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Out­door, land­scape, por­trait pho­tos All cam­eras per­form at their best out­doors when there’s plenty of light avail­able. We took three pho­tos in th­ese con­di­tions and quite a few of the 10 phones pro­duced great re­sults which many peo­ple would be very happy with.

In our top three, how­ever, are the Google Pixel, Sony Xpe­ria XZ and OnePlus 3T. The Google Pixel stands out as the best, though, as it man­ages to con­sis­tently pro­duce ex­cel­lent images re­gard­less of sub­ject or com­plex­ity.

Key to this is its im­proved HDR+ mode (which hap­pens to be the de­fault set­ting in the na­tive cam­era app). It com­bines sev­eral RAW images to pro­duce a JPG with high dy­namic range, yet

with­out any trace of blur­ring or ghost­ing caused by move­ment in the scene. Bet­ter still, you can take sev­eral HDR+ pho­tos with­out any slow­down so, un­like the older Nexus phones where poor per­for­mance meant you wouldn’t want to use HDR+, on the new Pix­els, you can.

Low light In low light the Pixel again does an ex­cel­lent job, pre­serv­ing de­tail with­out lots of noise. So does the Galaxy S7, which cap­tures low light scenes re­mark­ably well for a phone. Wor­thy of men­tion here is the HTC 10 Evo, which also pro­duces more than us­able shots in dim or very low light con­di­tions.

Selfie Yet again, the Google Pixel de­liv­ers the goods. Un­like a lot of phones which serve up a doc­tored, soft-fo­cus, skin-en­hanc­ing im­age by de­fault, the Pixel’s 8Mp front cam­era pro­duces crisp pho­tos with lots of de­tail. Some peo­ple might pre­fer it didn’t, which is why other man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Sam­sung and LG de­fault to blem­ish-re­duc­ing Beauty modes.

One fea­ture we don’t like is the way the OnePlus 3T, HTC 10 Evo and LG G5 flip their pho­tos so it’s like look­ing in a mir­ror. How­ever, the lat­ter two do all take great self­ies.

Video Video qual­ity will be more im­por­tant to some buy­ers than pho­tos, but equally im­por­tant will be the video modes and fea­tures on of­fer. Aside from

the Huawei P9, all the phones here can record in 4K at 30 frames per se­cond. But if you pre­fer to record high-frame-rate video, you’ll want at least 60fps at 1080.

Plenty of phones here will oblige, but the Pixel goes one bet­ter and will shoot at 120fps. It shoots ex­cel­lent video, with great colour and de­tail, and min­i­mal noise and ar­ti­facts. Google’s phone uses soft­ware only. Both sys­tems de­liver ex­cel­lent re­sults whether shoot­ing at 4K or 1080p.

Fi­nal thoughts We’re com­par­ing cam­era qual­ity here, but there are other con­sid­er­a­tions. One is fea­tures. For ex­am­ple the LG G5 of­fers a wide-an­gle cam­era which makes is a good choice if you’re after an ac­tion-cam­era look to pho­tos and videos with­out re­sort­ing to an add-on wide-an­gle lens.

Don’t for­get, too, that the Galaxy S7 are wa­ter re­sis­tant so can take pho­tos and videos in con­di­tions where other phones wouldn’t sur­vive, in­clud­ing un­der­wa­ter.

The Pixel may not have any of th­ese fea­tures, but re­mains one of the best phones for pho­tog­ra­phy you can buy right now. If you don’t want an An­droid phone, you won’t be dis­ap­pointed with the iPhone, but the Pixel just pips the Galaxy S7 (our pre­vi­ous win­ner for phone cam­eras) as the best An­droid phone for pho­tog­ra­phy.

Xiaomi Mi 5s

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