Top camera smartphones of 2023 - Samsung outperforms Apple and Xiaomi

The determination of the best phone in this comparison relies on personal preferences regarding the individual lenses. While the Xiaomi 13 Ultra exhibits significant drawbacks in the front camera department, the Chinese manufacturer’s flagship otherwise performs admirably. Its notably short shutter release time, in comparison to the competition, adds to its appeal alongside impressive photo quality. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra stands out as an excellent camera phone, particularly for those less concerned with selfie capabilities.

During our camera test, Samsung has once again demonstrated, as it did in the previous year, its ability to visibly enhance its in-house camera algorithms. Noteworthy improvements were observed not only in the 50-MPix mode but also in the standard use of 16-to-1 pixel binning throughout our comparison test. In contrast to the competition, the Galaxy S23 Ultra exhibits few real weaknesses, consistently delivering reliable results. However, it’s worth noting that individuals who appreciate a natural soft focus might not find the same satisfaction when capturing photos with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The cameras of the current flagships are nearly on par in terms of quality, with differences often lying in subtle nuances. Apple’s flagship delivers impressive photos across almost all lenses but raises some questions about its main camera. While the iPhone 15 Pro Max stands out as one of the best smartphones in our comparison for low-light photography, its performance in daylight is not consistently convincing. In terms of software customization, the Galaxy S23 Ultra or Xiaomi 13 Ultra offer more value for the money.

Google provides an excellent camera setup with its Pixel 8 Pro, particularly given its pricing. Those who heavily rely on zoom lenses in their daily use might find the Google phone less satisfying. Nonetheless, it remains a strong all-rounder with one of the best main cameras in the market.

Haven’t found the right smartphone for you? But you are still on the lookout for a good phone camera? Then you should take a look at our best smartphone camera list - here you can find a regularly updated list of the 10 best camera phones from our reviews.