A list of recommended Smartphones from Flagships to Budget line that offer the Above Average Camera Performance at great value.
Xiaomi Mi5s is the successor to the Mi5 and one of its biggest changes is the camera sensor. It is equipped with the SonyIMX378, which many reviewers have proclaimed as the best camera sensor of 2016. The still photos of the Mi5s are one of the best. But it is not a perfect phone, it does lack OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) so 4K video can get jittery on the move and Low light shots are not that great either. Also there is the new Xiaomi Mi5s Plus, but in terms of camera performance, I think you should stick with the Mi5s.
More so, the Xiaomi Mi5s is a Flagship and comes with the new Snapdragon 821 chip.
Xiaomi Mi5 (the first version) – Don’t get me wrong, the new sensor of the Xiaomi Mi5s is good but the phone itself is pricy compared to the first one. Considering you have OIS here (Optical Image Stabilization) and 4K, I think it still offers one of the best value. It is also cheaper now at less than $300 for the base model. The camera itself is a 16 megapixel SonyIMX298 Sensor with PDAF, 4 Axis OIS and Sapphire lens protection. It is also capable of 4K video recording at 30 fps. The quality is still great, with fast focus and shutter speed and smooth 4K video performance. One thing that makes this also one of the best buy is the 4 Axis OIS built in which is clearly lacking on the Mi5s (4K).
The LeTV Le 2 Max offers a 21 megapixel SonyIMX230 Camera sensor with 4K video capabilities with surprisingly very good camera performance. As far as my experience goes, I was also impressed with last year’s Leeco Le 1 X800. The Camera overall has very good sensor that can capture detailed image blazingly fast. And I mean it, there is absolutely no delay on the shutter speed. On absolute good lighting, the images is at its best. The focus time is also snappy, so you can capture images quickly, seldom did I experience blurred images. On the video department, it is readily capable of 4K @ 30 fps. And on good lighting, the quality of output is great but It did have some delay on refocusing, especially when moving. Also there is no OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).
More so, in terms of hardware, the Le 2 Max is a Flagship and powered by a Snapdragon 820 Chip. It also comes with a 2K UHD Display.
Budget Smartphones with Above average Cameras
The Xiaomi Redmi Pro is popular for its Dual Camera feature, specifically, a Bokeh like feature similar to other DSLR. Simply, there are 2 rear cameras, a 13 megapixel SonyIMX258 shooter and a secondary 5 megapixel Samsung for Stereoscopic mode. When you enable Stereoscopic mode, you have option to adjust the aperture value from 0.95 up to 5.6. You can blur or focus images and adjust the levels of blurring according to your preference. It usually works best on good lighting, but I also managed to get good shots even on low light.
The Quality itself isn’t really much better than a DSLR but the feature is nice to have. It takes a bit of tinkering though, as not all shots have the same effect. The best ones usually taken on very good lighting. More so, the phone is a mid-ranger, and powered by a Mediatek Helio X25 Chip.
Xiaomi Mi Max is not only a giant with a 6.44 inch screen but the camera is also worthy to mention. It has one of the better cameras available for a budget Smartphone. It has a 16 megapixel SonyIMX Sensor with PDAF, which is similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro. It is also capable of 4K video recording at 30fps. However, I do prefer the still photos more compared to the video. It lacks OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) but the focus time and shutter speed is snappy. In terms of image quality, the best images are available on absolute good lighting. Low light shots are not that good but the dual LED Flash can also make up for this inadequacies.
Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro is a bit dated but it is still one of the best in the Redmi Note 3 series. Specifically the Qualcomm 650 version, which offers a 4K video recording. If you are on a budget, the Redmi Note 3 Pro is one of the best phones to go. It has a 16 megapixel Sony CMOS BSI Sensor with PDAF. The image quality is still good even up to now and the 4K video recording is even better compared to the current generation Redmi Note 4. The Camera performance can also be best taken on absolute good lighting.