Few would argue that in 2017 the mobile device industry is a major driver of imaging hardware innovation. Long gone are the days when the size of the image sensor and the aperture were the major determining factors for image quality. Instead, phone manufacturers have turned to software and computational imaging methods to achieve better detail, wider dynamic range and lower noise levels, as well as high-quality zooming and DSLR-like bokeh effects.
High-powered chipsets with built-in image signal processors and sensors with very fast read-out times make it possible to combine image data that is captured by dual-lenses, or several frames recorded in quick succession, within milliseconds. These methods produce image quality that would have been unthinkable on a smartphone only a few years ago and often surpasses basic compact cameras.
Thanks to those advances in software, but also new hardware concepts, such as dual-cameras, hybrid AF-systems and more powerful image signal processors, current smartphone cameras are better than ever before. Here is our selection of the best models available in 2017, noting where their particular strengths lie.
Best display: Apple iPhone X
Dual 12MP-camera | 28/52mm equiv. focal lengths | F1.8 and F2.4 apertures | OIS | 4K/60fps video | 5.8-inch display
Apple’s brand new flagship iPhone X pulls all the technological plugs and comes with features and specifications that we haven’t seen on any iPhones or even other smartphones before. The iPhone X offers a marginally faster F2.4 telephoto lens than its cousin iPhone 8 Plus and, compared to last year’s 7 Plus, adds optical image stabilization in the telephoto lens. On the video side of things the X is capable of recording 4K footage at 60 frames per second and slow-motion clips at → continue…