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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best cameraphones

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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best cameraphones
Gone are the days when phones were good only for making calls and sending text messages. Today's top models can give us driving directions, play movies, run complex applications, and most importantly, capture photos and videos. In fact, cameraphones have evolved so much that many people don't bother carrying a dedicated point-and-shoot camera with them anymore, relying solely on their mobile device for snapping shots. That's why we absolutely had to include a category in our PhoneArena Awards dedicated to the year's best cameraphones. Ladies and gents, we give you our favorites – the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the Apple iPhone 5s.

Nokia Lumia 1020


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best cameraphones
Hardly a surprise, the Nokia Lumia 1020 gets a prime spot on our list of honored cameraphones. And why wouldn't it? Thanks to its outstanding 41MP camera – a notable technological achievement on its own – the handset is capable of capturing images of unsurpassed detail and clarity, as we've proven numerous times already with our camera comparisons. And that's not only because of the sensor's high megapixel count. The optical image stabilization takes a key part in the image-capturing process as well, keeping the frame steady thus reducing motion blur. Videos look beautiful as well, enhanced by the option to get closer to the action with the Lumia 1020's 4x lossless zoom. A perk worth mentioning is the bright xenon flash on the smartphone's back, helping out when taking low-light shots. Last but not least, there's the Nokia Camera application enabling the photographer to take full control over the image with its manual controls. Simply put, the Nokia Lumia 1020 might very well be regarded as the ultimate cameraphone of 2013 and we can't wait to see what Nokia has in stock to succeed it with next year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best cameraphones
All of Samsung's recent high-end devices have been outfitted with very capable cameras, and the Galaxy Note 3 is no exception. In fact, it is definitely one of the best shooters out there, striking a good balance between image and video quality, shooting speed, ease of use, and manual control over the image. Plus, its rich feature set includes 4K video recording and 120fps slo-mos – modes that the very few other smartphones can offer. Quality-wise, photos taken with the Note 3 are almost always excellent, low on noise and high on details. Even at night – a case where many smartphone cameras disappoint – the Note 3 still manages to snap a pretty photo. All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a phone well worthy of being on today's list.

iPhone 5s


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best cameraphones
Yup, the iPhone 5s gets a mention as well! Why is that? Well, just think about it. On one hand, we know that there are better cameras with more megapixels and fancy features like optical image stabilization and the likes. But on the other hand, the iPhone remains one of the fastest and easiest to use cameras in existence. You just aim, shoot, and let the phone take care of the rest! More often than not, its photos would look great despite having a resolution of "only" 8 megapixels. Besides, the camera on the 5s got a welcome upgrade this year, allowing it to take better low-light shots with its larger sensor and improved LED flash. To wrap it up, if you're looking for an easy to use camera that excels in a wide variety of conditions, look no further than the iPhone 5s.

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This story is part of: PhoneArena Awards 2013(10 updates)

165 Comments
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posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:04 57

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3341; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Ok. Is this a joke now? I've had enough of this BS. I mean seriously. STILL NO Z1! In my opinion it should have been already in the design section, but I'm still ok with the decisions PA made there. BUT! It IS the second best cameraphone this year! PA, I'm very disappointed!

The real list should have been:

1. Lumia 1020
2. Xperia Z1
3. Note 3

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:16 4

6. hboy857 (Posts: 242; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


http://www.gsmarena.com/six_way_camera_shootout-review-998.php

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 20:28 1

142. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


http://www.dxomark.com/Mobiles

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 09:16

158. adecvat (Posts: 140; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


LoL, Z1 > 5s >>> 1020

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 05:12 2

165. fabbriche (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Jul 2013)


In what parallel universe?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:39 1

16. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


PA: " Ladies and gents, we give you our favorites – the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the Apple iPhone 5s."

I remember how all tech media called Lumia 1020 before the release, "THE ANSWER to Galaxy S4 ZOOM."
But now in the CAMERAPHONE article they conveniently missed Galaxy S4 ZOOM .
Why? Of course- not to give the crown to Samsung again.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:05 12

46. proto (Posts: 59; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


well S4 zoom si camera with phone functionality and not phone with camera. it is bulky and ... it is bad. It is ireelevant like last years pureview 808.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:40 5

18. buccob (Posts: 1578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Completely agree with you...

though the Z1 has some noise that Samsung shows better....

But my year old Xperia Acro S is on par with the iP5s which makes this list complete BS.

check this detail comparison...

https://app.box.com/s/mburru818uy68goyqr5y

I have made personal night shots and macro shots comparing my old Sony Xperia with the iPhone 5... and it also wins clearly...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:03 4

45. Sauce (unregistered)


No one uses an Acro S.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:21 3

64. buccob (Posts: 1578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


This is not a popularity list... and I am not saying that my Acro S should be on a cameraphone list either....

I just stated that even though my phone is old Sony tech it is on par with current iPhone crops... so newer Sony Xperias with better cameras should be better than any current iPhone.

The point is that I only mentioned the Acro S because it is the phone I own and I can compare. Plus I can make some pretty cool underwater shots without cases... can you?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:02 2

84. Sauce (unregistered)


Obviously you are a proud supporter of your phone, and you'll go out of your way and do whatever you can to defend it's name lol. Underwater shots? Me? No. I need more advanced gear than a silly Sony device. I've tried my friends and my Go Pro gives highly better results underwater than that toy.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:17 2

97. buccob (Posts: 1578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


good for you... so badass needing advance gear..... I didn't have to spend ~$300 extra for my casual undersea shots... But when I dedicate my life to mountain bikes or extreme sports I will surely check the Go Pro out...

what was the point of your reply to my comment anyway?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:41 13

19. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8924; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I couldn't agree more with your list. The shooter on the Z1 is obviously better than the one on the Note 3.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:06 3

87. Damitel (Posts: 65; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


I remember the BLIND CAMERA comparison done sometime ago; Lumia 1020 came first, Xperia Z1 was omitted from the comparison which would have been undisputed number 2(many reacted disappointedly to this at the time), S4 and G2 followed as it was understood that note 3 was not included by then. But Iphone 5s being third is very strange here. It was 5th or 6th then. Well, PA make us to believe the judgement you present here as it is ridiculous when you turn out to contract your previous postings. Thank you!

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 15:37 4

119. MojoDojo (Posts: 87; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


I agree with you about the Z1, that it should be on the list but disagree about the Note 3. I think Lumia 1520 should be there instead.

1. Lumia 1020
2. Lumia 1520 / Xperia Z1
3. Xperia Z1 / Lumia 1520

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 07:57

156. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 144; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


Actually, Xperia Z1's image quality is a bit better than lumia 1520. Xperia Z1's images have a bit more noise , but also more detailed and sharper. Lumia 1520's images have less noise but softer. What makes z1 the winner is a broader dynamic range, better exposure, and better night shots.

I have a link here, but I can't post it because my total posts are less than 30.

But still, I totally disagree with this list which is a total joke. It should have been:

1. Lumia 1020
2. Xperia Z1
3. Lumia 1520
4. Lumia 925
5. Galaxy Note 3
6. Galaxy S4/G2
7. Nexus 5
8. 5s

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 09:17

159. adecvat (Posts: 140; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Read this: dxomark.com/Mobiles

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:01

160. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 144; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


I read it like dozens of times, I know.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 20:40

144. taikucing (unregistered)


Lumia 1020
Xperia Z1
Nexus 5

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 00:51

150. bahkata (Posts: 7; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)


so basically 4K video and 120fps slo-mo beat a dedicated camera key and a udnerwater photos :) f*kin sell-outs. not even gonna comment on the iPhone:)

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 02:33

155. saffant (Posts: 233; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


Testing .

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:04 9

2. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Of course the iPhone 5S made the cut some how It's the same camera last year with a dual flash why wouldn't it be on the list?! There are many more devices that should be on here instead of the 5S. The Z1 perhaps, another Nokia phone?! I mean com on!! SMH...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:25 2

10. superduper (Posts: 151; Member since: 20 Oct 2013)


It's a different camera with a different sensor. It's not all about pixels you know. Remember, pixels eat up storage on your phone and PC. Even worse, they eat up your data plan. :-)

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:42 16

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8924; Member since: 14 May 2012)


No way in hell the iPhone 5S is a better camera than the Z1. Just saying.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:44 1

25. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


But more pixels give you better zoom on the details of the picture.
Besides nowadays the high-end smartphones have SD support.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:53 2

35. zekes (Posts: 213; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)


I hate to break it to you but android is moving away from SD cards because of performance issues even in jellybean that's the reason why and some phones you cannot store any apps on the SD card which is actually a smart move for a more smoother user experience

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:53 4

36. superduper (Posts: 151; Member since: 20 Oct 2013)


Neither Google or Apple officially support SD storage these days. Some OEMs add it to their phones in order to differentiate their product. But in the medium term SD is an obsolete technology.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:22 3

53. dratomic (Posts: 476; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


so having a backup and expansion option is obsolete in your opinion?!
interesting :)

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:25 2

55. zekes (Posts: 213; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)


You're absolutely correct especially if you have jellybean we know how you like smooth operating phones we wouldn't want a sd card slowing you down

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:07

61. mike2959 (Posts: 283; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


How in the world then is having your tunes, your pics etc..a smoother experience when it's stored in cloud and not on your phone?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:28 1

67. zekes (Posts: 213; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)


You're so slow you missed the whole point

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:09 8

3. tasior (Posts: 256; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


So are You saying that Note3 has better camera, than Sony Z1? Thats suprising considering, that when I click at section Best Phones -> Best Camera at Your site, Note 3 is abscent in that category...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:47 1

28. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Rally?
What about:
http://www.gsmarena.com/six_way_camera_shootout-review-998.php

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 20:44 1

145. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Lets see what professionals say about Z1

http://www.dxomark.com/Mobiles

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 23:50

148. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)


the only other person who knows what im takling about. when comparing camera phones...dpreview/dxmark are the pros at it

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:10 12

4. magnanimus (Posts: 330; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Really? iPhone 5S? Even the Google Nexus 5 and S4 camera beat it without even trying. Didnt you guys check your review???

http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-Comparison-Google-Nexus-5-vs-iPhone-5s-Sony-Xperia-Z1-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3-Galaxy-S4-LG-G2-Nokia-Lumia-1020-HTC-One_id3500/page/8

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:29 2

11. androiphone20 (Posts: 1522; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


"Disclaimer: The overall score for each
phone represents its average rating, but
note that we're only taking into account
the Details, Color representation and
Indoor categories in the Overall score.
We're factoring all the others (such as
Night and Panorama) out, since those
represent situations where users are less
likely to take images in. Video recording
isn't included as well, since we consider
it a separate thing from photo-taking.
We've done this in order to end up with
an Overall rating that is representative of
a camera's performance in those areas,
which we think are most important to
users. It's not an ultimate rating, though,
so if you're particularly interested in a
specific area, such as Panorama, or
Video, just check out the devices' ratings
in that category!" please don't tell me you didn't read that...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:32 13

13. buccob (Posts: 1578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Who is in charge of making this Bull$hit awards?
It is not even consistent with the content on their own website...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:57 8

39. darkkjedii (Posts: 12714; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


You should make your own. Simple as that, you have eye to see with, and money to buy phones with, just like PA. Stop whining and do your own awards...problem solved.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:07 5

48. zekes (Posts: 213; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)


I must say I'm loving this new iPad Mini

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:05 2

85. darkkjedii (Posts: 12714; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Me too, very solid device. +1

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:27 2

66. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


And apparently you're a cyclops with your "eye to see with"

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:07

89. darkkjedii (Posts: 12714; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Yep I am.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:34 4

74. buccob (Posts: 1578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


dude, I really do not care if they name all the best tech 2013 iPhones, iPads, iEverything... what bothers me is that they do not have the professionalism to do an unbias article CONSISTENT to their other articles...

I like this website as a Tech News page... but I always hope that they improve their Review, Comparisson and "awarding" system... They already improved the review process, but they are lacking so much in consistancy... Until then I trust much more the reviews and comparisson from GSMArena, though they lack in News, and speed...

I would really love to see this website truly unbiased (a small number of writers really try), not just some comment-wh#res that publish many fan-bait articles to see us bash each others...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:23 2

100. bucky (Posts: 1577; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


What bothers you is your phone wasn't chosen.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:29 1

103. buccob (Posts: 1578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


My phone is not 2013, so I really do not care...

I do care about quality in one of my favorite webpage

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 16:54 1

132. darkkjedii (Posts: 12714; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Yep, I think he's wittle hearts broken

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 23:48

147. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)


its their tech blog, their rules, their scales, their benchmarks...nuff said

besides if your not happy then please proceed to pro photography tech blog dpreview.com for more meaningful insite about camera comparisons. cheers!

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:12 4

5. magnanimus (Posts: 330; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Moto X, LG G2, Xperia Z1, Nexus 5, Galaxy S4, .......................

I could go on all day PH.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:17 4

7. androiphone20 (Posts: 1522; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


I cannot pass my judgement on the other two but I totally agree on the 5S, the camera is remarkable

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:38 2

15. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3341; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Umm, OK...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:43 10

23. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8924; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Lololol of course you do, even when it's been proven that the Z1 has a way better camera than the 5S.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:00 2

40. zekes (Posts: 213; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)


So if it has been proven where is your proof

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:12 4

49. androiphone20 (Posts: 1522; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


there's really no need to be asking Papa Smurf you don't have to take him seriously. "Papa Smurf" XD

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:31 8

104. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8924; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You have the intelligence of a 12 year old and act immature. You should definitely be the last person to talk around here. I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't even graduated from high school yet.

Unlike you, I don't say things out of thin air. Google Z1 vs 5S and you'll see every website claiming the camera on the Z1 puts the 5S to shame. Matter of fact, my Note 3 already does, and it's inferior to the Z1, 1020 and 1520.

Anything else you want me to clarify for you, kiddo?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:30 1

70. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Here is the proof from this very site.
Look at the final placement.
While iPhone 5S and Note 3 are worse than Z1, they are included in this list.
WHEN PA BETRAYS ITSELF.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:53 1

78. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I forgot the link!
http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-Comparison-Google-Nexus-5-vs-iPhone-5s-Sony-Xperia-Z1-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3-Galaxy-S4-LG-G2-Nokia-Lumia-1020-HTC-One_id3500

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 14:10

92. darkkjedii (Posts: 12714; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


No dude it's not remarkable, it's truly magnificently magically revolutionarily really remarkably remarkable LMAOOOOO

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:18 3

8. alltechinside (Posts: 247; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


Don't know what is with all the hate about the iPhone 5s? Software wise, iPhone 5s lacks camera features but it takes great pictures and videos. It deserves to be in this list.

Nokia Lumia 1020 is a given. It is in a class of its own.

Note III takes good pictures and great 4K video.

Xperia Z1 could have been on this list too but the software needs improvement (and sony has been working on it). It takes sharp pictures but the colors are inconsistent imo.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:29 8

12. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


1. Lumia 1020
2. Lumia 1520
3. Xperia Z1
4. Note 3
5. Lumia 925
6. Lumia 928
7. Lumia 920
8. iPhone 5s

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