Mod­ern smart­phones have replaced land­lines, PDAs, note­books, play­ers and even cam­eras. The rat­ings of the best gad­gets with cool cam­eras usu­al­ly include phones from the expen­sive seg­ment.

But are there bud­get devices for pho­to and video shoot­ing? Yes. The rat­ing of the best inex­pen­sive cam­era phones was col­lect­ed in this mate­r­i­al. Are there mod­els that are not men­tioned in the list of the best? Write about them in the com­ments.

Even inex­pen­sive gad­gets today have good cam­eras. Pho­to: mavink.com

Impor­tant: this col­lec­tion col­lect­ed mod­els that were released in 2022. The old and beloved by all the flag­ships of past years will not be here.

How to choose an inex­pen­sive phone
TECNO Camon 19 Pro
Realme 9
Sam­sung Galaxy A53
One­Plus Nord 2T 5G
Poco X4 Pro 5G
Xiao­mi 12 Lite

How to choose an inexpensive phone

Cam­era. It is worth pay­ing atten­tion to 3 cri­te­ria: the num­ber of megapix­els (more is bet­ter), image sta­bi­liza­tion (neu­tral­izes shak­ing when shoot­ing), addi­tion­al pho­to pro­cess­ing options (AI, col­or enhance­ment tech­nolo­gies, etc.).

Read also why you can’t look only at the num­ber of megapix­els:

Cam­era phones 2022: how to choose a phone with a good cam­era

Auton­o­my. Tak­ing pho­tos and videos quick­ly drains the bat­tery. Bat­tery capac­i­ty from 4000 mAh is the opti­mal size.

Dis­play res­o­lu­tion. It depends on how clear the pic­ture on the screen will be. 1920×1080 (Full HD) is the min­i­mum rec­om­mend­ed val­ue. Such a pic­ture will be pleas­ing to the eye, the image will be more con­ve­nient to edit.

Screen size. The para­me­ter is indi­vid­ual. But if you plan to retouch pic­tures, it is bet­ter to choose a screen from 6.5 inch­es. It will be more con­ve­nient to do this on such a dis­play.

The amount of RAM. Its quan­ti­ty affects the speed of the smart­phone, the quick launch of pro­grams. The more it is, the more pro­duc­tive the gad­get. We rec­om­mend choos­ing from 4 GB of RAM.

The amount of built-in mem­o­ry. Min­i­mum 128 GB to fit all files on the device.

What is the difference between a budget camera phone and an expensive one?

He shoots worse. The qual­i­ty can­not be iden­ti­cal for a smart­phone for 20,000 and 100,000 rubles. The dif­fer­ence is not always vis­i­ble when shoot­ing with good light­ing and cor­rect­ly set set­tings in PRO mode. But in the evening, at night, in the bright sun, it is notice­able. Also, the col­or repro­duc­tion may not be as sat­u­rat­ed and real­is­tic as we would like.


In expen­sive mod­els, almost always improved arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and addi­tion­al fea­tures, new tech­nolo­gies. They auto­mat­i­cal­ly improve the pic­ture. For exam­ple, they even out the bright­ness through­out the pho­to. As a result, there will be no high­lights or very dark areas.

For exam­ple, the Pho­ton­ic Engine option on the Apple 14 Pro and Pro Max improves expo­sure in those areas of the frame where it is need­ed.

Mod­els in the mid to high range often have spe­cial modes for dif­fer­ent types of shoot­ing. For exam­ple, Xiao­mi Mi 11 Ultra has a spe­cial mode for astropho­to. Pic­tures are tak­en with­out noise.

Now let’s move on to our top. All prices are valid at the time of writ­ing.

TECNO Camon 19 Pro

This is the first mod­el in the rank­ing of the best cam­era phones in 2022 for 18,650 rubles. Cam­era is always On (the cam­era is always on) is the slo­gan of the prod­uct line from this brand. His phi­los­o­phy is to take cool shots with­out much effort.

Cam­era Advan­tages:

  • For this mod­el, TECNO has devel­oped an RGBW matrix togeth­er with Sam­sung. It increased light absorp­tion by 200%. The amount of noise is reduced to a pos­si­ble min­i­mum. There­fore, pho­tos at night, in the evening, in cloudy weath­er and indoors will be clear, and the col­or repro­duc­tion will be nat­ur­al;
  • opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion — the frame will be clear, even if you shoot on the go;
  • laser aut­o­fo­cus is very fast. You can eas­i­ly focus even on an ani­mal in low light;
  • there is arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence — a rar­i­ty for the bud­get seg­ment. It auto­mat­i­cal­ly cor­rects the bright­ness, white bal­ance and con­trast of the pho­to.
TECNO Camon 19 Pro is the best inex­pen­sive cam­era phone under 20,000 rubles. Pho­to: www.gsmarena.com

Realme 9

Realme smart­phones are very pop­u­lar in Rus­sia. Users are attract­ed by the low price, high per­for­mance and strik­ing design. Realme 9 is a uni­ver­sal mod­el with:

  • capa­cious bat­tery — 5000 mAh enough for 10–12 hours of active use;
  • large dis­play (6.4 inch­es) with high res­o­lu­tion (2400x1080) and a refresh rate of 90 times per sec­ond. This means that the move­ments of the char­ac­ters in the video or in the game will be smoother;
  • RAM (6 GB) and built-in (128 GB) mem­o­ry, which is enough to work with­out slow­downs and store impor­tant files.

Cam­era Advan­tages:

  • new Sam­sung ISOCELL HM6 sen­sor for the main rear cam­era mod­ule. He knows how to com­bine sev­er­al pix­els into one, because of this, the pho­tos are clear­er in low light;
  • There is dig­i­tal sta­bi­liza­tion. It reduces shak­ing, which is why pho­tos and videos are obtained with­out smear­ing;
  • high detail when shoot­ing with the main and wide-angle lens­es. Both can record video in 1080/30p for­mat.
  • When shoot­ing dur­ing the day, the frames are bright, with rich, not arti­fi­cial­ly bright col­ors. There will be noise in very low light, but this is nor­mal for a bud­get smart­phone. Pic­tures tak­en with the front cam­era are clear and bright.
The bud­get Realme 9 cam­era phone is a ver­sa­tile mod­el with a bright Super AMOLED screen, a capa­cious bat­tery and a good cam­era. Pho­to: anpoimages.com

Samsung Galaxy A53

The next in the top of the best cam­era phones is a new prod­uct with opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion from Sam­sung for 36,500 rubles. This is an improved ver­sion of the A52 mod­el, which is in great demand.

The main mod­ule is 64 MP. Opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion is bet­ter than dig­i­tal to com­pen­sate for motion. There is a night mode. It auto­mat­i­cal­ly reduces the amount of noise and increas­es the bright­ness of the pic­ture.

The 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens cap­tures well in good light. If it is not enough, it can “think” for a cou­ple of sec­onds, it is impor­tant to keep the cam­era sta­t­ic at this time.

There is an aux­il­iary depth sen­sor for shoot­ing por­traits. The image is not flat, but three-dimen­sion­al, real­is­tic.

Front cam­era 32 MP. Pho­tos are clear and bright with enough light. Objects in the dim­ness are not very detailed.

Sam­sung has not only cool expen­sive smart­phones, but also bud­get ones. Galaxy A53 is an exam­ple of an inex­pen­sive but pro­duc­tive smart­phone with an excel­lent cam­era. Pho­to: phonearena.com

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G

The next in the rank­ing of the best cheap cam­era phones this year is Nord for 27,990 rubles. Anoth­er ver­sa­tile mod­el with:

  • good dis­play: AMOLED, bright, with a res­o­lu­tion of 2400x1080 and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. By the way, the refresh rate is float­ing, adjust­ing to the image on the screen. This helps con­serve bat­tery pow­er. For exam­ple, in games, the update is 90 Hz, and when read­ing a book, 24 Hz;
  • Medi­aTek Dimen­si­ty 1300 proces­sor, the per­for­mance of which is enough to run not only video, but also mod­ern games and appli­ca­tions;
  • 4500 mAh bat­tery with fast charg­ing func­tion. In 25 min­utes, you can ful­ly restore the bat­tery.

The mod­el received updat­ed cam­eras:

  • main 50 MP with f / 1.8 aper­ture;
  • ultra wide-angle 8 MP — f / 2.2, view­ing angle — 120 degrees;
  • mono­chrome 2 MP — f / 2.2.

Sony IMX766 is the main one. The pic­tures are clear, bright, and the col­ors are nat­ur­al. The edges of the pho­to are not blur­ry. There is AI. It auto­mat­i­cal­ly improves the qual­i­ty of pic­tures. This is espe­cial­ly notice­able in night shots.

One­Plus Nord 2T 5G is a smart­phone for enter­tain­ment: games, pho­tos, videos. Pho­to: smartprix.com

Poco X4 Pro 5G

Cam­era phone, which the man­u­fac­tur­er calls the “Uni­ver­sal Hero”. This is true, because it has absolute­ly every­thing that a mod­ern user needs:

  • bright AMOLED dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 2400x1080, a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Move­ments in games and videos are smooth, with­out jerks;
  • there is Corn­ing Goril­la Glass 5 on the screen — it will pro­tect against 80% drops from a height of up to 1.5 meters;
  • 5000 mAh bat­tery and fast charg­ing func­tion. The bat­tery will last for 10–12 hours, and you can ful­ly charge it in 40 min­utes;
  • new Liq­uid­Cool cool­ing sys­tem — even with con­stant use, the device will not become hot;
  • great cam­era. The main mod­ule is 108 MP + ultra wide-angle and for macro pho­tog­ra­phy. Video record­ing 1080p, 30 frames per sec­ond. There is an auto­mat­ic image enhance­ment. Thanks to this, the image will be clear at any time of the day;
  • front cam­era 16 MP. The pic­ture is bright and clear. The only draw­back is the rough treat­ment of the area around the hair in por­trait mode.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G smart­phone is a uni­ver­sal mod­el for chil­dren and adults. Pho­to: mysmartprice.com

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The top best cam­era phones of 2022 can­not be made with­out a new prod­uct from Xiao­mi. This brand offers a wide range of gad­gets in dif­fer­ent price cat­e­gories. The Lite ver­sion of Xiao­mi 12 is bud­get, the price is 30,000 rubles.

The man­u­fac­tur­er made an empha­sis on the main unit of the rear cam­era (108 megapix­els). The pic­tures are clear, bright and detailed. Dur­ing the day, out­doors and indoors, it’s easy to take beau­ti­ful shots. 8 MP ultra wide-angle cam­era, juicy col­ors, cor­rect white bal­ance, the frame is not blur­ry at the edges.

Video record­ing is avail­able in dif­fer­ent res­o­lu­tions. Max­i­mum — 4K at 30 fps. The pic­ture is smooth and nat­ur­al. Var­i­ous “Movie Effects” are avail­able. For exam­ple, you can shoot video from the rear and self­ie cam­eras at the same time.

It is worth say­ing that the bud­get gad­get is prac­ti­cal­ly not infe­ri­or to the Pro-mod­el from this line. Worse in the Lite ver­sion is shoot­ing at night. More noise than the flag­ship Xiao­mi 12 Pro (applies to both the main unit and the ultra-wide angle). But this is the prob­lem with all bud­get mod­els.

A nice bonus is the front cam­era (32 MP) with aut­o­fo­cus. Xiao­mi 12 Lite is posi­tioned as a gad­get for stream­ers, tik­tok­ers and youth. There­fore, the pic­ture qual­i­ty when shoot­ing a self­ie is high.

Xiao­mi 12 Lite is a great alter­na­tive to expen­sive smart­phones. Pho­to: tek.id

We col­lect­ed the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the best bud­get cam­era phones in 2022 up to 30,000 rubles in one table.

Char­ac­ter­is­tic TECNO Camon 19 Pro Realme 9 Sam­sung Galaxy A53 One­Plus Nord 2T 5G Poco X4 Pro 5G Xiao­mi 12 Lite
Screen Diag­o­nal (inch) 6.8 6.4 6.5 6.43 6.67 6.55
Dis­play Res­o­lu­tion 2400x1080 2400x1080 2400x1080 2400x1080 2400x1080 2400x1080
Screen refresh rate (Hz) 120 90 120 90 120 120
CPU Medi­atek Helio G96 Qual­comm Snap­drag­on 680 Sam­sung Exynos 1280 Medi­aTek Dimen­sion 1300 Qual­comm Snap­drag­on 695 Qual­comm Snap­drag­on 778G
RAM (GB) eight 6 eight eight eight eight
Built-in mem­o­ry (GB) 128 128 128 128 256 128
Main cam­era 64 MP, f/1.6 aper­ture, 26mm focal length, laser aut­o­fo­cus, opti­cal image sta­bi­liza­tion 108 MP, f/1.8 aper­ture, phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus 64 MP, f/1.8 aper­ture, 26 mm focal length, phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus, opti­cal image sta­bi­liza­tion 50 MP, f/1.8 aper­ture, 24 mm focal length, phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus, opti­cal image sta­bi­liza­tion 108 MP, f/1.9 aper­ture, 26mm focal length, phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus 108 MP, f/1.9 aper­ture, 26mm focal length, phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus
4K video record­ing Not Not up to 30 fps up to 30 fps Not up to 30 fps
self­ie cam­era 32 MP, f/2.4 aper­ture 16 MP, f/2.1 aper­ture 32 MP, f/2.2 aper­ture 32 MP, f/2.4 aper­ture 16 MP, f/2.5 aper­ture 32 MP, f/2.5 aper­ture
Bat­tery capac­i­ty (mAh) 5000 5000 5000 4500 5000 4300
Size (mm) 167x75x8 73x160x8 75x160x8 73x159x8 76x164x8 69x152x8
Price (rubles) from 18 650 from 21 500 from 26 000 from 27 000 from 28 000 from 30 000