In terms of smartphone technology, we’ve (mostly) got the basic features of calling, texting, and even email to an acceptable level of speed and clarity. The real innovation in smartphones now comes from the extras that are becoming the new standards, including a brilliant screen, a processor fast enough for gaming, and a great camera. The five smartphones here, featuring some of the best cameras available right now, are capable of actually replacing your standalone camera.
1. iPhone 4S
Apple’s current smartphone offering, the iPhone 4S, contains a much-improved camera over what was released with the iPhone 4. Apple’s phone is one of its best sellers, and with its price tag, Apple knows it has to provide a top-quality product in order to outshine its competitors. What can’t be overlooked either are the improvements to the iPhone camera app. The hardware and the software work together to help you achieve high-quality photos. Your shots not only look good on your phone screen right now, but they’ll look great when displayed proudly at home or shared widely around the web.
2. HTC One X
HTC has just released three shiny new Android phones as part of its flagship HTC One series, the One X, the One S, and the One V. Of these three beauties, the HTC One X and the One S share some extremely good camera hardware packed into these top-range phones. The One X and S have an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture and a 28-millimeter lens, to provide a more than acceptable balance of speed, light, and focus, even compared with some dedicated compact cameras.
3. Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II (known as the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch on Sprint, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket on AT&T, and simply the Galaxy S II on T-Mobile) is Samsung’s current leading Android device. Whichever carrier you buy it from, you’ll get an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of recording 1080p video and an LED flash. If you like the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone as a whole, it might be worth hanging on a few months before you make a purchase. The Samsung Galaxy S III is expected soon, naturally bringing the same (or better) camera hardware to go with improved specs all around.
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4. Nokia Lumia 900
The Nokia Lumia 900 is Nokia’s first foray into the world of Windows Phone 7. The smartphone has a unique and eye-catching design and a great operating system (although 3rd-party app support is nowhere near as strong as you might get with the App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android.) The Nokia Lumia 900 has a high-quality camera to match the overall finish of the phone, namely an 8MP camera with dual LED flash, and a Carl Zeiss autofocus lens. Carl Zeiss is one of the biggest names in high-end camera hardware, and the partnership between his company and Nokia should produce some excellent smartphone photographs.
5. HTC Titan II
The second smartphone running Windows Phone 7 to make it into our roundup is the new HTC Titan II, which as you might suspect is the successor to the HTC Titan. One of the biggest changes from the HTC Titan to the HTC Titan II is an upgrade to the camera, from an already impressive 8 megapixels to a scene-stealing 16 megapixels. The HTC Titan II also supports 720p video recording and has dual LED flash and an f/2.6 lens with autofocus. Although more megapixels don’t necessarily mean better images, the combination of camera hardware on this phone should result in shots that will look great for years to come.
Coming Soon: Nokia 808 PureView
Announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the Nokia 808 PureView has garnered a lot of attention, for good reason. Nokia has included a new type of sampling technology to allow it to capture 41-megapixel images, reportedly with excellent low-light performance and lossless zoom. Lossless zoom allows you to zoom in and emphasize crops from your photos that will retain the same sharpness and clarity as the original image. Like the Lumia 900, this Nokia phone boasts Carl Zeiss optics, but instead of running Windows Phone 7, it will run Nokia’s home-brewed Symbian Belle operating system. While the PureView is currently available for preorder in Italy at roughly $785, no pricing information or release dates have been confirmed for the United States at this time.
Which of these phones appeals to you the most? Let us know which one you’re desperate to get snapping with in the comments!
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- Beginner’s guide to digital photography
- Just Show Me: 3 free apps for editing photos on your iPhone
- Sharing is Caring: Which free photo sharing site is right for you?
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