In a market where more than ~1000 phones are released every year, consumers need a way to quickly know about the performance of smartphone cameras, the #1 feature that affects purchase decisions according to OEMs we talked to.
To quickly guide potential buyers, we communicate our Camera HW (hardware) and Camera IQ (image quality) scores with a series of color-coded logos and awards.
Ultimate mobile cameras: the best of the best
The best performing smartphone cameras are labeled “Ultimate” because they are the best, no matter the price point. As ~$500+ smartphones increasingly challenge high-end handsets, a “Premium” ($450-$600) phone can challenge a “High-end” phone ($600-$1200+) in one or many aspects of mobile photography.
Color-coded market segments
Because of the way people shop (based on budget), smartphones are typically promoted by retailers, carriers, and OEMs within specific market price-segments, so we will use a color code for users to have a feel for a camera’s market positioning.
The market segments are based on the launch price, not the current retail price, to avoid confusion as the device price go lower.
Mobile Camera Awards
Each market segment has a Top 3/5 mobile cameras based on their HW or IQ scores. Because so many phones are coming out, each award is labeled with a year/month. It is the equivalent of being Olympic Champion of a specific year and discipline.
Best Awards, per category
To add some nuance, we highlight when mobile cameras are the “overall best,” or lead in one of the score Pillars like night photos, zoom, etc.
The Camera IQ score visuals provide quick, relevant, and nuanced information about cameras that have been rated with our rating system. At any time, consumers can consult the most updated Camera HW or Camera IQ scores, and read our full mobile Camera IQ reviews when available.