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Shutterbugs, these are the best smartphone cameras of 2023

From zoom and low-light photography to AI-powered tech and price point — here are this year’s favourite mobile cams

Ashwin Rajagopalan | Published 27.12.23, 02:04 PM
Mobile photography has seen much improvement in 2023 with better lenses and zoom,  tools for low-light photography, AI powered tech, and more

Mobile photography has seen much improvement in 2023 with better lenses and zoom, tools for low-light photography, AI powered tech, and more


Smartphone photography got better in 2023. This should come as no surprise as mobile cameras continue to remain the mainstay of most of our travel and everyday photography experiences. Brands like Samsung and Apple upped their zoom photography game while Google kept pushing the envelope with computational photography. Most smartphones improved low-light photography, traditionally a weak link for mobile shooters.

We round up our favourite mobile shooters of 2023:


iPhone 15 Pro Max

It wasn’t just the size, this year’s larger Pro Max also packed a more advanced zoom camera system (5x zoom at 120mm), making it the iPhone of choice for serious shutterbugs. The telephoto camera features a tetraprism design — that bends the light path four times before it hits the sensor — with a combined OIS (Optical Image stabilisation) and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module. At the heart of this year’s iPhone Pro twins is the all-new A17 Pro chipset — the first 3-nanometer in the heart of any smartphone — which has a significant impact on low-light photography.

Price point: Rs 1,59,900 onwards

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

If we have to pick our favourite smartphone cam for zoom photography, it’s this year’s Ultra. The 2023 Ultra saw a huge overhaul in its rear camera system with a 200MP sensor. Other highlights include an adaptive pixel sensor with Super Quad Pixel and 1.5x faster auto focus. Samsung also tweaked the OIS that reduces shakes and blurs in images. The quad rear cam also features a 12MP ultra-wide cam.

Price point: Rs 1,24,999 onwards

Google Pixel 8

The Pixel 8 Pro might be one of the best Android cams of the year, but we think the Pixel 8 ticks the boxes that matter for most camera enthusiasts at a more affordable price point. It might miss out on the terrific zoom lens (5x) on the 8 Pro but comes with most of the same AI-driven camera tools. There’s Audio Magic Eraser that allows you to scrub out unwanted audio sections of a video and the Best Take feature that lets you swap faces in group pictures, so that everyone looks their best.

Price point: Rs 75,999 onwards

OnePlus Open

It’s not just OnePlus’ first ever foldable, it’s probably the best camera system on a OnePlus smartphone thus far. The big story is OnePlus’ partnership with Swedish camera major Hasselblad. It makes a big difference in the device’s portrait camera skills. Low-light photography is quite stellar too. The OnePlus Open is one of the most versatile cams of the year. Aside from a dual selfie cam, the device brings together a 48MP primary lens, a 64MP telephoto lens and a 48MP ultra-wide lens.

Price point: Rs 1,39,999 onwards

Xiaomi 13 Pro

The big talking point of Xiaomi’s 2023 India flagship is its partnership with German photography brand Leica. They had a key role in the development of the rear camera system that combines three 50MP lenses. One of the highlights is the large 1-inch DSLR-type lens and a 50MP telephoto camera with a 75mm floating lens. You can take advantage of an assortment of Leica filters that add a cool dimension to the photography experience.

Price point: Rs 79,999

Vivo X90 Pro

Partnerships with camera brands dominated many flagship level smartphone camera experiences. Vivo leveraged its partnership with Zeiss for the X90 pro that boasts a Zeiss 1-inch Main Camera with the IMX989 sensor. It brings increased light sensitivity to capture high-detail and clear images in extreme low light. It shines in a couple of other areas too. Portrait photography is a big win with the large aperture (f/1.6 with OIS) and then there’s the long exposure mode that is great for urban landscapes.

Price point: Rs 84,999

OPPO Reno 10 5G

Part of OPPO’s flagship Reno 10 series, the Reno 10 rides heavily on its 32MP Telephoto Portrait camera (Sony IMX 709 sensor) that allows you to zoom in as you as you shoot portrait images. It mimics the DSLR camera experience with its Pro-Portrait and blurred bokeh images. The triple rear cam also includes a dependable ultra-wide lens with a 112-degree field of view.

Price point: Rs 32,999

Last updated on 27.12.23, 02:04 PM

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