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HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2014: Editor's Choice - Part 1

Best Camera Smartphone

Best Camera Smartphone

Camera smartphones have come a long way since the previous decade when these devices were typically equipped with VGA-resolution rear cameras. Their performance and expectations were so low that the conventional point and shoot camera reigned supreme by a large margin.

However, all that has changed significantly In the past three years as mainstream imaging is now handled primarily by smartphones and phone makers have kept improving the camera hardware in their phones. As these brands push the boundaries for smartphone imaging, there are a handful of imaging innovations such as HTC's UltraPixel and Nokia's PureView that can deliver stunning image quality. Without further ado, here's the list of nominees that qualify for this category:-

Nominees: 

 

  • Apple iPhone 5S
  • HTC One
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
  • Sony Xperia Z1

 

And the Winner Is...

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia's innovation in camera technologies for smartphones is unrivaled in the industry. When we reviewed the Lumia 1020, we dubbed it as the camera phone to end all camera phones. This is due to the impressive camera hardware and software packed in the Lumia 1020.

Thanks to its larger-than-life sensor, wide aperture of f/2.2 and optical image stabilization, the Lumia 1020 delivers image quality that surpasses all other camera phones in any scenario, including low light photography. 

Aside from its hardware prowess, Nokia also developed the Camera app which guides beginners through the various photography tools such as exposure and shutter speed, and gives advanced users plenty of tools to edit their work. For more information on the Lumia 1020, do check out our review.

The Sony Xperia Z1's 20.7-megapixel G lens sounds impressive on paper, but in reality, its imaging performance leaves much to be desired. When shot with manual mode, photos are full of image noise and artificial-looking checkered artifacts. The one aspect where the Xperia Z1 excels are colors; they are rich and natural-looking. You can find out more about the Xperia Z1's imaging performance in our shootout article.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model Apple iPhone 5S HTC One Nokia Lumia 1020 Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Sony Xperia Z1
Design 8.5 9.5 7.5 8.0 8.5
Features 8.5 8.5
(adjusted down from 9.0 in original review)
9.0 8.5 8.5
User-Friendliness 9.0 9.0 7.5 7.5 8.5
Performance 9.0 8.0
(adjusted down from 8.5 in original review)
9.0 7.5 8.0
Value 8.0 8.0 7.5 7.5 8.0
Overall 8.5 8.5
(adjusted down from 9.0 in original review)
8.5 7.5 8.5
Price S$988 S$968 S$999 $798 S$998

*Note: Prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of product evaluation.

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.

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