In terms of shoot­ing capa­bil­i­ties, some smart­phones can be com­pared with cam­eras. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

Mod­ern smart­phones are more than just a means of mak­ing calls. Under their cov­ers hides hard­ware that can run resource-inten­sive appli­ca­tions and games, shoot high-qual­i­ty pho­tos and videos. In recent years, smart­phones have made sig­nif­i­cant advances in shoot­ing capa­bil­i­ties. In today’s arti­cle, we have col­lect­ed 5 smart­phones for video — they cre­ate high-qual­i­ty videos. Read on to find out what these smart­phones are.

How was it evaluated

When assign­ing final scores, we eval­u­at­ed the fol­low­ing indi­ca­tors of the main cam­eras of smart­phones (with the excep­tion of the opti­cal zoom, in this case the tele­pho­to lens):

- matrix size — mea­sured in frac­tions of an inch, for exam­ple, 1/1.8”. The larg­er the matrix, the high­er the score (1/1.7″ is greater than 1/3.2″).

- Pix­el size (microm­e­ters, microns) — the more, the high­er the score.

- Diaphragm spec­i­fied in f‑stops, such as f/1.8. The small­er the val­ue, the brighter the lens, and the high­er the score.

- CPU — Shoot­ing high-qual­i­ty video requires a lot of com­put­ing pow­er. The high­er the chipset in the rank­ing, the high­er the score.

- Res­o­lu­tion and frame rate — the more fea­tures (for exam­ple, 8K sup­port), the high­er the score.

- opti­cal zoom — eval­u­at­ed a spe­cial cam­era with periscope tech­nol­o­gy for shoot­ing with zoom with­out sig­nif­i­cant loss of qual­i­ty. The high­er the opti­cal zoom, the high­er the score.

Each para­me­ter was eval­u­at­ed on a 5‑point scale.

In addi­tion, we con­sid­er it nec­es­sary to clar­i­fy some char­ac­ter­is­tics of the cam­eras:

h.264 codec or AVC (Advanced Video Cod­ing) is the most pop­u­lar codec today. This stan­dard rec­og­nizes res­o­lu­tions up to 2048 x 2048 pix­els.

h.265 codec or HEVC (High Effi­cien­cy Video Cod­ing) is the lat­est video com­pres­sion for­mat. This stan­dard sup­ports for­mats up to 8K. Com­pared to h.264, it has improved com­pres­sion effi­cien­cy, reli­a­bil­i­ty, and reduced real-time laten­cy. That is, the qual­i­ty of the video is high­er, while the file weighs less. Not all devices sup­port this codec.

ToF cam­era - the abbre­vi­a­tion stands for “time of flight” (which can be trans­lat­ed as “flight time”). In fact, this is a depth sen­sor. It is used when tak­ing por­traits with a blurred back­ground.

Top smartphones for shooting video

All mod­els in ques­tion are equipped with phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus and opti­cal image sta­bi­liza­tion.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

A dis­tinc­tive fea­ture of Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra is the pres­ence of an addi­tion­al dis­play next to the cam­eras on the rear pan­el. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

The main cam­era on the back of the Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra uses a large 1/1.12-inch Sam­sung GN2 sen­sor with a res­o­lu­tion of 50MP and a pix­el size of 1.4μm. It is equipped with 4‑in‑1 bin­ning tech­nol­o­gy. The result is 2.8µm pix­els and 12.5MP images by default. The sen­sor has Dual Pix­el bi-direc­tion­al phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus. In front of the GN2 is an 8‑element lens with a 24mm equiv­a­lent focal length and f/1.95 aper­ture. Sup­ports opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion.

The tele­pho­to lens is a 1/2‑inch 48MP Sony IMX586 sen­sor with 1.2µm pix­els and a Quad Bay­er fil­ter (out­puts 12MP pho­tos). The lens is a sta­bi­lized periscope with 5x zoom, PDAF and f/4.1 aper­ture.

Anoth­er IMX586 sen­sor is avail­able, but paired with a 128-degree ultra wide-angle lens (f/2.2, laser aut­o­fo­cus).

Aux­il­iary ele­ments of the main cam­era include:

  • laser aut­o­fo­cus;
  • triple LED flash;
  • option­al 1.1‑inch OLED dis­play.

The self­ie cam­era uses a 20MP Sam­sung S5K3T2 1/3.4‑inch sen­sor with 0.8µm pix­els and a Quad Bay­er (f/2.2) col­or fil­ter. The out­put is pho­tos with a nom­i­nal res­o­lu­tion of 20 megapix­els. Aut­o­fo­cus is not avail­able.

Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra can shoot 8K video at up to 24fps and 4K60 on all cam­eras. Sta­bi­liza­tion is avail­able for all res­o­lu­tions and frame rates. You can choose between h.264 and h.265 codecs (only h.265 for 8K). Bitrate when shoot­ing in 8K — 130 Mbps, 4K30 — 62 Mbps (using h.264). Excel­lent detail, wide dynam­ic range, nice col­ors.

Pros of Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra:

  • Bright 6.81-inch 1440p OLED screen, 120Hz refresh rate, accu­rate col­or, Goril­la Glass Vic­tus;
  • seg­ment-wor­thy bat­tery life (5000mAh, 11hrs 3mins Wi-Fi web brows­ing at 120Hz), blaz­ing fast charg­ing (67W, full charge in 37 min­utes), wire­less charg­ing (67W) and reverse charg­ing (10 W);
  • high-qual­i­ty stereo speak­ers tuned by Har­man Kar­don, Wi-Fi 6e, Blue­tooth 5.2, NFC, IP68 pro­tec­tion class,
  • excel­lent pho­to and video qual­i­ty in all direc­tions.

Cons of Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra:

  • one of the heav­i­est smart­phones on the mar­ket (234 g), the cam­era mod­ule sticks out a lot;
  • propen­si­ty to over­heat dur­ing stress test­ing (not so much in real use);
  • no audio jack and no mem­o­ry card slot.

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro received optics from Leica. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

Huawei P40 Pro is equipped with the so-called Ultra Vision cam­era from . Leica is a Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­er of lens­es and cam­eras.

The main cam­era uses a large 1/1.28-inch 50MP Quad Bay­er sen­sor with an RYYB fil­ter. The size of the com­bined pix­el is 2.44 microns. The lens has a 23mm equiv­a­lent focal length, f/1.9 aper­ture, PDAF Omni­di­rec­tion­al Phase Detec­tion Aut­o­fo­cus and OIS.

In the RYYB col­or fil­ter, the green sub­pix­els are replaced by yel­low ones. Accord­ing to the man­u­fac­tur­er, this allows the sen­sor to col­lect 40% more light than con­ven­tion­al RGGB fil­ters. This results in bet­ter image qual­i­ty in low light. By default, this cam­era out­puts 12.5 megapix­el images.

Ultra Wide Cam­era — 1/1.54″ 40MP image sen­sor with Quad-Bay­er RGGB fil­ter. Makes 10 megapix­el images by default. Huawei is posi­tion­ing this sen­sor as a movie cam­era due to the wider aspect ratio (3:2 ver­sus the com­mon­ly used 4:3).

The tele­pho­to lens has a 12-megapix­el sen­sor (periscope, f/3.4, PDAF, OIS, 5x opti­cal zoom).

The fourth and final cam­era is ToF. It speeds up aut­o­fo­cus, improves sub­ject sep­a­ra­tion, and pro­vides more con­vinc­ing back­ground blur in por­trait mode.

For tak­ing self­ies, there are two cam­eras and aut­o­fo­cus:

  • 32MP sen­sor (1/2.8″, 0.8µm) behind 26mm f/2.2 lens.
  • ToF cam­era for excel­lent bokeh effect.

The Huawei P40 Pro records video up to 4K at 60fps with both ultra-wide and reg­u­lar cam­eras. Tele­pho­to is capped at 30fps in both 4K and 1080p. P40 Pro has 3 micro­phones and in addi­tion to record­ing stereo sound (192 kbps), it sup­ports audio zoom — when you increase the video, the sound is also ampli­fied.

It is pos­si­ble to select h.264 and h.265 codecs. 4K60 frames have a low bitrate of about 26–27 Mbps (h.264), 4K30 — 39–40 Mbps.

Huawei P40 Pro sup­ports a vari­ety of video shoot­ing modes — real-time bokeh, 4K HDR time-lapse, 7680 fps slow motion, dual video from two cam­eras at the same time.

The main cam­era shoots very good video with excel­lent con­trast, high detail at 30 fps and a wide dynam­ic range.

Pros of Huawei P40 Pro:

  • excel­lent OLED screen with high res­o­lu­tion and a fre­quen­cy of 90 Hz;
  • sta­ble flag­ship-lev­el per­for­mance (Kirin 990 5G);
  • reli­able bat­tery life (4200 mAh, 15 hours 14 min­utes of brows­ing sites), ful­ly charged in 50 min­utes (40 W), wire­less and reverse charg­ing (both 27 W);
  • excel­lent pho­to qual­i­ty day and night on all cam­eras;
  • self­ies at the high­est lev­el;
  • high qual­i­ty video at 30 frames per sec­ond in all direc­tions, excel­lent sta­bi­liza­tion;
  • water­proof case IP68, hybrid slot for mem­o­ry cards up to 256 GB, Wi-Fi 6, NFC.

Cons of Huawei P40 Pro:

  • mem­o­ry cards only NV;
  • no 3.5 mm jack;
  • lack of Google Mobile Ser­vices.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro uses the same cam­era set­up as the 13 Pro Max. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

The main cam­era on the rear pan­el received a large sen­sor with large 1.9 micron pix­els. The 26mm has an f/1.5 aper­ture. Dual pix­el PDAF and OIS with sen­sor shift are avail­able.

The 77mm equiv­a­lent f/2.8 tele­pho­to lens sup­ports PDAF, OIS and 3x zoom.

The ultra-wide-angle lens (120˚) received PDAF aut­o­fo­cus and f/1.8 aper­ture. Like all oth­er sen­sors, it is 12-megapix­el.

There is a TOF 3D LiDAR scan­ner that helps the cam­eras when shoot­ing por­traits and quick­ly focus in low light con­di­tions.

On the front is a 12MP cam­era with a focal length of 23mm and a lens with f/2.2 aper­ture. There is no aut­o­fo­cus. 3D scan­ner for FaceID helps in por­trait mode.

iPhone 13 Pro can record video at up to 4K60 (includ­ing 4K24) on all four cam­eras. All cam­eras have dig­i­tal sta­bi­liza­tion. All modes, includ­ing 4K60, have an extend­ed dynam­ic range thanks to Smart HDR. Slow motion options reach a max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion of 1080p at 240 fps.

It is pos­si­ble to record and edit HDR video in Dol­by Vision for­mat with a max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion of 4K60 (the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion was lim­it­ed to 30 frames per sec­ond).

There is a choice between H.265 HEVC and H.264 video encoders. High-Effi­cien­cy mode uses H.265 and is manda­to­ry for 4K60 and HDR video record­ings, while More Com­pat­i­ble (H.264) mode sim­pli­fies play­back across devices.

The iPhone 13 records stereo audio for video at around 192 kbps.

The main fea­ture of the iPhone 13 Pro cam­era is cin­e­mat­ic mode. It allows you to move the focus in the frame from one object to anoth­er and gives the effect of depth.

The video qual­i­ty on a smart­phone is one of the best, espe­cial­ly in good light­ing. Excel­lent dynam­ic range and vibrant col­ors, no noise and very good detail.

Pros of the iPhone 13 Pro:

  • com­pact dimen­sions (146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm)
  • very bright OLED screen with accu­rate col­or repro­duc­tion, Dol­by Vision, 120 Hz;
  • loud stereo speak­ers, water­proof IP68, Wi-Fi 6, NFC;
  • unri­valed per­for­mance (Apple A15 Bion­ic);
  • excel­lent pho­to and video qual­i­ty on all four cam­eras.

Cons of the iPhone 13 Pro:

  • out­dat­ed view with a notch;
  • heavy (204 g);
  • the chipset is prone to throt­tling at max­i­mum load (77% proces­sor sta­bil­i­ty after an hour-long stress test);
  • takes 1 hour 38 min­utes to ful­ly charge, adapter not includ­ed;
  • no mem­o­ry card slot, 3.5mm head­phone jack.

You can find a detailed overview of the cam­eras of all iPhone 13 mod­els at this link. And here is a video review of the capa­bil­i­ties of the iPhone 13 Pro for video­g­ra­phers.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

The Google Pix­el 6 Pro cam­era mod­ule sets the smart­phone apart from the com­pe­ti­tion. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

The main cam­era of the Google Pix­el 6 Pro is a 50MP Sam­sung ISOCELL GN1 1/1.31″ sen­sor with dual pix­el PDAF aut­o­fo­cus and opti­cal image sta­bi­liza­tion behind an f/1.85 lens and 1.2µm pix­els. As a result of bin­ning, pix­els are enlarged to 2.4 microns, images are out­put in 12.5 MP for­mat.

The sec­ond sen­sor on the back is a 48MP periscope cam­era with 4x opti­cal zoom. This 1/2‑inch sen­sor has 0.8µm pix­els and sits behind an f/3.5 lens. It is equipped with PDAF and OIS. With a com­bi­na­tion of Super Res zoom and 4x opti­cal zoom, the Pix­el 6 Pro can shoot at up to 20x zoom.

Next up is the ultra-wide-angle cam­era – a 12MP sen­sor with 1.25µm pix­els and an f/2.2 aper­ture lens. The view­ing angle is 114 degrees.

The front cam­era is 11.1MP with a 20mm ultra wide-angle lens (1.22µm, f/2.2) capa­ble of record­ing 4K video at 30fps.

The Google Ten­sor chip sup­ports a new algo­rithm called HDR­net for pro­cess­ing video frames. Thanks to him, the Google Pix­el 6 Pro smart­phone can record video up to 4K at 60 frames per sec­ond, HDR cor­rec­tion is applied to each frame of the video.

4K video from the main cam­era looks amaz­ing. Noise is vir­tu­al­ly non-exis­tent, dynam­ic range is excel­lent, and col­ors are vibrant. Video with 4x zoom (4K30) from the periscope cam­era has excel­lent detail and a wide dynam­ic range

Pros of Google Pixel 6 Pro:

  • degree of pro­tec­tion IP68, Goril­la Glass Vic­tus on both sides, NFC, stereo speak­ers, Wi-Fi 6e, Blue­tooth 5.2;
  • LTPO AMOLED dis­play with a fre­quen­cy of 120 Hz and excel­lent read­abil­i­ty in the sun;
  • gen­er­al-pur­pose Google Ten­sor per­for­mance (10th in per­for­mance rank­ings);
  • high-qual­i­ty pho­tos and videos; great footage from the 4x periscope cam­era.

Cons of Google Pixel 6 Pro:

  • bat­tery life is not as expect­ed (5003 mAh, 12 hours 32 min­utes brows­ing), no charg­er includ­ed;
  • HDR+ is too aggres­sive when tak­ing pho­tos;
  • The Google Ten­sor chip slows down with pro­longed peak per­for­mance;
  • there is no head­phone jack and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of expand­ing the inter­nal mem­o­ry.

We have col­lect­ed for you a detailed review-com­par­i­son of Google Pix­el 6 and Pix­el 6 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The cam­eras on the back of the Sam­sung Galaxy S22 Ultra are installed sep­a­rate­ly, with­out a sin­gle island. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is equipped with a quad-cam­era sys­tem.

The main cam­era uses a 1/1.33-inch ISOCELL HM3 sen­sor with a pix­el size of 0.8µm. As a result of pix­el bin­ning tech­nol­o­gy, pho­tos are 12MP (with 2.4µm pix­els) by default. The lens has a 23mm equiv­a­lent focal length, f/1.8 aper­ture, phase detec­tion PDAF and laser aut­o­fo­cus and opti­cal image sta­bi­liza­tion.

Then there are two 10-megapix­el lens­es with a matrix size of 1/3.52″, pix­els of 1.12 microns. One sup­ports 3x zoom, has an aper­ture of f/2.4, the sec­ond sup­ports 10x, f/4.9. Both are equipped with dual pix­elPDAF and OIS.

The ultra-wide cam­era uses a 1/2.55″ sen­sor with 1.4µm pix­els and dual pix­el PDAF. The lens has an f/2.2 aper­ture and a 120-degree field of view.

The self­ie cam­era is a 40MP 1/2.8‑inch sen­sor with 0.7µm pix­els behind a 26mm lens with f/2.2 aper­ture. By default, pho­tos have a res­o­lu­tion of 10 megapix­els.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra records video up to 4K60 on all five cam­eras. It can also shoot 8K with the main cam­era, but only at 24fps. Video sta­bi­liza­tion is avail­able in all of these modes.

8K is always encod­ed in h.265 HEVC while for oth­er modes you can choose between h.264 or h.265. Regard­less of the video mode, audio is record­ed in stereo at a bit rate of 256 kbps.

Pros of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra:

  • high­ly func­tion­al sty­lus S Pen;
  • stun­ning dis­play (Dynam­ic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corn­ing Goril­la Glass Vic­tus+)
  • holds a charge for such a device for a long time (5000 mAh, 16 hours 54 min­utes of brows­ing sites)
  • the cam­era sys­tem is one of the best on the mar­ket, with zoom capa­bil­i­ties hard to com­pete;
  • IP68, stereo speak­ers (con­fig­ured by AKG), Wi-Fi 6e, Blue­tooth 5.2, NFC.

Cons of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra:

  • S Pen adds weight (228g);
  • with­out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of increas­ing the inter­nal stor­age and head­phone jack.

Detailed spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the mod­els of the Sam­sung Galaxy S22 line can be found here.


For con­ve­nience, we have col­lect­ed the cri­te­ria for eval­u­a­tion in one table:

Mod­el / Fea­ture Matrix size Pix­el size, µm Diaphragm CPU Res­o­lu­tion and frame rate opti­cal zoom
Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra 1/1.12″ 1.4 f/2.0 Snap­drag­on 888 5G (8th place) 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240/960/1920fps, elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion (EIS), HDR10+ 5x
Huawei P40 Pro 1/1.28″ 1.22 f/1.9 Kirin 990 5G (26th place) 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720@7680fps, 1080p@960fps, HDR; EIS 5x
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 1/1.65″ 1.9 f/1.5 Apple A15 Bion­ic (1st place) 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR, Dol­by Vision HDR (up to 60fps) 3x
Google Pix­el 6 Pro 1/1.31″ 1.2 f/1.9 Google Ten­sor (10th place) 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; EIS, OIS 4x
Sam­sung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1/1.33″ 0.8 f/1.8 Snap­drag­on 8 Gen 1 (4th) 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, EIS 10x

The con­sid­ered mod­els received the fol­low­ing esti­mates:

Mod­el / Fea­ture Matrix size Pix­el size, µm Diaphragm CPU Res­o­lu­tion and frame rate opti­cal zoom Aver­age score
Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra 5 four 2 3 5 four 3.83
Huawei P40 Pro four 3 3 one four four 3.16
Apple iPhone 13 Pro one 5 5 5 four 2 3.67
Google Pix­el 6 Pro 3 2 3 2 four 3 2.83
Sam­sung Galaxy S22 Ultra 2 one four four 5 5 3.5

Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra received the high­est rat­ings. How­ev­er, we can say with con­fi­dence that any smart­phone from our top shoots great videos.