cameras:
- ultra wide-angle lens — for shooting with a wide angle of coverage (for example, a large company or panoramic photography);
- macro — for shooting objects close-up;
- depth sensor — helps when shooting portraits, is responsible for blurring the background (the so-called bokeh effect);
- front — for taking selfies.
All prices are valid at the time of ranking.
Rating of inexpensive camera phones
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
The Galaxy A53 5G has standard cameras on the back – wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, macro and depth sensor. More and more phones are using 50MP Quad-Bayer main unit (eg Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro and Ultra, Huawei P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+).
Samsung has opted for a higher resolution 64MP (1/1.7X”, 0.8µm and 26mm lens, f/1.8, PDAF and OIS). 2.2, 123˚) instead of 8MP and two additional 5MP sensors (both behind f/2.4 lenses) instead of 2MP.
Selfie camera 32MP (1/2.8″, 0.8µm, f/2.2).
DxOMark gave the camera a total of 105 points.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G smartphone costs about 34,000 rubles.
Pros of Samsung Galaxy A53 5G:
- bright and smooth display (AMOLED, FullHD +, 120 Hz, 6.5 inches, Corning Gorilla Glass 5);
- IP67 rating (one meter submersion for half an hour), hybrid card slot, NFC and stereo speakers;
- solid battery life (5000 mAh, 12 hours 43 minutes of web browsing);
- versatile quad-camera setup with OIS on the main 64MP camera, decent overall quality;
- 4K video recording with any camera and at any zoom level.
Cons of Samsung Galaxy A53 5G:
- this year they removed the 3.5 mm audio jack, there is no support for Wi-Fi 6;
- the new Exynos 1280 chipset performs worse than the Snapdragon 778G (30th place) it replaces;
- Video stabilization is only available when shooting at 1080p.
realme 9 pro
Realme 9 Pro has a 64MP primary camera (1/2″, 0.7µm, f/1.8, PDAF), an 8MP sensor (1/4.0″, 1.12µm) with an ultra wide-angle lens (f/2.2, 119˚, 16mm) and a 2‑megapixel macro camera (f/2.4). On the front is a 32-megapixel camera (1/3.09″, 1.0 µm) with a 26mm lens (f/2.1).
The Realme 9 pro smartphone costs a little more than 26,000 rubles.
Pros of Realme 9 Pro:
- bright IPS LCD 120Hz;
- long battery life (5000 mAh, 19 hours 52 minutes of web browsing), decent charging speed (33 W, 74 minutes from 0 to 100%);
- Good photo quality day and night.
Cons of Realme 9 Pro:
- competitors use OLED panels;
- no 4K video recording, average selfie quality.
You can read more about the smartphone in the review-comparison of Realme 9 Pro and Realme 9 Pro Plus.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Redmi Note 10 Pro is equipped with the highest resolution main camera among other models from the top – 108 MP (1/1.52″, 0.7 µm, f/1.9, PDAF).
- 8‑megapixel ultra wide-angle camera (f/2.2, 118˚) with 1/4.0″ sensor and 1.12 µm pixels;
- 5‑megapixel macro (f/2.4);
- depth sensor (2 MP, f/2.4).
The front camera is 16 MP (1/3.06″, 1.0 µm) with f/2.5 aperture.
The cost of the Redmi Note 10 Pro smartphone is from 25,800 rubles.
DxOMark gave the camera a score of 106.
Pros of Redmi Note 10 Pro:
- high-quality AMOLED screen 120 Hz, Gorilla Glass 5;
- good autonomy (5020 mAh, 14 hours 13 minutes of web browsing);
- practically does not heat up under loads;
- in good lighting conditions, all cameras take excellent pictures and videos;
- IP53, stereo speakers, NFC, headphone jack, microSD.
Cons of Redmi Note 10 Pro:
- less powerful compared to competitors (Snapdragon 732G, 56th place);
- average image quality in low light;
- EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) only works when shooting 1080p clips.
The Poco F3 smartphone has a triple camera on the back:
- 48MP 1/2″ sensor with 0.8µm pixels, 25mm lens, f/1.8 and PDAF;
- 8‑megapixel 1/4‑inch camera with 15mm ultra wide-angle lens, f/2.2. Focus fixed.
- 5‑megapixel macro (1.75 µm, f/2.4 with autofocus working at a distance of 3 to 7 cm).
The selfie camera is a 20-megapixel sensor (1/3.4″, f/2.2). The focus is fixed.
Prices for Xiaomi Poco F3 start at about 27,600 rubles.
Pros of Xiaomi Poco F3:
- excellent 120 Hz AMOLED screen, Gorilla Glass 5;
- long battery life (4520 mAh, 15 hours 58 minutes of web browsing);
- class-leading performance (Snapdragon 870 5G, 14th)
- IP53, NFC, good stereo speakers;
- high-quality pictures and clips in daylight.
Cons of Xiaomi Poco F3:
- slot for memory cards, no audio jack;
- mediocre photo and video quality on the ultra-wide-angle camera
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
The main camera on the back of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G uses a 64MP Samsung GW3 sensor (S5KGW3) with a 1/1.97-inch sensor, 0.7μm pixels and a Tetra-cell filter (similar to Sony’s Quad Bayer). It sits behind a 25mm f/1.8 lens. There is phase detection autofocus (PDAF), but no optical image stabilization (OIS). This camera saves 16-megapixel photos as a result of 4‑in‑1 binning by default.
The main camera is complemented by an 8‑megapixel 1/4‑inch Sony IMX355 sensor with a 15mm (f/2.2) ultra wide-angle lens. Focus is fixed.
The third camera on the back is macro. It is equipped with a 5‑megapixel Samsung S5K5E9 sensor (1/5″, 1.12µm) and a telemacro lens (49mm, f/2.4). Autofocus is available, which works at a distance of about 3–7 cm.
The resolution of the front camera is 20 megapixels. It has a 1/3.4″ sensor with 0.8µm pixels behind a 27mm f/2.2 lens.
The overall score of the smartphone on DxOMark is 111 points.
The cost of Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G is about 28,000 rubles.
Pros of Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite:
- great OLED screen, 10-bit color support, 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10, Gorilla Glass 6 protection;
- long battery life (4250 mAh, 11 hours 51 minutes of web browsing), 33W fast charging (64 minutes on a full charge);
- powerful hardware (Snapdragon 780G, 28th in the ranking) great for games, stable operation;
- excellent photo and video quality in daylight on all cameras, reliable night mode.
- loud stereo speakers, Wi-Fi 6, hybrid card slot, NFC.
Cons of Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite:
- no optical image stabilization.
We wrote in detail about the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G smartphone here.
The main cameras of smartphones from our list received the following ratings:
|Model/Parameter||Matrix size||Pixel size||Diaphragm||autofocus||OIS||Average score|
|Samsung Galaxy A53 5G||four||5||5||5||5||4.8|
|realme 9 pro||2||four||5||5||four||four|
|Redmi Note 10 Pro||5||four||four||5||four||4.4|
|Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G||3||four||5||5||four||4.2|
The leader of our rating is the main camera of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G. It is the only one on the list equipped with an optical image stabilization system.