PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Cameraphone
The best cameraphone of the year may be nothing impressive as a phone, but its photographic abilities are yet-to-be-matched by another handset. It is a product that required years of research, and the results are very impressive indeed, we have to admit. Perhaps our frequent readers already know what smartphone we have in mind.
Okay, time to cut straight to the chase! Go check out the cameraphones that impressed us the most this year, and don't hesitate to share your thoughts with us down in the comments! And so, the first place goes to...
This wasn't too hard to guess, was it? Without a doubt, the Nokia 808 PureView is the year's best cameraphone - so good that it is commonly regarded as a point-and-shoot camera replacement with some phone functionality built in. And it isn't only about megapixels, altough with 41 of them, one can capture incredibly detailed images. (For a phone, that is.) You get features like lossless zooming - none of that digital stretching non-sense, both when shooting still photographs and while capturing video, even at 1080p. Moreover, the camera is smart enough to manipulate those millions of pixels and combine them producing a 5 or 8MP image that no other cameraphone can recreate.
Yes, the iPhone is on our podium for a second consecutive year, this time occupying place number two. And rightfully so as it is still one great cameraphone. Not only that photos taken with it look great under most conditions, but the camera interface is extremely easy to get around, while the camera app launches in a split second. What's more is that with the iPhone 5, Apple added panorama mode to the list of camera features capable of producing seemlessly stitched photographs at up to 28 megapixels.
There was fierce competition for the third place in today's cameraphone category, yet ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy S III took over the spot. And it well deserves to be honored for a number of reasons: first of all, it takes detailed, true-to-life photos under most conditions, with virtually non-existent shutter lag. Moreover, you get a ton of handy features, such as the ability to take 20 shots in burst mode and then pick the best one among them and to snap full-res stills while shooting 1080p video.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: the Nokia808 PureView is the cameraphone of the year, followed by the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III. But keep in mind that we aren't quite done yet with the PhoneArena Awards of 2012. The next category will be annonced in 24 hours so stay tuned!
5. Naviiin (Posts: 14; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)
Was about to ask, but they didn't like it that much in that comparison that was posted a couple of days ago.
8. -box- (Posts: 3882; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Maybe so, but their own "920 vs 5" comparison had the 920 coming out on top excepting still image detail for auto modes.
42. iamfury (Posts: 60; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
OHHHHH C'MOOOOOONNNNNN........ this article FORCED me to sign in and coment about how biased this article is. i dont really think this is iphonearena or samsungarena, but i am damn sure they have some grudges with nokia and MS. 90% of the article here directly or indirectly bash both nokia & MS. I used to love this website but now it just makes me sick.
102. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
So what, what's the big deal? Looks like NickT doesn't like MS and Nokia, what's you're problem?
124. iamfury (Posts: 60; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
man i'll never get tierd of this =D
And to respond to *YOUR* senseless reply !!!!
My dear troll, this forum is *SUPPOSED* to be a neutral reviewer so it can help us make our mind from an arbitrary point. But this hasnt been the case right here.
Thats the reason I have started to dislike this website. and let me ask you by using *YOUR* question, what is *YOUR* problem with me disliking this website for its biased reviews ??? I'll be more than happy to here from you :)
138. remixfa (Posts: 14188; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
wait.. this article is bashing nokia..? So.... did they give a NOKIA THE WIN because they felt sorry for bashing it?
Did you even read? The pureview by NOKIA won. It had nothing to do with OS.. since it runs Nokia's now dead OS, but its by far the most superior camera. It would have won regardless if it was on WP8, Android, Meego, or Bada.
104. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
REALLY?!?! The iPhone 5's there and the Lumia 920 isn't shown?
This is so messed up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
35. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
gotta give them iPhone 5, but I can't accept the fact that 920's not included here.
It has the best low light capabilities.
78. metalpoet (unregistered)
what i dont understand is how the iPhone 5 got 2nd place when it was already reported to have the purple glare in their pictures!
84. darkkjedii (Posts: 12721; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Bcuz several others had it too. Please do your research, not just attack the iPhone dude
93. whysoserious (Posts: 317; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
S3 doesn't have it. 920 doesn't have it. And trust me, for your sake, I did my research prior to this.
132. a1000smiles4u (Posts: 84; Member since: 24 Apr 2012)
whysoserious he wont trust u ... he only obey orders from apple inc.
10. MeoCao (unregistered)
My picks are:
1. 808 PureView: no comment needed
2. Lumia 920: Great shock absorbing mechanism and low light capability.
3. iPhone 5: Great camera in a very thin body
20. darkkjedii (Posts: 12721; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
What!!! Am I reading this correctly? MeoCao actually said something not anti about the iPhone. There's hope for u after all n the land on fairness lol. Just kidding man... Gs3, and iPhone r a tops up for 2nd.
28. MeoCao (unregistered)
LOL, I never complained about iPhone 5 camera except the purple flare which turned out to be normal for most phone cameras.
36. eisenbricher (Posts: 972; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
I am flattered! Meo you are thinking rationally!!!
65. Insignificant (Posts: 190; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Nah, Xperia T over the iPhone 5. It has a CAMERA BUTTON! Makes sense for a camera phone. And a better camera overall I think. Especially tweaked with non-official mods.
131. iDroid8 (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
A shutter key (2-way at that) is ABSOLUTELY essential in a "camera-phone"
19. the_best (Posts: 137; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)
man they suck here at PA, who in their right mind can selebrate panorama as a amazing new feature?
When reading the Lumia920 review they complain about no new features to the camera, i guess cinemagraph and smart shoot doesnt count.. (the reason i got the phone, that and the night capabilitys). and then i havnt even mentioned the filming capabilitys.... aaand the Lumia920 got panorama to.. every high end phone got panorama! so whats the reason they shoose ipone5, its not cause its the best, cause its clearly not.. its a great phone but not just the best camerawise.. could you please explain this to me, and everyone else who read your articles...
27. -box- (Posts: 3882; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Right, plus Photosynth which allows for spherical panoramas. Straight panoramas are sooooo 2010
115. pliskin1 (Posts: 59; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)
Oh wow...panorama, so cutting edge...NOT. I've owned several dumbphones that have panorama capabilities.
26. arsenaljimenez (Posts: 141; Member since: 03 May 2012)
Seriously, the image stabilization alone should be enough to have be up there
40. Commentator (Posts: 2516; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
I don't usually accuse PA of bias (except when it comes to the original Palm Pre review) but this list is seriously messed up. The 920 didn't even crack the top 3? Ridiculous. If Samsungarena was as catchy as iPhonearena, I'd use it to describe them right now.
45. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
As much as I hate to say it, based on the comparison they recently did I would have also excluded the Lumia 920 from the list. *no bias I'm a proud Lumia 900 owner*
62. simplyj (Posts: 404; Member since: 23 Dec 2009)
The reason it's not included is beacuse it has great low light photography, but sub-par daylight photography. The iPhone 5 and GSIII beat it hands down during the day light and still have good (but not as good as the Lumia 920) night time photos.
82. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Rubbish! There's something wrong if you need to store casual photographs at the native resolution of 3264 by 2448 pixels.
63. gazmatic (Posts: 628; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)
the one x has a better camera than s3 and ip5 but PA shows it no love...
over on gsmarena's photo compare tool the iphone5 still cant beat the nokia n8
even the galaxy note2 beats it... yet somehow the iphone is number two
139. downphoenix (Posts: 2416; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Did you see their camera comparison? The One X was regularly in the lower ranking of phones, the only phone it consistently surpassed was the Lumia 900, which was a single core phone with a weak camera. The I5 and S3 regularly surpassed it, there may have been a couple of shots the One X was better than the S3 on. Also the video quality didnt rank as good as either of those.
109. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
People need to see the camera shootout that was recently posted for what it is. The Iphone 5 almost always outperformed or was on par every other phone when it came to sharpness, white balance, and in most cases color accuracy. People say the Lumia 920 should be on the list, but it only wins in low-light photography which is not enough to make it the best camera phone around. I own a Lumia 900 and really can't stand Apple, but people are blinded by bias, facts remain facts.
Look at the Lumia 920's photos in the shootout, most of them (in sunlight outdoors) came out with a yellow/ green tint and the indoor photos over exaggerated the white balance. Also, the SIII, One X, and Iphone 5 shoot photos with a much faster shutter speed than the 920 (just saying). So while the pureview technology has its perks, the 920 still needs some work. *The 808 pureview is just a beast, in a different class altogether*
My list of top 3:
119. Ray.S (Posts: 264; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
Let us all just calm down a little bit, shall we? (Always wanted to say this line.) If you guys take a close look at our Nokia Lumia 920 vs Apple iPhone 5 comparison, you'll see that we never say the 920 takes better outdoor photos. It makes them way too warm and saturated, plus the contrast is too high. The Lumia 920 is definitely better when shooting at night or at very low light conditions, plus it has good image stabilization which also helps when recording video, but that's it. Since normal, daylight photos are often off, we cannot position it next to the "best cameraphones of the year." We decided to stick to the well-rounded smartphones like the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III, which are great in almost all scenarios, except for night shots. The 808 is obviously a very different story from the 920, that is why it deserves to be called "best camera-phone of the year."
123. myownchoice (Posts: 22; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)
Well isnt the note 2 as good as the s3 or better? Good jop pal..
130. Ray.S (Posts: 264; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
The GS III is more "phone" than the Note II, which is more of a "phablet". And since the Note II doesn't necessarily have the better camera, we went with the GS III.
126. androidlikeaboss (Posts: 40; Member since: 16 Nov 2012)
But why is the Galaxy S III included, when the One X/ One X+ ,which has a better camera,isnt?
129. Ray.S (Posts: 264; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
Who said the One X/X+ has a better camera than the GS III?
133. whysoserious (Posts: 317; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Lol Ray wait until PA's best smartphone of the year award gets announced (if ther's going to be one.) U gonna need more than that to calm people down once that happens..
140. downphoenix (Posts: 2416; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Yep, got the list for you right here
1) Samsung Galaxy S3
2) Iphone 5
3) insert some other phone of your choice (Lumia 920, Droid DNA, Galaxy Note 2, etc.)
121. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
It's where it deserves to be!
Bunch of you expecting from them to put a camera that basically sucks in daylight (as shown in the comparison! ) in the best three list, just shows how disturbingly overhyped that phone is.
1 Nokia 808
2 HTC One x +
3 iPhone 5
4 Galaxy S 3
3. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)
My ass. Sony Xperia T/V and Nokia Lumia 920 should have been there. Even the bloody HTC One X has a much better camera and aperture than the S3/iPhone 5.
6. Atlas (Posts: 158; Member since: 15 Apr 2012)
Sony supplied the sensor for the GSIII and made the camera for the iP5. But I do agree with the Lumia 920, it should be in there!
24. MeoCao (unregistered)
Maybe Sony optics is not good? there is a report that Xperia TX 13MP camera suscks
7. androidlikeaboss (Posts: 40; Member since: 16 Nov 2012)
I agree,One X has a better camera than s3, s3's colours are a bit washed out and its low light shot is not good.One X only lose to s3 in video recording
13. XperiaUser (unregistered)
i m a big fan of xperia series but i hate their camera . >>> too much noise,and i thnk this is the main reason behind xperia tx not in this category.
55. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
what s sh*****y ranking!!! one x much better than s3 when it can show detail & better night shot..
1) lumia 808
2) lumia 920
3) iphone 5
4) one x
heyyyy PA dont you see reality??
59. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
lmao lumia 808................have you created a hybrid phone mate?
this shows your lacking here, you dont know what your talking about but im gonna be nice and clear up your list
2) lumia 920
3) iphone 5
4) one x
mainly though atleast make sure you get the phones name right before going into a childish rage
64. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 374; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)
It's Nokia 808 PureView. Sorry =/
BUT I agree with your list =)
4. -box- (Posts: 3882; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Yay 808 making #1, but 920 should be #2 with iphone or Sony as #3. Your own "920 vs ip5" showed the 920 as exceeding the 5 in all respects except still detail, which is fixable with a software update or settings tweaks.
11. kaliil10 (Posts: 145; Member since: 16 May 2012)
Phonearena you live another Planet.... every review says " Nokia lumia 920 has the best camera of any smartphone".
12. androidlikeaboss (Posts: 40; Member since: 16 Nov 2012)
They live in iPlanet or S Planet lol
112. predator93 (Posts: 122; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
Gsmarena seems to find 920 lacking in some areas, phonearena is not alone in this case.
14. surethom (Posts: 321; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)
Im sorry, Im an Android guy, but the only way a phone can give great night time & low light photos is with a Xenon flash, so Nokia pureview has won.
Please Sony release a Android Cybershot phone
15. rycx365 (Posts: 37; Member since: 18 Mar 2011)
1st and 2nd are spot on IMO. But I don't think there can be a third. Phones like S3, one x, lumia 920 and several others all take equally pleasant shots too
16. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
Should be 808
phonearena can't do anything without including there I love. The iPhone should come in after the s3. The only reason phonearena picked the 808 is because they knew logically couldn't get away with not having it first bunch of nut sacks