In this round, we are adding and highlighting recent camera data and score updates from phones people may purchase during the holiday season. Many of these phones represent the top products companies offer, so the camera’s hardware potential is undoubtedly significant to you.
We’re classifying smartphones camera systems based on their objective hardware strength, using our proprietary CAMERA HW benchmark and its algorithm that allows us to analyze hundreds of smartphones and provide a broader view of the market.
For more details about this benchmark, check the Camera HW FAQ. The complete list of cameras is at the bottom of the page. The algorithm is tuned and adjusted with real-world image analysis from our image-based Camera IQ benchmark (IQ = Image Quality).
|Nov 10 2021 Update, Uber HW Camera v1.1|
|163||Samsung Galaxy S21 (SD888)||7.5/10||4.4/10||[unrated]||$799 – (799.99)||20|
|157||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3||7.2/10||3.3/10||4.5/10||$1000 + (1799.99)||9|
|141||Motorola Edge||6.5/10||2.9/10||4.2/10||$699 – (699)||20|
|141||Motorola Edge (2021)||7.3/10||2.4/10||$699 – (699.99)||20|
|119||TCL 20 Pro 5G||5.7/10||2.9/10||$599 – (529.99)||22|
|117||Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3||5.7/10||2.8/10||$999 – (999.99)||12|
The TCL 20 Pro 5G is presently leading the smartphone lineup at TCL, and it does come with a rear quad-camera system, like the TCL 10 before it. However, the 20 Pro’s CAMERA HW score is 119, down from the 10 Pro’s 136.
So, what happened? From the data we have, the TCL 20 Pro 5G primary’s camera uses a lower-performance sensor, affecting its theoretical photo outcome. The Ultrawide camera has remained virtually identical, so no noticeable changes there.
Looking at the overall picture of the phone, it is likely that TCL has shuffled resources around because the TCL 20 Pro has 50% higher graphics performance than the TCL 10 Pro and a better chipset. The new smartphone is better, but the camera is not the winner of BOM shifting (bill of material).
On the Samsung side, the new Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 foldable phones are the talks of the town, with shipments outpacing the previous generation by far. Unsurprisingly, the Z Fold 3 gets a good CAMERA HW score of 157, which places it near the Galaxy S21’s camera that you’ve heard so much about. Don’t miss our fill Galaxy Z Fold3 review.
As for the Galaxy Z Flip3, its camera has a more modest score of 117, which would place it closer to something like the Galaxy A52’s camera.
The likely reason for this score is the design challenges that come with such a compact foldable phone. Some internal volume is lost, and components have to be smaller, including the camera modules. You can see photo samples and more camera comments in our complete Z Flip3 review.
We have recently reviewed the moto edge 2021 shortly after its launch in NYC, a 5G multimedia-optimized handset from Motorola. Its camera gets a CAMERA HW score of 141, which is precisely the same as the moto edge 2020.
However, there is nuance depending on how you use it. Unlike TCL, Motorola has shifted resources from the Ultrawide camera to the primary camera, which is now better. If Ultrawide photography is a secondary concern to you, then you still come out winning.
We’ll add more scores during this shopping season, so stay tuned for big names. Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. To get notifications in your browser, click on the orange subscription button below.