Top 3 Camera Mobiles in 2016

In the year 2016, it is estimated that about 1.2 trillion digital photos were taken and 80% of it is using mobile cameras. This is a huge number and it show how important mobile phone camera have become. The camera in the mobile is an integral part of our life. On an average I end up takeing about 10 photos everyday with my mobile camera. Every new mobile launched promised a better camera. Camera specifications is a primary selling point for any mobile these days. This year 2016 saw a bunch of mobiles take mobile photography to the next level. There were a few phones that raised the bar and here is the list.

Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge
Google Pixel / Pixel XL
iPhone 7 Plus
Oneplus 3
iPhone 7
Huawei P9 – Review
Honor 8
Asus Zenfone 3 – Review
LG V20

The result (People’s choice)

I sent out a review to our readers asking them to choose the best camera in a smart phone from 2016. Here is the result.

Expert Opinion

The quality of photos from a mobile phone speaks a lot about its ability. It is not difficult to judge the quality of photos and consumers are aware about it. I have used all the mobiles in this list and I completely agree with the survey results. Let us see the top 3 mobiles from this list and I will tell you why they are the best.

iPhone 7 Plus

With every new iPhone, mobile photography is redefined. This year we saw the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus with great camera capabilities. The iPhone 7 in particular has dual camera setup.  The iPhone 7 and 7 plus are faster and have accurate color reproduction when it comes to the camera department. It is good under low light as well thanks to its f/1.8 lens. They can shoot in RAW mode as well, which is a new addition and welcome addition for any pro user. iPhone 7 Plus has a dual lens setup. The first lens is a 23 mm lens similar to the iPhone 7 and the second is a 56mm lens that aids in physical zoom. More than the hardware, it is iPhone’s software processing that makes it a winner. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus capture great detail, but the S7 and Pixel does a better job in capturing the details. Though the second lens for zoom is a useless feature, it is an additional function over iPhone 7. Hence the iPhone 7 Plus is the 3rd choice in choosing the Top 3 mobiles with camera.

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Thanks to Nikhil Pandit for Sharing the photos with us.

Google Pixel / Pixel XL

Google Pixel and Pixel XL have the same camera hardware and software. You would get the same quality of images from both these models. The Pixel mobiles were rated high on the DxOMark camera benchmark. In real life as well, the shots from Pixel had accurate color reproduction and sharp details. The pictures apear a bit washed out compared to iPhone, but it captures better details. The HDR mode on the Pixel is insanely pleasant. Also the speed of the mobile is complimented by the burst mode pictures captures with it. The dynamic range is one of the best I have seen in any smartphone camera. It can shoot great shots at low light as well. Overall the Pixel is totally a new beast in the camera mobile segment. It is an ugly looking mobile, but has an excellent eye for camera.

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Thanks to Aravind Balakrishnan for Sharing the photos with us.

Samsung S7 / S7 Edge

The S7 and S7 Edge are undoubtedly the King of Camera mobiles in 2016. This crown was with with iPhone for a long time and this year, the S7 snatched it away. Right from launching the camera to clicking shots, the S7 and S7 edge is super fast. The S7 has f/1.7 lens along with optical image stabilization. The camera captures more than than any other mobile camera. The images are sharp and the details are insane. The post processing keep the colors natural and yet vivid. The camera excels in focusing speed and accuracy. The S7 camera excels under any lighting conditions. I own the S7 edge and whenever I pull out the mobile to click a picture, I am sure that I will be amazed. The S7 performs consistently under any lighting conditions. The software also compliments the hardware in all aspects.

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I have compared all three phones and I must say that Google Pixel has great HDR capability and dynamic range. iPhone 7 has natural color reproduction. The S7 edge shoots amazing details and performs well in other departments as well.

Honorable Mention

The Huawei P9 is a mobile whose camera was developed in partnership with Leica. Normally lens manufacturers like Zeiss limit their engagement with just providing the hardware. But in the P9, Leica has gone beyond hardware and have provided software processing technology to aid their hardware. The camera has dual focusing system. It employs both laser and contrast focus sensing mechanism. Focusing is fast and accurate. The images have the right exposure levels and white balance. The contrast is perfect, thanks the dual lens arrangement. The color reproduction is spot on with every single shot. The images from the P9 have a wide dynamic range. The camera excels in both low light and abundant lighting conditions. The Huawei P9 is undoubtedly one of the best camera mobiles introduced in 2016.

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A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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