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Best Android Camera Smartphone: Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice series

By Liu Hongzuo - 6 Mar 2023

Best Android Camera Smartphone: Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice series


Best Android Camera Smartphone

Smartphone camera performance has reached a point where it's very hard to ascertain generational gains when upgrading within the brand. The difference, however, is more blatant when you compare across different Android phone makers. Each brand has its own definition of beauty, colour accuracy, and clarity, and all of them are right in their ways. 

Then, there's also the technical competencies of algorithms that enhance your shooting experience. Let's face it -- composing a shot leans on your sensibilities, aesthetic execution, and impeccable timing (which is sometimes a stroke of luck). But your photos and videos only look as good as they are because it's massively helped by the improving quality of sensors, denoising software, and even filters to help you express what words cannot say. All these improvements come from massive investments in imaging technology, long gruelling hours of research and development, and dropping the dough on both talent and components -- all to bring you a literal pocket-sized shooter good enough to fool even seasoned shooters into thinking you shot your content on a professional camera.

To make the cut, the devices chosen are 2022 Android smartphones with notable imaging performance, having experienced its photography and videography in regular smartphone reviews across the year. We also looked into the smartphone camera shootout done in the third quarter of the same year, to bolster our assessment in a more rigorous setting.


  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Huawei P50 Pro
  • OnePlus 10 Pro
  • Oppo Find X5 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Sony Xperia 1 IV
  • Vivo X80 Pro
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro

While the Google Pixel 6 Pro was a part of the shootout, the Google Pixel 7 Pro shares a very identical set of camera components and capabilities, proving itself to be a worthy replacement for its predecessor. The rest were tested alongside each other and in some phone reviews; we even had an Apple smartphone in the shootout's mix for assurance. Since only Android users get a real choice in imaging variety and styles, we've decided it would be more fruitful to determine which phone is the most ideal Android smartphone shooter for the masses.

Certainly Samsung's new Galaxy S23 Ultra is a perfect candidate to be part of the mix, but it's just too new, and it hasn't been subjected to a fair assessment against other contenders in the same test environment. Plus, our Tech Awards qualification period is for gear launched from February 2022 to January 2023 to allow us to conduct a proper assessment before declaring our winner.

You might also be aware that Vivo actually launched a successor, the X90 Pro series in China and certain countries worldwide. However, Vivo has no plans to make it available soon in Singapore, and thus we've gone ahead to continue qualifying the Vivo X80 Pro launched last year. Even if the X90 phone does make its appearance locally, we can't be sure which model of the trio will make it here and none of them boasts a built-in gimbal, a key feature and selling point for Vivo's top flagships. For these reasons, the Vivo X80 Pro is still a formidable combatant in our assessment.


And the winner is...

Vivo X80 Pro.

The Vivo X80 Pro outdid itself with amazing imaging performance in both our full phone review and camera shootout, offering top-quality imaging and videography that rivalled or even bested mainstay contenders like Samsung. 

It was notably strong in core photography and videography scenarios, with impressive main camera performance, sharp optical zoom, and a well-corrected ultrawide that doesn't deviate too far from its main lens' capabilities, all while providing video-friendly with true-to-life representation in many areas. Even low-light and night photography comes out swell on the Vivo X80 Pro effortlessly, likely thanks to it built-in gimbal mechanism.

That's further accompanied by its ease of use, which is an important factor in making anyone a highly competent photographer or videographer. 

If you're very much into phone cameras, you'd know that most brands aggressively manipulate their algorithms to make photos and videos friendly for social media use. Vivo didn't neglect that; it also remembered honouring serious shooters' needs and keeping realistic imaging within reach.

And because this is a matter of taste and visual clarity, we'll leave you with snippets of impressive camera work by the Vivo X80 Pro below. A picture speaks a thousand words. But if you want words and even more photography examples, our detailed justification pieces are also present in our references section.

Vivo X80 Pro main camera.

10x optical zoom on Vivo X80 Pro.

*Note: Prices and ratings listed are accurate at the time of individual product evaluation.

For more details on how we rated our nominees and to find out our usage experience of each device, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section below.

Meanwhile, check out our other Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice winners from the team behind HardwareZone and HWM.



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